I will try to make this short. "Try" being the important word there.
Six month old English Mastiff puppy. Was on Acana Large Breed Puppy since we brought her home in June. Was doing fine, maybe a bit leaner than I like, but energetic and shiny, stools fairly firm. About a month ago, I guess, she started having diarrhea. No blood in it but some mucous. Woke up one morning with a huge...for lack of a better description...cow patty on my kitchen floor. Fasted her for 24 hours, then started her on smushy rice. She was drinking and peeing normally--and very energetic throughout the whole ordeal. When her stools didn't start firming up even with the fast/rice I took a stool sample to the vet who found the clostridium bacteria in it. (Still not sure, and probably never will be sure, where she picked this up. We did uncover some nasty garbage left buried in the yard by the disgusting people who rented our acreage before we bought it, that's a possibility.) She was prescribed a week's worth of antibiotics (amoxi) and within two days her stools started firming up. At the end of the seven days she was fine...then three days later diarrhea again. Before I knew about the diarrhea (I noticed it just after this next incident) I offered her a bowl of food and she refused it. Wouldn't even touch it. (She did try to steal a different brand from a visiting dog's dish so it wasn't that she was too sick to eat.) I am returning the half eaten bag of Acana for a refund...if my dog won't even go near her bowl, to me, that's a sign that there's something wrong.
I have emailed Champion Pet Foods, twice, asking if there has been a formula change or any quality issues. I have not had a reply. Very disappointing because I have always thought highly of them and their customer service. I recommended this food to anyone and everyone. Even if it's not their "fault" that my dog is not as healthy as she should be I have lost faith that they care at all about the wellbeing of my dear puppy.
So...here we are. Food change time. Based on ingredients and ratings and cost and feeding amounts--hour upon hour of research--I think I've narrowed it down to two strong possibilities:
Innova Adult Large Bites. A 29 pound bag costs $63.00 + tax. As a puppy at 80 pounds the website suggests a feeding amount of about 4 1/2 cups per day. (Yes, I am aware that is just a suggestion and it will vary for each dog taking into account many variables...but to make this decision easier I'm going to pretend that is what I will have to feed.) At 150 pounds it is suggested that she will eat about the same. Healthy Cat Food and Dog Food Feeding Amount Calculator - Innova Holistic Pet Food
Canadian Naturals. A 35 pound bag costs $60.00 + tax. As a puppy the rep said she'd need between 4 and 6 cups per day. At 160 pounds it is suggested she will need 4 1/2 - 5 1/2 cups per day.
(There was a website but I can't find it now???)
Canidae. Waiting for email back from this company regarding feeding amounts.
Solid Gold. Also waiting for email back from them regarding feeding amounts.
I don't want to go raw and I no longer want to feed a Large Breed food or a Puppy formula. I just want an adult formula suited to a giant breed puppy.
My dog loves Wellness, it has a 5 rating. They have different options such as grain free. You can go to WELLNESSŪ - Healthy Dog and Cat Food and look at the different options. I use the chicken formula which is not grain free.
To see dog food ratings go to Dog Food Analysis - Reviews of kibble almost any brand can be searched by going to "reviews and ratings" and there is a blank search box where you can enter the brand you want to look at or you can search by rating....it was hard for me to find # 6 brands locally and ordering online is not a good option for me.
Hope you can find something good for your puppy!
I'm not sure whether you've heard of Back to Basics (the NEW Honesty Chicken formula). The folks who created this kibble are breeders of English Mastiffs and feed it to their champion show mastiffs. The web site is: All Natural Human Grade Holistic Dog and Cat Food - Back to Basics and there's a link to their Mastiffs page.
I don't know how much this helps you, but I thought I would mention it.
My dogs are on Acana presently and are doing very well on it.
I did consider WELLNESS but the food calculator suggested a huge amount of food per day. I am trying to get 'the best bang for my buck', the best quality food I can afford that is economical to feed at the same time. :)
Isn't dogfoodanalysis.com GREAT! That's where I started my research...and from there looked at the individual company websites for additional information, searched online for reviews of each food and then called local pet stores to see if they carried the ones that impressed me.
I should have been a rep for Acana, ha ha ha, I sang it's praises for at least four years, recommended it to everyone I knew. Our last dog did well on it until they changed the formula which didn't agree with her--soft stools and horrible gas. Now this dog and this diarrhea. I'm not saying it's THEIR fault but between them not replying to my (polite) questions/concerns and the vet visit after vet visit for this puppy...well, that is enough for me to make a change.
are you using grain free acana or regular?
I've heard that they recently changed their lamb formula (provincial)so it has more meat in it. Not sure about the other 2.
There are couple grain free foods that I still want to try, but I heard positive feedback on them:
Horizon Legacy and Earthborn Holistic
Horizon has a puppy formula and earthborn is suitable for puppies because its lower protein.
Out of the ones you mentioned, I'd personally go with Innova, they have not had any recalls and they are pretty good with customer service.
Yes, that website is amazing....I tell everyone I know about it.
Oh and I forgot.....probiotics help with runny stools. I like Pet dophilus by a company called Jarrow. My dog gets this mixed in with his food because it's good for his immune system and overall a good product. Wellness adds them to the food but I don't believe they are as effective when they are added to the food since they are living organisms.
Horizon was on my list until I checked out their food calculator and found they wanted me to feed alot as well.
Earthborn is not available in our area.
Thanks very much for your input!
Thanks for the tip!
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