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What should I be looking for in a dry food?
When we adopted Marley. The Humane Society was feeding him Canidae (chicken). At our first stop at the vet though, the staff recommended we switch to something more nutritious. So after doing extensive research we bought him some Orijen Regular Adult food. He loved it!
Alas, the celebration didn't last long. Marley became a little gas refinery. He could easily clear a room twice a minute! Hence more research!
Now, after cruising the internet and reading near 100 different articles, we're simply overloaded with opinions. Everything from "no Turkey or pork" to "poodles are allergic to corn" (which happens to be the main ingredient in Royal Canin Poodle 30, our current food).
Lately we've also noticed that the little tuft of white hair under his chin is starting to turn pinkish and he keeps rubbing his face on the carpet even after we clean the corner of his eyes.
Please, any insight or clarification would be much appreciated before we spend any more $ on problem foods.
 

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I feed Poppy Solid Gold, Wolf Cub Puppy, and she seems to be doing great on it. She did have some gas issues, but other members recommended adding some regular, plain yogurt to her food and it has worked wonders.
 

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I am surprised that your dog didn't do well with Orijen, as it is an excellent dry kibble. Did you switch him gradually?
 

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OK - I have been through several as far as gas, the one you mentioned I have not used but I use blue Buffalo and keep going back to it.........It has greatly helped my Pom with tearing and their coats HUGE difference as well it has greatly improved the gas!! I still have 1 gassy dog but it comes and goes.

The key is they eat it too...:) I also will use yogurt and sweet potato in the gassy girls food, I think she tends to be a worrier so her belly just gets upset at times.
 

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My boy has food allergies, and we ran into all sorts of problems with food! I still don't know precisely what he's allergic to, but I suspect it's wheat. He had little red bumps all over his skin, and itching! On top of that, he was throwing up several times a week, and had no appetite at all. Honestly it looked like a flea infestation, but I never found a flea on him.
I switched him to a grain free food, and he did much better. We tried Wellness Core, which fixed the itchy red bumps and helped with the vomiting. But he still picked at his food, went hungry a lot of the time, and vomited occasionally.
I then questioned everyone in my dog group, and got several recommendations for Taste of the Wild food. It's grain free and comes in three varieties (Flash's favorite flavor is Salmon, but I usually feed the duck variety as it has higher fat and protein for my skinny pooch).
I really wish I could feed Orijen, but there's nowhere to buy it in town, and I'm not comfortable having to order food online.
Taste of the Wild is good food, though. My mom switched her collie to it and his dandruff went away completely, and now his coat is much shinier and healthier.
 

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We just switched to Natural Balance. I like that there isn't a "puppy" formula so that both of my dogs can eat the same stuff and I don't have to worry if one is getting more fat than the other. I like the ingredients in it and the % of protein. I'd go to dogfoodanalysis.com and look at all the dog foods and the reviews on them. I've gone to a 3 star food before and their skin got flakey and nasty and I'll never do it again.
 

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Remember, any food change that isn't gradual can cause gas/upset tummy. :)
 

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Okay this is going to be a little long but I will get to my point as quickly as possible.

I've been through several due to Zacks gastro issues. He is also , intolerant to corn, so when he was having all his gastro issues his previous vet wanted him on a hills special diet but do you want to know what one of the big fillers was? Corn. It would have messed him up worse. Zachary will not touch anything with corn in it, he is a smart dog.

When we got him we started off feeding science diet, guess what he wouldn't eat it and we found ourselves having to force feed him. Little did we know we were making matters worse. Then we switched to beneful, pedigree, kibbles n bits.....basically all the supermarket stuff. We tried Nutro at one point but that made him really sick.

But we wouldn't eat and he was losing weight very quickly. And he was getting sick. His first vet kept treating his diarea and vomiting as a reoccuring stomach bug. Boy were they wrong.

His second vet diagnosed him at around 10 months old with Acute Pancreatitis and gave him special food to help him feel better...but it was that Hills I/D and it had corn in it (even though they knew he couldn't tolerate corn). Anyways he wouldn't touch the stuff.

So I started looking for a better food. I then put him on Diamond Naturals because it was much better than what we were feeding. He ate it for awhile but then stopped so while i was in the process of switching him to California Naturals (I had just started to switch) he came down with another bout of pancreatitis (around a year and a half of age) and the vet wanted us to put him on that Hills I/D all the time. I said first of all he wouldn't eat it and second of all it has corn in it and he can't handle it. And they were like "he can't handle other food" they also wanted me to isolate him because his immune system was not so good. I guess due to all the antibiotics he had been on his whole life.

I will say we almost lost him both times he had the pancreatitis (though the second time the vet never checked to see if that was what is was, they just treated him as if that was what it was). The first time he got sick he woke me up and he was coughing up blood.

Second time I came home (I had just lost my job) to find him lying in a pool of his own vomit and blood and he was very very weak.

Anyways after that vet visit, I found a new vet and took things into my own hands. First of all we were told he wasn't going to live very long, and not to expect him to ever recover fully. I chose not to isolate him, he isn't the kind of dog that can handle being locked behind the 4 walls of an apartment. He is social and active and thrives on interaction. If I had isolated him, yes we would have lost him.

At this point I changed his diet fully over to California Naturals after doing tons of research and talking with some experts. I prefer Innova but I was advised against it with a poodle, especially with a poodle that has gastro issues. And was pointed toward California Naturals.

We started on the Chicken and Rice formula, I didn't see much of a difference except one do liked it and the other didn't. But Zack did start to put weight on. But both dogs were still having runny stools.

So I decided to switch to California Naturals Herring and Sweet Potato and both dogs do wonderful on it. No runny stools, both have good coats, both are very healthy and thriving and both are right where they need to be weight wise. They both seem much healthier. (I was also giving Zack probiotics at the time, and about 3 times a week he would get a yogurt filled kong with his kibble in it)

We love our new vet, after looking at his records and everything he said "I don't know what you did or how you did it, but whatever you are doing keep it up, this dog is alive because of it"

Also his immune system is doing great, and he hasn't been sick at all in over a year now.


Anyways why do I tell you all this: Well first of all I tell you this because I have been there with finding the right dog food and I know more than ever how important it is to find one that works and to stick with it

My current vet says he has a lot of patients that aren't very conscientious about their dogs health when it comes to diet. And he said sadly you can't convince everyone to get on a good quality diet. They are going to do what they feel is best and most cost effective in the end (whether thats the best choice or not). He says he has clients that feed their dogs table scraps (which he is not happy about) but he said he feels in every situation that consistency is key.

Find a food that works and stick with it, constantly changing and switching around is just going to cause more problems. I originally wanted to do a rotational diet and my vet asked "Well he is doing good on what he is on" and I was like "yes better than on any food before" and he asked me "Why change then?" (Especially with having a dog that has so many gastro issues)

And so now I stick to California Naturals Herring and Sweet potato and they love it. On special occaisons birthdays, thanksgiving, and christmas I will mix in with their CN some soft Merrick Dog Food. But that is a rare treat.

So again its going to take a bit of time to find that RIGHT food for your dog, but when you do be sure to stick with it, I do feel especially with the poodle breed you need to stay as consistent as possible.


The only high quality brands I can truely recommend are ones I have had one or both my dogs try and would be willing to feed in the future and those are: California Naturals, Innova, Wellness, and Solid Gold.


(by the way our current vet I trust wholly, when I moved back to my hometown I got my dogs in with him. He was my previous Toy silver poodles vet (Princess) and he saw her through to the vet end of her life)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Wow! Allot to digest!

Unfortunately, my impulsiveness didn't allow for a gradual switch. Now I know and feel like a heel! Since then, we bought and used NaturVet Enzymes & Probiotics from 1-800-Pet-Meds. This seems to have helped (while on Royal Canin). Maybe we should try the rest of the Orijen bag with this and see if it helps?

Marley seems to not like BB Fish and Sweet Potato at all. He makes me wash his bowl if I try to slip it in. Guess my poodle owns me.
:eek:hwell:

Thank you all for the other options! I'll head on down to the feed store and "do some research"/shop around. It's actually pretty fun. I'm thinking of trying EVO or TOTW High Prairie after doing some reading at www.dogfoodanalysis.com. We'll probably try California Naturals if he keeps displaying allergic behaviors.

Please keep the comments coming though. I'm trying to soak up everyones knowledge while I can. Thanks for your time!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Update

We moved Marley over to TOTW High Prairie along with the Naturvet Enzymes and Probiotics mixed with 2 teaspoons of Plain Yogurt as dessert. Wow, what a difference!

A. He loves the food
B. He loves the yogurt
C. Tolerable gas

Thanks for all the tips!
:)
 

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One of my three poodles has allergy issues and will scratch/bite her skin to the point of bleeding. She is perfectly fine on Acana Lamb and Apple - but it is only available in Canada, I'm told. But, if you can find it, it's WONDERFUL!
 
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