Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets (Dry)

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Rating: ★★½☆☆

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-lowest tier rating of 2.5 stars.

The Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets product line includes 13 dry dog foods, each claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages.

The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.

  • Natural Balance LID Potato & Duck Grain Free
  • Natural Balance LID Potato & Rabbit Grain Free
  • Natural Balance LID Lamb Meal and Brown Rice (3 stars)
  • Natural Balance LID Sw Potato & Fish Grain Free (3 stars)
  • Natural Balance LID Sw Potato & Bison Grain Free (2 stars)
  • Natural Balance LID Lamb Meal & Br Rice Lg Breed (3 stars)
  • Natural Balance LID Legume & Duck Meal Grain Free (3 stars)
  • Natural Balance LID Sw Potato & Chicken Grain Free (3 stars)
  • Natural Balance LID Sw Potato & Venison Grain Free (2 stars)
  • Natural Balance LID Potato & Duck Sm Breed Bites Grain Free
  • Natural Balance LID Lamb Meal & Br Rice Sm Br Bites (3 stars)
  • Natural Balance LID Sw Potato & Fish Sm Breed Bites Grain Free (3 stars)
  • Natural Balance LID Sw Potato & Chicken Sm Breed Bites Grain Free (3 stars)

Natural Balance LID Potato and Duck Grain Free was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Natural Balance L.I.D. Potato and Duck Grain Free

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 23% | Fat = 11% | Carbs = 58%

Ingredients: Potatoes, duck meal, duck, canola oil (preserved with natural mixed tocopherols), potato protein, potato fiber, natural flavor, dicalcium phosphate, sodium chloride, salmon oil (a source of DHA), calcium carbonate, flaxseed, potassium chloride, choline chloride, taurine, natural mixed tocopherols, l-carnitine, Yucca schidigera extract, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.3%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis21%10%NA
Dry Matter Basis23%11%58%
Calorie Weighted Basis22%25%53%

The first ingredient in this dog food lists potato. Potatoes can be considered a gluten-free source of digestible carbohydrates. Yet with the exception of perhaps their caloric content, potatoes are of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The second ingredient lists duck meal. Duck meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh duck.

The third ingredient is duck. Although it is a quality item, raw duck contains about 80% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.

After processing, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.

The fourth ingredient is canola oil. Many applaud canola for its favorable omega-3 content while some condemn it as an unhealthy fat.

Much of the objection regarding canola oil appears to be related to the use of genetically modified rapeseed as its source material.

Yet others find the negative stories about canola oil more the stuff of urban legend than actual science.1

In any case, plant-based oils like canola are less biologically available to a dog than fish oil as a source of quality omega-3 fats.

The fifth ingredient is potato protein, the dry residue remaining after removing the starchy part of a potato.

Even though it contains over 80% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.

And less costly plant-based products like this can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

The sixth ingredient is potato fiber, a source of dietary fiber. Fiber in reasonable amounts can help stabilize blood sugar levels and reduce a dog food’s caloric content.

From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.

But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this product.

With four notable exceptions

First, salmon oil is naturally rich in the prized EPA and DHA type of omega-3 fatty acids. These two high quality fats boast the highest bio-availability to dogs and humans.

Depending on its level of freshness and purity, salmon oil should be considered a commendable addition.

Next, flaxseed is one of the best plant sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Provided they’ve first been ground into a meal, flax seeds are also rich in soluble fiber.

However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

In addition, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.

And lastly, this food also contains chelated minerals, minerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets looks like an above average dry product.

But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 23%, a fat level of 11% and estimated carbohydrates of about 58%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 23% and a mean fat level of 12%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 57% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 50%.

Below-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the potato protein and flaxseed in this recipe and the pea protein, dried peas and garbanzo beans contained in the others, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing only a modest amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets is a plant-based kibble using a modest amount of named meats and meat meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 2.5 stars.

Not recommended.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content.

Those looking for a kibble for allergy-prone pets may wish to visit our special report… “Suggested Hypoallergenic Dog Foods“.

A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.

Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit for your pet.

For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".

Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.

To learn how we support the cost of operating this website, please visit our public Disclosure and Disclaimer page.

Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

01/08/2010 Original review
04/15/2010 Review updated
10/31/2010 Review updated
07/06/2011 Review updated
04/27/2012 Review updated
11/15/2013 Review updated
11/15/2013 Last Update

  1. Mikkelson, B and DP, Oil of Ole, Urban Legends Reference Pages (2005)
  • dakota

    I was wondering what food you were feeding your dane

  • Melissaandcrew

    It we old be impossible to take all the health conditions into consideration for each breed unfortunately. I feed my crew foods such as Arcana Orijen Nature’s Variety homemade raw and dehydrated. As long as the fat is no more than 16 percent mine do great. Interestingly enough, the last bout of pancreatitis was brought on when a friend gave more a small bag of Iams.. th ed newer line naturals. This was the fish one. Flare up requiring vet care after one bowl and the food is low protein and low fat. Never again.

  • sue66b

    Hi Quilter03,cause the protein is low they get less stars which I think is wrong, they should take in account the better ingredients better then the Vet Prescription diets, I’m using the “Wellness Simple”Lamb & Oatmeal, at first I tried the Duck & Oatmeal but Patch started his scratching then I looked at the ingredients again & saw Potato Protein the Lamb & Oatmeal doesnt have no potato….if you have any problems with the NB give the “Wellness Simple”a go, its been the best out of all the foods I’ve tried,heaps better then his vet prescription diet, poos are firmer…

  • quilter03

    I have Miniature Schnauzers. This breed has to have low fat or they can get Pancreatitis. Low protein to prevent kidney problems. Does your star rating take into account the dogs that have this special need? Mine are on the NB sweet potato and Bison for these reasons. What is recommended?

  • tesia m

    Oh my gosh, I could have written the same thing! We just switched this weekend after spending tons of $$ on vet bills/tests for our Great Dane (didn’t find anything wrong with him physically) and after watching him lose weight and refuse to eat this stuff. He gobbled the new food like he was starving– and he was! Something must have changed with the food; it doesn’t even look the same as it used to.

  • Jan_Mom2Cavs

    Yes, I would also like to know what food you ended up with for your Lab. Also, remember that Natural Balance did sell to Del Monte within the last year and while I used to feed it and recommend it I can no longer do that. I just feel I can’t trust the food anymore.

  • sue66b

    Hi Brain, in the end what new kibble did you use….

  • Brian

    Hi,
    I just wanted to share an experience I had with NB limited ingredient Sweet Potato and Venison food. About 8 years ago we started feeding our Black Lab this food when we found him to get sever ear infections from foods with chicken in it. For the past 8 years he has loved the food. 2 times a day for 8 years it has been an exercise to try and get our dog to slow down eating his food. About 2 weeks ago right after purchasing 2 new bags of dog food he abruptly stopped eating all together. He was 110 lbs and is now down to 94. We have racked up $1000 in vet bills trying to figure out why he quit eating and why his stool has turned 100% liquid. The vet was worried he was coming down with Addison’s disease. We would put the food in the bowl and he would run to it like always, but then turn around and walk away not eating anything. Not Lab behavior at all. This past weekend I got down next too him to try and get him to eat because we were fearing this was the end for him. Then he looked at me almost to say don’t make me eat this. You could tell he wanted to eat but he was not eating this. I quickly ran to the pet store to find a new food that that did not have chicken in it. He ate that food down so quickly… We just kept feeding him. Overnight his energy came back, his stool is hardening back up, and he loves eating again.
    I spoke with NB this morning about this. They say they have not changed their formula, but that is not what we are hearing from the pet stores, and based on my dogs reaction to the food after 8 years of eating it we know something has changed… All I know is we are changing pet foods because our dog demands it. When you cant force a lab to eat there is something seriously wrong.
    Hope this review helps anyone else out before they end up paying $1000 in vet bills to figure out what is wrong with their dog. It may just be the food.

  • sharron

    i’ve done that many times, still won’t eat it

  • mward1993

    Try soaking the kibble in warm water

  • sharron

    thanks for your replies – i dont’t free feed – feed her 3 x/day – i’m feeding her straight can food – the dry just isn’t working and i’m tired of adding other foods to it – she always eats the toppers and leave the dry

  • mward1993

    Also dont free feed. Provide meal times 2-3 times a day for 10 or so minutes each. She will lear when provided food she needs to eat because it wont always be there.

  • mward1993

    provided you can afford it you can add canned food and other toppers. Just dont keep adding more and more or else thats what she will expect. I use a spoonful of canned with my 50lb pit bull.

  • sharron

    thanks so much for your reply – i’m still confused even after 4 years. she is a very fussy eater and i can’t keep her on one food for very long – a week of eating the same thing is pretty good for us – i try now not to give in and give her something else, but she can go for hours without eating and then starts bringing up yellow bile because she is so hungry but won’t give in and eat what’s in her bowl. she’s a yorkie/chihuahua, famous for being fussy

  • mward1993

    Many people feel that high fat and protein match a dog’s diet to that of a wolf’s, and that this is the best thing for all dogs. Some will try to fight with you no matter what is best for your dog as an individual, they believe all dogs need super high meat and protein even if your dog does better on mid protein levels they will deny it. Do what gives you the best results and dont worry about some guy in a pet store the evidence is right there in your dog.

  • sharron

    hi – while at the pet store buying a bag of the NB limited ingredient lamb and brown rice small breed, it was mentioned to me that i should feeding a dry food that has more than 1 meat protein in it. rather than getting in to the great debate about dog food i bought the food and left – just curious as to why this pet store employee feels that it is necessary to feed a food that is high in protein and fat to a little toy breed house dog

  • Ddb

    Since they’ve been bought out by Del Monte, I have really struggled in keeping my dog on this food. Some bags are super greasy, some are really dry, and he’s been getting upset stomach’s a lot more. I’m officially switching to try Nutrisource Chicken Grain free and see how it goes….just tired of the inconsistencies in this product since they were bought out.

  • Jennifer Ward

    I understand that cost may be an issue, but bear in mind, the better nutrition your dogs are receiving NOW, the better their health will be, and LESS money spent on vet bills in the future. Good nutrition is so so so important for overall health. Also remember a lot of vets have agreements with food companies to sell their product, so the more they sell of that brand the more $$ in their pocket. Almost always these contracts are with lower quality food brands. It’s shameful. I guess if the brand is an honest nutritionally healthy food, they don’t need those extra side
    deals to push it.

  • yourmoms

    All the NB food is made in the US, except the chewy cat treats. Manufactured in Taiwan.

    I spent many an hour on the customer care line asking abput products. Lol

  • yourmoms

    Made in the USA. All of it gets batch tested in labs in California I believe.

  • yourmoms

    NB actually weighs products prior to dehydration. About 8lbs of raw meat goes into every lb of dried product. Potatoes contain more water and end up being first because of this. NB Is actually a great food and awesome for allergy sufferers.

    Too much protein is not good for your dog. Unless it is super active, excess protein can cause more harm than good. Dogs are omnivores and require a multifaceted diet.

  • mward1993

    The ingredients are all good…but this web site is very biased toward foods that are 30% or higher in protein. You will pretty much never see a food under 30% protein rated 5 stars.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Glad to hear you found a food that helped your dogs skin problems! The lower rating that this food receives is primarily due to it’s low protein level and inclusion of concentrated vegetable protein.

  • Applebig

    Good food, I think the rating should go higher, my dog was having great severe skin problem until a friend recommended the L.I.D sweet potato and fish formula.

  • Scamper Kitter

    Wow .. good to know. That is not good business on their part (but good on the part of the pet food store).

  • DogMom4

    I did know about the sale and that’s what has prompted the concern. We were just at another pet food store and she said she has also asked them directly and they refused to name where it’s manufactured so she had them remove all of their food and no longer carries the brand. I can’t trust a company that will not answer that question.

  • Scamper Kitter

    I believe they are still manufactured at Diamond plants. However, this may have changed since they were sold to Del Monte in May last year (2013). Del Monte has changed its name to “Big Heart Pet Brands” thinking no one will notice.

  • sue66b

    Yes, wet food is heaps better then dry food, Dry is over proccessed, harder to digest.. if you have a dog with Pancreatitis, wet is best…Dry is just easier for us…

  • DogMom4

    Does anyone know where the dog food is actually manufactured? I asked this question at my pet food store and they contacted the rep. The rep said none of the ingredients are sourced from China, but they mysteriously did not answer where the product is manufactured. I’ve also received no reply to my inquiry from their web site.

  • Storm’s Mom

    It is infinitely better not to cater to her every dietary whim (YOU should have the control in that little dynamic), but if you must, then switching up the canned would be better imho simply because it’s easier (cans are smaller, take less time to go through, etc), more economical (you could potentially be stuck with/wasting a whole lot of kibble if “she decides she doesn’t want it anymore” in the middle of a bag) ….and it’s the better quality stuff (canned) you’ve providing variety for anyway.

  • sharron

    hi – quick question here – i have lexee eating the NB duck and potato with can mixed in, so far so good, if and when she decides she doesn’t want it anymore, is it better to switch the can food rather than the dry
    thanks

  • AdWhois

    Thank you both! I will go over to that thread and see what I can find :)

  • Bobby dog

    Hi AdWhois:
    I don’t know the sodium % of this food, I would recommend contacting the company directly for accurate info. Maybe someone else will know and can also recommend some food to you.
    I know you are only looking for reduced sodium, but someone started a thread on the forum side on low sodium & low fat dog food that might be a good place for you to start, IDK:
    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/forums/topic/dry-dog-food-with-low-salt-and-low-fat/

    And here’s a list from Tuft’s Vet School:
    http://vet.tufts.edu/heartsmart/resources/reduced_sodium_diet_for_dogs.pdf

    Good Luck!

  • Betsy Greer

    Hi AdWhois,

    Take a look at this thread in the forum area of the site: http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/forums/topic/dry-dog-food-with-low-salt-and-low-fat/, a poster, Gina S, shared a list of foods and their sodium levels. You might find it useful.

  • AdWhois

    Does anyone know what the sodium % is in this food? I’m trying to find a dog food for a reduced sodium diet (<.25%), saw this this natural balance recipe was recommended elsewhere but I can't find the sodium % anywhere… My dog loves all the ND recipes but was recently put on a low sodium diet for heart disease, he won't eat the Royal Canin early cardiac food the vet gave us. Any help would be really appreciated. Non-prescription would be preferred for obvious cost reasons. Also like I said he won't eat the Royal Canin so that limits the prescription choices drastically. Haven't seen if he'll eat the hills yet. Thanks!

  • mward1993

    I have tried other foods due to the fear that my dog wont get enough protein. However, this food keeps her coat the best, her stools the healthiest, her energy high, and she actually likes it so its not a daily chore for her to eat. Veterinarians and others both comment on her healthy muscle tone (which yes, it is partially genetic since she is a pit bull) But even with naturally larger muscle mass that wont do a thing without a healthy diet. I do add some canned food to boost the protein a bit so I would recommend that.

  • mward1993

    Its rated lower not because it has bad ingredients but because the protein is on the low side and this site and most of the people on it favor foods high in meat protein. Meat is not even the first ingredient in most formulas which is generally seen as a red flag. It would be nice if they added more meat.

  • sue66b

    My boy was having real bad breath, it was his stomach……

  • Tiffani Hallan

    If the hairless is symmetrical, then she should be checked for thyroid disease. I’m always one to say “listen to the dog.” if the dog’s body is not agreeing with the food, then yes, change the food, otherwise, don’t worry about the “stars.” Bad breath could be kidney/liver as well, so best to get some bloodwork done. Good luck :)

  • JaketheMutt

    I think the reason it has such a low rating is due to the fact its so low in protein,it may also be that the first ingredient is not meat and that this food is more vegetable based then meat. However if your dog is having issues (and it sounds like he is) a switch is probably a good idea.

  • mrsbelley

    You make a valid point, Tiffani…but part of the reason I came looking through the site again is because I was starting to question the quality of the food. My boxer’s breath has gotten pretty terrible (I brush her teeth every weekend), and she’s developed some bald spots on her sides, so I was wondering if it had something to do with her food. I’m taking her to the vet this week for tests, but finding out that her food had been dropped to Not Recommended has me thinking it could be related! Truth be told, I’m probably jump too quickly to blaming the food…but it’s a relatively easy thing to change, and I want to make sure I’m doing my best for my pups. :)

  • Tiffani Hallan

    Do not panic! If this works for your dog, keep using it. You absolutely can NOT put your faith in the amount of stars a food has. There is NO way to tell the quality of ingredients in the food just by looking at the ingredient panel.

  • LabsRawesome

    Wellness Simple Solutions has two 4 star recipes. Turkey, and Salmon. http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/wellness-dog-food-simple-solutions-dry/

  • mrsbelley

    Oh no, when did NB LID drop to 2.5 stars?? I thought it was rated higher – I used this site to search for a good choice for my sensitive boxer a few years ago, and wouldn’t have started with NB if it had been rated this low before. I guess the hunt is on for something new!

  • USA Dog Treats

    If people have a complaint about a dog food one of the places they should report it is on the Consumer Affairs website. The Pet Food section makes for an interesting read.

    http://www.consumeraffairs.com/pets/pet-food

    There is also a link to a Class Action Settlement for Diamond Pet Foods!

    Benefits For Affected Dog Owners Settlement Includes Several Brands. diamondpetfoodssettlement.com

    Of the 24 foods listed the highest rated (by consumers) is Natural Balance with 2 stars! A lot of brands are not listed at all.

    Royal Canin
    Overall Satisfaction Rating 1.5 Stars
    http://www.consumeraffairs.com/pets/royal_canin.html

    Natural Balance
    Overall Satisfaction Rating 2 Stars
    http://www.consumeraffairs.com/pets/natural_balance.html

  • Merry

    I’m not educated in what the rabbits are fed, but your chicken/beef is fed corn, which is a grain, and other grains,etc. The meat of the animal is still going to give a reaction in your dog. I, too, am going to see how I can switch my dogs to rabbit, or grass-fed beef or pastured chickens! Sad that we have to pay so much for the good stuff for ours and our pets optimum nutrition! Go to http://www.dogdishdiet.com for better information on a meat diet.

  • aimee

    I posted Natures Variety response last night but it has never showed up.

    Natures Variety only reported one quality control measure they take in regards to cross contamination in the production of their food which is to clean the line before production.

    This of course leave a lot of avenues for cross contamination to occur.

    When paying a higher price for the RC diet you are paying for the extensive quality control that ensures the diet is free from foreign proteins.

  • Jean

    Chewy.com is AWESOME! Love them.

  • Jean

    Exactly what I plan on doing, thank you! We will be rotating… bison & fish on my list. I’m hoping more companies come out with more proteins for us soon. Man, they really know how to sneak in a protein though. One has to do a LOT of reading. Thanks for such great info!

  • aimee

    I agree it is a snapshot analysis. But it may reflect quality control measures that are in place to ensure diet purity.

    I called RC and Natures variety and asked about their QC in the limited ingredient diets. NV went directly to voice mail so I e mailed them.

    RC was very forthcoming went in to so much detail so fast I was jotting things down trying to keep up. I’m sure I missed a lot. But here is what I caught:

    The separate line is used for production . The line is completely broken down and throughly cleaned before production and cleaned every 2 hours during production.

    An NRI fingerprint is done on each ingredient before use. I’m not sure what this is and the Customer service agent wasn’t either. She thought it was a DNA “fingerprint” and I did find reference to that on line

    PCR testing for “foreign” proteins are done on each ingredient before accepted for use and on the every lot of final product.

    The other QC items seemed more general. Pre/post testing both in house and sent to an outside lab for conformation for bacteria/ molds/mycotoxins/ pesticides/ heavy metals/melamine.

    Biological assays for products that would be formed by degradation of ingredients.

    Proximate analysis both in house and outside lab on every lot.

    Any premix vit/mineral is tested in house and to an outside lab before use.

    She listed a lot more but I can’t read my own scribble as I was writing so fast!

    I’ll post back with NV response.

  • Jean

    I hear ya about nutrition. I’ve always fed raw chicken or beef. This is very hard for us to transition to. He has allergies now because he has had the chicken/beef/sometimes lamb for so long. It’s got to be rabbit now but in kibble forum. I love the Grandma Lucy’s but cannot afford that for 3 huge dogs. I’m going to go with NV Limited ingredient rabbit for now and keeping my fingers crossed. Thanks!

  • USA Dog Treats

    Hi Jean

    I would look at the Grandma Lucy’s Pureformance – Freeze Dried Rabbit – 10 lb.

    There is no comparison in quality between the Grandma Lucy’s and the Royal Canin. The Royal Canin is a low quality overly processed kibble while the Grandma Lucy’s is a top of the line freeze dried food.

    Royal Canin RX diets are all “Science”, they are formulated with the lowest quality ingredients designed to treat a particular ailment. They are overly processed and are completely unnatural for a dog or cat! They sacrifice the long term well being of your pet for the short term goal of treating a condition that you would be much better off treating with a diet that is appropriate for a dog while still helping to alleviate the same conditions that the RX diets do.

    http://www.wag.com/dog/p/grandma-lucys-pureformance-freeze-dried-rabbit-10-lb-284362

    10 lbs makes 51 pounds of fresh food for $81.99 and a new customer coupon for 20% off “PETFOOD20″

    USDA Rabbit, Chickpeas, Flax, Carrots, Celery, Apples, Bananas, Blueberries, Cranberries, Pumpkin, Papaya, Spinach, Garlic, Rosemary, Vitamin A, Vitamin D3, Vitamin E, Niacin, Iron, Calcium, Phosphorus, Zinc, Riboflavin, Thiamin, Potassium, Manganese, Chloride, Copper, Magnesium, Pyridoxine, Cyanocobalamin.

    Ingredients Royal Canin rabbit 25 lbs $86.99

    Dehydrated potato, rabbit meal, potato protein, coprah oil, natural flavors, rabbit, anchovy oil (source of EPA/DHA), soya oil, monocalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, L-tyrosine, DL-methionine, salt, taurine, Vitamins DL-alpha tocopherol acetate (source of vitamin E), inositol, niacin supplement, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), D-calcium pantothenate, biotin, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), riboflavin supplement (vitamin B2), thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), vitamin A acetate, folic acid, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, choline chloride, potassium chloride, Trace Minerals (zinc proteinate, zinc oxide, ferrous sulfate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, copper sulfate, manganous oxide, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), rosemary extract, preserved with natural mixed tocopherols (source of vitamin E) and citric acid.

    Good Luck with your pup!!!

  • Storm’s Mom

    Thanks for mentioning that, aimee, I had forgotten about that study.

  • losul

    edits aren’t working for me. I meant to say that the RC is about 50 bucks cheaper than from your vet, and it will come direct from RC.

    http://www.chewy.com/dog/royal-canin-veterinary-diet/dp/35116

  • losul

    Jean, if you can get your vet to fax a prescription to chewy.com.,You should be able to get the RC for about 50 bucks cheaper/bag.

    Edit: cheaper than the RC from your vet, that is

  • aimee

    Hi Jean, Keep in mind that proteins not listed in the ingredient lists have been found in food that are supposedly “limited ingredient”. When doing an elimination trial OTC foods are not recommended as the quality control is questionable. If the trial is finished than it is appropriate to try an OTC food similar to the food used in the trial.

    When four OTC foods were tested, including one from Natures Variety, only one of the four ( Wellness) didn’t have additional protein sources ( soy beef poultry)in the diets.

  • dchassett

    Venison is another formula that your dog may be able to eat. Chicken, beef, turkey and lamb have been around in dog foods for so long that they are the obvious allergy triggers in dogs now. Years ago if your dog had allergies they would recommend lamb. Lamb was considered a novel protein back then so it was a good possibility dogs wouldn’t be allergic to it. After that, all the dog companies started making lamb kibble to jump into that market and make more money, everyone started using it and so it’s now another allergy trigger. Basically as far as main protein in your dogs food needs to be something he’s never eaten or exposed to before. The theory is that if he hasn’t been eating that particular protein chances are he’s not developed an allergy to it. You really should try to find other novel proteins that your dog can tolerate to have in a rotation. If you continue to only feed rabbit day in day out for years, he may develop an allergy to it from over exposure. If you feed rotation (you can do it with every bag, or every couple of bags) your dog is less likely to have an issue with any of them. Bison may be another protein he may be able to eat. Bison is not really considered beef. I once thought it was. Also can your dog eat any of the fish formulas? You didn’t mention fish. A lot of dogs with food allergies do well with fish. Just please read the ingredients, a lot of companies will have some chicken or turkey somewhere in the ingredients and messes everything up for dogs with allergies.

  • Jean

    We are going to go with the NV LI Rabbit. One really needs to check the ingredients on these foods. They say single ingredient and then list chicken livers or beef broth.

  • Jean

    So far chicken, beef, turkey and lamb. The Derm Vet said we need to try rabbit and it is working so far :)

  • Jean

    I see that and would love to get it but I have 3 80lb dogs and I would need to put them all on it to make my life easier. It’s way too costly.

  • aimee

    Jean If the Vet Dermatologist is having you use the RC Rabbit as an elimination diet trial I’d use it for the duration of the trial. The problem with OTC limited ingredient foods is that they have been found to contain protein sources other than what are on the label making them unsuitable to use for food trials.

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    Grandma Lucy’s Pureformance also has rabbit (freeze dried) and Primal (raw).

  • dchassett

    What are your dogs food allergies and intolerances?
    We might better be able to help if we knew a bit more.

  • Storm’s Mom

    Nature’s Variety Instinct has a Limited Ingredient Rabbit kibble. Nature’s Logic also has a Rabbit kibble, but it also has turkey, so that might not work. Is rabbit the ONLY protein that your dog can have? Why? (I gather if you’re seeing a vet dermatologist that it might be an allergy issue, but it seems odd to me that rabbit would be the only option left..)

  • Jean

    What does one do when their dog can only have rabbit? There are very few rabbit kibbles on the market. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet (rabbit) is what the Vet Dermatologist put my dog on @ $140 a bag. This brand has the exact same ingredients and is a lot cheaper. Any suggestions?

  • dchassett

    Ain’t it the truth! One of my girls has been eating poop since I got her at 9 weeks old. She’s now 4 1/2 years old and I have tried every thing under the sun. Sometimes, it is what it is! Though that statement may be showing a little too much of my old 60’s “flower child” in me.

  • dchassett

    Oh good C4C. I was hoping you’d see her post and jump in. I was giving her reasoning on this food as it pertains to dogs and why the rating is low but I thought she should really be looking at cat rated foods somewhere. I know you can sometimes (I wouldn’t) feed a dog cat food but not the other way around. By that I mean if your dog eats some of the cats food it’s not going to be the end of the world, not that someone should be feeding their dog cat food. Anyway, I’m out and glad your in.

  • Crazy4cats

    Ok, good luck. I just thought you should know it wouldn’t necessarily hurt anything to stay on that food for a while. But you got to do what you got to do! lol! What do you mean by a not-for-profit? How many is many?

  • Susan Ennis

    Thanks for your response. The only reason I am considering changing her food again is because she is losing weight and is still hungry after she eats!
    I have a not-for-profit and we have MANY cats as well!!!!

  • Crazy4cats

    I find it very strange that a food would have too much protein for a cat since they are carnivores. Have you taken in a stool sample to check for parasites? I would definitely change foods to see if that helps. But, try a food with different ingredients, such as a different protein and carb source, not necessarily less protein. Good luck!

  • Crazy4cats

    Susan-
    While, I agree, this food may be too low in protein to feed on a long term basis, I don’t totally agree with the others on switching food right away. Your dog just went from throwing up daily to not throwing up at all. Why don’t you give her gut a chance to heal before switching her to another food so quick. But, yes, in my opinion, start slowly adding some extras to her kibble to bump up the protein and make her feel a little fuller. I add either canned, sardines, or eggs to my dogs’ kibble to accomplish this. Also, this food may be lower in calories than the one you were feeding. So you may have to increase the amount also. I’ve learned so much from this site. It never occurred to me that different foods could be so drastically different in the amount of calories per cup they have. You have time to rotate foods down the line when you are sure she’s ready. Good luck!

  • Pam c

    It has less to do with the fact that it’s LID and probably more that there is so much potato. I’m guessing the Chicken Soup for the Soul had more protein.

    Your dog is both hungry and losing weight. Logically this would mean that your dog needs more food.

    My suggestion would be to feed her more or switch her to a higher protein diet. Although I wouldn’t recommend this food unless you can’t find anything better.

  • dchassett

    A higher protein food will be more filling whereas a dog on a high carb diet will have him feeling hungry all the time. This food is low on protein and very high on carbs.

  • Susan Ennis

    Will do – thank you!

  • dchassett

    Whoops! Where’s the rest of my post. Must have had a senior moment. I’ll see if I can find it here and add to it so I don’t have to retype it all over again. Sorry.

  • Susan Ennis

    Thank you both for your input.
    The only reason why I chose NB LID is because I read some reviews that highly recommended it for sensitive stomach. You are right – it’s possible that this is not the right food for her.
    I will definitely check out a few other brands. I just bought a new large bag of NB – I’m hoping the pet store will exchange it. I still have enough left to transition to a new food.
    Would the limited ingredients cause her to remain hungry and lose some weight? I am feeding her an extra cup per day and she woofs it down and looks at me like where is the rest of my dinner?????
    Thanks much,
    Susan

  • dchassett

    Susan. Just another note. Natural Balance had recalls in 2010 and 2012. If you look to the left hand column you’ll see Dog Food Recalls. Click on it and you can get a list of Dog Food Recalls. You should also, if you haven’t already, sign up for recalls and you’ll get emails every time a food is recalled.

  • dchassett

    Hi Pam. Yes, Chicken Soup for the Soul is a Diamond Product. That alone should scare anybody off. Too many recalls for my taste and I don’t see that they have or will change anything to make anything better. Very questionable outfit. Dori

  • Dr J

    Now that is news to me….

  • Pam c

    That’s great that you found a food that isn’t making your dog throw up. I agree with dchassett that you should find a food with less starch and more protein(from a meat source). So now you know your dog will probably do well on a fish-based food. That’s a great place to start but your dog would probably benefit from switching what he eats from time to time.

    As for Chicken Soup for the Soul…I think it’s packed by Diamond. So I’m thinking your dog could have been reacting to the ingredients in the food or it could be caused by Diamond’s questionable quality control.

  • dchassett

    Grains aren’t carbs.

  • dchassett

    IF, they do well then certainly they can be grain inclusive. Some dogs do fine, most do better with grain free. Again, though, she’s looking for cat food so I’m not sure she should be judging cat food by how Mike rates dog food.

  • dchassett

    I believe this dog food is rated the way it is because the protein is much too low and the carbs are crazy high. I don’t know anything about cat food. I do know dog food and I would certainly not feed this food to any of my dogs. I think somewhere on line someone mentioned that there is a site that rates cat food. Cats and dogs need different diets. Cats are strict carnivores and have no need whatsoever for carbs, they need taurine, and protein. With the exception of the lamb in the brand all other formulas begin with some sort of carbs (potato). IMO higher protein does not cause diarrhea, or certainly I’ve never experienced that and I feed my dogs a very high protein. What can and does cause diarrhea is an imbalance in fiber in their diets. Too much, too little. As I’ve mentioned, I’m a dog person not a cat person (I’m allergic to them) but I’m thinking the diarrhea issues may be similar. Hopefully some cat people on this site will join in and help you out.

  • dchassett

    I would slowly transition her to a food with a higher protein (too low in this food for my liking) and grain, white potato, soy, rice, poultry free food. Importantly, IMO, a dog foods first ingredient should not be potatoes or anything other than an identifiable protein. The first ingredient should be protein, not carbs. Is there a reason why you put her on a limited ingredient food? That might not have been necessary at all. She may have just had an issue with something in the Chicken Soup for the Soul. Poultry is a big issue for a lot of dogs as typically most dog foods have a lot of poultry in them (cheap ingredient) therefore dogs fed a diet long term with poultry can become intolerant of it. It can, of course, happen with any protein which is why when your gal gets accustomed to a higher quality, high protein, moderate fat, low carb diet you can start to transition her to a different brand with different protein with every bag you buy. Her gut will heal nicely and she’ll get the benefits of different ingredients in the different brands. Some people rotate proteins within the same brand but, and it’s just my opinion, brands will change a protein source but all other ingredients will remain the same. I like my girls to get benefit from different brands, different ingredients. If one brand is lacking in something, they’ll get it from switching to another brand. Now admittedly, I now feed almost all raw meals now but there are some really very good dog food kibbles on the market. A lot of people like Natures Logic, Zignature, Victors Grain Free. Just try to keep away from ingredients that were in the Chicken Soup for the Soul as best you can but definitely no poultry of any sort. Check out 4 and 5 star lists. Also, just because they are 4 and 5 stars does not mean that they are expensive. You’re also going to find that you will spend very little time and money at the vet. A lot cheaper to by a better food than spend your money at the vet. I think you’ll see a huge change in your dog. Good Luck. I hope I’ve helped.

  • Susan Ennis

    P.S. I switched Callie to Natural Balance LID Sweet Potato and Salmon.

  • Susan Ennis

    My 5 y/o yellow lab was throwing up daily. Took her to vet had chest x-ray, blood work, etc. Everything came back normal so I decided to take her off Chicken Soup for the Soul and switched her to Natural Balance LID. She stopped throwing up immediately and seems to be fine. Although she has lost a little weight – not enough for me to be concerned as yet. She does seem to be more hungry so I have increased amount of food.
    My question is, should I be adding anything to her dry food to compensate for the lack of meat? (protein and other necessary nutrients)?
    I’m thrilled that she seems healthier but I want to make sure that she is getting a balanced diet.
    Thanks for your help.
    Susan Ennis

  • mward1993

    I was just saying that some dogs cant do potatoes, sweet potatoes, tapioca, legumes ect. or any of the common non grain carbs and grain may be the best carb for them. But I am with you, generally I would try grain free first with a novel protein if I suspected allergies or intolerances in a dog.

  • mward1993

    yes, they are just different kibble sizes.

  • InkedMarie

    You’re right. I didn’t realize that they had three different lamb & rice LID foods.

  • InkedMarie

    I’m not understanding you. Potatoes, both sweet & white, tapioca, legumes are not grains.

    My comment is that when someone has a dog with intolerances, allergies, etc, most people suggest grain free. It makes sense unless you know for sure that your dog does fine with all grains. You are right though, if a dog can eat grain inclusive & do well, they should stick with it. I personally wouldn’t use the NB unless it’s the only one they can do well on. There are other grain inclusive pet foods that are much better, IMO.

  • mward1993

    And not all dogs with intolerances do best on grain free. Especially if they cant do potatoes, sweet potatoes, legumes, tapioca, ect. If they can be fed a healthy grain inclusive food and do well then stick with it.

  • mward1993

    only the lamb and rice is grain inclusive…for dogs who cant do potatoes or legumes as the carb source.

  • InkedMarie

    In reality, the grain free NB LID foods have potato or legume first, not meat. That alone is going to take the rating down. I don’t even understand how a limited ingredient diet, which would be needed for dogs with intolerances, allergies, etc would even be grain inclusive. To me, that makes no sense. If someone has a dog with intolerances or allergies, grain free is the first thing to do.

  • mward1993

    I would try it. It fits the bill and it is a good food overall. Most sites (other than this one) give NB the highest or second highest rating. While DFA is a good resource with lots of info, they tend to rate otherwise great foods low simply because the protein is not high. Pretty much all the “5 star” dog foods here are 30% or more protein, which is considered “high” by most. So NB gets rated down because the protein levels in their LID diets are 20-23%, or “low” protein. In reality this is a fine protein level for most dogs excluding working dogs, puppies, or lactating mothers. The cat food is 30% I think, which is a pretty typical level for cat food.

  • Rebecca Thornhill

    Does anyone know how the cat food of Natural Balance compares to the dog food? I would have thought since this food has no grains or corn it would get a higher rating. The cat food uses peas instead of potato.
    My cat was on Natures Variety but the vet said it was too much protein and was making his diarrhea worse and it had tapioca in it. So no grains or potato or tapioca and less protein. Natural Balance seems to fit the bill and usually the ratings for dog food are a good indicater of how the cat food is.

  • Nicole

    You may also want to check out Zignature. They have LI formulas without probiotics. I just got some samples today from the pet store – salmon and trout and a lamb formula.

  • Nicole

    Good to know….thank you! :)

  • Crazy4cats

    Lol, I’ve done that several times also on my iPad with my fat fingers. But, like patty said, you can reverse if you want to. No worries!

  • Pattyvaughn

    If you accidently up or down vote a comment the arrow and number will change color. You can just click on it again at any time to undo it if you want to.

  • Nicole

    Just a quick note…I’m sorry if I accidentally up or down vote the comments…I keep thinking the arrows will show more/less…grrrrr…I’m pretty sure I did this a few times as a guest.

  • Nicole

    Hi Daylily,

    I was also disappointed by the low rating, but since meat is not the number 1 ingredient, I can see why. I feed my terrier mix the LID sweet potato and salmon. She is doing SO well on it. My vet (holistic vet) warned me not to change foods too often, as she has seen many pups get very sick, especially when owners suddenly offer their pets food with much higher protein %’s and go from kibble to canned to raw, etc. Here’s what I’m doing now to help boost the nutrition without making my dog sick: When feeding the kibble, I add wild salmon oil to it. A few times a week, I top her kibble with a few pieces of cooked salmon to boost the protein a little. At night, I fill a large Kong with a mixture of Acana lamb kibble (the LID formula…I think it’s lamb and apple…it has PB’s so you may not use that brand), Nature’s Variety Instinct canned LID in the lamb formula, and shredded apple and carrot. I freeze this overnight and offer it to her before I leave for work. This works out to about a 1/4 c of food and keeps her busy while I’m gone. It’s also gentle on her VERY sensitive tummy. By doing this, I am boosting the protein (but not dramatically) and offering two different protein sources. In 6 months to a year, I will switch to two different protein sources and keep her on that for a while. I used to offer her a raw medallion once per week (Stella and Chewy’s), but it made her sick so I went back to the drawing board. I’ve only been doing this for a short time…I’ll let you know how she does long term. Good luck with your dogs and I would not worry too much about feeding them this. It really has worked nicely for mine so far. :)

  • InkedMarie

    The food you’re using is actually potato and duck, which probably has something to do with the lower rating: potato is the first ingredient, not duck.

  • Charlessssss

    They lied and called me a troll before I was on a roll

  • Daylily

    Joy, I would switch foods right away. Always trust your dog with it comes to food. I may be just a bad batch or a change in formula but when something makes my pups sick, I don’t mess around, it has to go right away.

  • Daylily

    I specifically chose this dog food because of the limited ingredients and the fact that it does NOT have probiotics. My dog’s digestive tract works just fine and I can see no reason to mess with a good thing. My doc says probiotics are helpful when animals/people are having digestive problems and it is always optimal to leave nature alone when an animal’s intestines are functioning well. That advice seems sensible. Unfortunately, many of the food that are getting the best scores also have many things in that sound like potential allergens that could cause more harm than good down the road. Plus, they have the probiotic issue.

    I have only started the duck and potato this past week but my dog eats it well and tolerates it so far. He is a hearty one who survived years as a puppy mill breeder but when he consistently balks at eating something, I know it is bad, return it immediately and call the company. I have had this happen with multiple brands and I trust my dog to let me know when something is wrong. I believe the quality control is not very good for commercial food and it is a fact I face every time I open a bag that the dogs I cooked for lived the longest even though they had the most health issues – thus the cooking.

    I am kind of disappointed with this review since I thought the food didn’t sound too bad. That said, I adhere to the theory that changing foods often helps stop sensitizing dogs to any one ingredient so I will continue to vary his diet.

    Just read the posts about the fish and sweet potato. I bought a bag of that too but I may return it. Maybe some mixes just aren’t a good idea.

  • Joy

    My Bull Terrier has been having problems lately with red areas in her feet, belly and inside flanks. I heard that Natural Balance was purchased a year ago or less. She never had these problems before the purchase. The last bag of Natural Balance Sweet Potato & Fish we got has different shaped kibbles. Now my female is bloated and is pooping 4-6 times per day, instead of 2 times. She has also become lethargic. In addition, our male Bull Terrier has started having an inordinate amount of very fragrant gas. Has anyone else using this dog food noticed a change in their dogs?

  • LT

    I’ve had a similar problem with the Sweet Potato & Fish formula! My small breed adult dog is fine with it but my 7 month old boxer mix is pooping SO much. Every time we go outside she poops at least once, and in larger quantities than usual. She has also had accidents in the house which is unusual for her. She also always seems to be hungry. I don’t know if this is related at all, but her anal glands have been expressing all over the place (it’s so gross). I didn’t have any of these problems before I switched to this formula. They’ve been on other NB LID formulas and have done well, but this one hasn’t been great.

  • JaketheMutt

    Thanks again for the suggestions, Im going to check out the SKD-200.Right now they are all eating Purina One SmartBlend Lamb and Rice,it comes in a red bag,I usually pick it up at Walmart or Sam’s Club,unfortunately it does contain corn though.There weight has increased significantly since switching to Purina and they do have quite a bit more energy,they are also not having poo issues anymore.About a year ago a friend of mine emailed me about a product when my dog started having issues with yeast and staph infections of the skin,it’s called Nzymes (Nzymes.com) it is supposed to help with yeast problems and various other health issues.I never got the chance to order it as my vet was able to clear up her staph rather quickly,might be something you want to look into though.I have brought SIBO to my vets attention,he did not think that my dogs had it,however it is something I plan on talking with him more about at our next visit.I hope you are able to get your little guy healthier,and I hope your vet is able to shed a bit more light on whats going on with him,best of luck tomorrow!

  • sue66b

    When I read ur post this morning I googled Folate & bacterial overgrowth & came up with S.I.B.O, Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth. Have you looked into SIBO in dogs.. I’ve been telling my vet that my dog might have the H-Pylori Bacteria virus in his stomach as he’s been waking up around 1am & 4am swollowing & licking, at first I thought he mite vomit but he didnt, he also didnt want his grass as he normally does, then I realised he has stomach acid coming up into his throat & since he has started taking the Metronidazole on Saturday he is getting better..not as much mouth licking in the mornings & last nite was the first nite he didnt get up & sit in the loungeroom on the rug just licking & swollowing..My vet is ringing me tomorrow Im going to ask her about this S.I.B.O.. I also read that a yeast overgrowth is likely apart of SIBO & the Eukanuba Intestinal my boys on is corn based.. it also said low fiber is needed… Thank-You cause you wrote about the High Folate in ur dogs I might finally start to find out whats happening to my boy, not just the vet saying he has I.B.D. I also read people with IBD often have S.I.B.O awell..your right about the Eukanuba Intestinal not keeping on the weight, Im always telling the vet he looks skinnier then before. Also does the Purina one help ur dogs.. Is it the purina one thats sold in the super makets in a reddish packet.. Im in OZ maybe its a bit different.. I met a lady on Face Book & she told me about SKD-200 its Cooked Kangaroo & potato loaf invent by a dr in Australia for dogs with skin Allergies, IBD, Pancreatitis, I had to order it in from my Pet Stock. Google SKD-200 & email them & see if you can get it where you live & give it a try..

  • Dave’s Hounds

    I would recommend Natures Logic

  • JaketheMutt

    Great advice,thank you! They love fresh fruits and veggies(cucumbers especially:).Never thought to add sardines,cant wait to see how they react to those,lol:)

  • JaketheMutt

    We have been on Metronidazole before(on numerous occasions)it always worked well for my dogs(Albon/Kao was also a med that worked extremely well).Most of the time when my dogs start having food issues their blood work always shows high folate levels,which the vet said indicates bacterial overgrowth,so he then treats them with Metro which always clears things up(at least for a little while),We have also tried Eukanuba Sensitive Digestion but my dogs had weight issues on that food(way to skinny).I appreciate your suggestions,Im definitely going to avoid Flaxseed when choosing foods in the future.Thank you and best wishes to your little guy!

  • JaketheMutt

    Thank you! I totally agree,we are giving it a break for right now,they seem to be doing really well on the Purina for the time being,in a few months we will be trying an elimination diet.Im just grateful Im no longer running around my house with a mop bucket in tow,LOL. Best of luck to your little gal as well:)

  • sue66b

    My boy has IBD & Seasonal Allergies, he’s on the Eukanuba Intestinal, which has made his poo excellent 2 poos a day..like you I dont like a corn or grain kibble so the other week I tried changing him to Holistic Select Duck as its a single protein & its Hydrolized, it breaks down, its easier on the stomach, on our second day of adding just a quarter of a cup to his Intestinal the farts started then 3rd morning he woke me up 5am wanting to poo but it was just wind pain.. I looked at the ingredients & saw Flaxseed, so I looked up Flaxseed & some dogs just cant have Flaxseed it irritates the bowel, look at the ingredients & Im pretty sure N/B has flaxseed thats why I never tried it, it may not be the problem but try one without flaxseed & see.. Purina One doesnt have flaxseed..Also my boy was put on Metronidazole its a antibiotic for the Stomach & bowel ….Has ur dog been put on this Antibiotic yet It really helps just incase Jake has stomach or bowel bacteria..Also on the Eukanuba Intestinal my boys swollen red feet & itchy back hasnt happened this summer like it did last summer when he wasnt on the Intestinal,,.or stick with the Purina One if it stops their pooing its not worth the stress, some dogs just do better on a grain diet while other dogs cant have grains…..Oh, also my boy cant have fish its no good for his sensitive tummy, thats how he ended up on the Metronidazole, stupid me asked the vet can we try the Eukanuba FP Dermatosis fish & potato as he was having troubles with his ears scratching them 1 week after slowley changing from the Intestinal to the FP Dermatosis the diarrhea started..

  • Nicole

    Hi Jake,
    I’m so sorry you are having trouble with your fur kids. I can empathize because my dog also has a very sensitive stomach, and can’t even look at chicken without vomiting and diarrhea. I have tried everything from Orijen to Nature’s Variety to Darwin’s Choice Raw. My vet (a raw food advocate) ran many tests and determined that in addition to a food intolerance to poultry, my dog also struggles with high protein foods. For this reason, we switched her to a fish and potato-based, limited ingredient diet. Although it didn’t work for you, NB Fish and Potato is the first canned and kibble that my pup can keep down, and it’s allowed my dog’s stomach to stabilize and have a rest. Based on this site, I’m worried that I am not providing my dog with an optimal diet, but honestly, I am going with what works for her. And I’m going to give my dog and my wallet a long-term rest by waiting at least a year before attempting to change her diet again. I’m not an expert by any means, but I think that going with what works for your dogs right now is the best (temporary) solution. I completely understand that it bothers you to feed them Purina, but I believe that more harm will be done to them by switching their foods too much. Give yourselves a break and try again in the future. In the meantime, add a salmon oil supplement to your pup’s kibble, along with fresh grated carrot and apple, and a little bit of cooked meat that you know they don’t struggle with-if the meat protein in your Purina is chicken, then give them some shredded chicken breast. Don’t mix the proteins in their diet to prevent tummy upset. This was my vet’s advice and it’s been working wonderfully so far. I really wish you the best of luck!

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  • Shawna

    Sorry, I was a bit misleading — no “chicken” muscle meat for Gizmo but she can have every other kind of meat including muscle meat. Tonight they had buffalo. I also have rabbit, beef, port, salmon and lamb in the freezer.

    If you are just doing home made for a week or two, it’s not necessary to balance the diet but if longer than that, in my opinion, it is quite important to balance. The easiest way to do that is with a premix and meat you buy.

    I like Dr. Karen Becker. Dr. Becker says not to give rice (or other grains) as it is fermented by the bacteria in the gut and can cause more problems than it resolves — can being the operative word. Dr. Becker prefers turkey and sweet potato or turkey and canned pumpkin (without the spices) as a low stress intermediate diet.

    For now, if you think chicken really could be the issue, I would avoid all chicken and use another protein.. Just my opinion though… :)

  • sue66b

    God ur right, I kept noticing sometimes when he has had chicken breast boil his symptoms got worst but the vet would say boil chicken & rice for a few days let his bowel rest, the other night I boiled chicken breast & shredded it & gave it to him with his kibble there wasnt much chicken maybe a handful, we were up at 5am with his rumbling bowel then he wanted grass but the vet told me to try to stop him eating grass as it can irritate his bowel more, so I only let him have a bit of grass & normally when I let him have heaps of grass he’ll diarrehia the grass back out within 2hrs of eating it. I havent tried meats yet as Im too scared, alot of people at the dog park give their dogs boiled premium human mince & frozen veggies.. I was going to try this but leave out the veggies when u say no muscle meats whats a muscle in beef meat & what beef meats do you u use..I saw chicken hearts in the supermaket today but what do I do with them..do I boil them, my vet said that raw has bacteria so I dont want to give raw, well not yet when I boil I kill any germs I hope..

  • Shawna

    Purina isn’t the best food but it certainly beats having a sick puppy all the time!!! If you simply can’t get them off Purina you can always improve the diet by adding appropriate human foods like sardines, eggs, small amounts of fresh/frozen berries etc, if they tolerate them that is.. Just a thought!!

  • Shawna

    Hi Sue,

    Gizmo was horrible!!! Her diarrhea was EXPLOSIVE and she had very little warning when it came on. I cleaned poo off the front of kitchen cabinets etc even..

    I have always fed my personal dogs (I foster) a raw diet and I change the protein and starch about every third day. Gizmo can eat absolutely anything, but chicken muscle meat, without getting colitis (she has no issues with flax seed by the way). Muscle meat is anything that isn’t organ — so breast, thigh, leg etc meats are a no no. Recently I discovered that Gizmo gets watery eyes and a mild cough from ANY poultry (turkey, pheasant even ostrich) so she gets no poultry at all now.

    We discovered it was chicken when my holistic vet gave me a homeopathic remedy that I could buy at any health food store for about $6. As soon as I heard her tummy start to rumble I’d give her three of the little pellets and it would stop the rumbling and everything. Then I was able to link the symptoms to chicken.

    If it’s within your budget, might be worth trying home cooked (or raw) meat with a commercial premix (which makes the diet complete and balanced) for a couple weeks to see if the colitis AND the mouth licking stop. Then you can add whatever kibble you want back in and see what happens. If he reacts, take a copy of ALL the ingredients in the food and try another food with a different protein and starch (buy small bags obviously). :)

    Just make sure you are watching the protein AND starch as potato, garbonzo beans, green beans, peas, wheat, barley and other starches can cause colitis too.

    I hope you figure it out!!!!! I know the frustration you must be feeling!!!!

  • JaketheMutt

    Thank you for the recommendation,I appreciate it:) I could not keep them on NB any longer as the issues just kept getting worse,although I hated doing it,I switched them back to Purina for the time being until I can do an elimination diet which will be soon as I want them off of Purina.

  • sue66b

    Hi Shawna, Yes my boy has had the red blood in his poo when he’s been real bad it was just red waterery poo then other times you’d see a swirl of blood thru his poo the colour of the blood was a light red.. Since being on the Eukanuba Intestinal the blood has stopped ..How do you know when meats are muscle Also what do you feed ur girl now….I know the Eukanuba isnt really agreeing with my boys stomach, 20mins after having his kibble in the morning he just keeps on licking & licking his mouth, this stops after his lunch time sleep. Ive googled mouth licking in dogs & it can be feeling sick or stomach acid, my vet doesnt seemed worried with the mouth licking cause his poo are good now, some mornings when he’s had his colitis I’ll give him dry toast with a honey as this stops the gurgling stomach & it settles down & he doesnt do the mouth licking so it has to be the intestinal kibble…..

  • Shawna

    Hi sue66b,

    My Pomeranian gets colitis if she has any food with chicken muscle meat in it. She doesn’t get colitis from the fat, liver or heart etc just from the muscle meat. Before we identified chicken as the problem ingredient she had ulcerative colitis (red blood in her poo).

  • sue66b

    Thank-You Patty

  • Hot stuff

    I would see if petfooddirect could send it or Artemis is pretty good too

  • Pattyvaughn

    Go up to the top of the comments and just below the end of the review should be a box that says “Join the Discussion.” Click on the box.

  • sue66b

    See I’m in Australia & alot of the kibbles I want to try, I cant get… I’ll look up Fromm & see if there’s a supplier in Australia..

  • LabsRawesome

    You can ask your question on any page you want to.

  • Hot stuff

    Holistic select has in my experience a quality issue.They dont use the best stuff. We use natural balance and the fromm senior.We had lots of problems with other brands. We have seen a big difference and the bloodwork got normal

  • sue66b

    Hi, how can I put up a post about asking a question.. I noticed other people put up threads about their dogs having problems.. I cant seem to find where & how to do this..
    Thank-You

  • LabsRawesome

    Hi sue, this is the Natural Balance Limited Ingredient page, so that is probably what Mike N. is feeding. I just thought that I would give you an answer since his post is from 2 weeks ago, he might not see your post.

  • sue66b

    Ive been reading all the post & I just noticed that u said 1 of ur dogs has Colitis, its the first post Ive read with a dog with Colitis… U say ur dog is on Venison & sweet potato & love it, what brand is the venison & sweet potato..& what other foods are you feeding him that dont irritate his colitis..Im going mad with my boy, I rescued him 1 yr ago the vets say Colitis & IBD & have put him on the Eukanuba Intestinal this helps him but its full of corn.. I want something else that will agree with him as well…

  • sue66b

    I too are having problems as my boy has IBD.. I found he cant have too much fiber or fat he’s on the Eukanuba Intestinal it has only 1.75%-fiber & 10%-fat his poos are excellent but I dont like giving him this feed as it has corn & its a vet diet also I want him to have different foods in his diet the vet said as long as his poos are good leave him just on the Eukanuba Intestinal, I feel so sorry for him eating the same kibble day in & day out..but start looking at he crude fiber % & try a kibble without flaxseed & see if there’s difference..

  • sue66b

    Ive just started my boy on the Holistic Select Duck we had to get up at 5am for a poo thats not like him, he goes around 7am, & Ive only started 2 days ago, adding quarter of a cup H/S to a cup of his old food. I looked up the ingredients in Holistic Select & it has Flaxseed ..so I googled side effect with Flaxseed in dogs & one is loose stools & diarrrhea, nausea, wind, So now I have to find another food that doesnt have the flaxseed… I Just looked at the ingredients in N/B LID & it does have flaxseed..I was going to try this but since it has flaxseed I wont be.. Maybe ur dogs are the same try a kibble that doesnt have Flaxseed.. I know that Purina One doesnt have flaxseed..
    Does anyone elses dog get diarrhea or poo more if the kibble has flaxseed & what are you feeding them..

  • Pattyvaughn

    This food is good for helping you figure out what your dog is reacting to.
    Carbs feed the kind of yeast that live in the gut and sometimes, in dogs with food intolerances, cause systemic yeast infections. The kind of yeast that usually grows in the ears feeds on oils. This food is probably too high in carbs for systemic yeast problems, but getting on a food that your dog isn’t reacting to can help with that, if it is an issue. Also, adding probiotics helps.

    In the long run, I prefer a food with a lot more protein, but going this low won’t hurt for a while.

  • Jessica

    I am thinking about switching my bulldog to this food. the legume and duck. do you know if it is any good? he has allergies to just about everything environmental and food and gets pretty bad yeast infections in his ears. He has been on grain free food for as long as I can remember but is also overweight. I was told to stay away from chicken and potatoes since potatoes are a carb and carbs turn to sugar feeding the yeast. Right now he is on something newer called Authority and seems to be clearing his ears up some but he still has issues and it has potatoes in it. :(

  • CeeEllEff

    We give our 70lb APBT the Natural Balance LID Sweet Potato & Venison topped with a fish oil supplement and a pre/probiotic powder and he is thriving. He’s very fit and has a lot of energy and a shiny black coat. No poop issues or gas and no itchy & flaky skin or hives or ear infections since we started this about a year ago.

  • CeeEllEff

    This is also what we feed our boy and we top it with a pre/probiotic powder and a fish oil supplement. No GI issues, and no ear infections or itchy toes, and his coat is super shiny! We’re very happy with his food as well.

  • Betsy Greer

    Sure thing! : )

    What might even work better would be to create a new thread in the forum area of the site. I looked and didn’t see a thread specifically devoted to elimination diets.

    I haven’t done an elimination diet myself…, yet. As long as I have several foods to feed my problem pup, I decided to stick with those. In the forum you’re likely to have folks who have done elimination diets respond, but even in the off topic area, your posts are likely to not be seen by others. Once you register, posting in the forums is easy.

  • Pattyvaughn

    You should definitely go at least 2 months on the first step of your elimination diet. You want to make sure that histamine has cleared out of the system. I would add any new ingredients for a week before adding a new one, because sometimes reations are subtle and you won’t see it until after 3 days. However, if you see a reaction sooner, stop that ingredient immediately, and again stay with only what you know works for a couple months to make sure all the histamine has cleared out before starting again. When I did it with my dog I did have one food he could tolerate and the first ingredients I added back were the ones in the next food I wanted to try, so pretty soon I had 2 foods. After I stopped the elimination diet because I thought I had a pretty good handle on what I was watching out for, I still kept ingredient lists. When I tried a new food a year later and he reacted to it, I could eliminate every ingredient in the food as suspects by comparing the lists except the tomato, so I found another food for his avoid list that way.

  • JaketheMutt

    I cant tell you enough how much you have helped me! Thank you so much! I definitely think the next step should be an elimination diet.I have a few more questions but there off topic,so Im going to move them over to the off topic discussions,do you think you could help me out over there?

  • Betsy Greer

    You sound like you’ve been through the ringer so it’s probably nothing more challenging than you’ve already done so, in a nutshell….

    it’s a single protein and a single starch. A single novel protein that you haven’t fed your dogs before. They get nothing else. Treats are OK, as long as they’re the same protein source as the protein you’re feeding. For example, if you choose turkey and sweet potatoes, you could use turkey necks for snacks and chewing satisfaction.

    You feed nothing other than your single protein and single starch for at least a month and quite possibly longer. You’ll want to keep a written log of everything as you go also.

    Now, here I’ll quote Shawna for the next phase of the diet (you’ll notice she fed her single protein / starch combo for three months):

    “After the three month elimination I
    started with just one food and added that back into the diet feeding it at every meal. I waited at least three days before adding the next food back in (I may have even went a week — can’t remember for sure).

    If she reacted to the food I quit feeding it. If she didn’t react I moved on to the next food. At that time I was home preparing so I did add in ingredient (food) by ingredient — chicken meat, hamburger, pumpkin, garlic, goat cheese etc. I also did the same thing with her supplements.

    When she reacted to a food I let her system calm down and get back to symptom free before adding the next food.”

    An elimination diet can be pretty daunting, but it might be in order for your pups. If you could find one single food that they did great on (haha, you wish, I know) you could almost use that as a sort of starting point also if your schedule made a true elimination diet too challenging. That was what I was originally thinking when I asked if you had tried NVI LID earlier, but since you’re not sure if the synthetic vitamins could potentially be a culprit and your pups didn’t care for Nature’s Logic (could you maybe try a different protein than the one you sampled? and not that I’d consider it a LID by any means, but I was thinking that it contains only whole food ingredients and nothing synthetic is added) it might be time to take the leap.

  • JaketheMutt

    Just want to say I appreciate all the help you and everyone else who responded to my post has given me,I appreciate it so much.I have tried a sample of Natures Logic and my dog’s did not care for it,however its worth a try again to see if they’ve changed their mind:) I do not think Ive ever done an elimination diet,can you explain further what that entails.

  • InkedMarie

    Probiotics and yep!

  • Betsy Greer

    OK, so there have been times you haven’t used both the yogurt and probiotics. I know Dr. Tim recently told another poster that her antibiotics could’ve been problematic due to one of the ingredients being pork derived.

    Have you ever tried Nature’s Logic by chance? Nature’s Logic contains no added synthetic ingredients. I use it and my dogs love it. Either that, or it might be time for an elimination diet.

    Have you ever done or thought about doing an elimination diet?

  • InkedMarie

    Check out online prices for NV, chewy.com, wag.com and Petflow.com are good.

  • Julie

    Maybe transition them quickly to the NB LID GF Legume & Duck Meal Formula and do not feed them the probiotics or yogurt during this feeding trial. If they still have the same bad reaction, they can’t eat duck anymore. If they get better, then they can’t eat potato anymore.

  • JaketheMutt

    The only thing that usually shares a common ground is the added vitamins and minerals but I don’t think that would cause it?Through process of elimination I’ve found that none of my dogs can tolerate chicken,most grains,(although oddly enough the corn in Purina didn’t seem to bother them).I’ve always used probiotics,the yogurt I started adding about a year ago,I did take them off of it for awhile to see if that was the cause but nothing changed,like I said when we make a switch to a new food they do really well on it to start,then after a few months they start having problems with it.I’ve had all 5 of them tested for worms/parasites,EPI,Cushings,thyroid etc with everything coming back fine except for high folate levels in 2 of my dogs,the vet chalked it up to bacterial overgrowth in the gut,which he treated them for. My vet is just as confused as I am as to what is going on.

  • Betsy Greer

    Both dogs are having the same type of problems with the same foods? Hmmm… strange.

    Have you put the ingredients for all of the offending foods side by side to find a common ingredient?

    Is there anything that’s been a constant even when you change foods? Are you always using antibiotics and yogurt?

  • JaketheMutt

    That’s okay,no worries.My dogs just seem to have issues with every food they’ve been on,they start out doing okay on it and than a few months later they start having issues,some of the foods we’ve tried are TOTW,Diamond Naturals,The Honest Kitchen,Simply Nourish,Blue Buffalo,Pinnacle,the list goes on.After trying so many foods and having the same end result, I finally “bit the bullet” and put them on Purina just to see what would happen, surprisingly they did very well on it,but I couldn’t stand the thought of feeding them such terrible ingredients so we switched to NB.I have looked into Natures Variety before and I would have tried it had it have not been so expensive,I love my dogs dearly,but at close to 10 cups a day in food,I just don’t think I can afford $79.99(my local Petco’s price)a bag.

  • Betsy Greer

    Hi JaketheMutt,

    Please forgive me for not recalling what was going on with your dogs. I tried to pull up your comment history, but couldn’t.

    Have you ever tried Nature’s Variety Instinct LID?

  • JaketheMutt

    So its been a few months since my initial review,and I thought it was time for an update.My dogs started out on the potato and duck formula and seemed to be doing really well on it, unfortunately in the last few weeks I noticed some itching and red stained feet in a few of my dogs and also an increase in pooing,so I slowly transitioned them to the fish and sweet potato about 2 weeks ago.Since the switch I have had nothing but problems,my dogs are pooping like crazy(tons of accidents in the house),it smells horrid and they all are now eating their own poo(yuck!).I’ve also noticed their weight has gone down quite a bit so Ive had to increase their food intake to.I have them all on a probiotic powder from our vet and I also add yogurt a few times a week,neither of these are working to resolve these issues.I guess it’s time to switch foods yet again, unfortunately the only food my dogs have had success with was Purina One Smartblend,I cant stand the thought of feeding them a food with such terrible ingredients though.Any suggestions?I really do not want them back on Purina but they need to eat and NB is making them sick.