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Discussion Starter #1
I'm curious. I see a lot of people her mention changing food (and I am talking about changing brands). Pimg has been on Nutro Natural Choice (NC) LBA (blue bag) for the last 3.5 years of her adult life. She was on Nutro Ultra puppy prior to that. One single time, I ran out of the NC food and temporarily replaced it with a single serving of Rachel Ray (eek!) food. It was this food that she bloated on, and I almost lost her.

So I think it is more than fair to say that I've been very cautious about changing foods. Omitting her bout with bloat where she lost 11% of her body weight, she has maintained her weight perfectly on the NC blue bag: 73-74lb, 26" tall/28" long. She sheds a ton, but I think that is generally normal. She doesn't have much skin itchyness (though lately she has been itching a bit more frequently) and her stool is generally well formed and not huge.

Questions:

  • So when your dog seems to be doing good on a specific formula, and has exhibited lethal reactions to other formulas- is there really any reason to consider something else?
  • You are supposed to phase the food in over a few weeks- but a 35lb bag only lasts us 4 weeks anyway. How are you guys determining so quickly that the dog does better on the new food?

I've seen mention that grain-based (as Nutro is) foods can contribute to potential GDV cases. And of course, once bloated, there is a 75% chance of bloat again. This scares me a bit- and so I've been considering TOTW for it's good reputation, and grain free qualities. With Pimg starting to get into agility, I figured something with a bit more protein, and less risky to induce GDV might be a worthwhile investment. Thoughts?
 

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1. No, I see no reason why anyone should change their dog's food if the dog is doing well on that food. But if the food causes problems, that's good enough to change the food.

2. When I changed my last dog from Diamond to Blue Buffalo, I noticed changes a bit immediately. I guess the answer to this question is sometimes the food suits the dog so much better you see positive changes immediately.

I've never tried TOTW, but it does have good rep. If you feel more comfortable with TOTW, then go for it. You want to feed the best you can afford.
 

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1. No, I feel that if the dog is doing well and thriving on a food then there is no reason to change it - especially if that dog has had allergic reactions to other proteins or dog food ingredients before.

2. When I switched Xander from Kirkland to Orijen I did it verrry slowly since I didn't want a bout of explosive diarrhea all over. I did it 75/25 then 50/50 then 25/75 then all the way. I was going to do it for about a week each time but what I did instead was closely monitor his poops. When I saw his poops were staying firm and he was having no problems I would start to switch over - usually I would wait a minimum of 4 days though in between. I do think some changes are more immediate - like Xander's poops went from being large and a little soft to being darker and firmer...that was more immediately obvious. It seemed like after only a couple weeks his coat started to get more shine and was smoother. While some changes, poop for example, might be more immediate other changes could take a month or two to really, visually show themselves.
 

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The fact that Nutro Natural Large Breed Adult has corn gluten, wheat, soybean oil (three of the most common allergens), a non-specific fat source, beet pulp and menadione would be enough for me to avoid this food. There are many foods much better than this one for less money. The better foods have none of these ingredients and have fruits and vegetables with natural vitamins and minerals. Good foods that cost less than this not-so-good food are Wellness, Blue Buffalo, Castor & Pollux, Merrick, Taste of the Wild, Canidae, Solid Gold, Pinnacle and Dogswell.
 

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I agree, if she does good on that food, especially if she's had bad reactions to the other foods, I would leave her. You could always add in some apples, chicken, ground beef, etc...just to give her a little variety :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I agree, if she does good on that food, especially if she's had bad reactions to the other foods, I would leave her. You could always add in some apples, chicken, ground beef, etc...just to give her a little variety :)
It's funny that there is the thread currently about facebook. When I read your reply- I went searching for the "like" button. This is a really good idea; thanks! To everyone else who answered my questions- thank you too!
 
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