I was looking at the different brands of dog food at the feed store today, and they gave us some free samples of Taste of the Wild. We are thinking of switching brands of dog food, from Purina One to a higher quality food. I was wondering if anyone uses this brand and if they are happy with the results.
The Salmon based formula has a lower protein content, which I have read is better for growing large-breed puppies. I worry though that the higher protein content of the others might be too much for our senior dog. But she would benefit the most from a higher quality food, she has very dry skin. We give her fish oil supplements but they don't seem to help as much as when she was younger.
Any advice would be appreciated. I am also concerned about stools, are they as firm as with grain based foods? Our fenced enclosure is not large and we have to scoop regularly.
I would not worry about the protein for either. For the most part, the amount becomes an issue with dogs with kidney problems. If there are no kidney issues, dogs either excrete the excess protein or convert it to fat. That was one of the issues with puppies, and why the older studies pointed to protein as a possible problem. Later studies determined it wasn't the protein, it was the total amount of calories. So if you overfeed any food (whether it's fat heavy, carb heavy, or protein heavy), you may increase the severity of hip dysplasia. The other factor is calcium. By far, the biggest factor is one you have no control over unless you're a breeder - and that's genetics. Hip dysplasia is genetic, and while other factors may influence the severity, if the genes are there, the genes are there.
I don't know if TOTW Salmon is formulated for growth and development or how much calcium is in it. I would contact the manufacturer, and I'm sure they'll give you an answer. A higher protein food may help with her skin. I've read where as much as 1/3 of the protein is used to maintain the skin and coat - so it would seem logical that if you increase the pie (more protein), then there would be more protein available for the skin and coat. Now there's a limit to that, and the problems may not be due to the food (i.e. allergies), but I wouldn't be overly concerned with the protein for either dog unless either has a kidney problem.
Protein Requirements for Good Dog Nutrition
Resource Library for Eukanuba Breeders - Growing Pains: Successfully Raising the Large Breed Puppy