Magic the GSD is Thriving on Merrick Food

Magic the GSD is Thriving on Merrick Food

People ask me all the time what food they should be feeding their dogs, but when my friend Paul asked on behalf of his beloved dog Magic — who has a typically sensitive stomach for a German Shepherd — I was afraid to tell him.

Generally when people ask, I say there are lots of premium foods, so first look at the ingredients and make sure they are using quality whole real meat, chicken and fish as the first ingredient, and then other ingredients as natural and recognizable as possible. (I also quiet their fears and say I — along with many independent veterinary nutrition experts like Ryan Yamka whom I recently interviewed — do not agree with the general misunderstanding about grain-free foods and the DCM heart issue. I embrace foods containing peas, lentils or potatoes.  Stay tuned for more about the lack of science in any relationship between grain-free foods and DCM heart problems in upcoming episodes of Dog Talk®).

When pressed for the brand of food I feed my dogs, I tell them I feed my girls a cup of Merrick kibble along with half a can of the wet food per meal. I explain that it’s way less than the recommended quantity, but it maintains their weight and keeps them satisfied. I’ve chosen Merrick’s Backcountry version because there are freeze-dried pieces of meat mixed in with the dry food, adding an element of greater pure protein that is only lightly processed. I also point out that I always switch up the next bag of kibble or box of cans, rotating the ingredients.  I stick with the Merrick brand because I trust it — they are vigilant about where all their ingredients come from and they make their own food in a highly controlled facility. I give my dogs a variety of their foods with different protein and other food sources in the recipes, ensuring they get a wider nutritional profile.

However, I explain to people that I also give a scoop of Platinum Performance Canine Plus supplement per meal because feeding less than the recommended amount of the dog food might mean the dogs aren’t getting the full nutritional profile. I also want to protect their joints with the Platinum, which contains therapeutic levels not possible in a dog food. For the same reason, I pump four squirts of Iceland Pure omega-3 fish oil into each meal, because there is no doubt about the essential value of fresh fish oil as an overall anti-inflammatory. [I only wish people would embrace the heart-brain-joint protective qualities of omega-3 oils and take them twice daily themselves, along with their children, whether two-legged or four-legged!]

When I rattle off what I feed, some people look at me like it’s so complicated I might as well have given them instructions to build a submarine! Other people tap all the information into their cell phone and go right to the pet store or to buy it all.

Which brings me to Magic, the gorgeous young German Shepherd dog my friend Paul dotes on — and worries about. Like so many of his GSD brethren, Magic has a sensitive stomach and was prone to periodically throwing up — either food or bile — refusing his food, and other signs of digestive issues. Paul was adamant about wanting to know what I feed my girls. I was reluctant to tell him because I wasn’t sure Magic’s delicate tummy could handle the change to a more nutrition-packed diet. While I am obviously not a veterinarian or a nutrition specialist, I have been researching and conferring with the wisest voices in the field for coming on 20 years. I believe that quality food is the best medicine. Paul didn’t like the ingredients in the bland kibble he had been feeding and he wanted Magic to thrive. He understood that Magic might go through an adjustment period of digestive upset so he transitioned Magic onto the Backcountry food over a week, mixing it in with his old kibble, and adding in the canned food, too. After a couple of days he added in the Platinum Performance powder and the omega-3 fish oil.

I was awfully happy to hear that Magic never had a bad day at his “dinner table!” His bouts of digestive upset ended. His elimination was unremarkable. His coat looked great, his eyes shone, his weight was good. It was nice to see another example of “We are what we eat,”

—Tracie Hotchner

(Have a comment? Share it on Facebook.)

Iceland Pure and Merrick are sponsors on Radio Pet Lady Network, by our invitation.