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Old 10-13-2012, 01:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Making the Switch to Grain Free - Thoughts?

Well, after getting the go ahead from our vet to switch Suki to adult food (she is almost 11 months) - we have decided to try the Grain Free movement. We have been having all sorts of issues with her skin, itching, scabbing from itching and welts. The vet believes its environmental, but we also think that a huge source of her itching could be caused by the amount of corn and corn products in her current food.

I don't even want to tell you what she's been eating because after our research into her current food we are disgusted with the amount of fillers she's eating. It's embarrassing.

We bought a trial sized bag of Blue Buffalo Wilderness Duck, and we will slowly mix that in over the next two weeks and see what happens.

If you have switched to grain free, what have your experiences been like? Should we expect different stool initially?

The other issue is, the bag instructs to mix 25% BB with her current food for two weeks. BUT, our girl is a notorious picky eater and she rarely eats consistent amounts. How do I make sure that she isn't going to pick the new food out and leave the old food? Should we wet the food for now until she transitions (making the food a true "mix")? I want to make sure she gets the right amount of both so that the transition to the new food doesn't throw her into a tail spin?

And just to put this out there right off the bat...we have tried switching to raw. DIARRHEA FOR DAYS and ended up having to go to the vet. Does not agree with her.
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Old 10-13-2012, 01:59 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I just did the gradual mix with my boy, good luck with your transition.
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Old 10-13-2012, 02:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I've never done a switch that slowly. With a dog who doesn't have a sensitive tummy I'll do two or three meals with 75% old/25% new, then another two or three meals at 50%/50%, and another two or three meals at 25% old/75% new before switching 100% to the new food - that's less than a week, start to finish.

If the dog does have a more delicate digestive system, I'll increase that from two or three meals to two or three days at each stage.
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Old 10-13-2012, 06:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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She's not incredibly sensitive, but I was only worried because the new food has more protein than the old and I didn't want to shock her system too much. Luckily, she seems to enjoy this new food which is good. We did her first meal today - 2 cups of old w/ 1/2 cup of new. We are going to wait for her first bowel movement and see what that produces before we add more of the new.
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Old 10-13-2012, 09:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I switch dog food pretty much every 1-2 bags, my dogs are never on the same thing for too long. (Though Zoey now eats Prey Model Raw so she doesn't "swap bags" anymore) Sometimes I do a switch by dumping the last couple of pounds into a spare container with an equal amount of the new food. Other times I finish off the bag and then go straight to a new bag. I've never had an issue and I bounce around from really high quality when I can afford it to pretty cheap food when I can't, I think it really comes down to what your dog can handle. I find it's the ones who stay on one food/flavor for long periods of time that have the problems with transitioning or handling new foods.

Though if you're going to make a "slow" change, I'd take Debbie's advice and start mixing the kibbles at 25%, 50%, 75% every few meals until you get to 100% of the new food.
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Old 11-07-2012, 09:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm not sure about switching from one pet food company's food to another company's food but I switched from Timberwolfs regular food to their grain free food cold turkey and didnt have even the least problem with the change over. I really like the grain free food, its got a lot more meat (I guess the meat replaced the grains) and there not using meals but are using something call hydrolisates and spray dried proteins instead. Its pretty cool and my dogs seem to like it even more that their other food. I even think their coats look better too but it could be my imagination.
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Old 11-08-2012, 06:33 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I was on grain free thinking this was best for my dog. However after learning more I dont agree with grain free. A rabbit eats grass, wheat etc. Then what does the wolf eat, the rabbit, hence grain in the wolfs belly. Read anything you can get a hold of by Wendy Volhard
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Old 11-08-2012, 07:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Everything I've read suggests that wolves do not eat the stomach contents of their prey unless the prey is so small that shaking out the stomach contents would not be possible.

This is not to say that grain-free is necessarily any better than grain-inclusive foods. There are plenty of great grain-inclusive foods and there are plenty of bad grain-free foods. There are good and bad foods of both varieties. Dogs do not need grains in their diet to thrive though. Some fruits and vegetables are certainly beneficial for the nutrients they provide, but grains really add little nutritional value to a dogs diet.

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Old 11-12-2012, 09:30 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I just started using Earthborn Holistic grain free. Of course my vet had to throw in there that grain free isn't all what it's cracked up to be. I still am stretching it a bit with Kirkland to help on cost. I also started my cats on the same food.
I think it all boils down to feeding what you think is the best you can feed.
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:15 AM   #10 (permalink)
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When we discovered Raina's allergies to grain I switched to Blue Buffalo first but then found it had Barley which was one of the grains she was most allergic to. Then we switched to TOTW Wilderness formula - she loved it but then there was the recall. We switched Acana but it was too hard to find around here. Finally we found Innova Prime Grain Free - salmon and herring formula. It is the only one we have found that agrees with her system and has no allergens for her. There is also Flint River Ranch fish and potato version which she likes but can only be gotten ordered online. Good luck with finding the right one for you.
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