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I have two golden retrievers but my oldest, who just turned 2 has been shedding like crazy for the past few weeks. This is only the second summer I have had him but i just don't remember him shedding like this last year. His coat is starting to look terrible. Could a bad food make a dog shed more than normal? Im not really sure what it should look like this time of year..but i just doesn't look healthy to me and I was wondering if maybe it is his food.

He was getting really picky about his food so we have switched several different times, which i know isn't good. He started out on Eukanuba, then he stopped eating that so from there we went to Kirkland brand, which he wasn't into and now they are eating Beneful which he likes but i hate feeding them that cause i know its not that great of food.

I was just wondering if anyone knows of a good dog food that is relatively inexpensive. And also how to get his coat looking good again.
 

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Nancy
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Could be the food, could be something physical like thyroid. I'd sure try a better food before going the testing route. Jumping around from food to food is a sure way of making a picky eater pickier.

Beneful is a low-quality (IMHO) kibble. Have you looked at the ingredients? The first 4 ingredients are: ground corn meal, chicken-by-product meal and corn gluten meal and whole wheat flour. Sounds like a bunch of cheap filler to me.

The high- quality brands might seem costly at first but you actually feed less so the bag lasts longer. I feed my guy Innova, it's usually around $48. for a 33 lbs. bag. It lasts a little more than a month. Costs less than $1.60/day to feed him. A lot cheaper than adding supplements for his coat.
 

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Kate
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Shedding vs poor coat quality - are two different things for me.

My Jacks is shedding A LOT right now - and that's normal. His coat looks a LOT better (fuller, longer, healthier) than it did this past winter. Probably a good part of that is he's getting baths every week because of swimming and he's on thyroid supplement. <- I emailed pics of the difference in his coat the month before and month after the thyroid pills, and even the person who pressured me to get with my vet to get him on the pills was amazed. :)

If his coat is thinning (especially the trousers and tail area), I would have him checked for thyroid.

Beneful has a lot of bad stuff in it... I would seriously consider changing the dog food anyway.

Purina Sensitive Skin and Stomach is a good direction. I know a lot of people on here feed their dogs that and will defend the brand reputation tooth and nail. :)

Nutro Max or Natural Choice would be something I would look into personally if I were cutting back on $$. I can afford to spend more on dog food and so it isn't a problem, but I did feed Nutro Max and Natural Choice to our previous dogs for many years with no problem.
 

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Dexter's Mom aka Kristin
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Every dog is different. It could be the food, or it could be a health issue. Food has been a struggle since day one for me, for a different reason. My dog can't handle really high quality, high protein dog food like Taste of the Wild (which I had him on and I loved it, but he couldn't handle it) , Orijen, or Innova. I am feeding him Nature's Recipe now. Not something I would've considered in a million years, and am still hesitant about it because of the ingredients, but his poops are so much smaller and firmer now....yeah. It's pretty awesome from that point of view. LOL.

My point is, all dogs are different. Some can handle high protein, some can't. Some have allergies, some don't. Your dog may have an allergy or intolerance to something in the Beneful. Have you noticed him scratching or hair falling out, or is his coat just dull? You could get him tested for allergies so you know specifically what it is (if it is an allergy, just a guess). Or, you can try another dog food. Like Willow52 said, it could be an actual health issue too. If he was fine on the other food, I'd say it has something to do with the Beneful..
 

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Beneful is a low-quality (IMHO) kibble. Have you looked at the ingredients? The first 4 ingredients are: ground corn meal, chicken-by-product meal and corn gluten meal and whole wheat flour. Sounds like a bunch of cheap filler to me.
I agree that Beneful isn't a great food, but ground corn meal, chicken byproduct meal, and whole wheat flour are perfectly fine ingredients in the right proportions and not "filler" by any reasonable definition. Corn gluten meal is a little more suspect in my book, because when it's that high on the list, it makes a substantial contribution to the GA protein numbers, and you don't want a ton of protein coming from plant glutens.
 

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And for the OP: thyroid was my first thought too. Your dog is the right age for the symptoms to start showing up.

My dogs' coats look great on the Eukanuba PP 30/20, but that's a little high cal unless your dog is very active.
 

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I agree that Beneful isn't a great food, but ground corn meal, chicken byproduct meal, and whole wheat flour are perfectly fine ingredients in the right proportions and not "filler" by any reasonable definition. Corn gluten meal is a little more suspect in my book, because when it's that high on the list, it makes a substantial contribution to the GA protein numbers, and you don't want a ton of protein coming from plant glutens.
Those first 4 ingredients ARE cheap fillers, which is why Beneful is such a cheap food to buy. If they were good, high quality ingredients, then the food would cost more.

To the OP, I definitely would have his thyroid checked, but it could be the food. When my Jasper's vet had me cut his thyroid meds in half, he literally lost all of his undercoat in a matter of a few weeks. His coat took on a very crunchy, dry appearance and looked unhealthy overall. We upped his dosage to what he had been on and within a week, you could see the undercoat growing back in.
 

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They get it
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With my Jack Russell, I ran the whole gamut of foods trying to find the one that he could stomach (pun intended). I went from top of the line all the way down to Beneful and then back up. Beneful caused terrible hot spots that one of them, to this day, never grew hair back (over two years ago). Now he is finally good to go on Blue Buffalo. The Goldens are on Purina Pro Plan and look and feel awesome. Beautiful shiny coats and lots of vim and vigor.

Let's see, with Twister I tried, TOTW, Canidae, Innova, Eukanuba, Pro Plan, Dog Chow, and Beneful. Mind you this was over a couple years. I gave each food a chance unless he developed immediate issues. he has been on BB ever since and his issues have dissapated. Imagine that! I get a Jack Russell with a delicate stomach!

In your case, I wouldn't rule out thyroid. But the food isn't helping.
 

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Those first 4 ingredients ARE cheap fillers, which is why Beneful is such a cheap food to buy. If they were good, high quality ingredients, then the food would cost more.
A food's cost is not a measurement of its quality.

And I simply objected to the use of the term "filler" to apply to ingredients that are perfectly good in the right proportion. If you want to make an argument about a disproportionate amount of flour in dog food, that's fine. But to insist that the ingredient itself is filler, despite the fact that it gives the dog nutrients and calories, is misleading.

Like I said, I don't think Beneful is a great food, but the presence of ground corn isn't the reason.
 

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A food's cost is not a measurement of its quality.

And I simply objected to the use of the term "filler" to apply to ingredients that are perfectly good in the right proportion. If you want to make an argument about a disproportionate amount of flour in dog food, that's fine. But to insist that the ingredient itself is filler, despite the fact that it gives the dog nutrients and calories, is misleading.

Like I said, I don't think Beneful is a great food, but the presence of ground corn isn't the reason.
First of all, we weren't talking only about the ground corn, the first 4 ingredients are low quality nutrient sources, plain and simple. You can continue to argue for ground corn all you wish. I won't be feeding it to my dogs because I think it's a low quality filler. Just like you think it's a fine and dandy ingredient.
 

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Missing Selka So Much
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I agree with getting the full thyroid panel done. and low normal in a golden is LOW.

I feed my dogs Nature's Variety Salmon and their coats are now gorgeous, thick and silky.
 

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Purina Pro Plan isn't as expensive as some, but Ben does well on it. Last spring he had an issue with losing huge amounts of fur and his fur became dull and brittle. The vet said his thryoid was okay so it was probably allergies. We switched from the food he was on (Blue Buffalo) to Purina and he did much better. It could have been a spring allergy causing the problem or an allergy to something in the BB. Don't know. If it happens again next spring, I'll assume seasonal. Until then, he's thriving on the Pro Plan so we'll continue with it. We also give him salmon oil, which helps too.
 

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First of all, we weren't talking only about the ground corn, the first 4 ingredients are low quality nutrient sources, plain and simple. You can continue to argue for ground corn all you wish. I won't be feeding it to my dogs because I think it's a low quality filler. Just like you think it's a fine and dandy ingredient.
I think if you're going to use a pejorative term like "filler" and apply it to ingredients other people give their dogs, you should define it and explain what makes it "filler" as opposed to an ordinary ingredient. "Filler" seems to imply that the ingredient takes up space without providing nutrition, and that's not accurate. If you're using it in a different way, please explain what you mean.

I've said it before, and I will say it many more times. "Chicken byproduct meal" differs from "chicken meal" only in that "byproduct meal" allows for skin, bone, and organ meat to be ground in. There's nothing nutritionally inferior about skin, bone, and organ meat as compared to muscle meat. It's simply a different ingredient. It may not appeal to people because it's "gross," but that doesn't make it bad ingredient. I don't think it's accurate to refer to it as a "low quality nutrient source."
 
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