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Discussion Starter #1
I wondered if anyone else has had this problem, where a food that was tolerated fine for a long time suddenly isn't tolerated anymore? Cleo has been on Pro Plan puppy food for 5+ months now, and for a while it was great--the only food we found (finally) to give her normal, solid dark stools. Now, this past few weeks, she is no longer having normal stools--they're often on the loose side and nearly always an oddly light color. At first i thought it was the miniscule bit of kelp i'd recently started her on for her teeth--so i stopped it immediately. It made no difference. On the vet's suggestion, I tried for a week not giving her any treats other than cooked chicken, turkey, or beef, and for about 2 weeks i didn't give her any chews that might cause trouble, like bully sticks or yak chews, even though she had no problem with any of these things before. It doesn't matter. Could they have changed the formula in the food? I opened new bags, obtained from different sources, in the past few weeks.
So now the vet said that since she's 9 months old it's a good time to transition her to adult food anyway. She suggested trying a different protein in case that's the problem. (We've been doing lamb & rice, and chicken & rice on Pro Plan.) I just picked up a small bag of Nature's Logic turkey variety. Anyone have good luck with that brand after failing with some others?

Also, in the process of researching, i noticed that the recommended serving size is different. We had been feeding 2 1/2 cups per day of puppy food, per the vet. The Nature's Logic (all life stages) for a puppy at Cleo's weight says 2 1/4 to 4 1/4 per day. (That is reduced when she is a full adult.) Am i feeding her too little now? So confused!
 

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[QUOTE="MustLoveDog. Anyone have good luck with that brand after failing with some others?

I wanted to transition Asta to a grain included food. We tried the ProPlan (2 different varieties of it) Asta did not do well on either of them - poop problems, major constipation even tho the protein he likes is chicken, which the ProPlan had. Anyway the transition to ProPlan was a big failure. Tried Science Diet Light as well as Adult Science Diet and Asta will eat either although he prefers the Light. Okay with me as he is not the most active poodle. Doing so well on Science Diet: no Poop problems or constipation; coat has improved too.
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I would use the recommended serving size on the package. Serving sizes vary widely from product to product, based on their nutritional and caloric density. Odd that your vet wouldn't take this into consideration.

We feed Peggy on the low end of the recommended range, because she's still getting lots of training treats. She's also been great so far at self-regulating, and doesn't always finish. On "extra hungry" days she'll clang her bowl when she's done, asking for more. (I keep note of how much she eats on a printed schedule so I can see trends and adjust her portions accordingly.)

We feed Nutro Ultra kibble (currently the large breed puppy formula), moistened with a little water. I started using this product when my last dog had chronic and sometimes severe gastro issues. It worked well for her, but each dog is so different.

Peggy's poops are almost TOO well-formed on Nutro, and so I give her a small daily veggie or two to bulk them up, to avoid anal gland issues.
 

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Oh! And we've recently started giving her a few Orijen original formula kibbles as a treat or food topper, and she loves it and tolerates it well. Beware of fishy breath, though :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Regarding the serving size, what i meant was, the pro plan serving size was completely different (smaller) than the Nature's Logic, so if we transitioned completely it seemed like i'd be feeding her a lot more of the new food. Anyway, the Nature's Logic has turned out to be way too rich for Cleo even in small amounts. As I added more of it to her diet proportionally, she started having even worse stools. So now the vet suggested i try the Pro Plan sensitive stomach salmon & rice. So, i guess we'll see.

One theory is that one of the proteins in the pro plan lamb or chicken kibble bothered her, but i don't know how that conclusion makes sense when she can eat plain lamb and chicken with no trouble. Seems to me it's more likely something else in the formula (like corn, which she never eats otherwise? or wheat?).

Peggytheparti, i looked up the adult version of Nutro Ultra, and I like the ingredients. (The puppy version has pea protein which gives Cleo the runs...) If the vet gives the go ahead to try something with more than one protein source, i might try the adult food, since it has no corn or wheat.

Anyway, trial and error...again!
 

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Trial and error it is indeed! Sometimes it seems dogs just don't do well on high protein, high fat, and/or high fiber regardless of the source. I transitioned Jessie over to Purina ONE sensitive becasue it was lower in all 3 than Pro Plan Sensitive, which at times seemed to rich for her. Fingers crossed, everything seems to be working now. Plus, she loves this kibble (as much as she loves any kibble) because it's salmon flavored and smells like fish. One of my cats is a big fan of it, too- she always manages to steal a kibble or two for herself.

Regarding feeding amounts, I always just go by calories when switching foods. After researching the heck out of it, I chose a calorie target in the upper part of the recommended range for Jessie and monitor her weight every 1-2 weeks. I'm still tweaking things, she seems to fluctuate between 11-12 lbs which the vet says is a good weight for her.
 

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Regarding the serving size, what i meant was, the pro plan serving size was completely different (smaller) than the Nature's Logic, so if we transitioned completely it seemed like i'd be feeding her a lot more of the new food. Anyway, the Nature's Logic has turned out to be way too rich for Cleo even in small amounts. As I added more of it to her diet proportionally, she started having even worse stools. So now the vet suggested i try the Pro Plan sensitive stomach salmon & rice. So, i guess we'll see.

One theory is that one of the proteins in the pro plan lamb or chicken kibble bothered her, but i don't know how that conclusion makes sense when she can eat plain lamb and chicken with no trouble. Seems to me it's more likely something else in the formula (like corn, which she never eats otherwise? or wheat?).

Peggytheparti, i looked up the adult version of Nutro Ultra, and I like the ingredients. (The puppy version has pea protein which gives Cleo the runs...) If the vet gives the go ahead to try something with more than one protein source, i might try the adult food, since it has no corn or wheat.

Anyway, trial and error...again!
Someone else here, not that long ago, mentioned that their poodle has a chicken sensitivity (maybe even full-blown allergy) but ONLY when the chicken is processed into a kibble or treat. They're fine with cooked chicken breast. Strange, eh? But kind of makes sense when I consider how my own body reacts to different versions of the same food. I can sometimes tolerate onion, for example, but always react terribly when it's been caramelized.

Have you looked into Honest Kitchen? It's human-grade and comes in grain-free or traditional, dehydrated or kibble style, and with a variety of proteins.

I'm dreading Peggy's transition to adult food, as she's doing so well on her current formula. I just wish she ate it with a little more gusto. I gave her a handful of Orijen as a snack last night and she INHALED IT. Hard to know if that's just because of the novelty or if she really does like it better.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well, after talking with the vet again, she agreed that it's probably not a reaction to one of the proteins. She is guessing it may just be time to switch her to adult food; she said puppy food is "denser" (i guess nutrition-wise) and she may not be tolerating that anymore. So she said i can pick whatever i want, but keep it to a similar level of protein and fat to what she's been eating so it won't be too rich. She also suggested i avoid "complex" grains like barley and quinoa that could lead to loose stools and stick instead with things like rice and sweet potatoes.

Funny, i can't eat onions either! (Actually i have a crazy number of dietary restrictions, and i seriously hope my dog does not, b/c that would be too...something...!)
 

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Oh I'd so love to be one of those people with iron stomachs! But nope, definitely not. I've got quite a few restrictions, too, and it took me a good 30 years to start really connecting the dots between my symptoms and food triggers.

So hard when a dog has these problems and can't even tell us how they're feeling. Is there such a thing as packaged, shelf-stable dog food with just a few ingredients? I feel like that would make this all so much easier.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yup, a lot of my food problems were identified in adulthood. I think i need a packaged shelf-stable limited ingredient food for myself! There are some for dogs, like the pro plan sensitive stomach food --other brands have versions of the same thing.
 

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I would continue to feed the same formula just not puppy and see how it goes. remember too that over feeding what they need will cause loose potato poops. I usually use the feeding schedule of the bag only as a guide because every dog is different. A more active dog may need additional calories. Mine is a standard and he gets 1 1/2- 2cups of kibble per meal (2) I also add a dollop of greek yogurt and a tablespoon of canned. His poops are firm. There are days he will skip a meal and I don't worry when he does. His bedtime snack is several Instinct toppers. And dogs just like us sometimes just have a little upset and will have poor stool occasionally, when any of mine do and it would need to be for more than a day I put them on lean hamburger/or boneless skinless chicken breast along with white rice for a few days and gradually add their normal diet back provided all is going well. If that doesn't work then a vet visit is in order. Thats just how I roll, lol
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Unfortunately, there is no Pro Plan Focus for adults that isn't either small breed or large breed. So I looked at the PP Sport active variety, 26/16 (rather than the higher protein one). That is probably the closest to the puppy food she's been on. Then, comparing it with Nutro Ultra, I like the latter's ingredients better. In addition to the vague "natural flavor," I noticed the Sensitive Stomach contains barley, and i don't know if that's something she'd do well on. It's enough to make me batty--I can see why people start feeding homecooked!
 

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Really hoping the Nutro works out for you! I just ordered a 30 lb bag from Chewy and added on a pound of Honest Kitchen "Whole Food Clusters" (aka kibble) to try as a topper. The ingredients are relatively few and straightforward, and all FDA human-grade:

  • Chicken, Potatoes, Peas, Chicken Liver, Lentils, Carrots, Ground Flaxseed, Eggs, Broccoli, Pumpkin, Apples, Coconut Oil, Natural Chicken Flavor, Salmon Oil, Kale, Chia Seed, Minerals [Calcium Carbonate, Tricalcium Phosphate, Sodium Chloride, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Sodium Selenite], Fenugreek Seed, Dried Kelp, Taurine, Vitamins [Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Folic Acid, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Niacin Supplement], Mixed Tocopherols (A Natural Preservative), Turmeric, Dried Bacillus Coagulans Fermentation Product, Rosemary Extract.
 

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Unfortunately, there is no Pro Plan Focus for adults that isn't either small breed or large breed. So I looked at the PP Sport active variety, 26/16 (rather than the higher protein one). That is probably the closest to the puppy food she's been on. Then, comparing it with Nutro Ultra, I like the latter's ingredients better. In addition to the vague "natural flavor," I noticed the Sensitive Stomach contains barley, and i don't know if that's something she'd do well on. It's enough to make me batty--I can see why people start feeding homecooked!
Mustlovedogs, There was a time I used Nutro and nutro ultra for my dogs. They did well on it for quite some time. I don't remember why I switched but it was not for any special reason, other than maybe to have all the dogs on the same food. Presently I have been using Victor dog food.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thank you for the info, Peggy. I did check into the Honest Kitchen, and while some varieties might work, i can't give Cleo any peas or legumes (no lentils), b/c they give her runny stools. I picked up a bag of the Ultra, and I'll start trying it in a couple days. Waiting for her stools to look a little more normal..though i now have an idea what may have caused that. I do think it was food related, in that i think her anal glands are/were clogged. (posting about this elsewhere...)

Mufar, thank you for letting me know about your experience! It looks like a good food that she should be able to tolerate well. Will find out...
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thought I'd circle back here and post an update. I had to express Cleo's anal glands (OMG HORRID TASK WHICH I HOPE NEVER TO DO AGAIN)...because she was having symptoms that indicated the need for that. Once that was done, I waited a few days and then started transitioning her to Fromm Gold Adult. I ended up with that rather than Nutro Ultra for now at least because I had a previous list from the vet, and Fromm was on there as an "approved" food--but even moreso because i couldn't find a small bag of the Nutro anywhere around where i live, whereas the Fromm was readily available in the smallest size.
I'm going very slowly with the transition. So far so good--I have noticed gradual improvement in her stools, each day. Except for one thing--yesterday, after 3 days adding a little Fromm to her old food, she had some (red) blood in her stool. I talked with the vet who said let's see if it happens again. She thinks i might need to bring her in to have her glands professionally expressed, to start anyway. What I read about the gland thing made sense because it can happen apparently from too much cereal and not enough bulk in the diet. The Pro Plan has a lot of corn in it, which i suspect may be the culprit, so i'm avoiding corn and wheat, while still feeding grain-inclusive food. Will see how it goes.
 
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