Want to Switch Dog Food Brands---any Suggestions?

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DJ's Dad's picture
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I've been feeding Ziva and my little dogs Nutro Max and Nutro Ultra for a few months now.  The terriers are all 'fit as a fiddle'--not too heavy, not too lean, good muscle tone and lots of energy.  It seems to be the perfect food for them. My problem is, Ziva seems to be getting a little TOO heavy on this dog food.  I have cut her portions back to where I feed her a cup and a half in the early morning, about a half cup mid-day, and another cup in the early evening.  Any less than that and she acts like she is starving.  It's hard to keep her out of the little dogs' bowls because she wants to eat all her food, then run them off and eat theirs too.  I've been feeding her at separate times from them for the past couple of weeks to curtail this. She doesnt usually eat after 6 - 7 pm, except for an occasional Milk Bone snack or a pig ear every now and then.  She's a BIG girl, no question about it.  She's about 27" at the shoulder and right now weighs almost 90 lbs.  I'd really like to see her about 5 - 8 lbs lighter.  I was asked last weekend if she was mixed with a Rottie, because of her size. LOL   I dont want her to be skinny, I think she would look sickly if she lost too much weight, but she really loves this Nutro food a little too much, I think. 

So, anyone got any suggestions as to what good nutritious dog food I can switch to that wont pack the pounds on her?  I have a good amount of the Nutro left in the bag I am using right now to allow for a slow transition into something else, but I dont really want to buy another 35 lb bag of Nutro. I dont want to switch to completely raw, either, because I can't afford to feed 5 dogs that way, and if the little guys still get kibble, I know that Ziva will try to take it away from them if she thinks they are getting something she's not getting.  (Spoiled rotten brat????  Ummmm, yeah)

She gets exercised every single day, and I double the distance of her walks on the weekends.  She gets to run through the ballfields on average of 3 times a week off leash where she chases birds and rabbits.  She IS spayed, however, so it might be a hormonal thing that is keeping her a little bit heavy looking, I dont know. I think I'll see about having her thyroid tested next time I go to the vet, too. 

Wolfgirl_121's picture
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Have you tried Blue Buffalo??? My grandma feeds BB. It keeps her rottie's weight down really well... he used to be a fatty. lolz  I know they are two compleatly different breeds, but it might work.

DJ's Dad's picture
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Have you tried Blue Buffalo???

No, I haven't yet.  I'm just trying to get some input on what would be the best to buy.  I have heard lots of good things about Blue, though.  Will keep this in mind.  Thanks 

Wolfgirl_121's picture
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Your welcome.

Control_Freak's picture
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Hey Paul, I used to feed Blue, but Athena didn't seem to care about it all that much.  Plus our breeder said its not all that great of a food especially for the price.  I looked into it and the one thing I didn't like was the fact that they don't say whether or not they use a chemical (don't know what it is) to preserve fish.  This chemical is banned for humans because it is know to cause cancer.  I figure if you didn't use it you would want to brag about it, right?  So I decided to try something else.

I went over to Wellness large breed. its about 55-60$ a bag but Athena hardly eats any at all.  She doesn't eat unless she is really hungry and is definately on the thinner side but the vet said she is healthy weight.  So she is supposed to eat 4-4 1/2 cups a day and we are lucky if she eats 2 and will only eat more if we have really worked her, and she stays 67-70lbs.  Sully on the other hand will eat it all, we were giving him about 5-6 cups a day and then he got a little chunky, no ribs, fat rolls over his haunches (it literaly happened over night) so we cut him down to 4-4 1/2  a few weeks ago and he is starting the thin out a little.    

So anyway I really like it and it works for Athena and Sully.  They are healthy, energetic and their coats looks great.  Plus it is averaged priced when it comes to the all natural foods.  

Control_Freak's picture
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O yeah  plus they have a healthy weight formula too.

cisco9510's picture
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Raven w/ all her allergy issues was also getting a little heavy around the middle.... I have them on VF Complete....I don't know how available that is in evryones area though....

http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/vf-complete/

Control_Freak's picture
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Mandy, how are things going? Is the new food helping?

DJ's Dad's picture
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Wellness, huh? Hmmm.  Might try that.  I dont want to buy two different brands of dog food if I dont have to, so I'm looking for something that will suit my little dogs AND Ziva.  If I need to feed the terriers one thing and her something else, I will, but just trying to find a happy medium before I need to replenish the dog food cupboard.

And I know what you mean about extra plumpness just seeming to come on all of a sudden.  I look at photos I took of Ziva last month, and she isnt nearly as chubby as she is now.  I need to get her back down to a healthy looking weight.

cisco9510's picture
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Hello! Things are going better! Yes the food is helping so much! Her bald chest is filling in and her weight is down and she is looking wonderful!

DJ's Dad's picture
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Mandy, I checked out your link and punched in my zipcode to find the closest store that sells it---not a single place in the entire state of Indiana does.  Thanks for the info, though.

cisco9510's picture
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I knew it wasn't a widely sold food. But I didn't figure not a place in a whole state- that's crazy! Good luck in your search for something!

Control_Freak's picture
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They have a small breed formula as well.  I found it is cheaper at petsmart compared to Petco even with the buy 10 get 1 free, it ends up working out to being cheaper at petsmart in the long run.  But I think they might have just changed their prices so you will have to check.  Plus if you sign up for the rewards cards, petco mails out  10% coupons and petsmart will honor them.  So I try to wait until it is on sale and use the coupon and buy several bags at a time.

 http://www.wellnesspetfood.com/recipes.aspx?pet=dog&ft=1

Mandy I am so happy to hear that about Raven!

Lady Kate's picture
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My dear and regal Queen Z

Don't you DARE let them call you f-a-t.. If anything full figured or even rubenesque.. but the 'f' word is never allowed. I myself struggle with a pound or two due to a low thyroid... my Mom checked every list and found Kirkland Signature Premium Healthy Weight had the lowest content of that.. you know the 'f' word, plus it's rated one of the highest quality.. I really like it..

Besides.. I think you are one of the most beautiful Dobermans on any forum on the entire planet. When is the last time you had a thyroid panel done?

Nose bumps

S.

P.S. A ROTTIE??? Indeed!!!

 

 

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I'd definitely have her thyroid checked if she's gaining so quickly.  Also, adult dogs don't need 3 meals a day.  You might try cutting out the midday meal, maybe snacking then.  I have the same problem with the littles and everybody eating everybody else's food, thus finding a food that works for all of them.  I've just switched Fancy off puppy formula to adult (she'll be a year old this month, I can't believe it!!) but in the meantime my minpin is packing around a few too many pounds, but the feral dog Mystic has come up to a good weight.  I've gone to Canidae chicken for now as she still gets an upset tummy easily.  Hopefully we'll expand her protein source soon.  She's tall and lanky now, about 26 1/2 " and 68 lbs.  So far she's doing very well on it, coat is good and stools are firm and smaller, but we haven't been on it long enough to really judge.  I read on one of the food comparison sites that if anything that Canidae dry lacks is a little protein and I supplement that with canned food mixed in as suggested.  Also, the canned food entices her appetite, she's never been a big eater.  It's reasonably priced at the feed store I use, and cost is a big consideration.  It seems to fill her up nicely, she still doesn't finish her whole dishful, and each feeding I'm decreasing the amount slightly to find the right amount.  It's now less that what I was giving her before on her other food, so it seems to be an efficient food.  But, call your vet and see what he suggests about having her thyroid checked to be on the safe side.  Let us know!

Joined: 2011-07-20

Hey ZD!  Our vet reccomended Wellness to us.  I'm not sure yet if we'll switch, but i've been pricing it out, and so far Amazon is the cheapest I've found, a little under $50.00 for a 30 pound bag with free shipping.  There are some varieties that are a little less. I was looking at the large breed kind though there is a plain "adult dog" kind that you could feed all the pups.  Or maybe we'll just watch the Petco and Petsmart sales like a hawk if we decide to switch.  Boomer was on Blue at his foster home, and we transistioned him to Kirkland.  But we went to the vet over the weekend, and he said Kirkland is not that great and wants us to switch, so I don't know.

I find food so confusing.  :(  It's like everywhere you look/everyone you ask you hear something different.

ETA: I also agree with checking her thyroid.  Our last dobe had low thyroid, and once he was on the meds, it helped with his weight. 

Lady Kate's picture
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I know.. you're right Mrs Von D.
the only other subject that raises more questions is the cropping issue..

It was our dear Gunny who suggested to "get the best quality you can afford and what agrees with your dog.."  

How is that Boomer doing??

DJ's Dad's picture
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I agree about the Confusion Factor in choosing the best dog food.  All the dog food Brand sites you go to swear that their product is the BEST, and every dog forum member has their personal favorite brand or flavor for one reason on another. 

I guess I just need to go shopping for dog food and start writing down and comparing ingredients lists and costs and then just take a stab at what I feel the best is that I can get.  Maybe cut down a little on portions, do some more walks and runs, AND have her thyroid levels checked.  ((sigh))

tans0077's picture
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We just switched Gauge from Nutro Max to Iams Lamb and Rice.   He was raised on the Nurto Max puppy, but he would not eat it for us.  He races to his bowl now and loves the Iams.

Control_Freak's picture
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Oh yeah def have her thyroid checked that could be the culprit!  Also, we started roller blading with Athena, she loves it, we love it and we all get good exercise that doesn't kill our bodies.  Maybe try that with her or biking too.

DJ's Dad's picture
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@C_F---ROLLERBLADING????  ME?????    Hahahaa, I dont think so!!

Control_Freak's picture
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Lol that's what I thought nut its actually quite easy

cisco9510's picture
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Paul this was also recommended to me- I had heard good and bad about it and when I went to my feed store and they had VF i went with that.

http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/4health-dog-food-dry/comment-page-7/

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Ziva you should look into Nature's Variety.

http://naturesvariety.com

They have a line called prarie and a line called instinct.

The instinct is grain free.

With the instinct you feed a lot less. 

There is a feeding guide on their website. They also have instinct in raw and cans. And suggest rotaion of raw, can, and kibble. Even mixing raw and kibble, raw and cans.

http://www.naturesvariety.com/feedguide

Caine had issues with eating and as soon as I put him on this food they almost totally went away. 

missdoglover's picture
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In my doberman book, they mention the raw diet, which is really good. When I worked at Petco, I took a little nutrition class, and it's always good to choose high premuim foods like: Wellness, Blue Buffalo or Halo. You want to make sure you look at the ingredients. You don't want any corn, wheat, or animal by products. A lot of dog foods contain added fillers which does not benefit dogs in anyway. It has no nutrition value and actually makes dogs more hungry because the added fillers get digested quickly, which makes doggies poo more. You can always ask a local pet store in your area. :) Hope this helps!

DJ's Dad's picture
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Thanks, guys!  My brain is totally overloaded with good information at this point.  LOL

missdoglover's picture
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WARNING WARNING BRAIN OVERLOADED!! BEEP BEEP!!! LOL

KevinK's picture
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When looking at kibble, and comparing, you basically want to look at the first 5 ingreadients, as this is what makes up the bulk of the food.  A high quality food should not have fillers, "meals", "by-product", or un-named meats, especially high up on the list.  An unnamed meat is, as an example, "Animal Fat".  or "Poultry".  That could be anything.

The lower quality foods have alot of fillers, so, in order for a dog to get it's required nutrients, they will eat more.  That is why dogs will eat more of a low quality food, and less of a high quality food.  the lower quality food companies often put things in there to make the food tastier, so the dog wants to eat it.  Without these aditives, it would probably be disgusting.

Our girl came to us on Iams, which is near the bottom of the list in terms of quality, and offers little nutrional value.  It would be the equivelent of feeding your dog burger kind and macdonalds every meal.

From Iams, we switched to Nutro, which she didn't like, then to wellness, which she LOVES.  And believe it or not, we actually save money by using the more expensive food, beacuse she really does eat significantly less.  

Like mentioned, food is a very touchy subject, and it's because there's not 1 food that is "best".  Just like with people, dogs will like different foods, and even though  a food is considered top shelf, it may not agree with your dog. I would test with a smaller bag, see if the Z likes it, and if so, then get the bigger bags.

You should notice your dog eating less with a higher quality food, the extra weight should come off, and as a bonus, coat may even improve a bit.  You will get less gas from your pooch, smaller and possibly less frequent poops, and an overall healthier appearance.  I bet after some time with a new food, Z won't be getting confused for a rottie anymore!!

Kate said it well, get the best you can afford that your dog will eat.

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Another key factor is rotation not between brands but between flavors of the same brand if available. It was put to me like this. You don't eat chicken everyday of the week do you?

Nature's variety comes in a whole bunch of differnt flavors and is made for all life stages.

When Caine had cancer I really got into nutrion and what was put into dog food. When I first put Caine on this food, it was a digestion issue and was told to give it a try. It made such a trmendous difference. Whatever you choose look at the ingredients and antioxidants put into the food. Call the comapnys if you need to. 

Natures Variety also has an ingredients glossary. http://www.naturesvariety.com/ingredients/list

Patriot's picture
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I switched from Costco Lamb and Rice to Canadae all life stages because Brody is kind of picky and it was a pain to get him to eat.Since the switch he loves the Canadae, so that's where I'm sticking.Both Dobies and our Westie enjoy it and their coats are soft and shiny.Around $50 for a 44 lb bag but the serving sizes are less so a bag lasts longer.They also do a frequent buyer program,save 12 UPC codes and the next bag is free.

DJ's Dad's picture
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Patriot, I'm sort of inclined to check out the Canidae first, then.  Like I said, I have 4 terriers and Ziva who occasionally will eat each others' food, so I want something compatible for all of them.  The price you gave is about at the top of my scale, but if it lasts longer than the Nutro I've been buying, it's actually cheaper in the long run.

 

And, to missdoglover,

"WARNING WARNING BRAIN OVERLOADED!! BEEP BEEP!!! LOL"

That's it EXACTLY!

Lady Kate's picture
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Good.. Now that THAT'S settled let's move on to an easier subject.

Cropping

ahhahhhhahahmehaw!!

Control_Freak's picture
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Canidae is much more expensive thsn that here

DJ's Dad's picture
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I checked online for a store location that sells it, and the closest place to me is about 12 miles north of me...no big deal.  I called, and they dont have the 44 lb bags, but they DO carry the 35 lb bags and the price is $39.  Basically, the same price per pound that I have been paying for the Nutro, but the Canidae is grain free, 'holistic' dog food, and recommended serving for a dog 75 - 100 lb is 3 cups per day, but the chart said for overweight dogs, cut that in half.  I'm definitely gonna go buy a bag of it this weekend and give it a whirl.


Thanks, everyone, for you valuable input and suggestions and opinions.


And Kate, about that cropping issue...................................Not gonna go there!!

Lady Kate's picture
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ME EITHER Paul..

wanna talk about irresponsible breeders??

Legend of Zelda's picture
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Kate, you're killin' me XD

Ahh if only my dad weren't so stingy about money and thought about the "long run" deal, I would get Canidae. I have a coupon for it and everything! 

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Almost anything you feed your dog will be better than Nutro.  It is one of the worst foods on the market.  They use corn gluten in most of their formulas.  Corn gluten is the protein part of the corn used by most of the low quality foods (Pedigree, Nutro, Beneful, Alpo, Black Gold, Goodlife, Friskies, Science Diet, Loyall, Pet Promise, Pro Plan, Purina Dog Chow, Purina One, Red Flannel, Royal Canin and WholeMeals) to boost the protein percentage in the guaranteed analysis with cheap, hard to digest plant protein) rather than meat. They also use menadione, a synthetic form of Vitamin K banned by the FDA from human supplements because of its toxicity. They use very little Omega 3 which is very important for a healthy skin and coat. They also use soy and wheat in most of their foods.  Good foods with no corn, wheat, soy or menadione and good ratios of Omega 6 to Omega 3 fatty acids are Blue Buffalo (my preference), Wellness, Castor & Pollux, Merrick, Taste of the Wild, Canidae and Solid Gold.  It is very important to get the extra weight off.  Better a little underweight rather than overweight.

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Nice to meet you too maquignon?

 

Let us know how she does on Canidae, Paul!  Dakota does well on Kirkland chicken, rice & vegetable, but I'm always interested to know what others are feeding and how they like it. 

We had Dakota on Natural balance at first, went through two different flavours, one grain free and one not.  At 85 bucks a bag it was one of the more expensive brands but her poos were always runny...switched her to costo brand just to see, and they are much firmer than before.  She looks healthy and likes it, so both her and my wallet are happy lol. 

rmk
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i'm going to research some of the mentioned ones here...not having any problems but want them to have the best nutrition possible.....we now use eukanuba large breed....didnt hear that one mentioned but we thought it was good????

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quote Kevin K:

Our girl came to us on Iams, which is near the bottom of the list in terms of quality, and offers little nutrional value.  It would be the equivelent of feeding your dog burger kind and macdonalds every meal.

 

No WONDER Gauge likes it so much. He's a teenagee boy! McDonalds and Burger King are the basic food groups for teenage boys!

Huh.  Now we're going to have to find something else.  He came to us on Nutro Max and he hardly ate anything.  We feed him twice a day and we'd be lucky if he ate in the evening.

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eukanuba really isn't good. It contains a lot of fillers.

Lady Kate's picture
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wow this does seem to get a little tricky.We all want the best for our Dobes... maybe the simplest way is to just read the labels..

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Eukanuba is supposed to be the "step up" by Iams.  Their premium line, I think.  So if Iams is Burger King/McDonald's, does that make Eukanuba KFC? LOL

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Laith eats Blue Buffalo's Wilderness brand. It's in the shiny bags... :p

About the same price (not on sale as often) as the normal Blue feed. Laith loves it- I switch up between chicken, duck and salmon. He does tend to get picky sometimes on it. But it's all he has really been on once we saw his digestive system was on track with it!

Check it out!! :)

 

If we were to switch it would be to EVO. AMAZING. Innova is the lower brand of EVO - but not even comparable really. Plus they started adding a little corn in Innova since they started selling it in Petsmart this year... GO FIGURE! But EVO is still ok now...