Food and joint formulas

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by CodyBear, Jul 3, 2012.

  1. CodyBear

    CodyBear New Member

    Hi everyone! I've been reading the really great posts on feeding, and it's been helpful, because I'm trying to figure out what to switch my 6 mo. old Berner pup to - his belly is so sensitive and I feel like the "goog" dog foods are all too strong for him or something. The breeder was feeding them Science Diet, so that agreed with him at first, then I wanted to switch him to something better so we tried large breed puppy Orijen and it gave him diarrhea (we transitioned slowly, it just didn't agree with him - too much protein I think, at 38%). So now we've tried Nutro and AvoDerm, and neither is working out great either. Getting really tired of transitioning foods, so the next one has to be a keeper!! LOL. Thinking either Blue, or Innova. Suggestions are welcomed. Trying to get one with glucosamine, but some don't have it.

    This leads me to my next question, should I just give him joint formula/glucosamine supplements? Any brand to be recommended? He hurt his right leg about a month ago jumping off my parent's deck (grrrr) so we're tyring to be extra careful with him until it heals. He still has a bit of a limp :(

    thanks in advance for any insight!

    Jen & Cody
  2. BMD61612

    BMD61612 New Member

    Just an idea

    Awe, poor baby. :( I remember when my Bandit hurt his leg jumping up on our deck. He may have not been a berner (considering how fragile a young berner's joints are) but it definitely scared me. I'd keep a close eye on that leg. Try to touch it gently and if he pulls it away refusing to let you then maybe he needs to have it looked at by your vet. If he does let you touch it, you could gently massage it. That's what I did with Bandy and after that he was fine. He was only a pup when it happened too.

    Anyway, have you thought about adding something to his food that will help him break it down better and digest more of it? It's just a thought. Although I haven't even gotten my berner yet, my breeder has already given me the guidelines to follow when I do. They want me to feed Fromm's Puppy Gold and they stress that it should definitely NOT be the large breed formula. I am to keep my pup on this food until he is about 10 to 12 months old.

    They want me to add something for digestion which is called "4 in 1 Probiotics for pets" and from what I can tell you can only buy that online from one place. This is what my breeder wrote about that:

    4 in 1 Probiotics For Pets - available at: (

    This is a probiotic supplement with yogurt type friendly bacteria, Vitamin C and other ingredients which helps with digestion. Vitamin C is important for the formation of collagen which aids in good joint development. You will want the orange can with the digestive enzymes.

    When it comes to joint supplement they swear by this stuff which is also only available online. Here is what they are suggesting-

    Joint Support: At about 10 weeks of age you will want to start adding the excellent joint support product Glycoflex I (1-Classic the non-chewable kind) and use this for at least the first year (

    Now for the record, I'm not a salesman nor am I a vet, so I'm NOT trying to push ANY PRODUCTS on here. I'm only passing this on as an idea.

    This is also how she suggested I use them (mind you my pup will only be 8 weeks old so you'd need to adjust it to your pup's requirements if you tried it) -

    Amount To Feed: Your puppy will be eating approximately ¾ to 1 cup of dry kibble three times a day with the Pro Biotic powder and Nzymes Granules. At about 3 –4 mos. of age, reduce number of feedings to twice a day but remember to increase the amount of food per meal. The approximate amount of dry food fed to an adult is 4-6 cups per day. So gradually increase the amount of food your puppy is eating with the goal of about 2-3 lbs. a week weight gain.

    Food Guidelines:

    1. Start puppies on joint supplementation (Glycoflex) at approximately 12 weeks of age.

    2. You want your dog’s food dry or slightly moist. Do not microwave, soak, or use hot or very warm water on your kibble. This will destroy the integrity of the friendly yogurt type cultures and the vitamins, minerals, and amino acids of the food.

    Anyway, the idea of an enzyme that helps to improve food digestion isn't a bad idea. As for joint supplements, I wouldn't have it any other way. Good Luck!
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2012
  3. CodyBear

    CodyBear New Member

    Thank you!!!

    Thank you so so much, these are great tips and just what I was looking for!!! I wasn't sure what brand of stuff to buy, so the recommendations are greatly appreciated. =) I think it's probably just what he needs. Best of luck with your Berner baby! When do you get him???
  4. CodyBear

    CodyBear New Member

    Large breed puppy food?

    Just out of curiosity, did they say why not to get the large breed puppy food?
  5. BMD61612

    BMD61612 New Member

    You are most welcome :)

    They never said why I should use the regular puppy formula and avoid the large breed stuff entirely. What I'm gathering from everything I've read online is that the dog food manufacturers put extra stuff in the large breed puppy food that may not be ideal or suitable for growing berners. Perhaps Bernese puppies are putting on too much weight too quickly when they eat it? My guess is that the regular puppy formula prevents too much weight gain from occurring by regulating calorie intake while also providing the essential nutrients that another alternative such as an adult dog food may not provide. There are people who avoid using puppy food all together. Anyway, I will ask my breeder and let you know what they say.

    After receiving the list of guidelines, I looked the two products up online and read the consumer feedback. They both had good reviews and appeared to be good products. So, I went out to the local pet stores to see if they could be purchased here in town. Unfortunately, the pet stores don't sell them here (Wisconsin) but they do carry other products like them. I still plan on using the products my breeder recommended. I figure that they have been doing this for 30 years now and know this breed better than I do. Plus, the puppies will be put on the "4-in-1 Probiotics for pets" as soon as they start to eat solid food. It just makes sense that I keep him on what he started out with. You should look both products up online and judge for yourself.

    As for my puppy, he is one out of 9 that were born on June 16 and just turned 2 weeks old on Saturday (6 females, 3 males). My breeder is adamant that they go to their new homes when they turn 8 weeks old. So he will be coming home on Friday August 10. They sent me pictures of the three males and thus far I have no clue as to which one will be mine. I don't get to pick out my puppy but I trust she can choose a good one for me. I'm hoping for a puppy that would make an ideal therapy dog. The breeder said that by the time they turn 6 weeks old she'll know their individual personalities better and can start to match them with their new families. I'm really looking forward to meeting the puppies around July 28. :p
  6. CodyBear

    CodyBear New Member

    Therapy dog!

    Yay that's so exciting!!! I did look up the two products and purchased both already online =) Thanks again! As for food though, I'm still at a loss...I did look up the Fromm, and the dog food advisor gives it a 4/5 star rating, ranking it above average but not best. I don't know how much to trust that website though, because I put him on Orijen, 5/5 stars, and it gave him horrible diarrhea. *sigh* It's different for every dog I know, but I just can't seem to find something that clicks with him.

    What kind of therapy do you plan to do with him? I'm an occupational therapist, and I do hippotherapy as well as training of therapy dogs to work with veterans with disorders such at PTSD. I work in a hospital now, and I hope to get Cody therapy certified one day so I can take him to visit people who are sick in the hospital or nursing homes. He's so beautiful and friendly, I'm sure he could brighten someone's day. They are a great breed for that!!! Good luck =)
  7. BMD61612

    BMD61612 New Member

    Therapy Dog, fingers crossed :)

    I would love to train him and certify him for Therapy work so we can visit nursing homes and hospitals. My Bandit (German Shepherd/Collie mix) had the perfect personality for the job, but I never thought to have him certified and have always regretted it. So, now that I am older I would love to be able to do that. Berners are beautiful dogs with wonderful personalities. I just know that if he's anything like my Bandit, he'll be perfect for this. If he can make a child smile or brighten someone's day, it'll be well worth it. You have a great job. I'm currently a full-time U.W. student trying to earn my O.S.H.A. degree. My future job may not be as thrilling, but being a therapy dog handler is very rewarding.

    As for Fromm Puppy Gold, I'm only using it because the breeder is starting him out on it and I hate to change their food once they start out on one. Maybe the food your puppy is currently on is good, but they just aren't digesting it properly. Perhaps, the 4-in-1 Probiotics will solve the problem and you can keep them on their current food. Could you please let me know how your puppy does on those 2 products? I'd really appreciate it. Thank you.
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2012
  8. Neebles

    Neebles New Member

    It's a small world, we are getting one of the males
    from that litter as well.
  9. BMD61612

    BMD61612 New Member

    Yes Neebles, it really is a small world!

    I had a feeling you were getting a puppy from Brighteye! I still can't believe that she took them to New Mexico. That email threw me for a loop, I was under the impression they were safe and sound in Illinois. It's funny, here I've been worrying about taking my little one up north and the pups would have already traveled across country by the time we get them. Anyway, I just wanted to say hello and wish you the best of luck with your new puppy. Take care! :)
  10. 2berners

    2berners Guest

    There have been some good suggestions so far. I would like to add that sometimes its not the actual food itself that causes stomach problems but rather it can be from over feeding. If you find your puppy is growing too fast (more than 2-2.5 pounds per week or 10 pounds a month) chances are you need to cut ack on the food a bit.
    With that being said, some Berners just have sensitive tummies no matter what you feed. My first Berner was like that when she was young. I tried all kinds of kibbles and it wasn't until I switched to a raw diet that her digestive issues went away. A raw diet is not for everyone and it takes much research and planning but it is an option that is out there.

    The reason that large breed puppy food is recommended because it has appropriately balanced calcium/phosphorus levels for the growth needs of large breed puppies. Studies have shown that diets too high in calcium can cause growth problems in large breeds. My breeders have always recommended large breed specific diets because the are formulated with moderate protein, less calories and appropriate mineral ratios. Regular puppy food can be too high in calories and calcium. Different breeders find different things work for their lines however so take that into consideration.
  11. BMD61612

    BMD61612 New Member

    Regular puppy food -VS- Large breed puppy food

    I will have to ask my breeder why they prefer that I feed my puppy regular puppy food instead of the large breed formula. 2berners, do you maybe have an idea why Brighteye is suggesting I do this? I initially thought that there were more calories in large breed puppy food which played a role in their decision but later read that that wasn't the case. Perhaps, once you add the "4-in-1 Probiotics for pets" to the regular puppy food, the puppy gets all of the nutrients it needs and the large breed formula would be too much? Thank you in advance for any help you can give me on this. Take care.
  12. Qubelight

    Qubelight New Member

    I would have to agree with 2berners.

    I'm a scientist in my normal job and I get all funny about researching the food I feed my animals. Whilst my darling cat is too stuck in her way to try and change her diet now (she is 12). My pup on the other hand will get the best (but I am a firm believer that it doesn't have to be the most expensive!!).

    Large breed specific diets whilst balancing the right amount of calcium and phosphorus levels (usually restricted compared to other diets) also tend to have other additives such as Green-Lipped Mussel Powder which is a natural source of omega 3s and glucosamine which will aid her joint growth. Even the shape of the kibble can be shaped to aid digestion although this is probably more important for the toy breeds but it can still aid in dental health.

    I do supplement further with a growth aid powder (which is mostly just more green-lipped mussel powder- there has been really good results in the research lately for it). I brought the 'good' stuff this time but once it runs out she will have just normal human glucosamine powder. I didn't want to mess with her tummy too much as a young pup.

    Fortunately for me the breeder had her on the same food that I feel is one of the top picks. Still he certainly suggested I keep her on a large breed specific diet. Seems strange another would suggest differently but I imagine thats what their experience has told is best.
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2012
  13. hudkj

    hudkj New Member

    To Qubelight~ may I ask what brand/kind of food you feed your dog? We started our pup out on Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover's soul and I have really liked it. The top two ingredients are meat and no by-products in the ingredients. I have heard that Chicken may not be the best protein for large breeds regarding bloat issues. So I am considering changing her to Blue Buffalo with a fish as a main protein.......thoughts?
  14. Qubelight

    Qubelight New Member

    I feed her Advance Puppy Large Breed Growth; its chicken based with supplements for growth and restricted calcium and phosphorus levels. Its considered a super premium blend, may cost more at the start but, you feed them less so it lasts longer :D
    I feel its important not to completely stuff their tummy's full of food (because of bloat concerns!).

    I avoided mentioning what it was because I don't know if its an Aussie specific brand. Your comment is the first that I have heard about chicken based food leading to bloat. Its my understanding that bloat is caused by more physical contributors so unless the chicken is harder to digest than the fish/beef and fills the tummy longer I'm not sure the reasoning behind it, but I'm curious now so I'm going to search!

    By products do not concern me as much either because to be honest there is more protein to be had in your fingernails than your finger meat. Whilst yes it is harder to digest i would rather the calcium in my dogs diet come from ground bones than highly processed synthetic calcium which requires added magnesium to the diet to absorb the calcium. That is not to say that a food without by-products is bad but the big play between the two in companies seemed to be more at advertising a holistic approach to pull your heart-strings lol.

    Not being a vet means I'm not really qualified to make diet decisions for your dog, however for my dogs I would consider changing to a more fish based diet as they get older, if their tummy could handle the change. But the key idea is not just fish in general but what the diet is trying to achieve, is it high in omega 3's for example to aid joints? Does that make sense? Remember though you an always keep them happy with what they know and just supplement it with either fish sticks as treats or food additives. :D
  15. jemma

    jemma New Member

    Sounds good but you have to be very careful supplementing Vit C has dogs produce their own so this is not a necessary supplement
  16. jemma

    jemma New Member

    Sounds good but you have to be very careful supplementing Vit C as dogs produce their own so this is not a necessary supplement

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