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Mia
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I previously posted about my new 11 month old GRD who came to us about 10 days ago eating Purina One Sensitive Systems. We have had a run of soft stools (sorry, could resist) and have attributed it to water change, stress, and maybe a new bag of the same food. I am going to get her on some rice and chicken for a couple of days to see if we can firm things up.

However, in all my reading, I am now quite convinced that we can do better for her than continuing the Purina One Sensitive Systems. The issues about corn and some of the other ingredients make me wonder and I do not have an issue with spending more for better food and (hopefully) fewer health issues.

However, reading about food choices makes my head spin. I like the idea of a simpler food (one protein source) and no grains. Not sure what protein % is needed for an 11 month old -- seems like 22-34 is about right. I do know I am not going to "cook" for her as I have 2 kids, so the do it your self approach won't work. I also would prefer not to go through a long, drawn-out experimental phase with multiple $50 or $60 bags of food!

I am lucky in that most of the high-end brands are available to me locally. I am not sure talking with people at pet food stores makes sense, because they have a natural conflict of interest. And vets, it seem, do not really spend much time on this and just want to sell the bags of Science Diet sitting on their shelves.

So, it comes down to asking for some advice. I have read this forum for most of the afternoon and see lots of possibles:

Innova (and other Natura brands)
Fromm
Wellness
Diamond
Taste of the Wild
Blue Buffalo
Arcana
Solid Gold

I would also be interested in opinions on protein source (salmon vs. chicken, vs. lamb vs. beef)

So, recognizing that this is once again soliciting opinions, can some advice, with your underlying logic and rationale, be provided?

Thanks!
 

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This is my personal experience so give it whatever value you feel it deserves. I was feeding Canidae, they changed formulas and after my dogs ate several months worth of the new formula the newest bag I opened made them sick. It was so immediate it was blatantly obvious the food was the problem. So I needed to change their food immediately.

I chose Natural Balance Sweet Potato and Fish, because I wanted something with limited ingredients. The day after changing their food Robbie and Lilah both had firm stools again, the diarrhea stopped.

I did have to reduce the amount of food I gave them by a half cup because they started picking up weight. But I'm very pleased with the NB, their coats are beautiful and they like the food.
 

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Nancy
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You bet it is!

Pasteing from another thread..
<<We started Hank off on Innova Large Breed Puppy food. He's doing great on it. His adult coat is coming in beautifully. My last golden was allergic to corn so I automatically looked for a corn-free kibble. Just me - many dogs eat corn with no problem! My Maggie was on Innova the last 6 months of her life and I liked what I saw on the ingredient list.>>

I think we were just lucky that our first food choice worked well for Hank. I know many owners try several different brands before they come up with the best for their dog.
 

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If I were bringing home a new puppy, after a couple of weeks in our home I'd try transitioning it to Acana Prairie Harvest. It's a chicken-based "all life stages" grain-free kibble with 34% protein and 17% fat. It's made by the same Canadian company, Champion Petfoods, that makes Orijen.

I have trust in the company; I believe it has nice moderate protein and fat level that a puppy benefits from, and chicken supposedly has a fuller profile of amino acids than other meats.

I raised my lab on Orijen Large Breed Puppy (before Acana was available here) and she did well on it.

In this day and age, I place heavy emphasis on the company making the food. Right now, I think highly of Natura (Innova, California Natura, EVO, Healthwise), Champion Petfoods (Orijen, Acana), Fromm, and Horizon Pet Food.

There are probably at least half a dozen kibbles your puppy would do well on. You'll just have to choose one, try it for a couple months and see how your dog does on it.
 

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It was not too long ago that I started looking into a new food for Rosie. We had been feeding her Iams Large Breed Puppy, because that's what the breeder was giving her. I had no idea the difference in the various dog foods, and my head was completely spinning! I narrowed it down to Innova and Fromm. The main reason I chose the Innova Large Breed Puppy is because I would've had to special order the Fromm Large Breed Puppy Gold. We have been doing great with the Innova...Rosie loves the taste, and she's had no problems with it at all. The only thing I don't like about it is that is not as convenient as being able to buy her food from Petco. I have to drive a little further away, and it costs a little more. It's not that big of a deal, though, since it seems to be agreeing with her.
 

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I previously posted about my new 11 month old GRD who came to us about 10 days ago eating Purina One Sensitive Systems. We have had a run of soft stools (sorry, could resist) and have attributed it to water change, stress, and maybe a new bag of the same food. I am going to get her on some rice and chicken for a couple of days to see if we can firm things up.

However, in all my reading, I am now quite convinced that we can do better for her than continuing the Purina One Sensitive Systems. The issues about corn and some of the other ingredients make me wonder and I do not have an issue with spending more for better food and (hopefully) fewer health issues.

However, reading about food choices makes my head spin. I like the idea of a simpler food (one protein source) and no grains. Not sure what protein % is needed for an 11 month old -- seems like 22-34 is about right. I do know I am not going to "cook" for her as I have 2 kids, so the do it your self approach won't work. I also would prefer not to go through a long, drawn-out experimental phase with multiple $50 or $60 bags of food!

I am lucky in that most of the high-end brands are available to me locally. I am not sure talking with people at pet food stores makes sense, because they have a natural conflict of interest. And vets, it seem, do not really spend much time on this and just want to sell the bags of Science Diet sitting on their shelves.

So, it comes down to asking for some advice. I have read this forum for most of the afternoon and see lots of possibles:

Innova (and other Natura brands)
Fromm
Wellness
Diamond
Taste of the Wild
Blue Buffalo
Arcana
Solid Gold

I would also be interested in opinions on protein source (salmon vs. chicken, vs. lamb vs. beef)

So, recognizing that this is once again soliciting opinions, can some advice, with your underlying logic and rationale, be provided?

Thanks!
I would avoid Diamond and Taste of the Wild (Made by Diamond) due to the company issues they have been having (recalls).

I would also look at Nature's Variety. All of the other companies you have listed are good companies and good foods.
 

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Mia
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
If I were bringing home a new puppy, after a couple of weeks in our home I'd try transitioning it to Acana Prairie Harvest. It's a chicken-based "all life stages" grain-free kibble with 34% protein and 17% fat. It's made by the same Canadian company, Champion Petfoods, that makes Orijen.

I have trust in the company; I believe it has nice moderate protein and fat level that a puppy benefits from, and chicken supposedly has a fuller profile of amino acids than other meats.

I raised my lab on Orijen Large Breed Puppy (before Acana was available here) and she did well on it.

In this day and age, I place heavy emphasis on the company making the food. Right now, I think highly of Natura (Innova, California Natura, EVO, Healthwise), Champion Petfoods (Orijen, Acana), Fromm, and Horizon Pet Food.

There are probably at least half a dozen kibbles your puppy would do well on. You'll just have to choose one, try it for a couple months and see how your dog does on it.
I like this approach of evaluating both the food ANd the company. I am interested in your advice to move from orijen to acana. My girl is actually 11 months, so is not on puppy food. The FAQs on the Champion site suggest that acana is very good, but that it was designed for a lower price point than orijen.

I am impressed with these folks and with Horizon, another Canadian company. I guess since I am already sending big chunks of cash to canada (my daughter goes to college at McGill in Montreal), I should stick with Canadian companies!

Thanks for the help.
 

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In the Moment
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A good site to learn about how to analyze and look for in a food http://www.dogfoodproject.com/index.php?page=main There are many good foods out there and once you feel comfortable with a food and the company that makes it, then it's all what your dog does well on.
 

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I am a big fan of Natura foods, Innova and EVO specifically for their ingredients. EVO is grain free and can be a bit rich for some dogs, but many do great on it... I love Innova even though it's not grain free.. the ingredient list is great IMO and the company as a whole is awesome with their customer service and quality control (again IMO :)).

I am also very impressed with Acana foods and wish it was around when I was feeding kibble as I would have tried that with mine.

I now feed raw.
 

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In the Moment
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We rotate thru Innova , Fromm 4 star, and Acana with our crew. We also use the Honest Kitchen or canned Trippets tripe as toppers.
 

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I meant to add to my last post that I really really love The Honest Kitchen products as well, though they can really be QUITE expensive, especially if its the bulk of the dog's diet. I think if I were feeding a kibble diet now, I would do what P&M's Mom does and use it either as a "topper" or feed it for one meal as I do now (they get THK for breakfast every morning).
 

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Mia
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for all the advice so far.

Based on narrowing my list and a bunch more reading tonight, I am closing in on Orijen Adult, Horizon Legacy, or Fromm Four Star (currently in third place).

Any reactions?

Will make some calls tomorrow to see what is in stock. Luckily, all three are available within 5 miles of my house!

Thanks again.
 

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>>>>>>>>Picking a food is harder than finding a dog... <<<<<<<<

I had to laugh at that!!! That is SOOOOOO true!!!

Over the course of several years we have tried several of the leading brands that you have mentioned here... they were ALL good foods!

I tend to like the convenience of feeding all my dogs the same food, just to make it easier rather than try to explain who gets what food... when they all eat the same thing, it's a no-brainer! :eek:)

I especially like the Innova! My dogs just really looked GREAT on it... but after being on it for awhile, they just didn't like it... were not excited at meal times at all... so we switched...

We were on Taste of the Wild for about a year and a half, and my dogs LOVED THAT FOOD... there was never a meal that went by, that they didn't just gobble that stuff down. We did use two of the formulas, Dakota Bison and Pacific Stream, and I think they looked best on the Pacific Stream... but, they were gaining and gaining way too much weight, and even cutting the food back to less than 2 cups a day, they didn't seem to lose...

In the last month, we have switched over to Adult Blue Buffalo, and so far I am liking the results. Coats looks real good and poops are SMALL, and when you have 6 to pick up after that is a major factor! hahahaha
I will give this food at least another 3 months before I rave too much about it, as I think it takes about that long to really get accustomed to a new food to show any long term results, but so far, so good! :eek:) Plus, my feed store gets it for me at the same cost as Petco, and they deliver it to my house at no extra fees!

I've never heard too much about Acana, but it sounds like a good one, too!
 

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Thanks for all the advice so far.

Based on narrowing my list and a bunch more reading tonight, I am closing in on Orijen Adult, Horizon Legacy, or Fromm Four Star (currently in third place).

Any reactions?

Will make some calls tomorrow to see what is in stock. Luckily, all three are available within 5 miles of my house!

Thanks again.
Don't know much about the Horizon, but you would be in good shape with any of the 3.
 

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I just finished transitioning my puppy over to Acana Pacifica, and so far we are all happy. Fish is usually easily digestible and Bailey was having some trouble on California Natural Lamb Meal and Rice. I didn't know if it was the lamb or the rice, so I decided to drop both. I had always wanted to try grain free with my older dog and will now transition her over to Pacifica now that the puppy is doing well. I went with fish based formula as the older dog is on fish for allergies, and like goldensonly, it sure would be nice to feed one food! Besides allergies, the older one has colitis, so I am hoping this switch will be good for her and not a disaster!

I also went with Acana due to Champion being a smaller company and having a good reputation; the same reason I went with California Natural because of Natura's reputation. I was feeding Eagle Pack Holistic Select, but now with the merge with Wellness to Wellpet, I am not happy with the customer service, but that is just me. There has already been some little changes in the Eagle Pack Holistic foods and I have a feeling there will be more to come.
 

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Mia
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
So I am now leaning towards Orijen adult and my only concern now is the much higher protein than what she is currently getting. I know there are studies that suggest dogs do fine with higher levels, but since she had soft stools on a 26% no-so-great kibble (Purina One Sensitive Systems), I don't want to make it worse. I suppose the only way to know is to test it out with a small bag and see how it goes.

I am going to check on the Acana as well and speak with a store that carries that. Innova seems good but the company details on the Orijen site really impress me.
 

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In the Moment
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So I am now leaning towards Orijen adult and my only concern now is the much higher protein than what she is currently getting. I know there are studies that suggest dogs do fine with higher levels, but since she had soft stools on a 26% no-so-great kibble (Purina One Sensitive Systems), I don't want to make it worse. I suppose the only way to know is to test it out with a small bag and see how it goes.

I am going to check on the Acana as well and speak with a store that carries that. Innova seems good but the company details on the Orijen site really impress me.


Acana is made by the same people who make Orijen ( Champion ). Acana has a more moderate protein level. We love it at our house.
 

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I started feeding Horizon Legacy a week or so ago. It's a little pricey, but i'm pretty happy with it so far. I had food refusal problems with two different formulas of TOTW, and he was loosing muscle mass while on Natural Balance (although he did really well on it otherwise). One downside with Horizon is they don't offer a frequent buyer program.
 
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