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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone have any recommendations for gluten free or grain free, chicken free, and mostly fish free all life stages dog food? I am so frustrated with trying to figure this out.

I am staying with my mom so far, and her 4 yo yorkie has been eating puppy food, and growing increasingly fat. It's better than cat food, which is what she ate previously (don't ask, I know it's bad). The yorkie and my 8 mo spoo are both free fed, and mom insists the (formerly very picky) yorkie needs to have access to food at all times. Ok.... So time to switch from puppy to all life stages, right?

I have had a lot of trouble finding a puppy food my spoo does well on (basically a different bag every time), finally settling on Taste if the Wild high prairie puppy, which she was doing ok with, but not 100% perfect stool. She reeks with chicken containing foods, and throws up with too much fish.

I switched them to Acana Ranchlands all life stages, slowly over a week, which smelled like fish when i opened it. . Awful smelly productive soft and getting worse (both dogs). Ew.

Oookay, so what next?

This is all made more difficult because I am a severely sensitive celiac, as is my mom, and keep a gluten free household. I dont want to contaminate myself accidentally from the dog food, or the dogs! so no wheat, rye or barley. I am willing to risk minor cross contamination in oats, because I am not eating it! So corn, rice, soy, oats should be fine. I have looked at a bunch of lamb and rice foods, but they were all barley containing.

I am aware of the DCM concern, and am also concerned that Taste of the wild, and chicken free/red meat formulas were linked. I can't commit to home made or raw food because of how much we travel. I think a higher meat, lower legume grain free would be best??? Maybe duck????

Seriously, my head hurts from trying to research this. Any suggestions are appreciated!!!
 

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Here's some info that may or may not help you. We are a gluten free household too. My Asta is a picky eater but finally settled very well on Nature's Recipe which is grain free. He eats the chicken but they probably have other choices. I believe they have a puppy food as well. As a topper I periodically use Nature's Recipe wet food.

Here is a link to DogFoodAdvisor's profile of Nature's Recipe

https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/natures-recipe-dry/

Good luck and I hope you find something yummy for your pup.
 

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You have a difficult food situation there. I don't happen to have any directly helpful advice, but I would encourage you to cross post this question on the DCM facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/TaurineDCM/learning_content/. What is interesting about your situation is that your dog food choices also affect your own health. The FB group is run by veterinarians (so I hear) and I think it's a helpful reminder that our dog food choices sometimes by necessity are not strictly about what the dog needs.

Good luck! I hope you find a few good choices through your search.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you! I hadn't seen the Natures recipe or victor brands in store. I will try petsmart, as it looks like they may carry them.
 

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The best advice I can offer would be to go on Chewy and do a search. There are filters for special diets like grain free, the type of protein, and you also can select "puppy," which will give you some "all life stages options." This one came up https://www.chewy.com/solid-gold-barking-at-moon-high/dp/177409 (some fish, but lower on the ingredients list) during my search because you mentioned duck. I am not promoting this brand- I know nothing about it, and I personally am choosing foods based on the current DCM research (which you mentioned you are aware of).

Something else to consider as well is that the your dog might be experiencing upset because the food is being switched too often, so the sensitivity could be due to the switching and not the type of protein. If the stomach upset continues, maybe consider an allergy test?

I forgot...Nature's Logic is also a brand to look into. This brand contains little/no peas, has many protein options, and has millet in it (which I believe would be a safe option in your house?). It is considered "all life stages." There is a question regarding the calcium levels in this food for puppies, though, so do some research and maybe consult with your vet.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well, looks like I was looking at the American petsmart. No Victor in Canadian stores-customer service says they only sell to Canada though Amazon, at a jaw dropping price per bag. I will look into Natures logic as well, millet and sorghum would both be fine, and it would escape the legume conundrum.

I don't think it's the rate of switching that's the problem, I have been trying food bags until they end (about 1 month) to see if her stomach will settle, and transitioning over more than a week. We started out with her on Acana large breed puppy, then next switched to Go Puppy (because the store didnt have Acana, and I wondered if a slightly different formulation might help her unhappy belly). No luck. I id'd fish from feeding her fish based food samples (<1/8 c) as treats and having her throw up repeatedly. Did this with three different packages a few weeks apart before I clued in.Tried taste of the wild, and her stomach more or less settled down by the time i switched over, and stayed decent, not great for 3 bags of food. I Id'd chicken from running low on food on a week away and buying a small bag of chicken only dog food. Even mixed in at 25% to stretch her regular food it was an issue.

My mother is taking the Yorkie in to the vet on the weekend - I will have her ask the vet for advice then.

As for the platform feeders - good idea. The challenge would still be keeping the spoo out of yorkie food, or finding adult food the spoo can tolerate as my mother wants the yorkie free fed and the spoo will cheerfully cram her long nose and neck into any space the yorkie can access, and some that the yorkie thinks are too small! You can't feel the ribs on the yorkie, and my mother is still convinced she is starving and doesn't get enough food with the puppy around. Hopefully her weight when she goes in will have the vet talking to her.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Victor can be purchased thru Chewy.com or a local feed store. There websitewill give you store options.
Alas, not in Canada. The manufacturer says they only sell to Canada through Amazon, and Chewy doesnt ship here. It's one of the things I find frustrating... I keep finding brands that might work, but they aren't sold here. I usually like the quality of the Canadian made stuff, but it all seems to have a high fish content.

Out of desperation, we bought a small bag of Diamond grain free beef dog food last night. Not my favourite brand, but the others suggested (and taste of the wild) weren't available. I will try elsewhere or phone around this weekend. Their stomachs have settled down overnight. Now if only I would learn NOT to throw out the bag or receipt for the first week when I buy a new large bag of food.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Woohoo, the Diamond grain free beef food worked!!!! And it looks like they arent on the list of named possible DCM linked foods (although still high in legumes?)

Best stool quality in Annie's life, and amazingy unsmelly. Even the yorkie isnt doing as much walking poops. I will go buy a big bag, and keep them on that for 1 or 2 big bags worth before experimenting again to find one with less legumes and fussing about DCM again.
 

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I order Victor through Amazon. I like it because it has no peas for protein. (the formula I use...I think some do) Too much pea, legume or pulses is what appears to be associated with DCM, but of course, nothing is 100% clear yet.

I like it for the ingredients after a lot of study on what dogs need. Lots of protein from meat for one thing. Someone had said they don't use a nutritionist to formulate their foods. So I called them and asked. And they DO use a nutritionist to create their formulas. I like how their poops come out...kind of like when I fed raw...firm, dark and few. They're utilizing a lot of what they eat. I like the supplements such as taurine, L Carnitine, selenium yeast and others.

I don't care a whole lot if a food has grain in it or not. But I don't think they need it. And what I've learned from reading about archaeologist findings is that before grain was introduced in the agricultural era, (as opposed to the hunter-gatherer era) humans and dogs showed no signs of tooth decay and arthritis. I believe that grain or too much of it may cause some of the inflammatory issues. So, if a food has a little grain, I might feed it sometimes. But I prefer foods without or with just a little, such as I think the formula I use has...it has some millet and alfalfa in it but it's way down on the list. I don't believe that it's the inclusion of grain that prevents DCM. I think it's a coincidence that the absence of grain is coupled with the high use of pea protein instead of meat...meat that has essential amino acids and other properties a carnivore needs that is missing in many dogs foods.

Another thing I like is that I haven't been able to find any recalls on their foods. They're a small, family type company that's been around since the 50's...not some big, huge food conglomerate. (ie: Nestle corporation) I lived on Carnation Farm, now owned by Nestle and they now own Purina. Nestle is the biggest food giant in the world. I am under whelmed with their ingredients for the most part.

I don't always feed the same thing. I have switched around. But this is my staple. lol. I also feed Orijen dehydrated food crumpled as a little extra on top or sometimes as their meal. (excellent) They like that. https://www.orijen.ca/foods/dog-food/freeze-dried-dog-food/regional-red/ Sometimes I put in a wee bit of Merrick canned. (the ones that say 96% protein from beef or chicken or whatever the meat is) Not peas!

Expert Victor Dog Food Reviews, Recalls, and Updates for 2019
 
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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
check into Carna4 made in Canada
Thanks for the suggestion, I am always happy to look into Canadian food, as I suspect the inspection is better. Unfortunately, I was VERY unimpressed with Carna4.

I didn't look at their chicken or fish formulas, due to Annie's sensitivities, but their "Grain free" duck formula is not grain free!!!! It lists barley, a gluten-containing grain (which I cannot tolerate), as its 4th ingredient.

I struggle to trust a pet food manufacturer that doesn't even know the definition of grain free, and that advertises using the deceptive, and personally offensive term "low gluten"( I have personally gotten quite sick a number of times because someone fed something to me claiming it was gluten free, only to discover it actually is listed as "low gluten" which means absolutely nothing and is not regulated at all!). I know I am not eating it, but I think that term needs to disappear from common conciousness. A food is either gluten free or not (< a certain parts per million gluten), there is no "low gluten" about it.

The Yorkie hasn't done well on the diamond beef(itchy and licking herself), so I am considering trying the Canadian made, and quite reputable Go brand for our next bag. Either their oatmeal and quinoa or grain free formula duck food. I had no idea until recently they made an oatmeal and quinoa food.

Apologies for the emotion in this one, but falsely labeled things that can get me sick make me VERY mad, especially when done by companies that are theoretically professionals!
 
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