Dog Food

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Kansas Bound

Aug 13, 2007
My brittany hunting dog is now eight years old and I was debating on switching dog food. I currently use purina one @ $26 a bag but I was maybe going to switch to Science Diet for older dogs @ $31 a bag.

I would appreciate all the help I can get.

Has anyone had a bad experience with either one?
We haven't tried our dogs on either of those foods, but if you do change the dog's food, keep an eye out for any change in her skin condition. Apparently dogs can develop rashes and eczema as a result of reaction to foods ... and some foods just don't agree with some dogs (while other dogs might be fine on that food).

Its really just a "suck it, and see" thing I guess.

Our 10 yr old Brit is doing well on Exclusive, made by PMI Nutrition. We buy at our local feed store for ~$26/40 lb bag.
Look at the IAMS. You can get a formula for older dogs that has the vitamins and anti-oxidants you want. It is lower fat and generally a few $'s a bag less expensive than Science Diet. One thing you might consider is asking your vet what caloric intake he would recommend for your dog given its life style and then check the caloric values of the foods you are considering.
My vet and dog trainer both have recommended Nutro so that is what I have used for the past 2 yrs. 40lb bag is $30-$33.
I've had good results with both IAMS and SD over the years. I think they are both worth the $$ and both are pretty easy to find if you are out of town and need some.

Purina One didn't agree with my dogs.


We've used both Nutromax and currently Science Diet for our dog. The key is to mix the new food in gradually over a period of maybe 1-1/2 to 2 weeks so his digestive system can adapt.
science diet, iams, purina are all great diets. the senior diets are very good. energy balance changed a bit to deal with lower activity and good supplementation of vitamins, nutrients.

what is the dog's body condition? thin, normal, overweight? any history of joint/orthopedic injuries?

I've got 2 older labrador mixes and I use some of the newer "joint management" diets that are rich in glucosamine, chondroitin, and omega 3 fatty acids. It has done WONDERS for my older boys with some hip osteoarthritis. The diets we use are Hill's j/d and purina JM. I do believe they are considered a prescription diet and will have to be gotten through a vet.

Now... i work at an animal hospital and get a pretty good discount. I'm not sure how $$ these diets are but i will say that they do work very well. Takes a good 4-5 weeks to start seeing results, though.
Stay away from food that lists any grain, esp corn as a primary ingredient. IAMs was better in years past but got cheapened up when P&G bought it a few years ago. Most of the name brands including science diet are poor quality IMO.
I feed my dogs Eagle Pack (a very superior dry feed) and supplent with raw whole foods, some vegetables and as many raw bones as practical. deer bones and scraps this time of year.
I know a couple of very serious breeders of German Shephards that think Nutro has no equal...I respect their dog knowledge a lot, and so dumped Eukanuba for my 3 akitas, and now feed them Nutro.
I am feeding my german shorthair "diamond" brand foods. he is getting older, and during the summer I put him on the maintenance formula for older dogs. during hunting season he goes on the premium adult, or the pro formula depending on hunting prospects. even when free feeding with an open feeder, he does not overeat. He stays pretty trim and there is not much exhaust in the yard to clean up. It was recommended to me by a vet, and another said it was pretty good stuff. It is under 20$ for a 40 or 50 pound bag, depending on which variation I use.
He is satisfied with it. He has less waste to clean up. His coat and health are great. He has lots of staying power on the active dog formulas.
( I like it. Of course I do not spoil him by giving him a raw egg three or four times a week, or regularly giving him treats to do tricks for me, and i would never give him leftovers, or steak bones after I eat,,,, right??? YEAH RIGHT)
I reccomend it, give it a try.
I have a lab, malamute, kuvasz mix that hae eaten nutro her whole life and runs up a mountain like it's not even there. Now she gets the adult variety and it has lots of glucosamine chondroiten for joints. she is 9. My new pup gets nutro now too. It's spendy but who cares.
Most of the name brands, including the expensive ones, are corn and fillers your dog can't digest. This is what makes dog excrement so nasty and, well, LARGE. Get a food with the meat high on the ingredient list and no corn. I used a mix of 30/20 bolstered with blackstrap, brewer's yeast, spinach and some other odds and ends. A little of that goes a long ways. Also feeding once every other day during warm months can help their health. Quality 30/20 with minimal filler can be found at most feed stores. Black gold is a good brand. Just don't overfeed if you use it. The price is high, up to $60 a bag, but you use much less per serving. You can also increase the amount if your dog is pulling sleds and the like. I kept the kennel alive on that stuff through some extremely cold winters.
ProPlan is the best thing we've found for our older dog (adopted APBT). She was on prescription food (PITA), yuppie raw food (expensive!), homemade food (time-consuming!), etc. ProPlan Sensitive Skin and Stomach works better than any of them; she had always had major digestive problems, and, while it's a "high-end" dry food, it's cheaper than the other options for us, by far.

Our young dog (Vizsla from hunt breeder we got at 7 weeks) now gets it, too. Great so far. Others in our NAVHDA chapter also really like ProPlan foods, as do the breeders.

You can make food, and I guess if you have a barn and time on your hands, that can be a good option. But it's a PITA in a standard kitchen. Also, raw commercial meat isn't great for dogs. Too many bacteria in it. Our older dog got bladder infections when we made food based on raw commercial meat, oats, blackstrap, etc.
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BARF seems to work best on those who have been brought up on it. And they do remarkably well, though they tend not to grow as large as dogs raised on ordinary dog food. They're slightly smaller, much leaner and have fewer health problems. But if you start giving raw chicken to an eight year old dog used to corn mash it could cause problems.

The 30/20 isn't raw food, though.
I have a 10 year old Lab that still runs like a pup. Have fed her nothing but Nutro Lamb and Rice. Switched to senior formula in the last year. Real happy with it.<>prd_id=845524441760610

The number one ingredient is corn, NOT what you want to be feeding your dog. Find a kibble with real meat as the #1 ingredient.
I would stick to Purina One just bump her up to the senior diet.

To change start with a 75% old then keep adding more new dog food until she is on 100% new dog food this cuts down on upset tummies which in a dogs no one likes they never seam to make it to the toilet.

You can not go wrong with any of the good high quality dog foods for seniors.
I have no financial interest in any pet food company.
you can check ingredients here
and then check the ingredients in your bag of ______ brand.
and cosmoline is right about BARF (Bones And Raw Food) diet for canines. That is why I feed my dogs a combination of dry eagle pack and BARF.
If you folks ever run dogs on good feed with dogs on the other junk, you will see the huge difference. Brand recognition and advertising, even "vet endorsed" doesn't mean quality. My dogs have run hard and hunted circles around younger dogs on bargain feed and name brand feed.
I have two labradors and I use Royal Canin - they make Labrador 30, a breed specific food. I also use Wellness brand canned food, and have been getting a small quantity of Taste of the Wild, a grain free food. IMHO, the extra $ you spend on more expensive food evens out in smaller portions and better health.

My brief experience with Science Diet was not good -none of the dogs "thrived" - their coats and skin were not good.

I've got 2 older labrador mixes and I use some of the newer "joint management" diets that are rich in glucosamine, chondroitin, and omega 3 fatty acids. It has done WONDERS for my older boys with some hip osteoarthritis.

Anecdotal, but here ya go: I recommend flax oil, 1 tablespoon per 100 pounds of body weight or so. I have arthritis in my hip (as well as elsewhere, no doubt, after a 50 year athletic career). A few months ago, on advice of a couple of friends, I went from taking capsule type supplements to a much higher quantity of flax oil per day. It is supposed to be good for the critters as well, so I added it to the dog and cat diets.

Anyone who has seen a picture of my huge maine coon cat, posted in one of the "defense against dogs" threads, remembers his size - about 24 pounds of kitty. At 13 years old, he has arthritis in his front legs and paws. He has been on glucosamine/chondrotin as well as dieted down to 20 pounds, and that was controlling it. He was far less mobile, however - for example, he would go up and down the stairs perhaps once a month.

Within a week or so of starting the flax oil, the cat is completely different - goes up and down the stairs several times daily, hops up and down from chairs rather than asking for help, etc. Really a striking change.

For all with older or arthritic critters, I think it is worth a look.
I got into the whole dog food debate hardcore a couple months ago, I found that the vast majority of commerical dog foods are just crap, used brewers rice, beet pulp, junk meats.

I switched to Blue Buffalo and I would never go back to commerical well known brands of dog food. In the last year or so we have seen on tv problems with dogs dying because of dog food ingredients , but if you talk to or read stories about breeders and dog owners that have their dogs die from very well known dog foods, switch to a complete raw diet.

I would check out this website and you will learn a great deal of whats in dog food , the good and the bad. Don't worry its not some PETA type BS, its reliable and used by a lot of breeders and dog owners.
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