I have two dogs, a 10 year old American Bulldog Pit mix (115 lbs.) and a 4 year old Catahoula mix (40 lbs).
Both dogs are currently eating Blue Buffalo Adult dry, mixed with approx 2 tablespoons of BB wet, twice a day.
No matter what brand I buy or which protein formula I choose, if I run out of a large bag and buy another of the same formula, one of the dogs (usually the big one) starts to either have digestive issues or skin issues.
It was suggested to try to rotate the protein formula, which is what I intend to do once the current bag is almost done.
My question though is more about Mature vs Adult. I ran into a Blue Buffalo rep at the store last week and he asked the ages and sizes of my dogs. He recommended the regular Adult formula for my Catahoula, but said my American Bulldog mix should be on Mature Large Breed formula.
My dogs have a habit of eating from each others’ bowls when I feed them. If it was that important, I could watch them and discourage them from doing it.
But was the rep giving me sound advice or trying to get me to buy twice as much food?
I’m not in favor of mature food. Some mature dogs are overweight and a low cal/“diet” food can be helpful. I wouldn’t bother.
I suggest trying different brands….some of us aren’t Blue fans, myself included. It’s important to have a handful of different foods your dogs do well on. Vary the brands and the proteins.
@inkedmarie, I’m not exactly a fan of BB myself, but it seems to be the one brand that causes the least issues with my dog.
Over the past 10 years I’ve tried many of the brands recommended from this site: Wellness, Merrick, TOTW, Canidae, Acana, Instinct, Whole Earth Farms, Nulo…
Blue Buffalo is the only one they seem to want to eat. It drives me a bit crazy. But considering my vet keeps pushing Purina Pro Plan, BB seems like a step up from that.
My big guy isn’t overweight but losing a few pounds couldn’t hurt. The rep was saying that Adult formula has more protein than Senior food and as dogs age they require less protein. And since he’s over 100 pounds, he should be on a large breed formula.
I can’t comment about the large breed or not but senior dogs need more protein, not less.
Usually a large breed formula is only truly necessary for a growing large breed puppy. The calcium and phosphorus levels are usually balanced better in large breed puppy food, ensuring proper growth. Not sure about the guidelines for adults though, never had huge dogs
Studies have shown that senior dogs need more protein per kg of body weight than an average adult dog, up to 50% more. Senior dogs on low protein foods had weaker muscles and more muscle tearing. There is no beneficial reason to lower a healthy senior dog’s protein intake.
As a general rule of thumb, my vet tends to recommend around 2g of protein per kg of body weight for a healthy adult dog and 3g of protein per kg for a healthy senior
I work in the pet industry and I cant tell you how many times I see similar situations among customers I encounter. When it comes to pet foods in this day and age I try not to point out certain foods to be “good/not good” because what works for one may not work for another. I can tell you that you want to find a diet that is lower in “carbs” when you are in need of weight management but also because you had mentioned how with certain brands you have tried you have found skin and or bowel issues. For the skin I would try to stick with a formula that is higher in Omega 6 because this will help with over all skin, coat, and help promote healthy oils your dog produces. Also a lot of time when you play around with bouncing from brand to brand it will irritate your dogs GI tract and what I have found that works with 90% of the people I recommend this to is adding 1 tbs of UNSWEETENED canned pumpkin to each of your feedings this has worked to stop the “runs” for me seance I tried it almost a year ago.
I prefer to feed diet for age of my dog, a pup eats puppy formula, an adult 1-7 eats an adult formula & a senior dog eats a senior food, senior food have all the supplements for aging dogs joint, bones etc & have lower fat, higher protein, well it depends which brand you feed, I like “Canidae Pure Meadow” Senior formula, its high in Omega 3 fatty acid, has Glucosamine but its not as high as the Wellness Core Large breed Adult formula, Ive found the the Large Breed formula’s are higher in Glucosamine & Chondroitin then most senior foods.. I was going to try Wellness Core Senior but it has Lentils Patch gets diarrhea from lentils & bad wind pain, gas farts..
I dont know if your 10 year old American Bulldog Pit mix has Arthritis, he probably does??
Have you tried “Wellness Core” Large Breed Adult Grain Free dry kibble?
it’s low Kcals-346kcals per cup, high Protein-34%min, low/med fat -13%max
Carbs-30% scroll down to “Nutrient Profiles”
then click on the “GET THE PDF” link it will give you all the max “Dry Matter Basis %”
My boy 10yr old Staffy – 40lbs suffers with IBD, Food & Environment Allergies & he has this 3-4cm bone thing growing out of his left hip bone, vets said they have never seen anything like it, the vet said he was probably born with it…
anyway around age 9 he started running on 3 legs, letting his left back leg to hang while running, then last year in December – January he went down hill with his IBD then in March he was really sick with his stomach he had bad acid reflux, I started introducing Wellness Core Large Breed adult formula, it had the right fat%, Low Kcals, low carbs & high protein % also was high in Glucosamine was not less than 750 mg/kg
Chondroitin Sulfate was not less than 250 mg/kg…
After 3weeks of eating the Wellness Core everythng got better his stomach his acid reflux stopped 🙂 his back leg, he stop running on 3 legs, he ran on all 4 legs & started acting like a young pup again… His vet, the Pet Shop man, everyone couldnt believe what a big difference after eating the Wellness Core Large Breed Adult formula had made.
Now I rotate his dry foods, between Canidae Pure Meadow Senior, Wellness Simple Turkey & Potato formula & an Australian made brand Frontier Pets Freeze Dried for lunch,
cause Patch became so unwell in Dec -2017-Jan-2018 after eating TOTW & Nutro, I’ve kept feeding Patch his Wellness Core Large breed formula for 8-9 months never rotated with any other dry kibbles except at lunch time he gets a small wet meal, then Summer came & so did Patches environment allergies bad so I thought I’ll rotate & change his dry food to Wellness Simple Turkey & potato formula cause he did so well on the Wellness Core also the Wellness Simple is formulated for Skin problems & is high in Omega 3 fatty acids…
About 2-3 weeks after I stopped feeding his Wellness Core Large Breed formula & was feeding him just the Wellness Simple Turkey & Potato formula, his IBD = firm poos & his Skin & coat was beautiful & shinney, he stopped alot of his scratching & being itchy from allergies, I also bath him twice a week or weekly depends on how itchy he gets, baths wash off all the allergens off his skin & paws, BUT he started running on 3 legs again 🙁
The Wellness Core Large Breed is higher Glucosamine & Chondroitin Sulfate it must of really helped with his arthritis in his lower back pain….So I bought the Glucosamine Chrondroitin, Vitamin C & Maganese Powder to add to his dry meal, I couldnt workout teh dose as it wasnt like the tablets dose + it taste AWFUL yuk I couldnt drink it, it says to add to fruit juice, its yuk no way Patch will take it.. so I quickly put him back to 1/2 Wellness Core Large Breed kibble & Wellness Simple kibble, now he’s getting “Cartrophen Vet Injections” he gets 1 weekly injection for 1 month then you stop, today was his last injection, Cartrophen Vet has really helped his lower back pain the thing is he’s a nut & he jumps up to say hello to visitors & this is when he hurts his lower back more..
You need a diet HIGH in Omega 3 fatty acid not high in Omega 6 fatty acid, Omega 3 is anti-inflammatory & tooo much Omega 6 is no good for inflammatory problems, Omega 6 is an inflammatory….
The body needs a healthy balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Excess consumption of omega-6s can trigger the body to produce pro-inflammatory chemicals.
When a dog diet is not balanced properly & is too low in Omega 3 & way to high in Omega 6 alot of dry/wet can foods aren’t balanced properly, this can cause skin problems with dogs…. Omega 3 should be nilly 1/2 of what the Omega 6% says..
Wellness Simple is excellent for dogs who have Skin/Stomach problems
Omega 3 Fatty Acids-1.13%, the Omega 6 Fatty Acids-2.30% max %.
Click on the PDF page
Instead of adding 2 tble spoons of wet can food start adding some Tin Salmon in spring water, drain the spring water, put salmon in small air tight container put in fridge..
Omega-3 fatty acids are found in salmon, sardines, eggs, almonds, and other anti-inflammatory foods. Add 1-2 spoons of tin Salmon or Sardines to each meal..
Sardines can be a bit rich for some dogs I have to feed the Salmon + swet potat instead with Patch..
What I do when changing to a new dry formula same formula, first I check is it the same Use By Date, same Batch?? then I put 1/2 new kibble & 1/2 old kibble in an air tight container & mix thru, my boy use to be very sensitive but now since rotating between a few different brands he does really well, his immune system has become heaps stronger..
Boil Sweet Potato pieces & freeze them in those clip lock sandwich bags, Sweet Potato freezes & thaws really well, I put 1 frozen piece Sweet Potato in the micro wave 15-25sec etc then I mash teh Sweeet potato piece on a plate & let Patch lick it off..
Sweet Potato & Potato firm poo up & is excellent when dog has upset stomach/bowel, start adding 2 spoons of Sweet Potato & Salmon with dry kibble, its healthier & cheaper then wet can foods..
Lots of great advice in Susan’s post. Though if your dog has arthritis I would not rely on any food for glucosamine support. They are just not high enough to make any substantial difference. For example, in the Core Large Breed formula, the amount of food my bigger dog would eat of that brand would supply her around 300mg of glucosamine. Her vet recommends closer to 1000mg for her size. My dog would have to eat over a kg of that food just to meet her recommended amount daily lol. Best to use a supplement to add it if your dog needs it.
On a side note, only thing I found to help my older dog’s aches and pains is CBD oil. Good stuff.
@susan Thanks for the advise. So far so good with his mobility. He still runs around and is pretty agile for a 10 year old large breed. I worry mostly about his front right leg, which is bowlegged. It doesn’t cause him any pain to stand or walk on it and he runs fine. I give him a senior Mobility Bites and Turmeric Curcumin supplements by zesty paws as a preventative.
The Mobility bites have 450mg of glucosamine HCL, 100mg of chondroitin sulfate and 5mg of hyaluronic acid per chew and he takes 3 per day.
My dog get sick whenever lentils or chickpeas are in the first few ingredients, so it’s hard finding a food that works (that he’ll actually eat). It was the biggest reasons I switched to Blue Buffalo. Most of the grain free recipes have chickpeas or lentil as a main ingredient.
I guess I could always try to feed the two dogs in two different rooms, but every single time they leave like 1/4 of their food and then sniff around and eat each other’s.
I’m trying to rotate proteins because we start to have issues once we stay on one too long. We’re just about done with chicken and I see the Pure Meadow lists chicken as the first ingredient.
I literally walked through Petsmart on Friday and read every label. So many grain free formulas listed lentils or chickpeas within the top four ingredients and when I found one that listed something like sweet potatoes, the main protein was chicken.
I was hoping to find something like lamb or duck. I know Merrick makes High Protein formulas, but I’ve heard some not so nice things about the brand. It rates good on this site. And I thought Merrick was going to run it’s operation independently from Nestle Purina. But I could be wrong. The internet is filled with conflicting stories. But at this point, if the food is decent and it’s working for the dogs, I should give it a try, right?
I hear horror stories about Blue Buffalo and Merrick on this site. I’d love to find a food that can be found in a local store like Petco or Petsmart (I live near both).
@susan, I walked through Petco and looked at practically every bag of food they had. All the large breed formulas were chicken based. Almost all of the senior formulas were chicken based. The only one I could find is Nutro lamb based senior food.
What kind of issues did your dog have with Nutro brand?
And would you choose a large breed formula over a senior formula?
Petco’s resident “food expert” asked what I was looking for when I went there the other day. I told him that I’m trying to transition away from chicken for the next rotation. They didn’t have a senior formula that wasn’t chicken based, but he showed me a Merrick bag that was high in protein and had 1200 mg/kg Glucosamine and 1200 mg/kg Chondroitin. I bought a small bag, just to see. I mixed a tiny bit in with their regular food. Neither dogs were interested at all, but eventually ate some of it. They literally turned away from the open bag.
But the gas was bad afterwards…both of them. So bad. I think it was too rich. Most of the “senior” formula labels had proteins at around 22-26% and fat at 10-12%. Merrick’s was 38% protein, 17% fat. I liked that it had the Glucosamine and Chondroitin, but I think the fat content was too high.
I’m not even going to bother continuing with it.
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