I am considering switching my 15 year old lab/shepherd mix’s dog food. I am currently feeding Royal Canin Hypoallergenic Selected Protein Large Breed Adult PW prescription diet. It is a potato (white potato) and white fish (herring) limited ingredient diet. The reason that I am looking to switch is due to cost. The price has been increasing on and off for the last 3 years and the last time I picked up a bag from my vet it was nearly $106.00 for a 26.4 lb bag, one month ago it was $98.00. She has been on a prescription diet since she was only 5 years old and has had many health problems so I have reservations about switching. She has inflammatory bowel disease and heart disease. Specifically she has an enlarged heart, leaking mitral valve and leaking tricuspid valve. She also had pancreatitis three times in her earlier years. She is on an ACE inhibitor and diuretic for her heart (Enalapril and Furosemide). The prescription diet is for her IBD and not her heart.
What I am looking for is a food with a fish based protein source. I would like to keep her on herring but I am not finding many OTC foods that have herring and after reading about the California Natural recall that one no longer a choice for us.
I have some questions about the fish and potato sources.
How big of a difference would it be to switch her from herring to a different fish like salmon? Would it make a big difference if the potato source is sweet potato vs. white potato?
Would it make a big difference if she has been eating a food with only one fish source and I switch her to a food that contains many different fish sources like Orijen’s 6 Fish formula?
Lastly, her current food does not have any Omega 3 or 6 added and my vet has advised against giving her Omega 3 supplements due to her IBD and pancreatitis in the past, therefor would it pose problems if I switch her to a food that has added Omega’s in addition to the fish source?
The brands I am currently researching are Evo, Orijen, Wellness, Canine Caviar, Innova Prime, Fromm, Diamond Naturals or Earthborn Holistic. Do any of these brands stand out in a nutritional aspect more than others? Are there any other brands with a fish formula that I am missing that may be an option for her?
I am sorry this is so long. Any help at all would be so very much appreciated!
Tonya, I hope someone who knows more than I do will chime in. Just don’t know enough about your dogs medical issues. Am I reading correctly that your dog has been on script food for ten years? Those prices are crazy. Only good thing about that is ny food we recommend ont phase you.
Thank you for your reply InkedMarie. Yes, she has been on a prescription food for 10 years. She was diagnosed with both IBD and heart disease when she was only 5. Her IBD episodes were horrible and that is the reason we went on a limited ingredient prescription food. It has always been a Royal Canin prescription diet but when we started her out we first tried a low-fat chicken formula and then a lamb formula, she did not tolerate either of those foods well at all. We then tried this whitefish formula and it helped her IBD issues better than I ever thought it would. I wouldn’t even be considering switching if it weren’t for the price but I’m afraid it will just keep increasing.
Have you tried homemade whitefish and a baked potato? And some vits/mineral?
Hound Dog MomParticipant
Hi tonwol –
If it were me, I’d just start trying high quality, grain-free, fish-based foods and see what works. There’s no way to know what will work and won’t work unless you try. With that said, I really do think Sandy’s suggestion to make homemade food would be your best bet (you could use a pre-mix or vitamin/mineral supplement designed to balance homemade diets if you aren’t comfortable making food from scratch). All the brands you’re looking at are good brands and would be worth a try, however if your dog is prone to pancreatitis you may find she can’t tolerate the fat levels in some of these foods (the RC is only 10% fat). The Honest Kitchen’s Zeal might be worth checking out – it’s a grain-free dehydrated food with haddock, whiting and salmon and it’s only 8.5% fat.
Check a brand out made by Horizon Pet Foods called Pulsar. They are a Canadian company
and sell in the USA . Pulsar is available as either a chicken based kibble or fish based kibble.
The pricing is less than Wellness and/or Orijen so this may be a solution. Check it out
and best of luck.
Since your dog is currently on a limited ingredient food, which is often recommended for IBD, you might look at other LID foods. Our vet wanted us to specifically avoid blueberries, and a few other things. Natural Balance is one that comes to mind. They have a sweet potato and fish food. When I was buying NB for one of our dogs that had suspected IBD we paid about $50-55/bag. I also used Honest Kitchen, which the dog loved. and really helped her stomach. It’s pricey though. Change very slowly with a dog with IBD.
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