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Discussion Starter #1
It's maybe no surprise that I'm totally confused about kibble. I need to switch Cleo from the food she has been on since the breeder, because it contains too many peas/lentils, etc., though it otherwise is good quality (Nulo brand). I'm not comfortable feeding raw at this point, and I am not able to make her meals myself, so I'm looking for a nongrain-free dry food option that has no icky additives and has good meat/fish protein sources. The vet recommends Pro Plan and Royal Canin because of the long history of research. Of those two, the ingredients in RC seem better, but there is an annoying amount of corn in the puppy food. (Another vet told me that dogs digest corn easily and that's why it's in there.) Canidae was also mentioned, but i couldn't find a nongrain-free puppy formula in the store to compare.

I went to my local specialty store, and they recommended Annamaet, Fromm's puppy gold, and Nature's logic. They all look good to me, but what do i know?

Besides having different ingredients, the brands all have different levels of protein/fat. This is also confusing. I can't find a definitive source on what a standard pup should be getting.

Here are the protein/fat levels for the 4 brands I looked at:

Royal Canin poodle pup is 31/17
Annamaet is 26/14
Fromm PG 27/18
Nature's Logic (all life stages) 36/15

Cleo is not a big eater, and she's picky, so i use her kibble for training treats some of the time to make sure she gets enough. I don't think i'd go with an all life stages in part for that reason (larger kibble). So that brings it down to 3. For whatever reason, i was drawn to Annamaet rather than Fromm, perhaps the research angle. Apparently they follow dogs for 2 years on their foods.

I'm most concerned with getting the right balance of nutrients, and obviously Cleo has to like the food.

Any advice welcome!
 

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I home cook because each of my dogs has intolerances that conflict with at least one of the other dogs. The one thing I can tell you is that corn is one of the things that is just the pits for Lily. It made her into the burpiest fartiest dog ever known to mankind.
 
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Thank you, Catherine. I suspected corn could be a problem, so i was surprised when this person said it's easily digested (this was not my vet who said so). I thought, they use it b/c it's a cheap filler ingredient, and I wouldn't like seeing that in the first several ingredients on the list. I'm hoping to find something that hardens up my pup's stools, too. The only time i noticed her farting so far was when I had to feed her canned food so she'd take some medicine.

One of my family members who always had at least two dogs always home-cooked, and when you have multiple intolerances to deal with, i'm sure it's much more practical than store-bought food.
 

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Thank you, Catherine. I suspected corn could be a problem, so i was surprised when this person said it's easily digested (this was not my vet who said so). I thought, they use it b/c it's a cheap filler ingredient, and I wouldn't like seeing that in the first several ingredients on the list. I'm hoping to find something that hardens up my pup's stools, too. The only time i noticed her farting so far was when I had to feed her canned food so she'd take some medicine.

One of my family members who always had at least two dogs always home-cooked, and when you have multiple intolerances to deal with, i'm sure it's much more practical than store-bought food.

Tell me that part again over the weekend while I am cooking 40 pounds of chicken!
 
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I know food can be a controversial topic and I suspect I may get some comments saying Royal Canin is not a good food (as I too believed until recently) but I did just switch my mini to Royal Canin due to the ongoing studies involving nutritional DCM. He was previously on Fromm Gold Puppy and did fantastic for some time, until out of the blue he started having soft stools. This started while he was on the Fromm Gold Puppy and continued when we switched him to Fromm Gold Adult formula, and while he loved the puppy food in the past he didn't seem to like the adult formula.

At the same time all the grain-free issues starting coming to light, and while Fromm Gold is NOT grain-free, I started reading more and becoming concerned that it did not meet WSAVA guidelines and saw that even the grain-inclusive Fromm had been implicated in some DCM cases. I'm in no way blaming Fromm on his stool issues, or saying it's a bad food, I was just no longer comfortable feeding it until more research came out, and took the digestive issues he was having as a good reason to transition to something else.

I had always been very anti "the big four" and wanted a dog food from a small manufacturer with an ingredients list that sounded good to me. When I was looking for our first puppy food, Royal Canin and Purina were not even on my radar as I considered them "junk" foods. It took me some time to make the decision to switch based on science, and I'm still not 100% sure I'm doing the right thing, but honestly I feel better that I'm making the best decision I can at this time with the information available.

We first tried the Pro Plan, but saw no improvement in his stool (we had gone with the salmon based sensitive skin and stomach formula because of the soft stool). After giving it several weeks and seeing no improvement, we then decided to try Royal Canin Poodle formula. I had initially chosen Pro Plan over Royal Canin because like you, I didn't like that Royal Canin had corn listed as the first ingredient. I was going to try a different Pro Plan formula, but didn't want to do the Savor because of the soy, and my local stores didn't stock the Adult Bright Mind, only the Senior formula. So that's how I ended up giving Royal Canin a shot. We transitioned him over a few weeks, and once we got to 75% Royal Canin, we started seeing a huge improvement in his stool. He's now been fully on the RC for a week or so and things are continuing to improve.

One thing to note, I'm not sure about the puppy formula, but the adult poodle formula isn't meant for standard poodles (I don't understand why they only have one for smaller poodles).

Sorry I rambled on, but that's just been my experience and I wanted to share as someone else who struggled greatly with this same decision, and is now feeding Royal Canin.
 

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Thank you, rp. It is all so confusing! I was just looking at the Fromm ingredients and i see it contains potatoes, even in the with-grain variety. I wonder if that is part of the problem?

On the Royal Canin label for the bag i'd picked up, corn is the 5th ingredient after chicken meal, brewers rice, wheat gluten, and chicken fat. I also can't figure out what the calcium content is or determine the calc:phosph ratio. There are a lot of ingredients that look like types of calcium, but no numbers.

I agree it's puzzling that RC puppy food also does not seem meant for standard poodles. On the label, it says all sizes, but in the feed amount per pound weight, they indicate that the top weight is 26 lbs at 9 months. I expect my dog will weigh more than that at 9 months! Then elsewhere on the label it says it's formulated to meet AAFCO standards for dogs over 70lbs. So, hmm.
 

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In addition to avoiding all peas,beans/legumes because of the DCM controversy, I also avoid corn, wheat, soy, and chicken by products, because I found these to cause Molly to become itchy ( although she is fine with raw chicken legs!) and chew her feet. After looking at many foods I decided on using Victor's and also Nature's Logic. I also want my kibble to be rated "for all life stages", which in your case would be good!
 
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Thank you, rp. It is all so confusing! I was just looking at the Fromm ingredients and i see it contains potatoes, even in the with-grain variety. I wonder if that is part of the problem?

On the Royal Canin label for the bag i'd picked up, corn is the 5th ingredient after chicken meal, brewers rice, wheat gluten, and chicken fat. I also can't figure out what the calcium content is or determine the calc:phosph ratio. There are a lot of ingredients that look like types of calcium, but no numbers.

I agree it's puzzling that RC puppy food also does not seem meant for standard poodles. On the label, it says all sizes, but in the feed amount per pound weight, they indicate that the top weight is 26 lbs at 9 months. I expect my dog will weigh more than that at 9 months! Then elsewhere on the label it says it's formulated to meet AAFCO standards for dogs over 70lbs. So, hmm.
I like Victor and Farmin N&D also a new food out there is called Life's Abundance. the holistic vet making it worked for Science Diet and Royal Canin and left them because they were adding in cheap stuff to the food.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
omg, Catherine, 40 lbs!! i hope your dogs appreciate you!

Molly, I almost picked up Nature's Logic today, but then my vet told me not to get all life stages, because of calories? I will check Victor. (I didn't know they had a nongrain-free.)

I then almost bought Wellness complete health (not the GF one), and then I saw that peas are the 5th ingredient.

Interesting about the vet who created Life's Abundance, yellow, i didn't know about that. I will check it out!
 

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Calories required for adult dogs, recommended by the National Research Council, is 35 calories per lb of body weight and double that for puppies, until they are 1 years of age.
Also, for 'large fast growing pups' the diet should be at least 30% protein, and 9% fat min.
Calcium/phosphate ratio 1.5 cal to 1.00 phos

Wow! I was surprised at the protein they recommend!
Good luck! LOL!
 
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Because of the whole DCM and grain freee food issue I changed Poppy to Purina Pro Plan Sport, the chicken variety, about 6 months ago. She had an easy transition and has done fabulously on this food. I chose this one because it is formulated for working and sporting dogs. She is so high energy she would lose weight if on another lower protein formula. Poppy also LOVES her PPP!

I chose Purina because Our family had fed Purina from 1954 to 2001 and our dogs were always healthy, no major illnesses and they lived a long time. Also, because of the recommendations of the veterinarians and veterinary nutritionists who have studied the "grain free DCM issue".

I order it on Chewy because they have the best price and deliver in 2 days to my door. Also, they have great customer service and I know they would take care of me if the food did not agree with Poppy.

For those who are concerned about corn in food you might find this article interesting. Corn is not used as a filler. It supplies some very necessary amino acids which dogs need in their diet.

https://lookaside.fbsbx.com/file/De...YfMn1VmVIDc7mU0SbCAlwJ_HL-tPdE97TvQ-A2hPJtKft
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well, after a lot of back and forth, i decided to try the Wellness Complete, even though it has peas, it doesn't have nearly as much as the food I have her on now. I'm glad to hear what is working for everyone. I get the feeling this may not be a one-time trial! I got a small bag, and we'll see. I may try Victor if this doesn't work.
 

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I am presently using Victor. (the blue bag) And I've started using Pro plan as well because it was recommended, even though I don't see that the ingredients are all that great. I switch them around with different foods. Victor has a ton of protein that is from animals. I like that. Some formulas have some rice, some I think have peas. But the one I'm feeding has no peas or other legumes. It is not just grain free foods that are associated with DCM. The studies are not showing that is necessarily the problem.

But at any rate, I do agree with the corn. If it doesn't cause trouble, it has some very good nutrient properties. And even if it doesn't all digest, some indigestible food is good for their colon. My little Maurice, who has had some trouble with various foods...constipated one time, colitis another time...mucous covering his poo and since using this one...consistently good consistency. :amen: It's more like when I use to feed raw...dark and firm, small, not as much pooping. I always add some water in there with it too because it does have the potential to make the poos almost too firm. You might have to add a wee bit of pumpkin sometimes. I like foods that supplement with a little taurine too. (just in case they need it)

I also give them other things like eggs or sardines here and there during the week. (sardines only once a week)

Also, in my continued studies on dog food, I came across (don't know where it is now) an article regarding by products. We've always been told they are no good. Well, we wouldn't want them as the main ingredient. But they contain things like chicken feet, which are nutritious, having glucosomine in them. There may be things like heads or tails of something...no big deal. The only thing I worry about is necks of animals. Necks often contain thyroid hormone and dogs have been poisoned with an over dose of thyroid hormone...really very dangerous. So even when I was feeding raw, I stayed clear of necks or anything that was in near proximity to the thyroid gland because it's been found to be bad news. Those trachea treats...maybe they've been cleaned. I do not know. But that's something that could be affected. Anyhow, good luck finding a decent food. It's no easy task. Commercial food pretty much sucks generally.
 
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I didn't know about the necks! How interesting. There is so much to be aware of.

I have heard a lot of people say that their dog's poops on raw food are much more...pleasant? to deal with. On that note, I was just searching for a product i remember reading about many years ago b/c the amazon reviews were so funny. It's not sold there anymore, but it does still exist. Poop Freeze--you spray it on and it hardens things up so you can pick up easily: POOP-FREEZE - Dog poop freeze spray - Ideal pooper scooper companion. My son was like, WE NEED THAT!
 

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I just started feeding Miracle and Jasper Nature's Logic and I also bought Victor as a backup. I noticed Miracle has been drinking a lot after eating, but then I reminded myself that I haven't been keeping track of when she drinks too closely, so it could just be my imagination. Their previous food was Taste of the Wild and peas and lentils were in the first 5 ingredients- decided based on the newly released information that food had to go.
 

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Try "Cub Buffalo and Oatmeal Formula" by Sport Dog Food. It's an "all life stages" food. Sport Dog Food is a tiny company but have wonderful food options, and you can purchase through Chewy if that's convenient for you! Here are the first 9 ingredients: Buffalo Meal (20%), Oat Meal (19%), Dried Sweet Potato (18%), Pork Meal (11%), Coconut Oil (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols) (7%), Catfish Meal (7%), Cassava Root (6%), Pumpkin Meal (4%), Salmon Oil (3%), and here's a link to the food on the Chewy website: https://www.chewy.com/sport-dog-food-active-series-cub/dp/174800.
 
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