I own a 4 yr old great dane(female) and a 5 yr old boston terrier/english or french bulldog mix(female). Have been feeding them eagle pack dry food and beneful wet food(periodically) for the last 3 years or so. Somehow I’ve been ignoring that little voice in the back of my head to pay attention closer to the food I’m giving them until today. Probably because I haven’t seen them have any problems but after reading only a fraction of what’s on this site and elsewhere that is irrelevant now. So even though I know these are hugely opinion based questions with a laundry list of choices and combinations I’ll ask it anyways.
1) What’s 2-3 good choices for a dry food?
2) What’s 2-3 goo choices for wet?
Not sure if it applies but if there’s pet specific ones that any of you all have found to be good obviously feel free to mention that. Otherwise just looking for some good ones so I can start getting them on a rotational diet and off this stagnate one. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
For those of you who do the rotational diet I’d love to hear what your routines entail. Same brand but different types? Length of time for dry and wet? Etc..
Hound Dog MomParticipant
Hi brianb22 –
It’s great that you’re considering switching to a rotational diet – providing a wide variety of quality species-appropriate foods is the best thing we can do for our pets.
I currently feed a homemade raw diet with different proteins, different supplements and different fruits/vegetables at each meal. When I was feeding kibble, however, I switched to a new brand with a new protein source at the end of every bag (about every 3 weeks for my 110 lb. male bloodhound) – all the while adding a different canned food toppers daily. When you first begin a rotation diet you may find that it will be necessary to slowly transition between brands (because your dogs are used to eating the same thing daily), but once you do it for awhile and your dogs’ guts strengthen you should be able to switch brands with no transition.
Any of the 4 or 5 star foods would be good options to use in your rotation – which foods you choose will really depend on your budget. I used dry foods that were grain-free and had at least 30% protein, some of my favorites were: Orijen, Nature’s Variety Instinct and Acana. I picked canned foods that were grain-free, some of my favorites were: Nature’s Logic, Tripett, ZiwiPeak and Addiction.
I’d also recommend adding some fresh foods to your dogs’ meals occasionally. Some healthy fresh foods: plain yogurt or kefir (high in quality animal-based protein and probiotics for a healthy gut), tinned sardines or mackerel (high in protein and omega 3’s), eggs (high in quality protein and omega 3’s), lean leftover meat (high in quality protein) and steamed low glycemic veggies (high in antioxidants).
- This reply was modified 6 years, 3 months ago by Hound Dog Mom.
My dogs eat (mine and fosters) Nutrisource grain free Lamb or Heartland Select and occasionally the grain-inclusive puppy formula, Nature’s Select grain free and occasionally the Hi-Pro (puppy) formula, Nutrisca (all 3 flavors) and Brothers Complete Beef and Fish formulas. I feed puppy formulas sometimes to the emaciated ones. I’ve heard alot of people say their dogs do well on Victor dog food. For cans I use Wellness stews, Merrick classic and Merrick 96%, Weruva, Addiction, Tripett, Nutrisca and I have Sojo’s Complete (dehydrated) and Addiction (dehydrated) also. It has more volume when served but not alot of calories to I add kibble or eggs to it for added protein. The Costco brand Kirkland Cuts in Gravy is only $1 a can but I don’t have Costco near me.
The dogs usually get kibble with a different can several days a week and I have 3 bags of kibble open all the time. So they could literally eat something different every day or every meal. And that’s not including my raw fed dogs that also eat a variety.
I will say that I started out having 2 bags of food open and when one ran out I would get a different one so the dogs would always get something “new” with their “old” food so they wouldn’t have tummy upsets. But I’ve changed so often they don’t have that problem anymore. Probiotics and digestive enzymes help with that too.
Sandy, is that a dog food isle in a store or in your house? Lol! You must have alot of little mouths to feed.
Anywhere from 9 to 12 usually!
I was about to ask the same thing.lol. That’s some good info. Thanks! I was researching stores in my city that would sell any of the higher rated brands and I only found one unfortunately. Trying to avoid shipping costs if I can. The ones they have listed are: Advanced Pet Diets, AvoDerm, Blue Buffalo, Canidae, Merrick, Natural Balance, Nature’s Variety, Pinnacle, Royal Canin, Taste of the Wild, Zignature. Seems like they have some that you guys mentioned so I might try those and go from there.
You mentioned transitioning slowly at first and I’ve read that in other places. Exactly what’s the best way of doing that? I’ve switched types of food but the same brand with the small one and she has never seemed like it bothered her. The big one I’ve given the same stuff but have fed her the little one’s food some when I’ve ran out and didn’t have time to go to the store and she’s been fine as well. Would a slow transition mean doing half old, half new for awhile or something like that? I’ve been feeding them eagle pack dry food for the past few years which was given a 4 star review on here so I at least feel pretty good about that. There’s still some red flags but they seem pretty small. I’ll think about keeping that brand in the loop depending on the costs I take on with the new stuff.
One thing I’ve found odd about this site, which I’m sure I’m not the first, is that they don’t have reviews on treats. From some of the stories I’ve read on how bad they are(the fact that I’ve been giving my pups beggin strips for quite some time scares the crap out of me) I would really think they would have a section on here about them. I’m really considering buying a dehydrator if I can find a semi-cheap one.
Transitioning can be as slow or fast as you want but I would suggest going by how their output is. If your dog has only eaten one food for several years it might take longer to transition as they are not use to the different kinds of ingredients. I’ve even taken two months or longer on one of mine. Basically I got to 80% new/20% old for over a month but I was transitioning them to a high protein/fat diet – Instinct. I usually go with 25/75 for at least a week and if there stools look good then increase to 50/50 for another week until their stools look good, then 75/25 etc. I didn’t know about probiotics or digestive enzymes back then so those probably would have made transitioning easier. You can even feed a mix of kibbles. I usually feed 2 different kibbles together and mix them up in a 1.5 gallon container in different ratios everytime it gets empty.
Also are you feeding a grain food or grain free food? That might also factor in the transitioning. I went from 1 star food to 4 star food to 5 star food over the coarse of a year.
Of course my fosters get zero transition time. I have know idea what they ate in their previous life and what they ate at the vet. I just give them probiotics, digestive enzymes and ground psyllium and hope for the best. They might have soft stool for a few days and that’s it.
I have found that they transition well on Nutrisource grain free and even Nutrisca. Petflow (and probably other online retailers) offer free shipping when you order a certain amount. Petflow’s amount is $49 so a large bag is usually free shipping. I’d get two large bags at once. They’re packed in the box tighter than one single bag.
Once you know how to read ingredients on dog food, it should be the same for treats. I used to give Beggin Strips, Pupperoni and even cheese balls as treats. Even fed one of my fosters Moist and Meaty after jaw surgery not knowing any better. Right now I use Vital Essentials freeze dried nibblets and Dr Becker Bites and Nutrisca freeze dried for treats. For chewing treats I give dry roasted trachea and tripe chews (very stinky) and fresh chicken feet and fresh trachea.
Just remember to cut the claws off!
A whole sardine is an easy additon too.
Duck and turkey necks are great for chewing and cleaning teeth also. I can find small turkey necks at the health food store sometimes. Chicken necks are always at the ethnic grocery store and so are chicken feet and other kinds of feet.
I don’t think you even mentioned raw food so I’ll stop there!
Yes homemade jerky treats are a money saver. You can even use your oven. Set it to the lowest setting and bake for at least 3 hours thinly sliced strips of chicken or other meat/organs on a lightly greased cookie sheet. I guess the new silicone nonstick bakeware will work. Store in the frig.
There’s Sandy, showing off, LOL!! Brian, some quality olds I like are Fromm, NutriSource, Annamaet, Dr Tim’s…I order online from Petflow, Wag.com, doggie food.com, chewy.com…..most have free shipping if you spend enough (which is usually a large bag of food)
Walmart has dehydrators at a very good price and the oven method works great too. I make big batches and fill small ziplock bags and store extras in the freezer. The dogs never get tired of them.
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