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dog food revisited

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  • dog food revisited

    I have a 12 1/2 yo Aussie who has has a sensitive stomach. I had her on Science Diet Mature and then last spring started looking for a good food that was easier to get locally. Well, that didn't work out so well so, after a full vet work-up and trying Royal Canin for dogs with sensitive systems (she wouldn't eat it), I switched her back to SD Mature. All has been fine for months until three days ago and she started having problems again. I no longer had the bag that I bought about a week and a half ago so I went to the SD website to see if any ingredients had been changed. Low and behold the website says "new and improved." So, now I'm back to looking for something my poor girl can eat without feeling bad. Any suggestions? I'll try almost anything as her sister can eat pretty much anything she wants so can finish off leftovers but I'd like to get to a solution quickly. Thanks!!
    Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Goethe

  • #2
    I would recommend calling Science Diet and asking exactly what changed in the formulation. I know that they have a team of nutritionists on staff and will be helpful if you can navigate through to get someone beyond customer service. You might consider asking your vet to check if they won't talk to you.

    It's hard to know what to recommend since you haven't done any trials yet. Personally, I would look for something with similar ingredients as the Science Diet Mature since that worked for her until recently and hope another company didn't add the strange ingredient that is causing the reaction.


    • #3
      Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream is for dogs with sensitivities I think?? Do your own research of course, because maybe it was allergies and I'm completely wrong in my memory. Anyway, if you switch from SD, of course I would introduce new food gradually!

      I agree though, I would call them and see what's up.
      DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/


      • #4
        you'd have to be more explicit about what "a sensitive stomach" means if you want usable advice- the dog is allergic to something? the dog has IBS? the dog is a picky eater?

        this is of particular importance because the formula you feed isn't one that would normally be used for a dog with any of the more typical causes of "sensitive stomach".

        Have you ever actually read the ingredients on your Science diet formula? it's generally the lowest quality type of food, with corn and soybeans as the base. If you actually believe your dog does well on this kind of feed, there are many cheap brands out there that use the same low-quality ingredients. Personally, I'd flee from the garbage and look for a high-quality food, but let's see.
        Hill's Mature:
        Whole Grain Corn, Chicken By-Product Meal, Animal Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), Soybean Mill Run, Flaxseed, Chicken Liver Flavor, Lactic Acid, Corn Gluten Meal,

        If you look on dogfoodadvisor at the 1-star rated foods you can find numerous options that have a similiar list of low-quality ingredients and bonus are sold at much cheaper prices than SD.
        Last edited by wendy; Dec. 6, 2012, 02:08 PM.


        • Original Poster

          I've been working with my vet on this (actually I've worked with two vets on this) and have tried some of the top rated foods (I ordered Orijen on-line for a while) with disastrous results for this particular dog. The suggestion of finding out what SD changed is an excellent one and I will follow-up with that.
          Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Goethe


          • #6
            My vet had me try California Naturals when we switched off of SD. Both dogs really like it. (we did the herring and sweet potato--it STINKS but they like it.)

            As of last night, my older dog is on Z/D til we can figure out what in the heck is going on. But we've been battling loose stools for 3 mos. So...hope that for you, changing the food helps.

            Good luck!
            A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

            Might be a reason, never an excuse...


            • #7
              Our female Lab has food allergies - at first we thought it was just to beef and then quickly realized it was anything with the slightest bit of chicken too - she would lick her feet and scratch her ears non-stop!

              The only food we have found locally which she can eat is the Taste of the Wild Pacific - salmon and sweet potatoes. Both she and her brother eat it, love it and they both look great.

              Strangely enough - her brother has had seizures, about once a year but not since we switched their food to TOTW.

              (probably shouldn't say that too loudly though.....)


              • #8
                and have tried some of the top rated foods (I ordered Orijen on-line for a while) with disastrous results for this particular dog. The suggestion of finding out what SD changed is an excellent one and I will follow-up with that.
                yes- you have to have a diagnosis before you can proceed. If the dog is intolerant of something, it doesn't matter how good the food is, it's no good for that particular dog. And food intolerance can be caused by anything from allergy to a very specific ingredient to intolerance of fat over a certain level to well, anything. No diagnosis, means no clue what to try or suggest.

                from what they are saying, SD has completely changed its line so I think you may find more than one change and thus no help whatsoever in diagnosing your dog's problem.
                They are suggesting the food has changed so dramatically that you're supposed to slowly transition from the old to the new.


                • Original Poster

                  They are suggesting the food has changed so dramatically that you're supposed to slowly transition from the old to the new.
                  Unfortunately, the bag doesn't say new and improved (either in person or on the website) but the website does say it. So, no way on knowing there was a need for a slow transition. Couldn't have done that anyway without knowing I needed to buy a bag of the old to have on hand before they came out with the new. Not a happy camper about it.
                  Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Goethe


                  • #10
                    Just wanted to share one more thing. Sorry!

                    My dobe had severe IBS. She had to go on daily metronidozole or it was uncontrollable liquid squirts. Turns out it wasn't a food allergy as initially suspected (first vet missed that too). She was allergic to pollen, etc. and it bothered her so severely externally and internally it caused the IBS. The good news about that is at times of the year we could wean her completely off the anitbiotic. The bad news is it wasn't as simple as going "grain free" or whatever.

                    Anyway, I'm sure your vet has already looked at all of that, but I thought I would share in case someone else reads the thread. I think a lot of times we want to blame corn or something for everything and miss the true culprit.
                    DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/


                    • #11
                      Just to put in my two cents. I work at tractor supply and our company is huge on educating their employees on the different brands of dog food etc.

                      Honestly, science diet is not as great of a food as vets make it out to be. A majority of their kibble is made of corn and wheat and brewers grains. All useless for your dog.

                      Since your dog seems to have a super sensitive stomach I would recommend either Taste of the Wild, Blue Buffalo, Wellness or, our own private label, 4health

                      4health is comparable to blue buffalo is quality. (Puppy formulas are identical) however we sell it significantly cheaper because its our label and we can. Think $35 for a 35lb bag as opposed to $50 for 30lb. Both are no wheat, no corn, no soy. Extremely important for dogs with allergies.

                      In my opinion TOTW and Wellness are comparable...both are grain free. Wellness being the more expensive at $60 for 30ish pounds. Those are two great options if your dog is allergic to all grains. In actuality, a lot of dogs are allergic to corn, wheat, and soy.

                      And then there's the all raw diet. I'm actually in the process of researching this to see if it would be right for my dogs. Everyone I've talked to has said all of their dogs allergies disappeared and sensitive stomachs were non existent.

                      Just keep in mind with the kibble to feed lamb for sensitive stomach, fish for allergies.


                      • Original Poster

                        Thanks folks! My vet actually met me at the local farm store yesterday to give me some cat food I had ordered. She had a food in mind that she thought might work and we went in the store together and read over the label. I bought a small bag and have started mixing it in with the SD so we will see. I gave her a few pieces as a treat last night and she LOVED it. So, I hope it works well for her. Thanks for all the feedback. I may yet need it (although I hope I don't).
                        Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Goethe


                        • #13
                          My GSD does extremely well on the Blue Buffalo fish and sweet potato. He has a sensitive belly, chicken and lamb don't work well with him. (He will do fine for days and then get explosive runs then do fine then runs again over and over throughout the life of the bag)... I've had ZERO issues with this food....ZERO. If you have to grab something quick while you're doing more research or if the food you just got doesn't work out, I'd give this a try. Might work as well for you as it does for me! What food did the vet have you buy?


                          • #14
                            I've also had really good luck with Blue Buffalo basic fish and sweet potato for our sensitive guy. Before switching him to this, our dog alternated between having ear infections/scratching himself raw and a LOT of belly issues. Because this formula takes out a lot of the most frequent allergens, we aren't sure exactly what it is that sets him off, but at this point I'm not about to mess with a good thing.