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What TOTW variant is best for chows

Posted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 9:53 pm
by kevindd992002
I'm currently feeding Walter the High Prairie variant of TOTW and was reading through some posts in this forum that chows don't necessarily need a high protein diet. From all the TOTW dog variants, I know that the High Prairie has the most protein. Should I be switching to a new flavor? Which is best for Chows? Salmon or what?

Here are all the TOTW dog adult variants: ... a-results/

Re: What TOTW variant is best for chows

Posted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 7:14 pm
by Rory's Dad
Kevin, i'm not a nutrition expert, but I think a lot of that depends on your dog. Similar to humans, a high protein diet helps to build mass. This encourages muscle, bone, and cartiledge growth. If you already had an 80 lb chow that was well developed, I would lower the protein. I think some of that effect goes away after the dog is 18 months or so. The growth plates are pretty set by that time and you won't add a ton of size to the dog.

Proteins are also important when a dog has certain allergies. Their has been a movement in the food industry to get away from grain products. The purpose of any food is to get carbohydrates (energy sources). It just depends how the body is getting those calories. You could get those from pure sugar, but not a good source. Grains also offer it, but some dogs can have problems digesting, or can have allergies. Grain products can cause itchy skin, and you don't want your dog pulling all his fur out to scratch dry/itchy skin. High protein diets can also be hard to digest. These are primarily meat or fish products.

My only advice on the food issue is to avoid products that contain a bunch of filler. It will be listed on the ingredients label as all sorts of different things, but think of it as sawdust. TOTW tends to be a good quality food, with mostly good ingredients. In the US at least, manufacturers are required to list the ingredients in order of volume. So the first 3 or 4 ingredients are going to be most important. You want to see ACTUAL things you recognize. Beef, Chicken, Turkey, Salmon, etc. You don't want to see the word 'byproduct'. You don't want to see 'corn meal'.

Next, if you have a food that your dog enjoys, stay with it. You will want to watch the dog from there. Not to be too nasty, but the dog should have consistent and solid 'movements'. He should be digesting properly. A loose stool can also be a sign of overfeeding though, so eliminate that question before making any wholesale change. Keep an eye on weight. The dog should not have an extended belly (fat) or have his ribs showing (in Chows you will have to feel his rib cage to find out, since the fur will cover it). And finally, energy. Look for changes in his behavior. This is a tough one as Chows change a ton in the visible energy area as they mature.

If your dog has a flavor that he likes, and if all the other signals are OK, then stick with it. He may become bored with that taste after a while, try and stick with a similar product. If you change, do it gradually. You don't want to upset his stomach too much with a radical diet change.

Re: What TOTW variant is best for chows

Posted: Sat Feb 13, 2016 1:52 am
by kevindd992002
Thanks. I'm just being worried because at 14 months my Chow is just around 15.5Kg and as you may have said before that is a little bit on the slim side of Chows (maybe even on the underweight range). Considering that he is a male, can't I do anything about it or does it just really account for family genes? I haven't seen his parents (especially his mother) so I'm not really sure. If I want to build up on mass, do I just go with the one with the highest percentage of protein (and highest number of calories per Kg)? The variant with the highest percentage is the one that I'm currently feeding him right now but I'm not sure if I need to switch.

Recently, he has been having occasional loose stools but I think I'm accounting that with the cold weather change and the stress he was experiencing because of every-2-weeks 2-hour travel to the province. Most of the times when we go out for a walk, he poops the first time normally (hard) and then sometimes he poops the second time but is loose. I'm reading that the second poop for most dogs really is loose so I did not think about that issue that much.

So really, my only problem is his weight which I don't even know if I need to think about it too much. If you have any more ideas, please share it with me. Thank you very much.