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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been feeding Brutus Wellness Core for several months now and still I have to clean his gunky, smelly ears about twice a week though he's never had an ear infection. AND his poops aren't consistent. Any Core feeders have this problem??
It's been the first food he actually eats without hesitation or coaxing. We tried CN and TOTW before Core and he didn't like them.

I don't want to go more expensive if I don't have to but I prefer grain-free only because i've had such good experience with it in the past.

I know a lot of people on here feed ProPlan, not grain-free but still a good food reasonably priced. Any suggestions? :confused:
I was really hoping Core would work out since Max is thriving on it, it's easier to just buy one big bag, and it's available at Petco (closer than the feed store).
 

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Have you tried Natural Balance? It is about the same price and you can get it at Petco. My Pawley gets dirty ears but no infections, just have to clean them more often. Also when I trim his ear hair it helps.

Mine all eat ProPlan and love it.
 

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Yes, Brady has one ear that tends to get "gunky". We have been on Wellness Core for over a year. It has stopped the ear infections and the hot spots - none since starting the Wellness.

We do get inconsistent stools at times, but I attribute that to when my husband sneaks him part of his supper, or buying "junk" dog treats.:doh:
 

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We didn't have any luck with the Core Original formula. Same problems you're seeing plus Riley was all itchy/scratchy and Gunner had gas that could clear a room.
We switched back to the Core Ocean and it made a big difference. I've since put Riley on other food, but Gunner is still on the Core and is thriving on it. (In fact, with him, it's the only food he thrives on.) No more gunky ears, no more gas and no more inconsistent poop, even with a condition that makes him prone to those things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Have you tried Natural Balance? It is about the same price and you can get it at Petco. My Pawley gets dirty ears but no infections, just have to clean them more often. Also when I trim his ear hair it helps.

Mine all eat ProPlan and love it.
I haven't tried Natural Balance, i'll pick some up today and see how it goes. Just a couple things though, Do you think the protein levels (average in the low 20's) are fine for him? And I would prefer to see more meat in the ingredients (like what's in CORE).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
We didn't have any luck with the Core Original formula. Same problems you're seeing plus Riley was all itchy/scratchy and Gunner had gas that could clear a room.
We switched back to the Core Ocean and it made a big difference. I've since put Riley on other food, but Gunner is still on the Core and is thriving on it. (In fact, with him, it's the only food he thrives on.) No more gunky ears, no more gas and no more inconsistent poop, even with a condition that makes him prone to those things.

The Petco near me stopped carrying the dry Ocean formula about a year ago. They've also limited their stock of the Reduced Fat...which is annoying because that's what Max eats.
 

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The Petco near me stopped carrying the dry Ocean formula about a year ago. They've also limited their stock of the Reduced Fat...which is annoying because that's what Max eats.
IMO, the Natural Balance limited ingredients formulas with the 21% protein and 10% fat and potatoes listed as the first ingredient are:

A. Not a good value price-wise for what you're getting (a large % of potatoes)
B. Not enough protein or fat to maintain lean muscle and healthy coat and skin for the long term.

About 4 years ago I switched my Bentley from a grain-heavy Nutro formula to Natural Balance Fish and Sweet Potatoes for various physical problems. At that time, fish was truly the #1 ingredient and the protein and fat % were a little higher. When NB started lessening the meat %, I moved on to other formulas with Bentley.

If you're set on sticking with grain-free, another suggestion is the Acana grain-free line with 33% protein (same company as Orijen). It is less expensive than Wellness Core. My dogs do well on it as part of their kibble rotation. Canidae also has a grain-free formula, but I haven't tried it.

If you're willing to look at a formula with some grains, but with a short list of ingredients at a good price, there is Healthwise by Natura (EVO, California Natural, Innova). It's $36.50 for a 35 lb. bag in my area. My DD feeds it successfully to her dogs after switching from Chicken Soup.
 

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If he doesn't have any infections I wouldn't worry so much about it.
we are dealing with infections along wit the gunk, but Cody has always had gunky ears his entire life.

I agre with the pp pn the CN, it is SO low in fat it scares me, so unless your dog has a seriously true allergy I would stay away from a food so low in fat.

You can also try a food made with red meat, instead of chicken. Evo and Orijen both make foods with red meat.
But again, if he doesn't have infections I wouldn't mess around with the food.

Gentian is a good eat cleaner.
http://www.carnivora.ca/html/featured_products/supplements_and_health_care/index.cfm
Gentian Ear Treatment
The Gentian miracle! There are few products that are comparable for problem ears. Most ear problems are caused by an infection in the outer ear: Staph, Strep, Pseudomonas bacteria, Malassezia or Candida yeast. Floppy ears, narrow and or furry ear canals and allergies also contribute to ear problems.
The following symptoms indicate ear problems: Inside of the external ear will appear red and irritated, a brown waxy discharge may be present. Head shaking or tilting, and scratching which may cause bleeding or a musty odor from the inside of the ears.
Contains Witch Hazel, Boric Acid and Gentian Violet.
 

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California Natural fixed ALL of my old guys allergy and ear problems in 6 weeks.

I've been feeding Brutus Wellness Core for several months now and still I have to clean his gunky, smelly ears about twice a week though he's never had an ear infection. AND his poops aren't consistent. Any Core feeders have this problem??
It's been the first food he actually eats without hesitation or coaxing. We tried CN and TOTW before Core and he didn't like them.

I don't want to go more expensive if I don't have to but I prefer grain-free only because i've had such good experience with it in the past.

I know a lot of people on here feed ProPlan, not grain-free but still a good food reasonably priced. Any suggestions? :confused:
I was really hoping Core would work out since Max is thriving on it, it's easier to just buy one big bag, and it's available at Petco (closer than the feed store).
 

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CN never did anything but good things for my old guys. They both got 2 cups a day, and neither of them lost any weight or had dietary issues. In fact, they were both on the big side (90 plus pounds) though they both carried it well.

If he doesn't have any infections I wouldn't worry so much about it.
we are dealing with infections along wit the gunk, but Cody has always had gunky ears his entire life.

I agre with the pp pn the CN, it is SO low in fat it scares me, so unless your dog has a seriously true allergy I would stay away from a food so low in fat.

You can also try a food made with red meat, instead of chicken. Evo and Orijen both make foods with red meat.
But again, if he doesn't have infections I wouldn't mess around with the food.

Gentian is a good eat cleaner.
http://www.carnivora.ca/html/featured_products/supplements_and_health_care/index.cfm
Gentian Ear Treatment
The Gentian miracle! There are few products that are comparable for problem ears. Most ear problems are caused by an infection in the outer ear: Staph, Strep, Pseudomonas bacteria, Malassezia or Candida yeast. Floppy ears, narrow and or furry ear canals and allergies also contribute to ear problems.
The following symptoms indicate ear problems: Inside of the external ear will appear red and irritated, a brown waxy discharge may be present. Head shaking or tilting, and scratching which may cause bleeding or a musty odor from the inside of the ears.
Contains Witch Hazel, Boric Acid and Gentian Violet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
If he doesn't have any infections I wouldn't worry so much about it.
we are dealing with infections along wit the gunk, but Cody has always had gunky ears his entire life.

I agre with the pp pn the CN, it is SO low in fat it scares me, so unless your dog has a seriously true allergy I would stay away from a food so low in fat.

You can also try a food made with red meat, instead of chicken. Evo and Orijen both make foods with red meat.
But again, if he doesn't have infections I wouldn't mess around with the food.

Gentian is a good eat cleaner.
http://www.carnivora.ca/html/featured_products/supplements_and_health_care/index.cfm
Gentian Ear Treatment
The Gentian miracle! There are few products that are comparable for problem ears. Most ear problems are caused by an infection in the outer ear: Staph, Strep, Pseudomonas bacteria, Malassezia or Candida yeast. Floppy ears, narrow and or furry ear canals and allergies also contribute to ear problems.
The following symptoms indicate ear problems: Inside of the external ear will appear red and irritated, a brown waxy discharge may be present. Head shaking or tilting, and scratching which may cause bleeding or a musty odor from the inside of the ears.
Contains Witch Hazel, Boric Acid and Gentian Violet.

I guess I just think of it a little differently that IF he can do better on another food even though there are no infections than it's worth the effort to research and try a different formula. It's not just the gunk too, he frequently tries to stick he back paw into his ear as if to reach a darn itch that won't go away then when that obviously doesn't work he uses the carpet :doh:. He also TRIES to scratch while on a walk (yet doesn't find it too important where he finds need to stop walking...:doh::doh:).

I'm not 100% set up switching just want opinions/advice. Bru has been been on a chicken, turkey, or lamb formula so maybe a red meat would be the next option. :confused:

I've heard a lot of good things about Acana but I would have to order it online because it's not sold around here. Which is not a big deal as long as the shipping costs don't send the price through the roof.
 

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have you thought going raw?

That is where we are at right now with the issues we are having.
Cody's outward apperaince is good on the Acana Grasslands, but the gunk wont go away and he is shaking his head and scratching his ears again.

A raw diet would be a good way to start. You could start with just on protein, no grains and then add veggies(cooked) a few times a week.
You can also buy frozen patties with all the nutrition that the dogs need.
 

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The Petco near me stopped carrying the dry Ocean formula about a year ago. They've also limited their stock of the Reduced Fat...which is annoying because that's what Max eats.
Our Petco stopped carrying it, too. Do you have a Pet Supplies Plus near you? That's one of the few places around here where we can find it. They stopped carrying the medium sized bags (the 12 or 15 lbs... whatever it is) but they offered to set up a standing order for us. They'll order a medium sized bag for us every other week and set it aside in the back, so that's really helpful.
If you haven't already, you might even want to ask Petco if they'd do that for you. That way, you could be sure that they'll have the reduced fat when you need it and maybe you could get the Ocean if you wanted to try that.
Also, I've found that some of the independently owned little boutique-type stores are willing to order food for you, even if it's a brand that they don't carry. They're more willing to go out of their way to earn your business, so that might be something to think about.
 

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Tinkerbell is on the Wellness Core reduced fat, and I can't remember the last time I cleaned her ears. I think soem dogs are just more prone to the issues as people are. My petco doesn't carry any of the Core formulas. So I can get it at Pet Supplies Plus if I order it ahead of time. Call by Friday it is there on Tuesday. But most often I order it thru Petfooddirect.com. They always have soem sort of special running or I look for a coupon code. When they offer a 15% off or highr coupon it is cheaper for me to order the large bag thru them and have it shipped right to my house than it is for me to go to the store to get it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
have you thought going raw?

That is where we are at right now with the issues we are having.
Cody's outward apperaince is good on the Acana Grasslands, but the gunk wont go away and he is shaking his head and scratching his ears again.

A raw diet would be a good way to start. You could start with just on protein, no grains and then add veggies(cooked) a few times a week.
You can also buy frozen patties with all the nutrition that the dogs need.
I've been looking into the raw diets recently so I'm only at the beginning stages. Actually from the research I have been doing, I'll be at the beginning stages for years...there's soooo much to learn! :bowl: And figuring out the total cost of the diet makes my head hurt!
However, I don't think we're at the point that we need to make such a drastic change. I'm still looking into it though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Our Petco stopped carrying it, too. Do you have a Pet Supplies Plus near you? That's one of the few places around here where we can find it. They stopped carrying the medium sized bags (the 12 or 15 lbs... whatever it is) but they offered to set up a standing order for us. They'll order a medium sized bag for us every other week and set it aside in the back, so that's really helpful.
If you haven't already, you might even want to ask Petco if they'd do that for you. That way, you could be sure that they'll have the reduced fat when you need it and maybe you could get the Ocean if you wanted to try that.
Also, I've found that some of the independently owned little boutique-type stores are willing to order food for you, even if it's a brand that they don't carry. They're more willing to go out of their way to earn your business, so that might be something to think about.
I'm going to see if Petco will special order the Reduced Fat and Ocean formula. Maybe just another protein source (as in the Ocean food) will clear up the problem. If all else fails, there is a small boutique pet feed store about 45 min away and I know for sure they would special order it.
 
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