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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

Tripawds is the place to learn how to care for a three legged dog or cat, with answers about dog leg amputation, and cat amputation recovery from many years of member experiences.

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Suggestions for good grain free dry dog food & supplements
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Forum Posts: 30
Member Since:
8 July 2011
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12 July 2011 - 8:28 am
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Our dog is scheduled to have her hind leg amputated this Thursday for osteosarcoma.  I have been doing research on cancer diets and have found an overwhelming amount of information!!  I am looking suggestions of a good grain free , dry dog food to switch her to that will not break my budget.  She is a 60 pound dog.  I found Nature's Variety Instinct that didn't seem too expensive and seemed to have good reviews.  Has anyone tried this before?


Also, what basic supplements should I add to her diet?  I was thinking of maybe adding power mushrooms and fish oil.  Unforunately, I won't be able to add everything that is recommended due to finanical constraints.  I'm looking for the most important supplements (1-2) to add in addition to her grain free food.  Are some supplements more important / have more health benefits than others? 



The Rainbow Bridge

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12 July 2011 - 9:45 am
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Hi there,

Thanks so much for joining us here! Diet is one of the big things to think about when we begin the amputation/cancer journey, so it’s good you’re being proactive. We hope all goes well this week. Please share more about your pup when you get a chance.

First remember that it’s not good to make major diet  or supplement changes until after the chemo is over. While you may need to add lots of tempting foods to get your dog’s appetite back immediately after surgery, most oncologists recommend not making major food changes till chemo is done so that if there are any gastrointestinal issues, it will be easier to treat them because everyone will know what’s causing it (chemo). Not that side effects always happen but sometimes they do.

Meanwhile here are some great convos we’ve had here about grain-free foods and diet:

My Diet While Fighting Osteosarcoma

Suggestions for commerical dog food diet post-surgery?

Confused about food ??

Natura/EVO/California Naturals sold (this is a really good one, just read past the intro for the good stuff)

Our Tripawds Nutrition blog has a great supplements page and lots of info about the options. Always remember that there are no “right” decisions when it comes to battling cancer. Whatever you decide to go with is the best one for your pack and your pack only. When it came to my experience, my folks chose a similar path as you are thinking of, to focus on one to three supplements and take it from there. Others are more comfortable with exploring all of the options. Do what feels right to you and remember it’s all about quality of life and spending good time together.

Keep us posted oK?

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Forum Posts: 856
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12 July 2011 - 4:54 pm
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Hi lpar818,

  Even though my dog is technically “cancer free” from her amputation (soft tissue tumor cured though amputation), I too decided to find a better quality, grain-free food.  I am also on a budget being a gradutate student, so I decided like you to do some homework before I went out and got a new brand of food.

Though one of the links above, I ended up finding this website that broke down ingredients in hundreds of types of dog food and ranked them 1-5 stars on quality.  You can search for brands of food individually or look at brands ranked by stars.

Dog Food Reviews

After perusing, I printed out the 5 star dog food list and went to a local dog food store (not Petco or PetSmart, rather one that offers a wider selection of higher quality dog food, my place is called Pet Pals probably not a national chain) and walked down the isles doing price checks for some of the brands I found.  I ended up switching to “Taste of the Wild, Pacific Stream” since it is a salmon based grain free dry food (5 stars).  The salmon would help keep her coat nice and would have the added benefits of Omegas in her diet without supplements.  I pay $35 for a 30lb bag of dog food.  I dont think PetSmart carries this brand, not sure about Petco.  But you can go onto the Taste of the Wild website and search for where local retailers sell the food. 

I also asked her vet about joint supplemets for her age and tripawd status and she recommended Dasuquin with MSM (ingredients shows no grains like wheat or corn in them). Since she dosen’t have noticeable mobility issues yet, so she only needs pill once a day or every other day.  I can always increase the dosage to 2x a day if she were to suddenly go down hill.   The bottle cost about $65 through Amazon and I got 150 pills.  I don’t want my dog to have mobility issues if I can help it so 1 pill a day at around 50 cents a day is worth it to me.  If you do decide to order Dasuquin, you can order it through the Tripawd Amazon website so some of the proceeds go to Tripawds!!

Also, Chloe too is a 60lb dog (62 at last appointment).  She lost a whopping 8 pounds after amp of her back leg.

-Chloe’s mom

Chloe became a rear amp tripawd on 7-29-10. Another tumor was removed on front leg 2-20-14. Found 3rd tumor on neck 2-2015, but she's still kicking cancer's butt at age 14. Chloe's blog

Here and Now

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12 July 2011 - 5:40 pm
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Chloes mom said:

You can search for brands of food individually or look at brands ranked by stars…

Don't miss the podcast of our Dog Food Advisor interview on Tripawd Talk Radio .

Portage Lake, Maine
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12 July 2011 - 6:59 pm
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Some grain free kibbles that I’ve used as training treats that my dog’s like are:


Wellness CORE

Blue Wilderness

One thing with grain free foods, I have heard from other friends that use them that you actually end up feeding less than a grained version…so if these seem pricey to you, maybe they won’t be in the end if you feed less.

If you are interested at all in dehydrated foods, I feed Honest Kitchen – many are low carb, such as, Embark, Zeal(pricey), Preference(need to add meat) and Thrive.

For supplements, I really like K9 Immunity’s new “Plus” supplement – Omega 3’s, mushroom and Transfer Factors all in one tasty supplement.  I also use Dasuquin with MSM.

Tracy, Maggie’s Mom

Maggie was amputated for soft tissue sarcoma 10-20-09

Maggie lost her battle with kidney disease on 8-24-13


Orange County, CA
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12 July 2011 - 9:40 pm
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We switched Max to Orijen since it has extremely low grain levels. We ended up liking it so much that we kept our dogs on it even after we lost him. Our other dog Linda is always fighting the battle of the bulge, so a low-grain diet is key to helping her win. Orijen is a very good choice.

Pahrump, NV
Forum Posts: 542
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13 July 2011 - 12:53 am
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We feed Ranger and Athena Natural Balance, which has at least 4 grain free varieties (I mix and match them.) It's available at Petco,etc and is a little expensive (I think about $45 to $50 for a 25 or 30lb bag)  My dogs don't have cancer, but I feel like grain free is more “natural” for them (I don't think their ancestors ate much rice and wheat.)  Or maybe it's just because it's higher quality, but they really dig it.  Athena was on science diet and when I started mixing the Natural Balance with it, she would eat it and leave the Science Diet in the bowl, so I guess she was trying to tell me something. smile

Sadie is my 9yr old Rott/Shepherd mix. Diagnosed with osteosarcoma in her right scapula 1/28/10. Our brave girl had her amputation 2/13/10 and her last chemotherapy on 6/6/10. Unfortunately, a tumor appeared in her back right leg and on 10/7/2010 Sadie's earthly journey came to an end.  On 10/24/2010 we adopted Ranger, a handsome Rott/Lab mix tripawd (got hit by a car) I think Sadie sent him to us.

My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
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13 July 2011 - 4:07 am
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Food is a tough decision.  With Trouble I had to be conscious of the allergy problem.  After she was diagnosed, I looked for a better grade food, she had eaten Royal Canin duck & potato for years, but it had to be purchased from the vet.  I switched to the Natural Balance venison & sweet potato.  It was better rated (4 star I think) and available at pet stores. She loved it and it worked well for us EXCEPT it porked her out big time.  I tried her on the Taste of the Wild, and she loved it, but her allergies didn't.  It made her itchy. I went back to Natural Balance.  After several months of slowly gaining weight, I went to the home cooked reducing diet. She did home cooked the remainder of her life.

Duke continues to get the Taste of the Wild.  I like that it is grain free ,  a 5 star rated food, easily available, and not too expensive.

Shanna & Spirit Trouble ~ Trouble gained her wings 3/16/2011, a 27 1/2 month cancer survivor, tail wagging. RIP sweetheart, you are my heart and soul.  Run free at Rainbow Bridge.
The November Five - Spirits Max, Cherry, Tika, Trouble & Nova. 11/2008 - 3/2013 An era ends as Queen Nova crossed the Bridge.

Linden, MI
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13 July 2011 - 6:09 am
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I had my Danes on Evo grain free for a very long time, but once Evo was sold to Proctor and Gamble I decided to switch.  After trying a few brands (Canidae salmon meal grain free , Taste of the Wild, Solid Gold) I decided to stick with Blue Buffalo Wilderness Duck.  They seemed to do fine on it for quite some time, then the girls developed horrible gas.  I thought it was perhaps a bad bag, so I bought another one and still had the same issues.  So I am guessing they must have changed their formula or something.  I definitely had to switch them again, because 300 lbs of gassy Great Danes was way too much to handle!  I had them back on Canidae Salmon Meal Grain Free (which they have now renamed “Pure Sea”.  But when I went to buy a bag the other day it was $75!  I decided to try to find something more economical.  I stopped at Costco and found a brand called Nature’s Domain, also grain-free salmon meal.  The same size bag was only $35.  Dogfood advisor rates Nature’s Domain 4 stars, where all of my girls’ previous foods were 5 stars.  But given the price I had to give it a try.  Feeding two Danes can get expensive.  They’ve been on it about a week or so, and the gas has diminished tremendously.  It’s nice to have fresh air around here for a change…lol!

If you want to be economical and have a Costco nearby, you might want to give Nature’s Domain a try.

As for supplements, I have kept it simple and economical.  Nova takes CAS Options (which is similar to Power Mushrooms) and 3 capsules of salmon oil daily.  I recently started her on turmeric/curcumin too.  After 4 rounds of chemo back in early 2009, she remains cancer-free.


Sue and Queen Nova

Dane Mom Sue at and Mom to Beautiful Great Dane Queen Nova, a Blind Tripawd, who kicked cancer's butt from 11/08-03/13. The Queen is Spirit Nova now, but her legacy lives on here at Tripawds!

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