We recently adopted a dog, and we’re trying to transition him to another dog food. I want to feel good about feeding him a high-quality nutritious food, but I also don’t want to fall prey to a lot of marketing and hype and over-pay. After all, high cost doesn’t always mean equally high quality. His previous owners fed him a mix of Natural Balance chicken & sweet potato formula with a little bit of Orijen mixed in for extra nutrition. We wanted to simplify his diet and switch to a single dog food that would hopefully be both nutritious and reasonably priced. (Orijen is too expensive for us to make that his main food.) Based on research and lots of positive reviews and recommendations, we decided on Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural. It seems to be overwhelmingly recommended and highly rated by lots of different sources and user reviews, and seemed reasonably priced for the apparent quality. However, our dog doesn’t seem to be processing the food as well as we hoped/expected from what other people have described. While most people seem to describe their dogs’ poop getting smaller, firmer, and less smelly on the Earthborn Holistic food, our dog’s stool has been the opposite — it has become larger, softer and wetter, greener, and smellier. Yuck. We’re still in the process of the transition, slowly increasing the amounts of the new food so he’s not yet 100% on the Earthborn Holistic, but we’re almost there. We’re a little over a week into the transition. Do we need to give it more time for him to fully adjust, or should we take this as a sign that this particular food just isn’t right for him for some reason? I can’t figure out what ingredients might not be suiting him well or how to figure it out, so not sure what other highly nutritious but also affordable foods to try as alternatives. Any thoughts, suggestions, recommendations would be appreciated — thanks!
Might just be too busy of a food for him. There’s a bunch of different proteins and both peas and potatoes. Maybe try a limited ingredient food. Like natures variety limited ingredient or merrick limited ingredient. Or maybe even the merrick classic foods with grains. Those aren’t bad and better for dogs who maybe can’t handle all the peas and potatoes and really high protein. I would only try feeding it for another week or so. If it isn’t going to get better by then it probably just never will and that would just mean he isn’t going to do well on it.
You are correct, your dog is not able to digest the new food properly at this time. The previous food, NB Chicken & Sweet Potatoes, and Orijen do not contain probiotics. If your dog has been eating that for awhile, it is going to take longer than a couple of weeks for the gut to adjust to the Earthborn even though it does contain probiotics. The dog was being fed a lot lower protein and fat diet even with “a little Orijen added”. Earthborn Primitive Naturals is too big of a jump in a short period of time. Considering the high protein and fat in Earthborn compared to the previous diet it could also bring on a pancreatic attack. If you want to continue with the Earthborn back it down to only 25% and give it a week and see what the poo looks like. When it is ok, do a small increase and then wait a few days or week before making another small increase.
If your dog was doing ok on NB, then there is not a problem with peas and potatoes since it contains sweet potatoes, potatoes, peas and chickpeas. I personally would recommend making a smaller jump to a food with no more than 28-30% protein, and sticking with it for several months before considering such a high protein food.
Some dry food agree with some dogs while the same foods can make other dogs poo double the amount, get bad wind pain & have bad farts, when you say your dog is on the “Natural Balance is that the NB limited ingredient Chicken formula? the Earthborn Primitive formula is probably too high in Fat, Protein & Kcals per cup for your boy & he can’t handle it, compare & have a look at Natural Balance Fat, Protein% & how high the Kcals per cup are that he was doing well on, then look at the Earthborn Holistic Primitive & it is way higher….
Earthborn Holistic make another cheaper brand called “Pro Pac Ultimates” look at Pro Pac Grain Free range which I’ve tried & Patch did nice firm poos & he was pooing the same amount when he ate the Pro Pac Meadow Prime Lamb formula, the fat & protein % is lower then Earthborn grain free kibbles…..
If you want a quaility diet for your dog then start adding some cooked ingredients, wet can, freeze dried or raw to his diet, I feed my boy what I eat, I make extra & freeze in sections or I buy lean 5 star beef or lean pork mince, I add 1 whisked egg, some chopped up fresh parsley about 1 teaspoon, I grow my own parsley, I add some chopped broccoili, I peel & grate 1 carrot, I don’t add 1 carrot no more cause my dog has food sensitivities & carrot makes his ears itch & he shakes his head 20mins after eating carrot but its excellent to add finally grated carrot it spreads the mince & makes it go further, add a few chopped kale leaves & mix thru the 2 pound (1kg) of lean mince & I make into 1/2 cup size rissole balls & I bake in the oven on a foiled linned baking tray then 1/2 way when the rissoles are cooking take them out drain any fat & water & turn then all over the rissole balls dont take long to bake about 20-30mins depends how big the rissole balls are, I also boil some sweet potato & then I cool & I freeze the sweet potato pieces & the rissole balls in sections cause the sweet potato will stick together, when I need the rissoles & sweet potato pieces I take out the day before & put in the fridge..
Start following “Rodney Habib” on his Rodney Habib facebook page or his “Planet Paws” f/b page he often puts up healthy simple recipes or foods to add with your kibble, also follow “Judy Morgan on her f/b page look at her video’s she has simple easy resipes to cook I change the recipes a bit, her recipes are easy & ends up working out cheaper if you cook big meals & freeze about 1 months worth, look for meats etc when they get reduced also Chicken is very cheap so you could buy chicken pieces cook then add veggies in a crock pot & it does all the cooking for you, you just remove all the chicken bones & put in containers cool & freeze.. also tin Sardines & Salmon in Spring water or Oil is very healthy, just add 2 spoons to one of his meals per day, Sardines & Salmon have lots of Vitamins minerals & Omega fatty acid
No matter what kibble you buy they’re all over processed dry kibble, Google “*******************” I cant write the companies name on DFA but they completed a study in March & August 2017 tested 1,084 pet food products from 80 brands. Products were screened for over 130 toxins including heavy metals, BPA, pesticides and other contaminants with links to cancer and other health conditions in both humans and animals. Orijen & Earthborn had some formula’s that did very poorly in the study, have a look at “Canidae” & their other brand called “Under the Sun” Canidae grow all their own vegetables & fruit, Canidae source ingredients form local farmers & their kibbles are made in smaller batches, so they’re fresher, Canidae did very well when tested for toxins last year.. https://www.canidae.com/dog-food/products…
My boy has IBD & he does really well on Canidae’s All Life Stages formula’s & Canidae’s Pure Wild Boar, Pure Land Bison formula’s the Kcals are a bit high they’re over 400 kcals per cup so I rotate & feed another kibble on the same day he eats 5 small meals a day, so he’ll get the other brand kibble for breakfast then he gets cooked or wet canned meal for lunch then I give him the Canidae for dinner he’s eating the Canidae all Life Stages Platinum at the moment cause the fat is low at 10.50% max & he’s been eating the Nutro Essentials Lamb & Rice weight management cause the fat is low at 9-11% max fat, I add as much fresh healthy foods to his diet as possilbe & try to feed less dry proccessed kibble…. after you look at the ******************* you’ll see the better brands & probably think what?? but these brands are buying better quaility ingredients, you’re right just cause it”s expensive doesn’t mean it’s good these better pet food companies fall under the rader cause they have heaps of customers & they start buying cheaper ingredients that arent as good, they take a risk all so they can make more money…
Find a few different brands of kibble that your dog does really well on & then start rotate between the different brands, this way if 1 brand has something wrong with it your dog isn’t eating this brand 24/7 cause your rotating brands & he’s having another 2 different brands of kibble in his diet & start adding fresh ingredients & use the kibble as a base.. also when you see a brand of kibble you know he does well on if its on special then you change kibble when the kibble isnilly finished & rotate with another different brand, I buy the smaller bags of kibble….
Thanks for all of the insights, everyone! We were following the instructions on the food packaging that said to transition over the course of a week, and we were going even slower, but it sounds like maybe we were still rushing things too much, at least for our dog’s digestive system. I guess for now we’ll try reducing the amount of the Earthborn Holistic and mixing it in with a greater amount of his old food to allow his body more time to adjust. We’ll see how he does. If that doesn’t help, then perhaps we’ll just go back to his old diet or maybe try another food that’s not as high protein.
Thank you all, and if anyone else has any additional insights or suggestions, I’m all ears (or eyes, in this case). Thanks!
A week’s transition will work if the dog is eating a similar food, but in many cases they are not and it takes a lot longer to adjust. For example in your case, let’s say your diet consists of baked chicken with a baked sweet potato everyday for every meal. Then next week, every day you replace one or more meals with fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, and by the end of the week that is your diet. I know my body would go on strike if I did that, and basically that is what you are doing going from Natural Balance to Earthborn Primitive. If you had already been eating a diet of hamburger and fries everyday, then it would not be as drastic of a change to your body to start replacing with a fried chicken meal. Hopefully this example gives you a better perspective. Not only does the digestive track need time to adjust, the rest of the organs in the body will need time.
Thank you, CockalierMom. That makes sense. I appreciate the sound advice!
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