We've been considering making a change to holistic food for Violet.
At this point, she's 2y/o and healthy. For her first 9 months or so, she was eating Purina One LB puppy (I didn't know any better :'( ); since then she's been on the Kirkland Chicken and Rice. When I made the switch off of corn, we noticed a good decrease in farts, and fewer bouts of pudding poo. Since then, no major problem with itchiness or rashes, she eats well, no anxiety or behavior problems, and stools are regular. The main issues that have us thinking about a switch are:
1) her coat isn't as soft and shiny as we might like (although not dull and brittle either),
2) she sheds a TON (sweeping the whole house DAILY all year),
3) She's getting eye infections every few months (might also be because she sticks her whole head in the water bowl at daycare and the park ;D ).
4) From time to time I notice yeasty ears, but it never lasts long and the vet has never found an ear infection.
5) She's also a poo eater, but that may be another matter entirely :P
- Any thoughts on whether we're likely to make any appreciable gains on these issues with a food switch? Part of me says that she's not doing badly, so why risk it but how can I be sure she couldn't do better?
- I'm thinking I should try to stick with a chicken and rice formula to avoid pushing our luck...or would that negate the potential benefit?
- I've heard mixed reviews on Canidae, but it seems to be a more affordable holistic. Any others that folks swear by that won't bankrupt me?
Thanks for any input! Dog nutrition is a bit harder than you'd think.
Well, none that won't bankrupt you... :P
The only 'holistic'/whatever dog food I have had experience with and been (well, Auggie has been) very satisfied with is
Solid Gold Hundenflocken (for 8 years Auggie had this and did well on it)
" " Barking at the Moon (grain free) Auggie tired of the strong salmon flavor..
Innova's EVO (grain free) this is the kibble she is has been on the last year and a half
Regardless of which food Auggie was currently eating, I always supplemented with flax oil and her coat has always look really good.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." author Will Rogers
Auggie 12/29/95 ~ 01/15/09
Labs coats are not supposed to be soft and shiney. Sounds like your dog might have the right coat, just not to your liking.
The shedding year round is pretty typical of a yellow lab. I have a chocolate and yellows...my chocolate blows coat once or twice a year and the yellows shed all year round. They went for the month of February with minimal shedding and now they are leaving me reasons to vac every day again. :-\
The eye problems are more than likely from daycare and the park. My ex had the same thing happen with his 2 labs...vet pointed her finger to the dog park.
The yeast in the ears could be a seasonal thing...one of my yellow girls had it in the spring and no other times. I now use a probiotic on her food and no more yeasty ears.
I also feed Kirkland and feel it is a good food. I tried my yellows on grain free foods and saw no change. I also use Nupro on my yellow boy's food for his skin/coat. He's a BYB rescue pup with a very poor coat due to bad breeding. The Nupro has helped thicken his coat and promote hair growth in balding (private) areas! It is mostly Norwegian kelp.
The kibble portion of Angus' diet now that he's moved to adult food is Eagle Pack Holistic. He is shiny and glossy as all get out (but he's black, they shine more than yellow or chocolate). Before that he was raised on Eukanuba Lrg breed puppy kibble as per his breeder's plan. He is also raw fed.
1) Labs coats are not supposed to be soft and shiny. They are supposed to have a hard quality to it. See the parent club standard.Originally Posted by VioletsFolks
2) They are SHEDDERS.
3) Most likely from daycare and dog park
4) Could be food related. Could also be seasonal.
5) This is just behavioral.
Food related will not help 4 out of your 5 and may help 1 out of your 5. If you want to switch, go for it, but I think if your current food is working - stick with it.
+10000Originally Posted by gabbys mom
I have a poop eater too, and nothing stops a poop eater. We're just lucky.
Dani, Rider & Rookie
SHR Watson's Safari Rider, JH, WC, CL1-R, RA, CGC, TDI
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Member Since 6/2003
That exact thought is what spurned me into months of intensive dog food research.Originally Posted by VioletsFolks
I thought my dogs were doing OK before I switched, I would have told everyone they were doing great. Now that I've made the switch, I truly don't think I knew what OK was before. They are very nearly different dogs now, I'm still a bit shell-shocked.
So I say do your research and get them on a food you not only feel so-so about, but a food you feel GREAT about. If it doesn't work out, you can always go back, but you're very right, how will you know if you never try? ;D
Baloo - 5 year old black lab
Peanut - 7 year old minpin
Monster - 3-ish year old frenchie/jack, rescue
Thanks for all the input -
I certainly don't want to change things about my girl that are normal for labs... but like Baloo317 said, how do I really know what's OK for her until I see if there's a difference? ??? After all, I thought she was fine on Purina One (I mean all dogs fart and get pudding poo sometimes ) but she was so much better after the swap off of corn and wheat I feel stupid for not knowing better sooner!
What really started this was a recent stay at a kennel free boarding place for a week. The owner did NOT approve of her kibble. olice: She strongly complemented Violet's temperament and behavior (she's fairly strict about who she will even board) but seemed to think her coat was not as shiny as it should be, and that her shedding would reduce some with a holistic food (no, she doesn't sell them or push any one particular brand). I think Violet's about the best looking lab I ever see around here in terms of her weight, coat, and overall look, but there's so many poorly bred labs on bad food in the world that 'better than almost all the other labs I see' may not be saying all that much :P
Basically, I think I'm guilted enough to take on a 3 month trial of a new food. If we can't see any difference in that length of time, will probably switch back. I don't think I'm going to feel good about Kirkland again until we compare. I'm going to take a peak at the nearby stores and compare a few brands like canidae, eagle pack, solid gold, etc. and see what's available. And I certainly won't be bothered if none of the things on the list ever change (I love my FurKid just the way she is!) - I just need to know that I'm not doing her a misjustice with cheap food.
I would give it 6 weeks and see what you think. I can't hurt and very well could help.
There was a discussion on another board about some people experiencing good luck with giving their dogs Fig Newtons to help curb the poop eating.