Is Wagg as bad as Ive been told? - Labradors Forums
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Old 11-06-2015, 09:49 PM  
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Default Is Wagg as bad as Ive been told?

Im sorry if this has been mentioned over and over, but Im a new member and in need of some reassurance and advice. I've been sat here in tears this evening as a trip to the vets left me feeling like a terrible dog owner

I have a yellow Lab and a Lab/ridgeback cross. Both are fed on Wagg (the purple pack, around 5 for 6kg), with an additional half tin of wet food in the mornings too.

I took the lab (Charlie) to the vets this evening as he has developed fur thinning on both sides of his ribcage - I will post a separate message in the appropriate forum about this). The vet asked me what I was feeding him and when I told her she was appalled and made me feel awful. Despite Wagg being the only thing we have found which keeps his squiffy tummy in check, she said it wasnt good enough and I HAD to get him off it immediately. "Have you tried hypo-allergenic James Wellbeloved?" she asked. Well unfortunately I just cant afford that - of course I want to do the best by my animals, but she's made me feel as if I shouldn't have pets if I can't give them the best of everything. I'm so upset

We have tried him on several different foods, hypo-allergenic, bland, chicken and rice.... can anyone suggest anything which is in a similar prices bracket to the Wagg but maybe a better quality food? I'd prefer to give it to both dogs, for convenience purposes really.

Any advice gratefully received
Dawn x
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Old 11-06-2015, 10:29 PM  
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I get skinners field and trial off amazon for around 20 for 15 kg . I previously fed jwb and wainwrights which are both twice the price and my two are doing very well on it .
Please don't feel to bad about it . At the end of the day yes it's not the best quality food out there but if it's the food that suits your dog then it might be the best for him if that makes sense . My old terrier lived to be 15 on a diet of supermarket food and she was never Ill until the end . I think it's terrible your vet made you feel so upset .

Claire x
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Old 11-06-2015, 10:42 PM  
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Thank you Claire, I'll have a look into the foods you mentioned. Im definitely thinking of looking for another vet. I seem to remember she upset me last time we went too, although not like this. He's generally in good health, full of beans, never walks if he can run. He's a little overweight (42kg) but he's a big broad dog. He is dearly loved and is happy, I'm sure that's got to count for something x
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Old 11-06-2015, 10:47 PM  
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First of all Dawn welcome to the forum!

What a horrible vet they have no right to make you feel awful like that

Right you will hear a lot of bad things about Wagg and that's mainly because it contains cereal and meat derivatives and lots of people think that this makes the food inadequate and the dog will be hyper or it'll have digestive issues because dogs can't digest gluten and they should always have a large percentage of meat and its like feeding your kids exclusively on McDonalds and all that - I'm guessing that's pretty much what's upset you today. Well to be honest lets see all the people making those statements come up with the clinical trials that prove that is the case, I tell you what I bet they can't. Just like with humans there are lots of people who get very het up and blame everything in the world on something and they have proof and emotions run high and this worked for their dog their friend's dog all the dogs in the world, dogs can't digest milk, gluten, cereal etc etc add evangelical raw/barf feeders into the mix and they'd have you believe all of us who don't raw feed are evil swines killing our dogs with every mouthful! Its a complete load of nonsense and actually in the case of many claims scientifically proven to be untrue and of course they never tell you the downsides. It's no wonder people are confused dog food companies with their claims, owners with theirs, vets with another, it's enough to make your head spin.

I can categorically tell you now without even meeting you that you are not a terrible dog owner and do you know how I know that, because you were at the vets and because you got upset if you were some terrible person who didn't care you wouldn't have been there and you wouldn't feel bad so take a deep breath put aside all this doubt and lets see what we can do.

It sounds like something has changed for Charlie since this has just developed and that could be that he has allergies given the time of year maybe to pollens so he's liked the fur off, or to food or treats - have you changed them, washing power, air freshner - all sorts of possibilities. Alternatively he could be in pain and pulling the fur out due to that. He may have a deficiency or something malfunctioning but your vet can do bloods to rule out things like thyroid problems so instead of having a go at you ask them to get on with it. If you haven't changed food recently and yet this is a new medical issue it is unlikely to have been caused by the food.

For any dog, and even more so for those who have delicate digestion, one size does not fit all, no one can tell you the one food that will work for all dogs because one doesn't exist. Just because something works for someone else doesn't mean it will work for Charlie so if you find a food that he is happy and healthy on for goodness sake don't change it! If you start making changes when your dog is fine or if you keep swapping this that and the other because well intentioned people gave you advice that was right for them but didn't work for your dog then you can cause tummy problems that take ages to resolve.

Please note vets often sell dog foods and go on courses funded by dog food companies so their advice on brands to choose is somewhat biased!

Personally I don't know a single person (and I know lots of dog owners) that has found James Wellbeloved (JWB) to be any good even if they do have a lovely ingredients list a nice helpline pretty packaging and heaps of promises. Everyone I know found their dogs were windy and produced lots of poo not exactly the selling points the company was going for! Remember any company you ring will tell you their food is ace, perfect for your dog, have a free sample, call anytime, blah blah blah, of course they do its called marketing they don't really give a flying pig's ear.

Personally I feed original tinned chappie it's really cheap its easy to buy and yes its made with derivatives and yes it contains gluten but you know what it suits MY dogs and that is all that matters to me, if it stops suiting them I will stop feeding it. It is a good food that lots of the old vets recommend for weight gain, weight loss, sensitive tums, liver kidney pancreas issues all sorts no one knows why it works sense suggests it shouldn't but it seems easy to tolerate and digest and sometimes that is just worth accepting. I don't say that because I'm a cheapskate either on my mission to be the best owner/parent I could be I have driven myself crazy on what was best fed Orijen, Acana, Barking Heads, specialist vet diets at 50 for a tiny bag that barely lasts a week and I didn't care I would give them anything if they needed it and if it had worked they'd still be eating that. What will be will be.

If whatever you feed your dogs keeps them happy and healthy stick to it and ignore anyone who tells you otherwise.
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Old 11-06-2015, 11:03 PM  
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If whatever you feed your dogs keeps them happy and healthy stick to it and ignore anyone who tells you otherwise.
Here here!

Regards, John
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Old 11-06-2015, 11:49 PM  
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Absolutely agree with other comments. If your dog is happy on a particular food then stick with it.
Instead of changing your dogs food I would be thinking of changing vet

Welcome to the forum
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Old 12-06-2015, 08:48 AM  
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wow, thank you for that massive reply! And for the smaller, but still as important ones

Now I've slept on it I'm not feeling quite as bad - in my head I know the food is not the best thing I could give him, but it's what I can afford right now. Just as we can't afford to eat fillet steak every night so we have sausages instead sometimes, everyone is on a budget and that includes my pets too.

Even on Wagg he can still be very loose, but I don't know what else to try. I know it's not good to keep on changing foods which is why we've kept on with this. Most of the time he's ok, but there's a definite difference between him and my other dog and their poops. The vet said he is overweight so I am considering replacing a portion of his food every meal time with some chopped carrot. Do you think this may have an adverse effect on him?

I did some more research on Seasonal Flank Alopecia last night and Im almost positive that that is what the hair loss is. He isn't licking/scratching/itching it atall, there is no redness or skin irritation - he's just simply going bald. I'm hoping it grows back, but if not, we'll love him just the same The other possibility would be hyperthyroidism, but he has none of the other symptoms so I'm not convinced.

Basically I think I'm just disillusioned with my vet. I went yesterday, got no answers to what I went for atall (just "I don't know, let's see how he goes"), but she homed in on some spots on his belly (which I think are from running through the nettles in the woods, but she said bacterial) so it still cost me 50 for cream/consultation. Plus I got to be upset too. I'm supposed to take him back next week so she can look at the spots but I'm going to cancel and look elsewhere. I wouldn't put up with shoddy treatment from a doctor so I'm not going to accept it for my pets either.

Dawn x
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Old 12-06-2015, 10:43 AM  
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Over feeding can cause the runs , it certainly does in my two . Do you know roughly how much kibble you are giving him ? I would probably be tempted to just reduce the portion size and see how things go

Claire x
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Old 12-06-2015, 12:16 PM  
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My Mason had a really delicate stomach when he was younger. I put him on Chappie Complete Kibble (pet at home have it for 19 for 15Kg) and he did well on it.

I only changed because it was suggested that it was not suitable for puppies otherwise he'd still be on it.

Unlike other budget brands you don't often see it being bad mouthed on the internet.
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Last edited by Paddy2014; 12-06-2015 at 12:18 PM.
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Old 12-06-2015, 02:55 PM  
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Chappie can be a good one for sensitive tummies and its nice and cheap.

I recently started feeding Wainwrights but I'm going back to Skinners as its cheaper and the dogs seem the same on it as they did on the Skinners!


Maisy (left) my failed foster - approx 3 years old, lab x whippet (?!)

Chewy (right) 2 years old.
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