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Noo what I’m saying is that I read that when they use these whole meats instead of meat meal a lot of those whole meats are water so once they’re cooked you lose a lot of protein and nutritional value in general. I believe the analysis Origen gives is before processing. That’s why I was wondering what the true protein amount is.
Meat meal” is a primary ingredient in most dry cat food and dog food, and it is made from taking slaughterhouse and fish processing factory remnants that are not edible for humans, and cooking them, processing them under high heat, and dehydrating them into a dry powdery substance that goes into kibble.
 

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This was very informative for me.
Explains the ingredients and makes recommendations.
 
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Do be careful with Orijen. I know many dogs (mine included) that had terrible, soft poops on it. It’s way too rich for a lot of dogs to handle. Some do great on it, but I’ve known too many that don’t to feed it again. It’s all personal and dog dependent. I hope it works for you and your dog!
 

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My adult GSD had soft stool like that when she was on Diamond Naturals, both grain-free and with grain. I switched her to Victor Nutra Pro (with grain) and started adding Glandex and her stools are nice and firm now. Soft stool can lead to anal gland problems, at least in my experience. I have not extensively read the ingredients to try to figure out what the main thing was that changed it. But I had heard (here? somewhere else?) that grain-free can be a bit harder for dogs to digest because of the peas and sweet potatoes that substitute the grain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
My adult GSD had soft stool like that when she was on Diamond Naturals, both grain-free and with grain. I switched her to Victor Nutra Pro (with grain) and started adding Glandex and her stools are nice and firm now. Soft stool can lead to anal gland problems, at least in my experience. I have not extensively read the ingredients to try to figure out what the main thing was that changed it. But I had heard (here? somewhere else?) that grain-free can be a bit harder for dogs to digest because of the peas and sweet potatoes that substitute the grain.
The victor nutra pro looks great to me and I’ve heard a lot about it. I’ll definitely look into it.
 

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I had my dog on kibble all her life until just a short while ago, since it seems she cannot process it anymore. Orijen/Acana are way to rich for many dogs and my current dog did absolutely not do well.
For the average dog, with an average owner I try to stick 24%-28% protein and fairly high fat. As few ingredients as possible and make sure you can pronounce most of them. Remember though that realistically anything much past the first 8 ingredients is really small amounts.
Look at the calories per cup, the higher that number the less you have to feed and so the less fillers the dog is getting. A food with 270 kcal/cup is going to mean feeding almost twice the amount versus a food with 490 kcal/cup. It also means that a lot more of the food is waste.
I fed First Mate for the last 10 years and I love the food and the company.
You need to also know that the leading cause of soft or runny stool is overfeeding. So that is always the first thing I look at. Chronic stool issues can often be solved by a "reset". Fast your dog for 24hrs. That means no treats, no food. Then feed several small meals and gradually increase the amount and decrease the frequency until you are where you need to be.
 

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I would also look at other things besides kibble.
 

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Meat meal may be anything, but when the type of meat is named, like chicken meal, that is the edible parts of the chicken that is then dehydrated and extruded in the kibble. If Chicken is your first ingredient, that is 70% water, unless it is backed up by chicken meal as your second ingredient, you are being robbed. Talking dry dog food. I tried a bag of Victor and one of my crew got a nasty hot spot. Could it have been the food? Maybe. I was only giving them 25% Victor, but in all they did not like it. It has Blood meal in it. I though, ew. But maybe that's ok. I went back to the diamond naturals, because the Earthborn changed their stupid formula, and what was working is no longer working for me.
 

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It’s never really firm its always kind of soft and it’s light brown. Also it always ends with some very soft stool.
I wouldn't be too concerned about color as it might just be the food type. Our King Shepherd puppy had issues like this as did our 128 lb German Shepherd that we recently lost. For us they had sensitive tummies and we had to switch the protein from foul to single based protein of salmon. Fish based protein for puppies is hard to find. We also had to elminate all supplements until he adjusted to the new food. I would also consult with your vet to make sure there are no parasites causing the issue.
 

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His coat looks amazing and his weight is perfect but his stool has always been like this. It used to be much softer like the 2nd picture all the time but the owner of the pet wants recommended I add some adult food to the mix which I did and did stiffen it up to how it is now but as you can see it could be stiffer.
I have tried several high quality dog foods over the years, we currently used Fromm. Anyhow, our shepherd had the same problem, lose stools. I had her tested for food allergies, which were negative. I finally thought to add a probiotic, and like magic, her stool is firm and no longer runny!I get the probiotic from the health food store and give my dogs one a day with a little peanut butter. They love it!
 

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It’s never really firm its always kind of soft and it’s light brown. Also it always ends with some very soft stool.
According to our vet Gsd’s tend to have sensitive tummies. Ours sure does. Right now we feed half Hills zd ( prescription) and half Dr.Marty’s. they are both expensive but Dr. Marty’s is the most expensive which is why we do half and half BUT it solved her tummy problems. She’s 5 yrs old and for the first time (for 9 months now) her stool is normal.
 

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No way could I spend $100/bag of food.
With not one but EIGHT different legume ingredients that they don't show the % for -- because if you added them up it probably would be ugly. The legumes boost the protein content too.

I would WAY rather feed a food with some rice, oats, sorghum, or millet than all of those legumes -- most dogs can some digest cooked grains along with meat pretty well. They have about 10,000 years of history living alongside humans, eating what we eat, and developed digestive mechanisms (and gut flora) given them the ability to digest cooked grains like that. The biggest concern to me about grains is arsenic in the rice fields, Roundup on the oat fields, not so much digestibility. Legumes and pulses are pretty new in dog food, and the jury is still out on them -- they're a cheap way of boosting protein though, so I surely wouldn't pay more for a food with a lot of them.

And the one with boar may come from a supplier that hosts canned hunts, which you may or may not be okay with: Orijen’s Canned Response or Supporting a Canned Hunt Farmer?

Then there's the pentobarbitol (euthanasia drug) issue, and the paperwork that led Susan Thrixton to conclude that Champion/U.S. may have been buying fat from the same supplier as Gravy Train--you can read her sleuthing and decide for yourself:

It seems about like other kibble to me. 🤷‍♀️
 
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