Should I go with grain free?
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Thread: Should I go with grain free?

  1. #1
    Labgirl is offline Junior Member
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    DefaultShould I go with grain free?

    Hello,

    I'm new to this forum as far as posting. I've been reading several of the discussions for awhile trying to find an answer to my problem. I have 2 wonderful dogs. Denali (chocolate lab) is 10 months old and Bryce (black lab mix) is 4 months. They make my world complete.

    Here is my issue: I can't find a food that agrees with Denali's system. He started out on Science Diet when I got him from the breeder at 8 weeks. Never had a solid BM. I switched him to IAMs for about a month but the problem got worse and he started vomitting. I then put him on Purina One. He seemed to do ok on that for a while (3 months) then all of sudden started flaking really bad and stools got soft again. I then tried Innova and got the same results as IAM's. He's now on Simply Nourish from Petsmart. I decided that since all the previous kibble contained chicken that I would try Lamb. He was doing fine on the first 2 30 lb bags with only a few loose stools once in a while. Now we're on the 3rd bag and his stool is back to mash potato consistency. Please keep in mind that I did all switching very gradually. I also allowed time for him to get used to the food unless like I mentioned earlier he was vomitting. Now I'm wondering if I should just go grain free altogether. He doesn't have any issues with ear infections. I hate having to change foods again but I know these poops are not good. I was thinking about TOTW. Would appreciate any insight anyone might have regarding my issue. I'm at my wits end.

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    deidra is offline Senior Member
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    I would talk to your vet and see what they recomend.
    ~It doesn't matter how smart the dog is,it matters how smart the owner is.

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    MicksMom is offline Senior Member
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    A couple of thoughts here-

    It sounds like you've been doing an awful lot of switching of foods in the 8 months you've had Denali . It's possible his soft poop is from over eating, not the food itself. I ran into that when Caleb was ready to transition from "puppy portions" to adult. Instead of switching foods again, try cutting back on the amount he's getting and see if that helps.

    And just a heads up- Innova and TOTW are too rich for some dogs. I've heard of quite a few dogs that have had "pudding poop" from both of them, including Caleb when I switched him to TOTW.

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    Tanya is offline Senior Member
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    First - how much are you feeding? Sometimes ceding just a little too much can cause these types of isssues.

    Second - I would talk to a vet. Might be giardia or some other issue like that.


    When was the last time he puked? I have never heard of a dog puke because a food wasn't a good fit - this makes me think it is more than just a food issue - maybe others posters have more experience.
    Charlie (foster) and Rocky

  7. #5
    BigBrownDog is offline Senior Member
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    Agree with Sue and Tanya. Way too much food change over 8 months. I don't think going grain free is warranted here. Innova and TOTW can be too rich for some dogs and you may be over feeding.

    If you really want to change again I would try a food for sensitive stomachs like Pro Plan Sensitive skin and stomach which is salmon based.
    Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.

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    Sophiesmama is offline Senior Member
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    Our vet told us that chicken is the most likely culprit when a dog is allergic to his food. We are now trying Lamb and rice. Sophie has skin allergies. The vet called me today to check on Sophie and told me I might try Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream....she says its a quality food and it will get Sophie away from white meat like chiken and lamb. I am going to try it. We have been feeding her Purina 1.

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    Labgirl is offline Junior Member
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    Thank you everyone for your help! It is certainly appreciated. I know I did switch quite a few times and that was probably not good but wasn't sure what else to do. Leave him on the food even though it was making him sick? That was my dilemma. I was just hoping I would find the right one and be done with it. Denali weighs in at 75lbs. He's quite lean believe it or not and his dad is over 100lbs. The vet said he's going to be a big lab. I feed him 1 3/4 cups twice a day. The bag says to feed him 4-6 cups for a 50-80lb dog so he is well under the recommendation. I knew about the over feeding and was trying to watch out for that as well. That's all he gets too as his training is affection based. When I put in treats, the issue would get worse so I cut them out completely. He hasn't vomited in several months. I have had him checked out for everything and I have the vet bills to prove it. lol The vets around here are not really trained in nutrition so her advice didn't really help when he was little. That's why I tried to figure it out on my own. I have to bring Bryce in today so maybe I will check with her again and see if she has done any more research. One more twist to the story. His stool in the morning is perfect. It's the rest of the day when they go down hill. He doesn't have frequent stools, just mushy ones. I had a store manager from one of the local pet shops suggest venison based.

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    Labgirl is offline Junior Member
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    One more thing I forgot to put in the last post. I'm going to look into the senstive stomach formulas and ask the vet about it as well. That's one thing I haven't done. Thanks for that suggestion.

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    Mark_J is offline Senior Member
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    One thing you said had me wondering, in the morning his stool is perfect but then as the day goes on it gets worse? Is he getting into anything during the day that could be causing an issue? Like a rawhide chew toy, bone or some other type of thing he has access to during the day? Also, could he be getting stressed out during the day? What is his normal routine like during the day?

    Perhaps the issue isn't based exclusively on the food he's eating..

  12. #10
    javasmom is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Labgirl View Post
    Thank you everyone for your help! It is certainly appreciated. I know I did switch quite a few times and that was probably not good but wasn't sure what else to do. Leave him on the food even though it was making him sick? That was my dilemma. I was just hoping I would find the right one and be done with it. Denali weighs in at 75lbs. He's quite lean believe it or not and his dad is over 100lbs. The vet said he's going to be a big lab. I feed him 1 3/4 cups twice a day. The bag says to feed him 4-6 cups for a 50-80lb dog so he is well under the recommendation. I knew about the over feeding and was trying to watch out for that as well. That's all he gets too as his training is affection based. When I put in treats, the issue would get worse so I cut them out completely. He hasn't vomited in several months. I have had him checked out for everything and I have the vet bills to prove it. lol The vets around here are not really trained in nutrition so her advice didn't really help when he was little. That's why I tried to figure it out on my own. I have to bring Bryce in today so maybe I will check with her again and see if she has done any more research. One more twist to the story. His stool in the morning is perfect. It's the rest of the day when they go down hill. He doesn't have frequent stools, just mushy ones. I had a store manager from one of the local pet shops suggest venison based.
    TOTW does make a venison formula-High Prairie.
    Going grain free is a personal decision.
    My girls are on all grain free foods (I rotate foods, so they're fed 4-5 different foods, all grain free. TOTW is one of the foods they're on and they do amazingly well on it). They are leaner and more muscular on grain free than they were on grain inclusive foods. I switched to grain free primarily for my girl Java. She has ED and had 2 knee surgeries for torn ACLs...grains *can* cause inflammation in the joints, so I wanted to eliminate that variable. Both girls have done wonderful on grain free and I'm sticking with it.
    That said-not all dogs do well on grain free. It's a trial and error type thing. Both of my girls have clear eyes, clean ears, healthy skin, gorgeous coats and are at perfect weights.
    Good luck!!
    I have never been on the food roller coaster-my girls tolerate all foods fairly well, but I can't imagine how frustrating it must be.

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