The Blackwatch Feed Programs for all breeds, ages and sizes have been used by top breeders and owners here and abroad for over 40 years. The basis for these programs revolves around my CORE 4 Philosophy of Wellness, which I have written and lectured about for many years.
Time has shown us that this idea of feeding our pets works because it promotes
wellness and longevity in all breeds. The products I use or suggest are either of my
own nutritional design, or products I use for my own animals and in feed trials over time. I try not to recommend companies that are unethical in their business practices and support the privatly owned retailers and manufacturers over the large conglomerate companies.
This information is not to be used in lieu of veterinarian advice, diagnoses or treatment.
- All Breeds
1.DOG FOODS - I will provide you with a list of approved foods in the following catagories: holistic dry, holistic grain free, dehydrated and raw foods, so you have options. I do not recommend any grain free or raw diets for large breed growth until they are 8 months old or 3/4 of their normal size, just to be on the safe side. No feed trials have been done on large/giant breeds on the grain free or raw diets to date, so I will not recommend them. We KNOW we can raise them on a quality holistic kibble with a 10% raw component, if you wish, and have no problems, but not a totally raw or grain free diet, please!!
You can locate a retailer by going to the Precise website www.precisepet.com
2. BLACKWATCH CORE 4 SUPPLEMENT KITS - All Ages & Breeds
There are several CORE 4 Supplement Kits to choose from depending on your pet's needs, be it for a simple wellness program or to assist when your dog has a specific health challenge, such this program which supports orthopedic health.
Regardless of which BLACKWATCH CORE 4 Kit you choose, and there are several that are suitable, all kits contain 4 important nutrients missing in today's diets or are not viable in most commercial foods. Since 75-80% the immune system is located in the gut, it is critical to keep the digestive tract of the dog working properly by giving additional beneficial bacteria (probiotics) on a daily basis. It is also important to use a food that has PRE-biotics in it and PRO-biotics on it as well, it shows the company is trying to do the very best. That said, I have never trusted the probiotics used on dog food completely because of heat or cold storage so I have always and still do recommend using it daily on your pet's food.
The next component to my feed programs is digestive enzymes which takes the load off the pancreas, helping to prevent diabetes later in life. Digestive enzymes are normally made by the body, provided the dog/cat/human has accesss to fresh whole real foods. But most do not, so this is why supplementing them is so important to wellness and hopefully to extending longevity. Many probiotics products also contain digestive enzymes in a combination. The products I suggest always are a combination of the two nutrients.
Next we must add real sprouted whole foods in the form of dietary enzymes (not digestive enzymes) which provides "living food" to your pet in a simple granular powder or chewable pet treat. The results is a reduction in inflammation and a cleansing of any toxins down to a cellular level, plus I have found it helps to prevent vaccine reactions because it detoxifies the body so well. Is your pet on heartworm or flea preparation? As long as they are on dietary Enzymes, their body will be detoxified from toxins, drugs and medications.
So it is important that we add these dietary enzymes back into our pets and our own diets. They are anti-aging and very helpful when going through stress or serious disease like cancer.
3.FOOD OPTIONS FOR VARIETY - To add some variety to your dogs life, use a holistic canned food or a dehydrated RAW meat diet, because it is balanced in calcium and phosphorus. It is also tested for pathogens and parasites, unlike what you get from the grocery store. I like to use Honest Kitchen Dehydrated Raw Foods, this allows me to use a component of raw along with my Precise kibble and it includes fruits, veggies and botanicals. I simply rehydrate the food in some water and use as a gravy. I like the Embark, but they have several others that work (Force, Thrive, Keen, etc). so you can rotate for variety and sounder nutritional practices. If you are into feeding a totally raw diet or raw with your kibble the brand I use and recommend is Darwins - and the ship it right to your door.
Again, Please do not feed growing large and giant breeds a totally raw diet until they are past their drastic growth stages - 10 months.
4 lbs of dehydrated raw makes up to 17# of wet food!
Other options, use wholesome human foods such as yogurt, buttermilk, kefir, cottage (not daily), scrambled eggs, berries, melons, peaches, apples, banana, tomato, broccoli, cauliflower, squash, sweet potato (not for dogs with yeast issues), green beans, peas, zucchini are all things your dogs can have with their daily food. Pulverizing veggies helps them to digest it better or lightly steam them is an option. Mine love homemade veggie soup and it's great as a filler for dogs with weight issues. Garlic is ok to use as well as avacado meat (not the skin or pit!!)
Linda's Very Veggie Soup For Variety or Weight Loss - 2 large cans of Organic chicken or beef broth - (low sodium for heart or elderly dogs- or homemade). Add LOTS of veggies - carrots, green beans, wax beans, peas, carrots, kale, zucchini, squash, tomatoes, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and couple cloves of garlic and Celtic Sea Salt (only this type). The idea is to use this as the filler so you want it to be hearty and filling.
Warning: NO raw onions, grapes, raisins, chocolate or macadamia nuts. Keep sugar free gum and candy out of access to your pets because they have Xylotil sweetner in them which can kill your pet.
First Choice Naturals Inc. (www.firstchoicenaturals.com)
FCN was founded by Dr. Eugene Wagner over 20+ years ago and the only store where you can get all the supplements and Kits the Great Dane Lady has developed or products she uses herself. Now many of the top breeders here and abroad use her supplements and feed programs with tremendous success. Now her feed programs are used world wide so it is important to provide "one stop shopping" breeders, pet owners and her puppy buyers. Her Blackwatch Feed Programs are now are used world wide and FCN ships all all over the world. Call for info if you live overseas and want products shipped or you can email as well.
CORE 4 Kits for - Puppys and Adults
CORE 4 Kits for Specific Health Issues: Yeast Infection, Giardia, Seizures, allergies, HOD, OCD, Pano, Wobblers, Dysplasia, Bowing/Knuckling, Cancer, etc.
Precise Pet Foods
- What I feed my dogs. NutriSource - PurVita - Planet Organics Pet Foods - my back up diet
s Honest Kitchen Dehydrated Raw My List of Better Foods Darwins Raw Diet Raw Food Options Diets for Dogs With Specific Health Needs
I do not have a problem with a meat based diet that uses quality whole grains for their carbohydrate componennt, as long as it is low or no gluten and with fiber intact such as whole brown rice and oats. NO wheat, corn or soy!!
Puppy Guidelines - How to Raise A Puppy - (print out)
Puppy- Demodectic Mange, Vaginitis, Puppy Acne, Bladder Infections
Importance of a Crate and Crate Training
How To Tape Cropped Ears AND Should I Crop My Puppy
When to Spay and Neuter
Surgery and Anesthesia Info for Giant Breeds
HOD Growth Problems
I feed my adults 2 times a day, puppies 3-4 times depending on age and by 16 weeks they should be on 2 times a day feedings.
I use filtered water on each dogs food, for large dogs 1/3- 1/2 cup of water with 3-4 tablespoons of holistic Precise canned meat or Honest Kitchen Dehydrated raw. You want the food moist, but not floating and sloppy (this is for large/giant breeds, reduce amount for smaller breeds accordingly). Do not microwave, soak or use hot or very warm water on your kibble. It will destroy the integrity of the friendly yogurt type cultures and the fragile vitamins/minerals and amino acids on the food.
Commercial foods need to be fed with moisture so dogs don't over consume water after a meal, and so the kibble does not pull moisture from the dogs system in order to break down properly. Use "tepid" temperature water never hot or warm and never soak your food as it breaks down and destroys nutrients. Mix up and feed immediately. If they have loose stools, you may be using too much meat or water than necessary. Adjust that before you panic and think they are sick.
It is very important to NEVER withhold water from your dog. This can lead to over consumption and bladder infections. Use common sense, do not let them drink excessively after exercise or dinner. Like a horse, let them cool down and then drink. I have found if I have water available in several places, they never overdo it since they know it is available to them when they need it. That way they drink less amounts of water, but more frequently.
Withholding water for fear of bloat is a myth. Stress is the cause and bloat/torsion is the response. It is much more complicated that simply saying water is the cause of bloat.
Dogs with special dietary needs can use one of the Special CORE 4 Kits or have a program specifically designed for your pets.
(See my article on Bloat and Torsion for details)
(See On My Soapbox)
If you own a giant breed or one prone to heart problems it is recommended that you use the highest quality protein food and supplement with these components. These are nutritional substances from food sources and do not conflict with medications or each other and are good to use for heart disease. FeedProgram for Heart Support
Read this: Does My Vet Understand Nutrition?
There are several articles and photos of vaccine reactions at this website. You need to know how to prevent vaccine reactions, because vaccine reactions in some breeds will kill your dog in a slow agonizing death known as Immune Mediated Response, which is always misdiagnosed as HOD. So, here is info:
Prevention of Vaccine Reactions
The AAHA recommended schedule for vaccination
Dr. Jean Dodd's Vaccine Protocols
Vaccine Reaction Photographs
Based on information gained from the National Bone Survey, I do not recommend using Sulfonamide* antibiotics to my puppy buyers because these drugs can cause serious side-effects like sloughing of skin and internal bleeding and HOD-like symptoms including;fever, aching joints, swollen joints, lack of mobility, depression and anorexia. The following antibiotics are sulfonamides.
Another commonly used, potentially troublesome antibiotics is Cephalexin (Keflex, Cefa-Tabs). This can also produces the same symptoms as HOD (fever,swollen/hot joints, immobility, anorexia) even in adult dogs. I will use Chephalexin, but with a watchful eye and if the dog starts acting lethargic and achy, we stop the antibiotic, since they are sensitive to it. Call the vet for an alternative antibiotic and make sure you are using a good Probiotic product to keep the digestive tract functioning properly.
I will not use Sulfonamides drugs on my dogs. A reaction can happen from 24 hours - 2 weeks of being on an antibiotic. If there is a reaction, my vet recommends Dexamethsone/Azium and discontinue use or antibiotic.
* Research references on Sulfonamides
For Collie/Sheltie/Aussie and Sighthound Owners (could effect some Great Danes)
For those people who own Collies, Shelties, Sighthounds, Aussies, Border Collies, any breeds with Collie background or mixed breeds with any of these dogs in them, it is critical that you know there are certain medications your dogs CAN'T take. Do not leave it up to your vet to know this..YOU must print this out and know it - it is a matter of life or death.
These dogs have a sensitivity to Ivermectin (Heartguard Heartworm medication. Only use Interceptor heart worm preventative. Other related drugs you can not use on these breeds or there will be neurological damage.
Other related drugs you can NOT use:
Metronidazole (which is used for diarrhea and giardia)
Ivermectin - Heart Guard
There are many different types of drugs that have been reported to cause problems in Collies, ranging from over-the-counter antidiarrheal agents like Imodium® to antiparasitic and chemotherapy agents. It is likely this list will grow to include more drugs as our research progresses.
Drugs that have been documented, or are strongly suspected to cause problems in dogs with the MDR1 mutation:
Ivermectin (antiparasitic agent)
Loperamide (Imodium®; over-the-counter antidiarrheal agent)
Doxorubicin (anticancer agent)
Vincristine (anticancer agent)
Vinblastine (anticancer agent)
Cyclosporin (immunosuppressive agent)
Digoxin (heart drug)
Butorphanol (pain control)
Potential Problem Drugs
The following drugs may potentially cause problems when given to dogs that have the mutation. Biochemical studies have shown that this gene has the potential to act on over 50 different drugs.
Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine
Veterinary Clinical Pharmacology Laboratory
PO Box 2280
Pullman, WA 99165-2280
Remember pain is natures way of saying slow down, rest and relax. Most dogs are very stoic and even in pain will try to do what you want them to do even if it means it will hurt them, so use common sense. I do not like to completely mask the pain because they may over do it, yet I want them comfortable. I do not suggest crate rest as often suggested, I simply do not let the dogs out together, or with kids or when I know the neighborhood is active so they do not feel the need to be "the watch dog". I am very concerned about loss of muscle mass - atrophy - if a dog is crated too long during Pano (developmental stages). So common sense is the key.
This is my preference for handling pain through the use of a natural product like the two listed below. I would start with the Microlactin, which is included in the Orthopedic/Joint Support Kit#9 then if that does not do the trick, you can purchase online the Recovery SA for more serious pain issues. Use common sense when it comes to exercise - use free exercise alone in your back yard - no kids no dogs - and not during the time of the day when there might be traffic, kids returing from school or delivers where the dog goes into a barking frenzy. Normal house rest, if you are home and crate rest if you are away, is for me, a more reasonable way to handle it. If the dog lives in a crate all the time they will become anxious, depressed and slow the healing process. Imagine you hurt your leg and then someone locked you in the bathroom all day long - no fun = no heal fast.
Microlactin is a natural anti-inflammatory and I had great success with this only for my older female that had a lame shoulder from playing too rough. It takes 1-2 weeks to load the system, double dose, before you see much help but in was a great help to my female and totally corrected her problem(bruise/inflammation), and because she is 6 I leave her on a normal maintanence dose daily for added insurence. If you see no results from the Microlactin within 30 days, then try the Recovery SA product.
RecoverySA - For more pain I would use this product -http://www.recoverysa.com/
If your pet is not in great pain, you do not have to use this part of the program, it is an option to use instead of drugs like Deramaxx or Rimadyl which compromise the liver or can kill in short order! If they have a reaction to these drugs (which were pulled from the human market and their names were change for the pet industry) the reaction can be swift and deadly.