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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is our first golden so I'm trying to learn so please don't get mad about asking petty questions about food....I know that food choices are across the board here, but how do you know if your dog has allergies to corn/wheat - oatmeal/barley - chicken/turkey. How does the average family pet owner know what to feed or what is best. My plan was to find a great food that works best for him without expermental switching.

We brought him home from the breeder on Iams. The owner of the pet store that we go suggested Blue Buffalo because that is what he is feeding his 5 month old Border Collie and he likes the ingredients. The BB is working well but he does tend to itch at his ears (they're not wet from baths, pool or hose). I thought he coat was looking better. He has never had a stool problem his entire life although since the switch to BB he had a bathroom issue where a piece of stool got stuck coming out (sorry for the visual). Our pup ran in circles, freaked out until it fell and once I had to use my hand (sorry again for tmi). That happened only twice but I thought maybe it could be a food problem.

I'm confused and I know that there isn't one brand of food for every dog but just looking for what is best as a lifelong brand.
 

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It's trial and error, imo. Flora is 10 months old and is on her... 5th brand of food, and she finally has firm stools only twice a day, no itchiness, and a good energy level. Her ears are still a little yeasty, so I'm trying to deal with that, but I'm hoping it will go away with preventative care.

You just need to let your dog tell you if the food is working or not. I don't know if his two bathroom problems can really be associated to the food, but you never know.

Oops. Looked at my signature and realized Flora is 11 months today. My bad. :eek:
 

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The only real way to find out for certain if your dog has allergies to certain ingredients is to have allergy testing done by a vet. We recently switched to California Natural because Tucker keeps getting yeast infections in his left ear. He was on Eukanuba (same company as Iams) and we couldn't get his ear to clear up no matter what antibiotics and cleaners we tried. If you don't want to go through the allergy testing, you could give California Natural a try. It has very few ingredients and is specifically designed for dogs with allergies and sensitivities. We are using the Herring & Sweet Potato formula, but it also comes in chicken and lamb formulas. We have only been using it for a few days, but we haven't had any problems so far. We're in the process of transitioning from the Eukanuba to the CN.
 

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Winchestersonfieldville
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With Winchester I've gone through four different foods. The breeder was feeding him Iams, but he itched a LOT. I think it was because of the corn so I switched him to Purina Pro Plan. His itching nearly stopped, and he was doing okay on it, but he was pooping a lot. I did notice that the Pro Plan had corn in it so now I'm thinking he may have a wheat allergy. In any case, I wanted to go with Fromm from the beginning, but decided not to because there was no place to buy it locally. I switched him to Fromm a couple weeks ago, despite the fact that I have to order it online, and I've noticed that his fur is shinier and he is pooping less now. I think I found the one I want.
 

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Barley & Mira's Mom
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I think the key to selecting a good food is learning to understand how to read the labels and look at ingredients. I also like to research the company that makes the food. Whole Dog Journal does a great article each February that talks about selecting dry food. You can buy back issues.

After that, it is trial and error to find out what food works best for your dog. There is definitely not one right answer.

We feed Innova and I have always been happy with it.

Good luck with your search.
 

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chew chew chew
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What you may want to do is research some different foods, make a short list of 5-8 of them and then rotate - each time you need a bag get a different brand/formula. That way you're not feeding the same food for year after year, there is some variety and your dog gets a break from different ingredients (and you can see if one brand causes more issues than another).

I feed raw so there's no grain issues at all, and I rotate what they get and do 'breaks' from things, right now they're on mostly red meats (pork and beef) and then we'll cut out beef for a few weeks and feed turkey/chicken instead... that sort of thing.

Lana
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for your replies and help.

I've read that you shouldn't feed grain-free foods to dogs under 1. Is there a reason? An ex: Fromm grainfree surf & turf.

With CN, oatmeal and barley in the ingredients are ok if a dog has allergies? Or, just depends on the individual dog? Try it by trial and error?

Thanks again.
 

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chew chew chew
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You don't want to feed too much to a puppy to have them grow too fast, so the really high protein foods aren't recomended. Not much to do with the grains being in or out of the food as the protein levels.

The biggest difference I've seen is when I had my border collie as a pup, he was on raw and his littermates where on cheap 'farm' kibble. At 4 months they were twice his size almost, had frizzy hair and barrel shaped bloated bodies and dull coats. Ticket was smaller, had a smoother, shiney coat and a waist. It was so different that the rest of the class never thought they were littermates....

As an adult he's roughly the same size, he just grew up slower than the kibble fed dogs.

Lana
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You don't want to feed too much to a puppy to have them grow too fast, so the really high protein foods aren't recomended. Not much to do with the grains being in or out of the food as the protein levels.

The biggest difference I've seen is when I had my border collie as a pup, he was on raw and his littermates where on cheap 'farm' kibble. At 4 months they were twice his size almost, had frizzy hair and barrel shaped bloated bodies and dull coats. Ticket was smaller, had a smoother, shiney coat and a waist. It was so different that the rest of the class never thought they were littermates....

As an adult he's roughly the same size, he just grew up slower than the kibble fed dogs.

Lana

Thanks Lana. Within what range of protein is good for a pup (my pup is 6 months old)? Does the amount of calcuim have any factors?
 

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In the Moment
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Here's a great site that has tons of info on understanding foods and what to look for ( and to avoid) http://www.dogfoodproject.com/index.php?page=intro Many people have their pups transition to adult food at about 4 months. Personally, we rotate among several top foods. Fromm 4-star (which is an all stage food), Innova ( we use the large breed adult.... really an all round good maintenance food ), Acana ( when I can get it ) and I use The Honest Kitchen and Tripetts tripe as toppers for their dinner.
 
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