So here’s the low down…. We have had Rocky(Sheepadoodle) and Sophie (Goldendoodle) for about 3 months now. They certainly home with the breeders food which is Life’s Abundance all stages. We decided due to financial reasons we were going to select another food and after researching and researching I went with what I thought was a good decision and choose Merrick grain free Texas beef and sweet potatoes. The transition went ok…… We are new at having dogs and didn’t know what to expect. We transitioned over 10 days from LA to Merrick. During the transition their poop was never consistent, sometimes normal sometimes more like the poop emoji. Once the transition was completed a few days later they started vomiting. We woke up and it was everywhere and all over both of them. It was gross. So we called the vet and brought them in. She gave them some antibiotics and we put them on chicken and rice for a few days to settle their belly’s out. The vet recommend doing a food switch again, her thoughts it was the food, so we listened due to inexperience and switched now to Iams proactive large breed puppy. Instantly their poop was great but then the itching started and their coats went from soft and fluffy to coarse and wirey. The inching continued for a week or so and we were getting concerned so we reached out to the breeder and let her know what was going on. She suggested switching back to LA. So guess what we did???? Yep we switched. We transitioned them back to LA over a 7 day period. Itching stopped within a week and everything seemed to be going good. Then the very inconsistent and smelly poop set in. Theyd go poop and it’s solid and then they take a few more steps and then the poop emojis come out. And it is really bad smelling. So we called the vet to talk to them and they said fast them for 24hr and then chicken and rice for 3-4days or until the poop becomes solid again. So it’s been 3 days poop is solid and yesterday morning 4/30 we started them back on LA. Now today 5/1 they go poop…. Fingers crossed…. Say a quick prayer… Talk to the puppies and tell them they can do it!!!! Ok here we go…. They poop. It’s solid…. They did it…. Psych…. They took a few more steps and out came the emojis… They look at us as it’s happening knowing we are disappointed……….
Ok all jokes aside now this is where we are at. We need help. We need suggestions. I do not want to switch these poor dogs again. How long should we wait on the LA before we know if it is something with this food? Do we give it a month? Have we totally screwed our dogs digestive systems up???
Anything help is much appreciated. Thanks in advance.
I wonder if you are feeding them too much? Could the food be high in fiber?
I never feed just kibble (too dry) add a little boiled chicken meat and rice (give up the rice when there stools have been firm for more than 3 days), add a little water or plain homemade (nothing added) chicken broth to meals.
Don’t free feed/leave food down.
Feed 3 small meals a day for now.
I have heard good things about Pro Plan Focus salmon for sensitive skin and stomachs
Make sure the food that you choose is appropriate for large breed puppies, it will say so on the bag.
PS: Wait a minute. You got them at 4 weeks? Not good for the immune system. Way too young, they should stay with the mother till at least 10 weeks.
Let me guess, they had a load of vaccinations recently.
Best to spread those out, don’t give all at once, and hold off on the rabies (required by law) for as long as you can, at least till they are 6 months old.
Math was way off… We got them at 8 weeks. Vaccinations have been spread out evenly. The Iams was the only one formulated for large breed the Merrick and Life’s Abundance were both all stages formulated.
Also we feed them 3 meals a day. We are currently feeding a little over a cup a feeding with the Life’s Abundance. So about 3.5 cups a day.
Well, maybe you should consider a large breed formula, a dog that will grow to be 50 pounds or more is considered to be a large breed.
Maybe that is too much food? Don’t go by the amount recommended on the bag as it tends to be too much.
I am more familiar with small breeds, but I did have an adult 35 pound dog that got about 2 cups of food per day, otherwise she would gain weight.
Too much food can cause loose stools and diarrhea.
Something that the breeder may or may not (but should have mentioned) is that anytime you bring home a new puppy it is important that they stay on the same food the breeder had them on for 3-4 weeks before doing a slow transition to a new diet. This is to prevent the issue you are having. Moving is stressful for them and stress coupled with a food switch (even though you did it over 10 days) can cause GI distress.
It sounds like they were doing best on Iams large breed puppy. This is what I would have them on. The itching could be a coincidence or perhaps they had a couple fleas that you never saw. It is almost a slim to none chance that they BOTH are itching due to a food allergy. Not much logic there.
Merrick has no food appropriate for a large breed puppy last I knew and the only thing I know about Life’s Abundance is that their sales reps are very annoying and the main reason breeders use the food is because they make a profit off it. It’s nothing special.
If you truly do not want them back on Iams because of the dull coats, I would try Pro Plan Focus Large Breed Puppy. My dogs have beautiful coats on Pro Plan, stool is perfect and the food is highly digestable.
Thanks pitlove…it wasn’t just the itching on the Iams but the total coat change. Their coats have since corrected themselves since going back to LA. My Goldendoodle just wnet again and it was total soft serve.
Would your suggestion be to get them on a large breed formula soon?
If they are both or even one of them is expected to be 50lbs or more when they mature, yes. This will ensure optimal slow growth and reduce their chances of developing bone disorders from growing too quickly. This is a problem that you can see in early life or sometimes it doesn’t show up until later in life as well. Genetics will play a role in this, not just nutrition.
Something about LA clearly isn’t agreeing with them, or their food has been switched too many times at this point being so young. I’ve suggested Pro Plan to many folks asking questions in the large breed puppy thread and have heard nothing but positive feedback. Many owners having the same issues you are having. I think it would be worth a shot for your dogs as well.
Have we totally wreck their GI track for life or is this something that will correct itself?
Also I shyed away from the ProPlan was due to the corn in it. There is a lot of corn in the Iams and i associated the itching with the corn. Could this be true?
Although internet rumor claims corn to be high on the allergenic scale, it’s truly not. As I said, the itching could have been from their coat drying out/skin drying out since the Iams maybe did not have enough fatty acids for them. I’m in doubt that it is related to a food allergy.
No I dont think you’ve ruined their GI systems, but you may want to consider a longer than 10 day transition at this point.
What would be your recommendation on a transitional period?
Here is the post I provided a link for…..but the link doesn’t work
Maybe these articles will help, both are written by veterinarians and one specializes in nutrition.
Nutrition in Large Breed Puppies
Posted on January 10, 2010 by skeptvet
So one have suggested Proan focus, are there any other large breed puppy food suggestions from anyone?
Also still looking for some advice on the transitional length.
Thanks for your help.
I’ve been looking at Nutro Wholesome Large Breed Puppy. They either have a chicken based one or a lamb based one. Any thoughts on these?
Or Hills Science diet? I would like to try something moderately priced as well that I can get from the local pet store.
There is no set transition length. You need to monitor the dogs stool and if you need to take a step back then you do so. Let the dog tell you how the transition is going.
I’m not big on Nutro. Hill’s or Royal Canin would be good. What type of stores are you shopping at?
We settled on ProPlan. Started the transition today. Did 7/8c of Life’s Abundance and 1/8c of ProPlan. Going to do that for 3 days and then increase by another 1/8c.
Sounds good. Keep us updatedkathleen pMember
If you still have issues after the transition try out Sport Dog Food…(sportdogfood.com). I ended up putting my weimaraner pup on it when he was5/6 months old due to itching, gas, bad breath,and all those other things that come with some dogs. Within 1 to 2 weeks there was a BIG difference! Their food does not contain all the unneeded ingredients that you find in pretty much all food now. Also, when feeding if your dogs stool is too loose it indicates they’re getting too much, if it’s too hard they’re not getting enough; that’s how I found out how much to feed Loki. He now has well formed, firm stools. Flax seed can cause alot of issues with loose stools and their food does not have it. They have “All life stages” food which is great so there’s no switching from puppy to adult. They are a little on the expensive side but well worth it. They have different formulas, but I’ll bet you could find something that would work for your pups. Good luck!Bianca SMember
I wonder if you are feeding them too much? Could the food be high in fiber? I have heard good things about Pro Plan Focus salmon for sensitive skin and stomachs Make sure the food that you choose is appropriate for large breed puppies, it will say so on the bag. For More info visit us at
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