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John P

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    Update: Iggy and Bella have been on the Acana Singles Pork and Butternut Squash kibble for seven days. They LOVE it and dream of breakfast and dinner all day long. I have noticed a remarkable improvement already in some of their skin issues, especially Bella’s (although hers were much less severe, which is why I didn’t focus as much on them in my posts). Iggy has been itching much less, although still itching some. I know this is to be expected with the severity of his existing symptoms. However, my most exciting news relates to Iggy’s weight. For the past 12 months, Iggy has been losing mass (a result of several factors all related to his previous food I’m now realizing). In only seven days, he has put on significant muscle. I can feel it in his legs especially and see it when he runs and jumps (HE RUNS AND JUMPS NOW, TOO). They had always been on highly rated dog food, but this just proves that not all dog food is right for all dogs. Joining Editor’s Choice and meeting all of you was the best thing I could have done for my babies. My vet isn’t going to believe they’re the same pups when I take them in next month.

    John P

    Hi, Dori.

    I must have misinterpreted something to begin with, but I also must have worded something incorrectly. What I meant is that if I can only find three distinct proteins, a way to incorporate variety and possibly avoid sensitivity issues would be to find a food with the same protein but different supplementary ingredients. I never thought that you intended me to use one protein. In fact, I think you’re the one who convinced me to rotate in the first place!

    I’ll take your freeze dried advice into consideration and do some research. I really don’t know anything about freeze dried foods and treats (pricing, availability, health benefits, etc). I was looking for a pork-based treat to feed along with the Acana Pork and Butternut Squash kibble, and I found the Orijen Wild Boar freeze dried treats. Do you think those would be suitable as a close relation and have the health benefits you mentioned? I liked them because they were produced by the same parent company as well as the fact that wild boar is in theory wild pork. Orijen also offers freeze dried lamb treats I believe. I don’t use a lot of treats, but they’re helpful when grooming. And grooming is a daily chore with wheatens!

    You have been incredibly understanding as I’ve worked through this. As Tony the Tiger would say, You’re Greaaa-aaattt!

    John P

    Update: First, I want to thank everyone again for your thorough, prompt, and caring responses. I’ve tried to browse the forum to see if I could help anyone as you’ve helped me. So far, I haven’t found any topic that I feel I am qualified to give an educated opinion, but I will check back regularly.

    Back to Iggy and Bella – I have had the luxury of feeding a mostly raw diet in this “detox” or “transition” phase only because this is the off-season for my business. In a few weeks, my dogs and I will begin our regular business road trips across the country (I could fly, but I would never crate my dogs in the cargo bay unless absolutely necessary). I travel with my dogs because I don’t want to be without them for extended periods of time, and I know most boarders won’t (and often can’t) provide the love, care, and attention that my dogs get from me (and that I feel they need and deserve). I tell you all this only because our transient lifestyle for nine months out of the year necessitates a dry dog food/kibble. That is why I have taken all of your excellent advice and focused my research and attention on dry dog foods.

    Right now, I have found three highly rated dry dog foods with three distinct proteins that I plan to begin introducing into their diets. Here they are:
    • Acana Singles Pork and Butternut Squash Dry Dog Food
    •. Acana Singles Lamb and Apple Dry Dog Food
    •. Nature’s Variety Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Rabbit Meal Dry Dog Food

    Ideally, I would like to add at least one more food with at least one more single distinct protein to keep in the rotation, although I’m having trouble sorting through all the options to find anything suitable. I know both Iggy and Bella tolerate venison because they did well on the small bag of the Sweet Potato and Venison dog food I bought from that hack brand when I was desperate to switch and couldn’t find anything better at my local PetCo. They also do well with the raw venison that I get from my dad and brothers (they are hunters and have freezers full of the stuff). However, I can’t find any highly-rated venison food that isn’t fortified with fowl or beef (or both). If someone could give me a suggestion on a single-protein venison food, I would greatly appreciate it. Considering they will be getting this food in a rotation with other highly recommended foods, I think it would be acceptable for this venison food to have a lower protein count (correct me if I’m wrong – I’m just guessing). Alternatively, if you know of another protein that is not fowl, fish, beef, bison, or the proteins listed above, I could really use that help too. I’m afraid if one or more of these options don’t work out, which is quite possible, I’ll be going back to the drawing board and coming back begging for more help. Haha!

    I believe it was Dori who suggested (or possibly impied) that I should at least consider using multiple foods with the same protein for the sake of variety if I am unable to find a suitable number of distinct proteins. If I must go that route, suggestions on single-protein dry dog foods (or, I suppose, dry dog foods with a mix of these proteins, although I find that highly doubtable) that I should try within these limits would also be very helpful, especially as I prepare logs and attempt to rule out sensitivities that might not be protein-related.

    I have some excellent news, too! I have found a locally-owned pet store that is only an hour’s drive from my house. Their prices are significantly cheaper than sites like Chewy and Wag. Per 25-pound bag of premium dog food brands like Acana, I can save an average of $20 to $25. Also, they offered to order any food they don’t carry with no minimum quantities per order and no special order fee. They staff is friendly, knowledgeable, and extremely helpful. They even told me about this website before I had a chance to tell them that this is where I had done my research. I’ll never give PetCo or PetsMart my business again!

    Thank you again. I am glad that I joined this online family of pet lovers. Among my friends and family, my dedication to my pets is often derided as obsessive, and my investment in their health is deemed wasteful. This community understands the relationship I have with Iggy and Bella, and I would go so far as to say that you encourage it. I look forward to hearing any additional help that any of you might have to offer, and I especially look forward to contributing my experiences to help others in the future.

    in reply to: favorite online store to order from #67915 Report Abuse
    John P

    I’m really sorry to revive this old thread, but has anyone ever ordered from I’ve looked at all of the sites everyone is recommending, and that seems to be the only one I can find that has the four varieties that I need in stock (or even carries all four different ones) — this rotational feeding with lots of different proteins is going to stretch my imagination and my budget.

    John P

    I think rotational food might be my best bet at this stage in the game, but I have a few questions/comments for you:
    1) How would you recommend introducing the new foods I’m researching to make sure Iggy (and Bella, my other Wheatable) can tolerate them before I rotate in a second, third, and fourth food (and so on)? It usually takes a little while for the itching to show up in either Iggy or Bella. On the other hand, I learned very quickly that bison was too closely related to beef for Bella (she has violent reactions to beef). Within hours, she was incredibly sick. So, I guess my question is how long would you wait before introducing each food and how many foods would you feed at a time when you’re trying out a new one? Would you switch to it exclusively for a short period?
    2) I have always made my own treats. This started when I rescued Iggy as a puppy. He was extremely malnourished but wouldn’t eat much of his puppy food at a time. Bella, who is two years older, has never had any problems eating (especially if it’s bad for her — haha), so I had to find ways to get get nutrition into him throughout the day when he felt like eating without necessarily leaving food out all day long. I worked with my super awesome vet to come up with some “recipes”, I played with them to Iggy’s liking, and Iggy and Bella have been enjoying them to some extent ever since. They have always been anti-inflammatory, grain-free, and high-protein, with a good fat-to-protein ratio. I don’t use treats very often, but when I do, they’re always from my own kitchen.

    Pardon my ignorance, but what is a “topper”?

    Pam P:
    This is great information! Like I said, I’m new to this site and new to the dog food world beyond what I have found in the aisles of my local pet supply warehouses. Please bear with me as I bombard you with questions/comments as I did with Dori. Here goes:
    1) What is kefir? I’m afraid to leave this page in my tablet to go Googling for fear of losing everything I have typed so far, plus I’m betting your summation will be far more knowledgeable than anything I can find on Wikipedia.
    2) How exactly do you find out if a company uses synthetic vitamins and minerals? Does a limited-ingredient brand such as Acana use them? I’m guessing something like that would be on the ingredients list, but is there a separate list as one might find on a cereal box? I tried to play around with Editor’s Choice the day I joined, but I couldn’t find the purported ingredient benefits of membership. That could be both a limitation of my browsing device and a limitation of the short amount of time I had available for browsing.
    3) Do you mix the oils directly onto the foods before feeding? How do you know how much to give per kg/lb — does someone have a guide somewhere online? Again, this might be something I could search online. My Wheatables both have the soft blonde hair of the Wheaten breed, but it doesn’t have the luster it had when eating the Organix. I realize that could be due to many things besides just what I fed them at the time. I know when I first rescued Bella and before I got Iggy, my old vet introduced me to Dr. Udo’s pet line of holistic products. Do you have any experience with those? I believe he has a vegan oil blend (with several of the oils you mentioned) designed to do just what you said. The only reason I bring it up is it would have dosing guidelines. My worry comes from the fact that Iggy is at risk of being underweight (always has been), and Bella is at risk of being overweight (always has been), so I want to be sure and dose exactly according to what they should be getting.

    Thanks for the hints! You saved me a lot of headache and searches by pointing me in the right directions. If I can use Dori’s rotational recommendations, I’ll need some novel proteins because so many have already been eliminated due to established allergies and intolerances (mainly poultry). I really appreciate the help!

    Okay, I own several books on Wheatens. They are adorable, but that very adorableness is their downfall, which is why I have rescued two. However, I haven’t ever encountered specific literature on (nor have any of my vets told me about) skin conditions due to intestinal problems. I know about the inheritable digestive enzyme-related diseases. Do those also cause skin problems? If so, what kind? I will Google this further as soon as I can. However, your first-hand perspective would probably help me more than anything else.
    Also, thanks for telling me you are also a proponent of rotational feeding, although to a more relaxed extent than Dori. This helps me decide that some form of rotational feeding is the next move for our pet family. I wish I had thought to do this sooner.

    Pam P:
    Nice to see you again! Thanks for the advice on the vaccines. Iggy and Bella missed their last routine vaccinations because they were extremely inflamed at the time, and the vet didn’t want to risk it. I will mention everything you said to my vet, and we will go from there. She has been extremely good to work with me so far. She got out of vet school right about the time Iggy joined our family, so she knows our history well, and she seems to be more flexible than some older vets.

    Thanks again to everyone! I’m sorry I wasn’t more concise. I just have so many questions. If you don’t feel like answering but just want to send me to a website, a link is fine too. I’m off to do all of that Googling I promised to undertake. This community is amazing!

    John P

    Thank you everyone for the prompt and detailed responses to my post! This must be a very strong community, and I am very glad that I joined Iggy, Bella, and me up as members. All of your pets are very fortunate that their pet partners love them and care for them so much.

    As I begin reading through these, I will take your recommendations under consideration and respond when necessary. Thank you again!

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