New food dilemma

I am looking for advice on whether I'm doing the right thing for Oakley. Since he was a puppy I've fed him taste of the wild bison as well as salmon. He always had loose stools, never diarrhea bit not firm. At that time we tried natures variety instinct and met with the same results. He was checked and cleared for parasites as originally he had a bout of giardhia. Since then ( and for the past 6months) he has been on Iams Low Residue for intestinal sensitivity. While he does great on this food stool wise and he likes it, the ingredients are horrendous and controversial at best, as well as being grain based, which I always avoided before.
My current thoughts are to try Fromms grain free surf and turf mixed with one of Fromms mixes that has grain ( since he clearly gets hard stools with it)

I'd love any opinions or suggestions on the Fromms, what you think I should do, any other alternative food brand suggestions.
Thanks

I can't give advice on specific foods, only to say if it ain't broke don't fix it. If you are happy with his overall health and his stools with what you are using, maybe don't be too anxious to change. That said, gut bacteria gets used to a diet, and a change will often result in short term diarrhea, so if you do switch make it gradual (I am sure you know this, but on a public forum I like to mention it). I personally use…..and recommend.....NRG dehydrated. I have had good results with it, and yes, it does contain some oats. Grain free is fine, but a "natural" diet would probably include some, since the prey caught in the wild would likely have partially digested grains and other veggies in their intestines.

Kipawa's breeder fed him Taste of the Wild bison and that's what I feed him as well. I did try the salmon formula, but that one definitely caused loose stools.

Have you tried adding any vegetables to the kibble? A little cut up sweet potato seems to keep Kipawa's stools firm but not rock hard. I also give Kipawa a few tablespoons of an organic low fat probiotic yogurt. Not sure if this is also what helps, but I think it's good for his gut.

I totally agree with eeefarm - make any changes gradual.

Sonny's been on the Fromm Four Star- (he rotates the four different kinds) for the past year & half…he loves them all and he's done very well on this food. just my take on our personal experience with Fromm 🙂

I have used Fromm's for years. I use the Surf and Turf, grain free. My girls do great on it. I have also used their other mixes or Natural Balance (duck/potato or other mixes). But the Fromms has always been the base

I had Kaiah on Orijen puppy and she started having major problems. The vet said it was too high in protein so he but her on a Science Diet (Sensitive Stomach) for a couple of weeks it had horrible ingredients but it did get her back to normal and we switched her food to Fromm Chicken ala veg and a little Surf and Turf and she has been fine since.

I kind of shake my head when a vet says too high protein. Often as not, they then "recommend" horrible quality food, often with rice and things the dog can't digest but count in lowering the protein percentage.

Raw food feeders often feed over 80 percent protein.. though I do think raw digests very differently than cooked/processed. Wolves, which biochemically are not different than dogs, eat mostly protein. I just got Evo to mix with another food for mine. I wanted higher protein, less carbs, reduced grain (Evo has none) because right now, normal dog food has such high calories that poor food efficient Arwen gets fat on a few bites. I am tired of mashing green beans to help her feel like she is eating something so this rotation off from our normal Blue Buffalo staple we went with Evo and Innova (both on the 2011 WDJ list). I hadn't fed Evo before, and it's been years since I used Innova, but they were out of my usual rotation foods. I actually planned to TRY FROMM, and son of a gun, they don't carry it so will have to drive to next town, but I plan to on next rotation.

If you want to gradually up the protein there are several fish (or other protein) and potato type food out there. Fromms makes one. If that works, you could try transitioning to a higher protein food.

Due to some digestive issues years ago, I had Nemo on that Iams low residue food, I wasn't even able to keep weight on him with it. Then we went with the Iams fish and potato and that worked wonders. After that I went to better brands of the same type of food and eventually much higher protein foods including a partially raw diet. It can be a process trying to figure out what works for your dog, particularly if they have food intolerances. Unfortunately, I am going through that same process again with the same dog, as he might have chronic pancreatitis. Not fun. 😞 Good luck finding something.

Debra:

When I put green beans in my girls' food, I don't mash them - just throw them in there, same with cooked carrots, squash, whatever other vegetable we are having with our meal (except corn). Treats can be raw veggies, and in the summer, they even like occasional frozen green beans tossed one at a time to them - they think they're popsicles.

It's worth trying a few different high quality brands.

Kananga had semi-loose stools with a few brands, once I switched him to EVO he did great. He's never had an issue (stool-wise) since.

pumpkin and sweet potatoes will help firm the stool, nice healthy fiber. We found Origen and EVO too rich and all of mine had chronic mushy stool. I feed them with food mixes, but always have some 'regular' food, not all grain free, and their stools are fine. Right now I have 4 open small lo-fat bags of food, and usually mix 2 at a time.

I think we have been conditioned by the dog food companies to think feeding an animal that has been a scavenger around human habitations for thousands of years is rocket science. It isn't. Until fairly recently, dogs got on just fine with kitchen scraps or whatever they could glean from garbage can raids, and I am sure the Basenjis in Africa manage quite nicely without bags of kibble. Make no mistake, feeding prepared foods is for our convenience, not the health of our animals. (we didn't used to have so many interesting abnormalities in our pets, and while some may be due to bad breeding, others for sure are environmental…...exposure to our modern lifestyle.....chemicals, et al.....but also to our modern food manufacturing, which is far away from nature). All of my dogs so far have lived past their stated life expectancies, and have been fed various diets as my thinking on the subject evolved, and as pet food companies offered more choices (yes, I bow to the convenience factor as well). Dogs I knew personally when I was young managed just fine on scraps, and several of them lived into their late teens. So much for the fiction that the dog food companies know more about the subject than we do. But hey, we manage to feed ourselves and our children......of course, it is debatable how well that is working out, but again, in the "good old days" before the rise of fast food, we didn't have an epidemic of obesity and all the good things that come with it. 😉

Thanks for the suggestions, normally I wouldnt switch it because he will eat it, weights fine and his stools are finally hard but there are just too many bad and controversial ingredients to overlook. Kipawa, thanks for the suggestion, currently I don't add to his food ( only on occasion) but I will start adding a spoon of pumpkin or some green beans once I switch his food. I think with the taste of the wild, he wasn't crazy about the salmon and the bison made me feel like it was too much protein for him to digest proper stools. I'm going to get Fromms surf and turf and mix with the chicken version. He loves chIcken flavors and I now like the idea of "grain reduced" over grain free as I also feel some grain in his diet does him well. I was going to try Orijen but again, the high protein content makes me wonder if o should bother with the price..
Any other input as to if anyone believes certain high quality brands makes their dogs have semi soft stools would be good fOod for thought.

@Shaye's:

Debra:

When I put green beans in my girls' food, I don't mash them - just throw them in there, same with cooked carrots, squash, whatever other vegetable we are having with our meal (except corn). Treats can be raw veggies, and in the summer, they even like occasional frozen green beans tossed one at a time to them - they think they're popsicles.

I usually mash with their kibble because I have a few who tend to either just eat the green beans or pick it out. Which is silly because other than with their kibble, they eat any and every vegetable and fruit you give them!

So I went ahead and Ordered the Fromms in both the grain free surf an turf and the chicken version. Here's to hoping this works.
Next on my list to try of this doesn work is probably Innova, i like the short list of ingredients and it has pumpkin in it so that may give him the firm stools he needs. I've looked at canidae and that is also a hesitant possibilty. I looked at Evo but I've hears bad things about it since it was bought out by another company…

I have always avoided feeding salmon based dog food because the fish used are from the horrendous fish farms where fish are fed corn which they have trouble digesting, live thoroughly stressed lives and occasionally escape into the wild carrying their factory-farm diseases into the native stock. Salmon has never been a major part of the canine diet. There are better ecological choices.

Another interesting…..and scary......development in the food chain is illustrated here:

http://www.dailypaul.com/191918/dr-mercola-interviews-dr-huber-about-gmo

The implications for animal (and human) health are alarming. My friend who raises goats had been mystified about the causes of a Clostridium outbreak she had in her herd a few years ago. This article cleared up the confusion for her:

"For example, toxic botulism is now becoming a more common cause of death in dairy cows whereas such deaths used to be extremely rare. The reason it didn't occur before was because beneficial organisms served as natural controls to keep the Clostridium botulinum in check. Without them, the Clostridium botulinum is allowed to proliferate in the animal's intestines and produce lethal amounts of toxins."

Her comment was "it explains why suddenly in 2009 we had problems with clostridium in the goats….when we'd never had trouble before...it was the feed, it was a corn distiller based feed....probably high in GMO corn! "

If farmed fish are being fed GMO corn, I know I wouldn't want my dog consuming food containing those fish. Unfortunately, GMO crops are probably present in most animal protein currently being processed into dog food. (and human food, unless you stick to organic!)

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