Nature's Variety vs. Raw - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 07-02-2014, 09:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Nature's Variety vs. Raw

Kaiju has been on raw for four months now, except for one small incident a little while ago. We moved into our new apartment and the freezer went out. No raw. I panicked a bit, and wasn't really sure what to get. The only freeze-dried available in my area was super expensive and out of the question after all the money spent during the move.

So I picked up the grain free Nature's Variety. I wasn't even able to find canned pumpkin of all things until two days after he had started eating the food. But I noticed he had no stomach upsets while eating it. He had no itches, which was a godsend as he had always had them before, even on Orijen and gets them sometimes on raw if he eats something that doesn't agree with him. I also notice that his stool looks better on Nature's Variety than it does on raw. Smaller, dark, and firm.

He was on the Nature's Variety for one week until the freezer was foxed and now he is back on raw.

He does well on raw, but it seems he also does well on the Nature's Variety with what seems like a couple added bonuses (no itchies, smaller stool) so I'm at a weird crossroads. I love raw. And I feel like it's a really good diet. But as good a diet as it is, if he does better on something that is not raw, should I put more weight into what seems to do better for him as an individual? I feel like I tell clients all the time to find the food that works best for their dog. But I never expected that my dog might do better on a food other than raw.

Thoughts? I'm sort of confused as to what direction I should take his diet with this new information...
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Old 07-03-2014, 12:38 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I say go with what makes your dogs health and quality of life better. From your post,, it seems to be the Nature's Variety.
I'm sure your dog would much rather have kibble and not be itchy.
Nature's Variety is a good quality kibble.
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Old 07-03-2014, 12:44 AM   #3 (permalink)
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All raw is not created equal.

It could be that your dog is sensitive to the protein you are feeding him.

We had lots of problems until I got Hans tested and found out that poultry and venison were causing itching and vomiting.
What raw are you feeding? What is the source of the raw?

What is in the NV?
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Old 07-03-2014, 01:00 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Could be because of an allergy to a specific protein or an additive in the meat. Go with what works best for your dog.
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Old 07-03-2014, 01:16 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I feed a chicken base for the raw with a rotation of venison, beef, lamb, and fish mixed in. I've singled out that flaxseed oil, oatmeal, pork, and excess chicken skin cause itches. I was confused about the skin, but after taking the skin off, no more itches.

Since singling those out of his diet, the raw has been good. The stool just doesn't seem to be where it should (he's going two or three times a day), and itches still flare occasionally. I had a limited allergy panel done when he was a puppy and there was only a mild reaction to pork, which has been kept out of his diet. Other than that, zero reaction to any other meats.

The NV that I got was the Instinct chicken one, so I don't see how it could be the chicken...?
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Old 07-03-2014, 02:00 AM   #6 (permalink)
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hmm That dog food has some nice supplements in it. Have you tried adding probiotic supplements to the raw you are/were feeding?
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Old 07-03-2014, 02:02 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Tried two different kinds of probiotic supplements. They actually seemed to upset his stomach. :/
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Old 07-03-2014, 02:07 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Interesting. The dog food in question contains a probiotic and it doesn't affect him? Curious. Apart from the supplements it's a pretty good quality dog food but not that good so this is very perplexing indeed.

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Old 07-03-2014, 02:08 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Why not stick with the kibble if it floats his boat? I was a positive trainer but the prong seems to do more good with my dogs... Sometimes you have to just go with what the animal responds to... Even if it is different from your beliefs.
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Old 07-03-2014, 02:15 AM   #10 (permalink)
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you could do a lot worse than natures variety
i say do what works for your dog
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