Your recommendations on grain free dry food, EVO replacement

Dog Food Advisor Forums Feedback and Suggestions Your recommendations on grain free dry food, EVO replacement

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  • #20626 Report Abuse

    ebk
    Participant

    Hi everyone!

    I have two large dogs, a Malamute and Black Lab mix. Both are large (over 100 lbs). The Malamute’s digestive system is very sensitive. I have tried many brands over the years. She couldn’t even handle some of the top tier brands. I haven’t defined the specific ingredient/s that she is sensitive to. However, I found the EVO red meat large kibble variety four years ago or so and finally no diarrhea. After this latest recall of some of the Natura Pet (owned by P&G) varieties, I’m done with EVO.

    I am looking for a grain free red meat (beef, buffalo, etc.) variety of dry dug food. Here’s the catch, I need all of the above in a large kibble. My Malamute has a very deep chest, which apparently makes her more susceptible to bloat. According to one source, a small kibbles (eaten by a large dog) increases the potential for bloat, since many of the kibbles are swallowed vs. chewed. I just bought some Merrick grain free food. The dogs love the food. However, since the kibbles are small as compared the EVO large kibble, my dogs tend to swallow them. I saw this when one vomited after eating too fast. The vast majority were whole.

    I would greatly appreciate any advice or thoughts on my search for an EVO replacement. I am certain that others in similar situations would benefit from your suggestions as well.

    Thank you for your help!

    #20629 Report Abuse

    Mom2Cavs
    Member

    Merrick was one I was thinking of….there’s also Acana Ranchlands and Orijen Regional Red. I’m not sure about the size of those kibbles but I think they’re bigger than Merrick. Earthborn also has Great Plains Feast and the kibble is bigger than Merrick. On their site they might even have a kibble size chart with pics that you can look at. 4Health has a new grain free Beef formula that has fairly large size kibble. They’re made by Ainsworth. One solution to the gulping/swallowing whole would be to buy a “slowdown” bowl. I used to have one for my Shih-Poo, Desi, who inhaled any food he ate. It helped a lot. Also, you could put a rock, or ball in the bowl so the dog has to eat around it. Some people put food on a sheet pan to make the dog eat slower, as well. I hope this helps a little. 🙂

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 3 months ago by  Mom2Cavs.
    #20633 Report Abuse

    theBCnut
    Member

    Sprinkling food in the bottom of muffin tins is another good slow down method.

    #20641 Report Abuse

    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    I use portion pacer balls.

    #22142 Report Abuse

    lovemypets4life
    Participant

    holistic health extension has grain free dry AND wet food; I personally use the dry grain free food for my dogs and they both love it

    #22150 Report Abuse

    InkedMarie
    Member

    Please stop your spamming, lovemypets

    #22156 Report Abuse

    ebk
    Participant

    This is not spam. I had asked for help with brands and varieties, since I am actively trying to find a replacement for Evo dry dog food.

    Thanks everyone for your comments, suggestions but more importantly for extending yourselves to help me. I really appreciate it.

    I will look into some of the brands and varieties that you have suggested. I tried the Merrick, very small Kibble. Dogs liked it and ate it, or should I say, swallowed it. Because of the kibble size, most of it was consumed whole. I also reached out to a number of other companies asking about their kibble sizes. I guess most don’t feel the need for a large kibble. I am currently trying NOW Grain Free Large Breed Adult dry food. Very large kibble and the dogs seem to like it. I haven’t had a chance to see what out on the other end, which is really the acid test.

    I will keep poking around on my replacement quest. Thanks for everyone’s help!

    #22158 Report Abuse

    theBCnut
    Member

    Most companies don’t have larger sizes of kibble anymore. Most dogs don’t chew food anyway so it usually isn’t a problem, not like when a kibble is too large and small dogs can’t eat it.

    Earthborn Holistic Great Plains Feast has a large diameter kibble, about the size of a dime. It is real thin and breaks easily, so it isn’t any kind of chewing challenge.

    #22162 Report Abuse

    InkedMarie
    Member

    Ebk: if you read what I typed,it said to stop spamming lovemypets. No you!

    #22292 Report Abuse

    Anonymous

    I use holistic health extension LITTLE BITES for my maltipoo but I just found out he has a grain allergy so im about to switch him to the grain free food. im sticking with the same brand because its the only brand I trust to feed my animals.

    #22315 Report Abuse

    theBCnut
    Member

    I think lovemypets4life has a new identity.

    #22322 Report Abuse

    InkedMarie
    Member

    ya think? Pretty sure they are on another forum I’m on, touting the same foods

    #22325 Report Abuse

    ebk
    Participant

    Yes, reading all of the replies from the two id’s, I can see it very clearly and now understand your response re spamming. Looks like a clear infringement of the forum’s Terms of Use.

    #22330 Report Abuse

    theBCnut
    Member

    I wish you could flag stuff here!

    #22332 Report Abuse

    ebk
    Participant

    Who’s the moderator of the forum? This example is pretty blatant.

    #22623 Report Abuse

    lovemypets4life
    Participant

    I am not a spam!!!!! I am promoting a dog food that im very trusted in. ive tried all of there products they r just amazing, and affordable

    #22626 Report Abuse

    love_my_fuzzies
    Participant

    I have two collies and a cat that are sensitive to just about every food I have tried in the past. Between both my boys suffering from environmental dermatitis and my cat Sasha having frequent UTIs it was a long hard battle to find a product line I was comfortable feeding them. My vet recommended Vets Choice Holistic Health Extension to me and I couldn’t be more satisfied. The Grain free dry kibble does wonder for my large collies and nearly cleared up all the uncomfortable dry skin and the cat food has a very low magnesium content and has cranberries as an active ingredient. Shes been UTI free for 8 months now. I highly recommend this food to any animal lover.

    #22645 Report Abuse

    InkedMarie
    Member

    Lovemypets, I don’t care what you’re recommending, you were posting the same thing over & over here and on DFA. That’s spamming.

    #22690 Report Abuse

    ebk
    Participant

    So, here’s where I am on my EVO replacement journey. Interesting that, if you go to their web site, they do a great job of identifying where their ingredients are sourced from. It’s actually quite impressive. However, the fact remains that a number of pet owners have noted observed differences between their old EVO and new EVO foods, in addition to the reactions from their pets. If it comes back, great. If not, many of us have already found alternatives. I’ve tried the Merrick Texas beef variety. Seemed like a very good food, but the kibble was small. So small, that my dogs would only be able to chew a small percentage of the kibbles and then just swallow the rest. I tried the Now Fresh Large Breed Adult dry food. Nice sized kibble, even bigger than EVO’s large kibble, and the dogs seem to enjoy it and what comes out the other end is well formed.

    To complicate matters, my Malamute is a very picky eater. Her food tends to sit until she gets around to it or until my Lab eats it. The Malamute actually lost 15 lbs on her last visit to the vet, coming down to 110. The Lab is the alpha of the two and thinks all the food belongs to her. So, I have started to use canned food to add to the dry to stimulate the appetite of the Malamute, in order for her to get a full meal and keep my lab from getting heavier than she already is.

    I have purchased a variety of canned foods: Fromm. Evanger’s Against the Grain, Merrick beef, Wellness Beef, Wellness Lamb. They seem to be enthusiastic about all of them so far (haven’t tried the Evanger’s yet). Interesting that you seem to have to dig a little harder to get to the bottom line on the canned foods. Some of them, dry foods as well, are outsourced to other suppliers. The companies don’t reveal who makes it for them. We tend to only find out when there is a recall, e.g., Diamond. I sent a message to Wellness, who used Diamond at one time, asking them if they outsource any of their food production to them. I also asked where their canned food ingredients came from. It’s been 1 1/2 weeks with no response.

    So, with very loose controls over the pet food industry, the bottom line is caveat emptor. It is in forums like this that we can share with one another and get to the facts. Hopefully, with enough public pressure, the pet food industry will become more transparent and we won’t have to dig so much. Unfortunately, there are many people (majority?) in the world only do the right thing when they must. For those who do the right thing, only because it is the right thing to do, I salute them.

    Sorry for the babbling and TMI. Thanks again for all of your help and advice!

    #22698 Report Abuse

    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    Hi ebk –

    To tell you the truth – I really like Natura’s beyond the bag website. I don’t have any issues with the fact they’ve been purchased by P&G. The recall also doesn’t deter me. These issues were likely going on before the recall and they are likely going on in with most other companies. The reason the recall was made is due to the FDA’s new zero tolerance policy on salmonella and Natura was likely one of the first brands targeted as they’re a larger company. I’ve used their treats in the past and will continue to do so.

    What companies are you interested in manufacturing and ingredient sourcing information for? I can probably get the information for you if you want.

    #22700 Report Abuse

    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    BTW – I would steer clear of anything made by Evanger’s. They scare me more than Diamond. Go to truthaboutpetfood(dot)com, poisonedpets(dot)com or google and search for Evanger’s.

    #22702 Report Abuse

    InkedMarie
    Member

    HDM beat me to it, about Evangers!

    #22703 Report Abuse

    ebk
    Participant

    Holy felony, Batman! Wow and thank you, Hound Dog Mom! They sound like some really nice honest folks. Thanks for sharing before I gave the food to my dogs. I will take that one off my list. Great websites, btw. Also, thanks for your thoughts on Natura. Do you think that have gotten past their issues? Salmonella has been a know risk with pet food for some time. This why I have never let my kids touch it. Perhaps it’s the tip of the iceberg and the FDA will ultimately effect change throughout the industry. Thanks again!

    #22704 Report Abuse

    ebk
    Participant

    Thanks as well, Inked Marie! The Evanger’s story goes into the “incredible but true” category.

    #22707 Report Abuse

    InkedMarie
    Member

    ebk: Pretty sad, eh? I’m to the point that there are many quality foods out there from good dog food companies and I refuse to give any money to less than reputable ones.

    #22716 Report Abuse

    theBCnut
    Member

    ebk

    How old are your kids? The reason I ask is because from the time mine were old enough to understand that their hands were dirty I had them help me feed the dogs and then we went and washed our hands because dog food can make our hands dirty. If they found a stray piece of dog food on the floor, they knew that they had to go wash their hands after they gave it to the dogs. Same with dog treats. The oldest will be 18 in a couple days, the youngest is 13. They have never gotten anything from the animals and they have always had their own chores to do, but the lesson about washing stuck. We have a ton of animals.

    #22729 Report Abuse

    little pea
    Participant

    I am new to this website, to all of these discussions, but would love to get some advice as I am searching for a dog food. My Newf came back with allergies to beef, chicken, lamb, cow’s milk, eggs, potatos, sweet potatos, rice, soy, yeast was very high, carrots, shell fish mix and fish excluding salmon. Can anyone suggest an excellent food? Ziwi peak is a bit expensive for such a large girl, and contains green lip mussels. Has anyone heard of Great Life or tried it?

    #22736 Report Abuse

    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    I have used Great Life in the past and my dog did well on it, but I’ve heard some shady things about the company lately and I’m not sure as I’d use it again. I would recommend checking out Nature’s Variety’s limited ingredient diets.

    #22739 Report Abuse

    ebk
    Participant

    Sorry, Little Pea. I am not familiar with the hardcore allergy foods. Sounds like you have a lot of ingredient issues to deal with. I am sure someone can give you some knowledgeable advice. You might also look at making it at home. I am sure there are directions and recipes out there to be had. Also, severe allergies are a symptom of some environmental or internal issue. For example, if the liver is not doing it’s job, you are more likely to have allergy problems. You might want to try and find a holistic vet who can connect all of the dots and get to the root of the problem. Good luck and perhaps you will get more detailed feedback from other members.

    Good for you, Pattyvaughn, for getting the kids involved and doing it in a responsible way. My brood consists of the following: 14 yo daughter (who can’t be seen with her parents right now, because we couldn’t possibly understand what she’s going through, as if we never went through adolescence. My daughter and son are 11 yo twins, and of course, my two 6 or 7 yo furry children, Angel (Black Lab/Husky mix) and Princess (Malamute) They rarely leave my side and they treat my children like they are their own.

    #22740 Report Abuse

    little pea
    Participant

    Thanks… I saw some of the notes where people had posted unfavorable things, but too late I had ordered it. I looked into Nature’s variety and a second choice. Will go back and check it again. I liked Primal raw but at close to $400. minimum a month it was not realistic. I appreciate the heads up and will be following the forums as in addition I am truly in need of coat growth. Since yeast came back as her highest allergy and the testing center could not break out any different strains I am afraid of all that use brewer’s yeast etc. Inflight was recommended.
    Thanks again I will be checking the Great Life closely and may forgo the switch.

    #22741 Report Abuse

    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    If you have the time making homemade raw would be much cheaper and it would be easier to tailor the diet to your dog’s specific food issues.

    #22742 Report Abuse

    theBCnut
    Member

    Hi ebk

    We have a small farm and if they want something from me, they better be willing to do something for me in return. All money they get is tied to chores, but I do have to take into consideration what their strengths and weaknesses are. My son could never put drops in the eye of the dog that hurt herself, but my daughter can. My daughter would die if asked to do more than 5 or 10 minutes of work outside, but my son will go until the job is done. Don’t worry, your daughter will come out the other side some day and realize that you really aren’t the worst thing that ever happened to her. I bet your twins have been a bundle of fun! We have twins all over in my family, so we have a family history of twin stories, and they are always the best.

    #22744 Report Abuse

    little pea
    Participant

    I am entertaining that idea, but the more I read the more daunting the task it seems. The majority of her allergies are borderline. Beef, Yeast, Lamb, Cow’s milk, Rice and soy being positive or close enough. There is a good holistic vet I may consult. It’s overwhelming and I just had no idea, so I am very pleased to have found all the wonderful help here.

    #22747 Report Abuse

    theBCnut
    Member

    A holistic vet should have no problem helping you with a recipe that meets all your dogs needs, and coming up with a good recipe is more than half the battle.

    #22748 Report Abuse

    ebk
    Participant

    Western medicine typically focuses on the symptoms vs the root cause of the problem. They also tend to deal with organs and systems within the body separately, which is just nonsense. The body going into hyper mode overreacting to many foods, to me smells like there is another problem that needs to be addressed. See if the holistic vet thinks a liver function test would be in order. That’s where I would start.

    #22749 Report Abuse

    little pea
    Participant

    Thanks PattyV sometimes a little push to go just a few steps further is all that is needed.

    I should have posted …HELP! newbie lost in the dog food world..

    #22751 Report Abuse

    little pea
    Participant

    Thanks ebk—going to make a call now. Please do not misunderstand the girl is pretty healthy. We just have a consistent scratching mainly to the face, ears, and neck. Some paw chewing depending on ???? can’t pin it down, but after three steroid shots over the course of a year and half I decided I was spending as much and went forward with the allergy test. Equally her brother has even more severe allergies. I did the full panel and we have environmental as well.
    As I occasionally show, optimal health and coat are a must! Showing a compromised dog is unspeakable. Thanks again

    #22752 Report Abuse

    theBCnut
    Member

    We’ve all been there!!!

    ETA: You may have a “leaky gut” situation going on. It leads to increase in food intolerances and yeast overgrowth. A regular vet might not even know what I’m talking about, but a holistic vet will get her straightened out and back on the road to good health in no time.

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 2 months ago by  theBCnut.
    #22762 Report Abuse

    kobe
    Participant

    to hound dog mom

    i need your advice—i have a 5 month old gorgeous bernese puppy in new york city–
    unfortunately,he came to me 2 months ago with giardia intestinal infection from the breeder-therefore he required hills I AND D kibble along with boiled chicken and rice from a restaurant

    i have been now converting him slowly to natures variety large puppy kibble–BUT i am fearful that this is not a good preparation-i value your advice
    if you have a minute please call me on my cell 9177166149 to briefly discuss

    thanks so much

    #22765 Report Abuse

    Little Pea- check out Natures Logic. Maybe the duck, rabbit, or venison may be okay. My hound has similar “avoid” ingredients : chicken, turkey, venison, salmon, white fish, corn, milk, soy, oatmeal & sweet potato. He’s been doing really well on Natures Logic.

    #22766 Report Abuse

    little pea
    Participant

    PattyV

    The leaky gut. I read about this a few days prior and was shocked. Especially because the girl’s highest allergy was to yeast. And I knew stolen loaves of bread from the counter were having some effect.
    In addition in Feb/March we had one of the worst bouts of overall scratching, paw chewing and ear infection. The weather was wet and she had been recently professionally groomed. And dog loves to just stand or lay down in the rain. Primary suspect yeast infection . So began a steroid, pills, and medicated ear wash… the ears taking over 2 weeks to clear.
    She looked and acted perfect in April/May.
    Late May blowing coat and itching, itching and coat continues to fall well into June. Itching starts up, I don’t recall heavy paw chewing. I flew in a professional newf groomer prior to a late June show and we had long talks on coat care, drying, etc etc… and etc And a steroid shot.
    I do not think we have leaky gut, but my gut says yeast is on a high watch list.
    I did talk to a Holistic vet clinic and they even suggested a special Derm vet…which does scratch test as opposed to blood. I thinks it is too far to go.
    The dog’s skin at this time is in perfect condition and has been since April. Yet we continue with the face, ear, and frequent scratch to those areas and a frontal paw chew. After switching to Ziwi peak venison in June red eyes and the clear discharge have pretty much been eliminated. No red eyes.

    The newbie in me is digging for answers, but I feel some simple solutions are more practical.
    A raw diet…with supplements. Just need to figure it all out.
    Thank-you.
    You seem to be, a pretty sharp cookie.

    #22771 Report Abuse

    little pea
    Participant

    Thanks Freeholdhound.

    After days of sorting through many things. Nature’s logic was on my list of choices.
    So much confusion out there.

    We came to play, we came to work, we came to be the best and in trying, we shared our love for pets.

    #22778 Report Abuse

    theBCnut
    Member

    Thanks little pea, that’s sweet of you to say.

    #23087 Report Abuse

    ebk
    Participant

    Hound Dog Mom,

    Do you have any info on Wellness Pets canned dog food? I use their grain free Beef and Lamb. I sent a message to them a few weeks ago asking about sourcing and if they still outsource their production and, if so, to whom. I read somewhere that they said they no longer outsource to Diamon. The dogs seem to enjoy it and it smells good. BTW, you and InkedMarie were spot on re Evangers. I opened one of the cans and YUCK!

    Thanks,

    ebk

    #23096 Report Abuse

    Mom2Cavs
    Member

    ebk…I’m interested in this, too, as I use Wellness 95% cans. I do know that unless a company has their own cannery (Merrick does, I believe) then they must outsource their manufacturing. I won’t use Evanger’s made products due to their untrustworthiness.

    #23117 Report Abuse

    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    Hi ebk –

    None of Wellness’ products are manufactured by Diamond. Some of Wellness’ 95% meat and Complete Health canned foods are manufactured by American Nutrition in Ogden, UT. The Simple Stews and the other 95% meat varieties are manufactured by Simmons in their Toronto, ON and Pannsauken, NJ facilities. The majority of their ingredients are sourced from the US however they do source things like lamb/venison etc. from New Zealand and some of their vitamins/amino acids are sourced from China (this is pretty common).

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 2 months ago by  Hound Dog Mom.
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