After years of wanting to do it, I can say now that we finally did it! We switched to raw! lol
We've been struggling with Rubi's weight and despite feeding less, she just kept gaining. Bauer was having issues with yeast and despite the fact that I REALLY loved Acana, it didn't seem to love him back. I didn't want to put them back on Natural Balance, s we tried one last alternative and switched to Earthborn. I said, "if this one doesn't work, we're going raw." Well the dogs hated it. They weren't eating it, unless they had skipped enough meals that it was worth forcing themselves to eat it. Took a while to finish the bag, and during that time, I began really doing my research.
I came across a local frozen raw mix supplier. The quality is great and better yet...they price is unbeatable. I found a pet store that sells it, even cheaper than the local supplier. So, I went and picked up 20lbs and last Saturday, we switched.
So far, the changes are small, but I notice them. Both dogs are less gassy. Rubi has had HORRIBLE, clear the room and pull the paint off the walls gas. And she was constantly passing gas. Think: walking farts.
I don't think she's tooted but a couple of times in the past few days! Bauer doesn't have gas issues, but on Earthborn, they were coming. Well, he's not letting them go either.
Poops are small and quickly disintegrate, which is kinda neat. LOL The first poo, I sat outside, in my pj's, standing over it in total amazement. "That's IT?!!!"
Pretty sure my neighbors confirmed my deranged mental status right at that moment.
Their coats are improving. Rubi's has been coarse for years and getting worse as she aged. Today, I felt it and it's starting to soften. Bauer has always been pretty soft, but his coat is shedding and a nice fresh, softer coat is coming through.
Individually, Rubi is finally losing weight. (Bauer is too, so we are upping his food. He seems to be leaning out more than really losing body mass). She's been WAY more playful with Bauer lately too. She's initiating play more often, running around the house like a nut, stealing his toys, tugging, and I've not seen that big ol smile on her in a really long time! She's like a puppy all over again. I think her arthritis and her hips are bothering her less as well - most likely due to the weight loss, but even when she was this slim a year ago, she wasn't this playful. She just looks more bright eyed and happier.
Bauer has had tummy issues with all of the food we've had him on. It just never seemed to agree with him some days. He'd wake up early am, and his belly would hurt so bad, he was velcroed to me so I would comfort him. I'd have to wait it out a lil bit, which sucks when you know they don't feel well, give him some cottage cheese, then a few hours later, he was back to normal. Well, those issues seem to be going away. He still has a bit of a "velcro dog" syndrome when he's getting hunger pains. So, I think upping his meals will help with that. But for the most part, no real tummy issues.
The big change I've noticed with him is just how much more focussed he is....and getting into ALOT less trouble! LOL Seems to have curbed some of that "I'm going to be bad to get attention" and he's really learning it's ok to calm down. We are also working with a behaviorist (more in another post) on this and the issue with chasing the cat. She said if/when we switched to raw, we'd see him calm down. She was right. lol Even in our agility class tonite, he was far more eager to work (not usually a problem for him, but he's usually soooooo interested in the other dogs and wanting to try to get away to play) and altho he still had his "Bauer moments" he was quick to settle back down and redirect. My lil goofball...what am I supposed to do with a Bauer boy that listens and isn't being bad?!?!! lol
He puked the first meal. I think he just ate it too fast. Other than that, the transition has been fairly easy for him. Rubi's had no issues with the switch - no vomiting, diarrhea or anything. She REALLY loves the food. Bauer doesn't like his cold, so he requires a bit of heating it up....or letting it sit out for a few minutes to warm up to room temp, before he eats it. Otherwise, he tries to bury his bowl. LOL
They are going through some itchiness, but not much. From what I read, this is common as the toxins from kibble leave the body. Bauer has probably been itching more, which I expected considering his yeasty paws, but they aren't really itching that much. Oh and the yeast between his toes....going bye-byes.
I have to say, overall, I'm really glad with the switch and seeing the slight results in less than a week and so look forward to seeing what happens over the next several months. Just seeing the puppy come back to life in Rubi has made it all worth it. I have to say, she's been worrying me lately and to see her acting like she's 4 instead of 8, has just made us all smile.