Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Great Dog Food Dilemma

It seems like one of the biggest doggie debates today is about dog food.  Personally, I'm thrilled that people are becoming aware of what is going into their dogs' bowls.  Working at the shelter was always a big opportunity to educate the public, and while the pitbull crusade will always be my favorite, I also enjoyed putting Ol' Roy out of business.  In an ideal world, all dogs would get their optimal daily nutrition from their dog food, but the average owner of Fido really doesn't want to break the bank on kibble.  So the general rule I asked adopters to follow was this:  nothing colorful, nothing that looks like a kids cereal, and something your dog seems to enjoy- both going in and coming out. 

Parker and Skye are having a hard time with these rules.  My motivation for this post is a little blue pit curled up under a blanket, with a very loud, very angry stomach. 

Oh boy do I want to find the magical brand of food that they both do well on.  Originally I thought Parker would be the tough one- he is a picky eater who hardly ever has good stool.  It's sad when I start to envy another dog's poop, but I'm totally there.  Skye, as it turns out, is even harder to please.  She has a sensitive tummy and fur that has no problem going away and leaving her slightly balder than she was last week.  At least she'll eat like a champ, so no worries there. 

Sadly, the list of foods I've tried keeps getting longer.  Since May, we've gone from Blue Wilderness to California Natural.  Blue was boycotted by Parker, and CN was a chore for his little mouth to chew, plus Skye was itchy.  From there I tried Wellness, and even though neither had good stool I stuck with it for a while, to no avail.  I transitioned to Chicken Soup for the Dog lover's Soul, which isn't as rich, but has more ingredients.  Skye began to bald, and acted ravenously hungry all the time.  She went back to eating her poop if I didn't get to her in time, which hasn't been a problem since she started getting regular meals and gaining weight.  So we moved to Canidae, after a bout of chicken and rice to settle things down.  Canidae seemed like a great all around choice.  We went with the grain free chicken, since Parker seems turned off from fishy foods.

Now I'm nearing the end of the big bag, and although the stool isn't anything to get excited about, it isn't as bad as it was.  Until today, when Skye woke me up bright and early with her "you've got about 10 seconds to get me outside" face on.  Now she's skipped breakfast for the first time ever, and her stomach is making noises I've only heard on TV.  I was going to go out and buy another bag today, but now I'm in doubt.  Do I stick with it for another few weeks, or use the remaining food to switch again?  And to what?  My coworkers all feed their dogs Nutro, which doesn't rate well online, but their dogs look healthy and have pretty poop.  I want pretty poop too, so it might be the next step.  Maybe high quality foods are too much for my pooches.  Maybe Skye will go completely bald on Nutro.  I can either spend a fortune at my vet finding out what she has allergies to, or I can continue the taste test and try a new food.  Again.  At this point it's kind of a toss up. 

So what do your pups eat?  How long did it take you to find that perfect food?  I've decided my next dog will need an iron stomach, because this circus will only be in town once, then the show's over for life.


  1. We were on California Natural until they sold it to Procter and Gamble. Now they eat Fromms. Miss M also had a sensitive stomach and allergies, and we were doing a lot of food testing, but somehow it seems to have disappeared as she's gotten older.

  2. All our dogs eat Natural Balance. Airlie is on their Fish and Sweet Potato food and Zorro and Rat are on their Ultra Premium original food. Airlie has a sensitive stomach, and though she occasionally has flare ups, she's been pretty good with that. And Rat has always had bad, itchy skin. Since we switched him a few months ago he seems to be better. (Some hair re-growth, and no dry itchy spots.)

    I think maybe try out a couple more foods, then if still nothing changes, give in and have a vet test them for allergies. You don't want them suffering with tummy aches and embarassing bald spots forever! Good luck!

  3. We are on Natural Balance as well but I'm not in love with it. I'm lucky in that my dog will eat anything I put in front of her and nothing reall seems to have averse affects on her health. I also supplement with fish oil and that has helped her itchiness factor.

    I've thought of trying out a raw diet or cooking her meals myself but I'm not sure I'm prepared for all the work involved with that. Most days I can barely get around to cooking for myself.

  4. Alright, our dogs ancestors are wolves. So what would a dog eat in the wild is what your looking for. The first ingredient should ALWAYS be meat and no grains either. The three brands I recommend are Blue, Taste of The Wild, and Orijen. And my dogs teeth are clean from eating that food. And she has never had any health issues. Not even worms. I have a Pitbull as well. But doesn't it make sense for them to eat what they would in the wild?

  5. Your post is very helpful, thank you. Pit bulls are healthy, unpretentious and versatile dogs. In order to maintain their qualities and help them develop harmoniously, you should learn more about the best dog food for pit bulls. This is because this type of dog requires a balanced diet that helps it stay in shape. See more http://dogsaholic.com/food_treats/best-dog-food-for-pit-bulls.html


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