Hi all. I’ve been feeding Merrick’s new grain free kibble (and one bag of their Small Breed) since right before Christmas. I’ve also been using their small breed canned food as a topper (of course, along with other brands). I’ve fed two bags of the Chicken, one bag of Buffalo, one bag of Pork. It was going great, even better than when they were on Fromm, until this second bag of Pork that was just added last week (the first bag of Pork was a different lot #). I’ve been buying the small bags, except right before this “episode” I did buy a large bag of the Duck which they haven’t had yet. Anyway, I dumped the new bag of Pork in with the other bag that was already in the bin. I didn’t check it closely because I was getting ready to go out of town. My daughter would be the one to feed them while I was gone. She helps me sometimes and knows what to do. The evening meal before I left I fed them. I didn’t feed the next morning meal but did notice that someone had some weird looking stool when they went out first thing in the morn. It had some formed and the rest was runny. It was also a weird color…..dark green or dark grayish to almost black. I didn’t see which one did it. My immediate thought was that Hazel was stressing because I was leaving, as she is my “stressy” dog. I told my daughter to go ahead and feed but no treats and to watch them and call me. I would be back in 3-4 days. Well…this went on for all the time I was gone! No one acted sick, though, and they had no accidents in the house (thank goodness!). When I got back I immediately checked everything out. I started inspecting the kibble and noticed something odd. This new bag of Pork had some pieces that were longer, thinner, way darker and looked very dense throughout the bag. It looked like maybe the extruder had an issue. I immediately took them off this food, of course, and started chicken and rice. Everything was fine. All dogs actually had this bad stool, not just one, and all dogs went back to somewhat fine (still getting there) afterward. I’m switching off Merrick now. I will say this is the first time I’ve had firsthand experience with a food having something “off” in it and I’m not happy. I called Merrick with the lot number and they, of course, weren’t much help. They said no one else has had a problem or contacted them with anything and that they would send me a coupon. I told them I had been very happy with Merrick until this and I didn’t want a coupon because I wasn’t going to take a chance on poor quality control with them again. I may go back to Fromm, but right now I’m going to give Acana’s Single line a chance. I’m phasing in their Lamb and Apple currently. The dogs love it (using it as treats now and putting a few kibble in their chicken/rice mix). I’m just so disappointed. I am going to take the Duck bag back. I had a little of the small Chicken bag left and looked in it to see if the dark pieces were there and they were not. I just don’t want to take a chance with Merrick again, even though they did fine until now. I’ll keep you guys posted. Sorry this is so long, but I needed to rant and wanted to alert others to this possibility. 🙁
It was the duck variety we had the issues with as well, that I was talking about on the review section. I had three dogs vomiting undigested kibble, some had gas that could kill a maggot(horrible sulfur odor), a few had “off color stool” and I was just generally unhappy and very disappointed in the products results. I returned the second bag that I had purchased and that was unopened. In contrast, I picked up a bag of Fromm Salmon a la veg as well as a bag of Grandma Mae’s country naturals(grain free) that same day. I mixed half a bag of each in my bin with 1/2 bag of Grasslands-despite these both being new foods, stool was normal and better than it had been in several days-no gas either. Point in telling that part is that its not my rotating or a fail to properly introduce it. For some reason, my dogs just did not do well at all with the new Merrick grain free. right now, should be the time I rotate in Acana Lamb/apple, but my store here has not had it in a while, hence the Fromm addition : )
Hound Dog MomParticipant
Now you guys have me worried, we just put a second dog with food issues at my shelter on this. I’ll have to keep close watch (haven’t seen anything out of the ordinary yet with the dogs and the kibbles all looked uniform). We had someone donate about 4 big bags of it (GF Duck) for them – don’t know if we can afford to go out and get another high quality food for them.
Skinny as in underweight : )
Thanks, Melissa. The dogs’ stool is getting back to being more normal (fingers crossed!). I’ve been using Acana Lamb and Apple with a small amount of Stella & Chewy’s FD crumbled on top, all mixed with some water. They’ve also been getting Fresh Digest (double dose) mixed in. Too bad about the Merrick. I know that every food company can have problems at one time or another, but it seems like Merrick has been known for some quality control issues here and there (from reading about other’s experiences) and I don’t want to give them another chance right now, especially when there are so many other choices out there. We’ll keep on with the Acana and see how it goes. I’ve always liked it.
HDM, it might be fine, but I would definitely check the kibble when each bag is opened. Like I said before, I fed it since right before Christmas with no problems and really liked how the dogs were doing on it. I would still be feeding it, if this hadn’t happened. Good luck!
I’m considering this conversation as my sign to return the unopened bag I have on hand to Petflow. Thank goodness they make returns so easy. I’m fairly sure that the bag I have is probably fine, but it’s just not worth taking the chance. Thanks guys! : )
It probably is fine, Betsy, but you can only open it to find out if the kibble looks “funny”…..so, I do respect your decision. The only bag that had the “funny looking” kibble was Pork. And it was a 4-5 lb. bag. None of the other bags I had, even the big bag of Duck had it in there. Like I said, this is the first time for me to ever see “funny looking” kibble in any I’ve bought, and I feel lucky none of mine needed to go to the vet with anything serious. It was probably just a more concentrated piece of the kibble mix, but whatever it was it sure caused some very loose/diarrhea stool, and weird colored, too. None of them acted sick, though, thank goodness, but it sure wasn’t right or normal for them to have that. Hazel started with it and at first I didn’t really think it was the food. But when my daughter told me all 3 were doing it then I started to worry and wonder. I was using probliotics and enzymes, too. But, after it all went out of their systems and I started them on Acana everyone seems pretty much back to normal now in the stool area. I hope it stays this way. I do love Acana…..and I finally think they’re distribution is getting back to normal, too. Currently, I’m using the LID formulas with the oats because I wanted to introduce a more simple food atm.
The kibble in my bag all looked fine and uniform-no visual difference in it. I mixed in the other foods and the problem resolved until today. Yesterday I was at the bottom of the bin which originally had most of the Merrick in it, and obviously I did not mix it up enough since I was in a hurry, Today, some had diarrhea, some had off colored and partial formed stools. Thankfully there is no Merrick left in the mix any longer, so I expect normalcy for tomorrow.
Yes, thank goodness. Let us know if they are normal now. All 3 of mine had normal stool today, Yay! Knock on wood, lol, it stays that way. I’m feeding mainly the Duck & Pear (5 lb. bag) with a couple of sample bags of the Lamb mixed in with it. The dogs love the taste. I’ve been topping with a pattie of S&C’s, Fresh Digest, and adding water. Today, tho’, Lucy (Mixed Breed who has been known to be picky) wouldn’t eat! I was hoping it wasn’t the Acana….I dumped out the food and put some Wellness Stew canned in her bowl with some Acana and the Fresh Digest instead of using the S&C’s patty and water. She ate just fine. I think maybe she didn’t want to patty for some reason…? You never know with her hahaha. She is turning 12 this year and has a mass of some kind on her bladder. We know this and she does get supplements for urinary. We aren’t doing anything else, atm, because she isn’t acting sick at all (praise God!). But, when she gets picky like that…I will try to cater to her a little bit :).
All has been well : ) I did add Victor grain free ALS to the bin tonight, so hoping that works as a replacement for the Merrick portion.Dogs went nuts for it when I passed out some ‘samples” from the larger bag.
My Bichon has been very sick with vomiting and diarrhea. He ended up in the hospital to be rehydrated. They said he had pancreatitis or IBD. He was eating prescription food and then I weaned him back onto his Merrick limited ingredient duck kibble, which the vet said I could do. He was better and then after a couple of days on the kibble got sick again and had to go back in the hospital. I don’t know if the kibble has anything to do with it, but I’m not going to take the chance. I will continue with Royal Canin prescription food and learn how to cook for him.
I just started my 3 chihuahuas on Merrick small breed in the white bag. Usually I get the black bag but they were out. I came home to runny red stools! None of them are acting unusual but Im boiling some rice right now for them and will return the bag tomorrow. Pups are acting totally fine but im not taking chances…
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