Labradoodle & Goldendoodle Forum

So I'm pretty sure I'm switching food from Taste of the Wild to Earthborn Holistic. As I was looking through the different varieties I was assuming I would be best to go with Great Plains Feast as it contains bison & lamb which are two of the main meat ingredients in his current food. However after looking the "Primitive Natural" variety has significantly more meat protein than any of their other flavors. To the point that dog food adviser gave it it's own separate review from the other flavors & rated it at 5 stars.

The cost of the two foods on Chewy is virtually identical & I would actually have to feed slightly less which means it's actually cheaper on a per day basis to use the Primitive Natural. Seems like an obvious choice, but then I read that such a high protein diet may not be ideal for a dog who isn't super active. I was just wondering if anyone has any insight into this, should I go with the higher protein or just stick with the formula that's closer to what he's eating now?

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I don;t know where these weird ideas about protein come from, but I can assure you that there is nothing wrong with a high protein diet for any dog, even one who is sedentary. Carbohydrate is what the body burns for fuel, not protein; calories are energy, and carbohydrates and proteins both have the exact same number of calories per gram. Protein content has absolutely nothing to do with activity levels. 

You should expect some minor digestive issues when you transition, but those should resolvbe within a week or two. 

We have used Earthborne since our pup was young and he loves it and it cleared up his digestive issues moving away from chicken and grains. We switch back and forth between the Great Plains and Coastal Catch to keep our guy interested and we’ve been doing this for the last 2ish years. We have nothing bad to say about this line!

Primitive Naturals was my breeder's choice of food for her dogs.  That was what Zoey was started on since a puppy.  I mistakenly bought the puppy variety when she got home, and she did not like that as well.  She started skipping breakfast.  I restarted her on the Primitive Natural and she did better.  She has always been a finicky eater, and I hadn't had a puppy for a long time.  I was worried about her not eating, so started adding toppers.  I wish I would have never started that.  I ended up starting her on Stella & Chewy's because she ALWAYS ate it.  Much more costly and more of a hassle to go get.  You can pick up Earthborn at the local tractor supply store. 

Guess what - although not very regularly, she still sometimes skips breakfast!!  lol   I wish I would have stuck with the Earthborn, but at this point I'm not about to change again. 

Thanks everyone for the advice, I think I'm going to go with the Primitive Natural, I just really like all the meat based protein. And we're really fortunate that our guy to this point isn't a picky eater, seemingly whatever we put in front of him he eats pretty immediately. And he's really never had digestive issues *knock on wood* so we don't have to work around a lot of issues & can just feed him whatever we deem to be the healthiest. 

I've been feeding Earthborn Holistic Meadow Feast (lamb) for quite a few years.  It has been great for Picco's sensitive stomach and he just loves it!  Also the price is reasonable for a high quality food.

OK well things have taken a bit of a turn. We were finishing up our bag of Taste of the Wild (minus the portion I held out to transition) and Truman has suddenly developed some very loose stools, sometimes almost liquid.

I noticed his last trip outside Wednesday night it was a bit soft, then Wednesday night he actually had an accident in his crate. He hasn't had a #2 accident in over a month, so obviously that was odd. I made sure to come home to let him out a couple extra times Thursday. He had a solid BM late morning, then every other time after its been very soft, like liquid with some formed pieces in it. He's been on the same food for about 6 weeks now & to this point has never had any digestive issues at all.

So I guess my question is how should I proceed going forward. Do I just go ahead & start the transition to Earthborn now? Just skip the transition process since he's already having issues? Keep him on what he's currently eating? I only have a couple days left of his current food plus the bit I saved to transition, so I have to make some kind of decision pretty quick. I appreciate any advice.

I would have a fecal done ASAP. Sudden stool issues in a dog who has been eating the same food without a problem for weeks are not caused by food, lol, unless he got hold of something he shouldn't have. Is that a possibility? It's possible that he has picked up a parasite, especially if you have spring thaw in your area, or he has been outdoors unsupervised. 
Or it could possibly just be a stomach bug.
In either (or any) case DO NOT PUT HIM ON RX FOOD if the vet recommends it. Also DO NOT PUT HIM ON METRONIDAZOLE (Flagyl). If the fecal is positive for parasites, you want Panacur. Insist on it. 
You should also order Proviable DC (not sold in stores) ASAP, and start that before you transition him, regardless of the results of the fecal test. 
It would be a mistake to switch foods while there are digestive issues happening. Worst comes to worst, you buy another small bag of TOTW. 

Well there was an incident about a week ago where he chewed up & ate a tennis ball off one of his toys. He almost immediately threw most of it up & I had been watching his stool & he seemed to pass some more. I called the vet & they told me what to watch for regarding a bowel obstruction & other than the diarrhea the last day or so he has showed no signs of any issues.  

My wife also told me he apparently managed to get some leftover chocolate covered marshmallows out of the trash. I think that happened long enough ago that that wouldn't be it, but since then he's been somewhat obsessed with attempting to get food out of the trash can. I try to watch him like a hawk, but since both the tennis ball & marshmallow incident happened on my wife's watch she obviously doesn't watch as closely as I do, LOL. So I can't swear he didn't get anything.

Weather has been very weird here lately & the last 2 days were pretty warm. And he never goes out unsupervised. But I'll call & see if I can get him into the vet today or tomorrow & I'll order the Proviable. Thanks again for the advice.

I'll tell you, I've had people ask me for help with a dog's digestive issues who swear there is no way the dog could possibly have ingested anything; weeks go by, nothing I suggest helps, and then it turns out that the dog tore up a stuffed toy a couple of weeks ago and some of the stuffing is still in his GI tract. It's so common that when JD started having the digestive symptoms that turned out to be IBD, my own vet kept thinking he must have eaten something, even though JD never in his entire life chewed or ate anything that wasn't given to him. 
I would have a fecal done, but do not buy food from the vet (if he needs a "bland diet", I will tell you how to make your own) and no metronidazole. Steel yourself ahead of time, lol. 

LOL, thanks. I'll be strong.

Sorry as I re-read your post I thought of one other thing. We have been going through some roundworm issues. He had them when we took him home & we did the two treatments. We went back in about a month later for some boosters on some of his immunizations & they checked again & he still had them. So we did two more treatments with the 2nd being on Feb 16th (exactly 2 weeks ago today)

However the worms nor the treatments have never caused diarrhea before. But just thought I should mention it since you did mention intestinal parasites.

What was the treatment? What drug? 
What typically happens is that the dog is put on some type of antibiotic for the worms; this kills the worms, but it also killes all of the good gut bacteria necessary for proper stool formation. While they on the meds, things are fine, but we typically see puppies getting diarrhea about 1-2 weeks after the meds are discontinued.
Any time your dog is on any type of antibiotic, but especially things designed to work on the GI tract, you must give them a good probiotic, and that needs to be continued for a few weeks. 



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