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 We Have Switched Foods & Here Is Why

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harrise
The Gentleman


Male Join date : 2009-06-16

PostSubject: We Have Switched Foods & Here Is Why   Thu Sep 03, 2009 8:53 pm

For the most part I stay out of the food topics because frankly, I'm suspect of every site and calculator that rates dog foods in any way shape or form. Really, with the way coffee, wine, sleep and vitamins are constantly changing in human studies, I have even less faith in dog nutrition studies. That's how I roll, with a trench coat of skepticism in a sailboat made of questions and doubt.

Going back to when Sioux was our only dog three years ago, I've been feeding every additional dog the same food after adoption. I really don't want to name brands here, past or current. I'm more interested in the things that made me switch.

As each dog integrated into the pack, one could visibly watch the transformation from rib and hip protruding shed bags into shiny coated muscle toned specimens of their respective breeds. All was well including poop scooping at a minimum. Through slow conditioning, each dog was brought up to the 4-8 mile endurance for our morning runs. This was really the only way I could manage any of them, let alone the combination of the whole. Never did anything signal to me that something was wrong in the dogs' diet. It was a pleasant two and a half years.

Then we hit this summer. After thinking back on it, things probably started changing around late March. But I attributed the increase in gas to an increase in treats and meats like steak from after dinner. It was also around that time that we began our extra hard runs to condition for hiking, and that's the part I had forgotten about. We had increased our activity level by around another 33%. 500 miles we did during that cold snap in March/April. Little did I realize how much more demanding the work we were to begin was. Three weekends in a row at elevation really changed things in all of them. There were several things I can recall from mid-July forward:

• The gas increased
• The packaging on the food changed
• The price went up by 40% Shocked
• The bag went from 40 to 35 pounds net weight
• The dogs were no longer active at all during the day
• Their teeth gradually had more buildup
• Their coats lost the sparkle that they had from the time I adopted each one
• The BM's had almost tripled in number
• The above were squishy and inconsistent
• Their ears became overly greasy and waxy
• There were gurgling sounds coming from their stomachs that I could hear from a distance.
• The. Gas. Got. Worse.

All of these things culminated in a decision last week. New food. After some research, the calorie burn at altitude and in the amounts we were doing called for a much more protein rich food. The "lower quality" food I was feeding did a great job for years. Until I actually started working my dogs hard. I suspect they also changed something in the recipe but there was no getting a straight answer on that. So, in frustration we went label reading one fine day. I also changed their diet cold turkey even though all I ever read on forums says to mix it. I tried that for one meal and they left the old kibble standing lonely and dejected. "Screw it", I thought. We only had one round of softies in the grass and after that everything is normal with FIVE (5) dogs. It appears as though I will be very pleased with this new food, supplemented by increasing amounts of raw meat.

That is my story.
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Koda
Ms. Amicable
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Female Join date : 2009-05-20
Location : Glenville, NY

PostSubject: Re: We Have Switched Foods & Here Is Why   Thu Sep 03, 2009 10:24 pm

Thanks for sharing Harrise Smile After what we went through with Koda, I can very much attest to your conclusion. I think the proper food really depends on the amount of work our dogs do on a daily basis and by their particular needs.

We went from low quality, to super high, then down one step and finally found the right food for him.

Glad to hear your dogs are doing better Smile

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sunshinehuskies
Teenager
Teenager
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Female Join date : 2009-05-25
Location : Snellville, Georgia

PostSubject: Re: We Have Switched Foods & Here Is Why   Mon Sep 07, 2009 1:32 am

Thanks for sharing your story. I have been thinking about switching, but my main source of food for the kids in very close(2 miles round trip) my other option is like 30 miles round trip. Those thirty miles are in the opposite direction of where I work and I have no other reason to drive out there.
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