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I have a 16-month old shepard/lab/hound/? mix. I am currently feeding her Simply Nourish Grain Free. It has the right ingredients and gets high marks on Dog Food Advisor. However, her stools are orange/light brown and soft. I am considering changing foods.

The only pet food stores around me are PetSmarts. I don't want an expensive brand or a bad brand, either. When I go into PetSmart, I am overwhelmed by all the choices, and each brand has half a dozen different types of food. But many of the brands discussed here can't be found at PetSmart.

I have been trying to stay grain free but I am not sure if that is really worth the cost and hassle (of finding it).
 

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Depending on where you live you could check out Dog and Cat Food, Treats, and Supplies | Free Shipping at Chewy.com - they have a wide selection (you can narrow down by brand so it's not overwhelming) and they ship to your door.

She may be sensitive to the protein? I am not familiar with the meat content of the Simply Nourish line. If it is chicken, that is a common allergen. You could try a different brand that's comparable, with a different protein source like lamb or fish... just to see if anything changes. Also, a little bit of mashed pumpkin in her food might help firm her stool up.
 

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I feed my boy Fromm and get it from the website that Larkspur recommended. That website is actually a lot cheaper then any of the pet stores around me.

I'd go with a chicken free formula in whatever food you decide to try.
 

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I have a 16-month old shepard/lab/hound/? mix. I am currently feeding her Simply Nourish Grain Free. It has the right ingredients and gets high marks on Dog Food Advisor. However, her stools are orange/light brown and soft. I am considering changing foods.

The only pet food stores around me are PetSmarts. I don't want an expensive brand or a bad brand, either. When I go into PetSmart, I am overwhelmed by all the choices, and each brand has half a dozen different types of food. But many of the brands discussed here can't be found at PetSmart.

I have been trying to stay grain free but I am not sure if that is really worth the cost and hassle (of finding it).

Can you buy online ? I feed my dogs Victor . It is great food . They have grain free and low grain formulas that are all natural and gmo free . My dogs do very well on it .. It is made by Mid America Pet Food which a family owned company .. This is where I buy mine from .
Victor Dog Food GMO Free Nutra Pro 38| Sport Dog Food
.
 

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Could be the tomato pumice in the food as far as the color. My two I would recommend are not sold at petsmart , Zignature or Go Sensitive and Shine. Both are grain free and chicken free and single protein foods. the only one that is sold at petsmart is Blue Buffalo Basics. I had my dogs on it for 5 years with no issues. Good skin and coat. For some reason the company is taking some flack on this site I still don't know what that is all about. I switched to signature because I have a yeasty dog and he does better with no potato in the food.
http://bluebuffalo.com/product-finder/dog/?facets=Dog_Basics,Dog_DryFood
 

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For some reason the company is taking some flack on this site I still don't know what that is all about. I switched to signature because I have a yeasty dog and he does better with no potato in the food.
From what I know about it, BB stated that they have no by-products in their foods. Another company (I think nestle?) tested for it and found by-products. So Nestle sued, BB denied having any by-products for a year. Then just recently they admitted to putting the by-products in their food and not labeling it as such.

It's an honesty thing, imo BB doesn't have the integrity I want for my dog's food. (Though Nestle isn't any better...so who knows with a pissing contest)

To the OP : Find a brand you like and get it shipped if you can't find anything. Wild Calling, Orijen, and Acana are good brands to look up. If you don't want to do that look into Merrick and Canidae's PURE line. Petco sells both of those around where I live. Merrick sold to Nestle, which is something to be cautious of, but so far they haven't changed anything. If that will last is iffy.
 

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Not sure if anyone has mentioned this yet but it might be worth trying out raw. Going raw made a huge difference for our girl and it costs about $45 CAD/month to feed her (70lb lab/mastiff mix). She's in great shape, great health and has great poops too. :)
 

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From what I know about it, BB stated that they have no by-products in their foods. Another company (I think nestle?) tested for it and found by-products. So Nestle sued, BB denied having any by-products for a year. Then just recently they admitted to putting the by-products in their food and not labeling it as such.

It's an honesty thing, imo BB doesn't have the integrity I want for my dog's food. (Though Nestle isn't any better...so who knows with a pissing contest)

To the OP : Find a brand you like and get it shipped if you can't find anything. Wild Calling, Orijen, and Acana are good brands to look up. If you don't want to do that look into Merrick and Canidae's PURE line. Petco sells both of those around where I live. Merrick sold to Nestle, which is something to be cautious of, but so far they haven't changed anything. If that will last is iffy.
@Dawnben thats correct except i think it was purina see Pet Food Honesty though if you ask me purina are no better and include by products in thiers too!
 

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@Dawnben thats correct except i think it was purina see Pet Food Honesty though if you ask me purina are no better and include by products in thiers too!
The difference of course is that Purina has always defended by-products as a useful ingredient (albeit cheaper for them to buy than muscle meat). While by-products do include guts, brains, and feet, they do not include hooves, hair, beaks or stomach contents.

Blue Buffalo, by disingenuously suggesting that by products are "unhealthy" "filler," has not only slandered Purina by name but staked their reputation on excluding by-products specifically. Now we come to find that they are not so much in control of their supply chain and no fewer than five co-packers.

And instead of admitting they were in error and promising to do better in the future, as Diamond has done with its recalls, they have blamed a supplier, which you will remember was Menu Foods' excuse when they poisoned thousands of pets with tainted gluten sourced from Chinese companies with no ethics several steps removed from the supposed "manufacturers" we trusted. You may be getting great results from Blue Buffalo and not mind paying more for it than its worth, but they are not trustworthy.

In my opinion, Blue Buffalo is a very bad actor within the pet food industry and I wouldn't feed their food if you gave it to me free. Just my two cents.
 

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I have been trying to stay grain free but I am not sure if that is really worth the cost and hassle (of finding it).
The grain-free "revolution" was started by Natura (a well respected company in its time) when they introduced their Evo line as an "alternative" to raw feeding. In itself this marketing approach was of course disingenuous because no kibble approximates a "correctly fed" raw diet, regardless of what you may think of feeding raw.

Evo did have high levels of muscle meat content, as evidenced by their uniquely high protein percentage but that formulation came at the cost of a potentially unhealthy percentage of ash with its higher than typical levels of calcium and phosphorus. This made Evo particularly inappropriate to feed to large breed puppies, although Natura did not immediately make that point clear when the food was introduced.

Evo also substituted non-grain starches for corn, wheat and rice, by necessity since kibble cannot be extruded without starches. This resulted in a food that was lower in carbs and higher in protein than grain-inclusive foods but was not necessarily "better" or "closer to raw" than the mainstream foods that had been fed for years.

Then companies like Blue Buffalo, seeing an opportunity to compete against the established giants who resisted going grain-free for some very good nutritional reasons, began to actually demonize grains. Where Evo had told us that grain free meant more meat and better protein, Blue Buffalo actually screamed that "carnivores couldn't digest grains," that grains directly caused "allergies," and that grains were nothing more than filler that mainstream companies used to pad their profit margins. There was no science behind this but soon enough websites began to "review" pet foods entirely on the basis of ingredients and completely bought into the grain-free hype.

The ultimate evolution of this is the success of Orijen and Acana, and the brilliant job Champion has done promoting its "regional" sources, the "sustainability" of its suppliers' husbandry practices, and the previously unknown advantages of its cornucopia of healthy fruits, vegetables and botanicals. G*d bless 'em; they basically ate Evo and Blue Buffalo's lunch. And now countless pet owners, usually with only one or two animals to feed, happily pay $5 a pound for what is in the end a dry dog food, manufactured from the left overs of the human food industry, processed under high heat and preserved so that its shelf life can be measured in months.

I myself was taken by the argument that a food with grains necessarily contained less meat and that the more meat a food had the better. So I fed Evo, Orijen, Taste of the Wild, Merrick and other grain free foods, not only believing they were "better" but that I had to rotate them to avoid "intolerances." All I got for my pains was a lot of diarrhea and big bills for pet food.

These days I feed a mainstream food I won't mention because I no longer do food fights but it includes grains, by-products and protein glutens. My dog's digestion is perfect, her weight is perfect and she loves the food. I can usually get it for about $1.66 a pound and could pay a little less if I bought bigger bags. I don't say it's the food everyone should feed but I'm completely over the idea that grain-free is the best for all dogs. In fact I think a judicious amount of grain is likely to make for better digestion over time.

If I didn't feed what I do I would try Dr. Tim's, Annamaet or Farmina, because I think their formulas and manufacturing processes are well thought out. I'd start with their grain-inclusive line. But if I had to I'd feed another mainstream food with grain and/or by-products and if it "worked" I wouldn't feel the least bit guilty.
 

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The grain-free "revolution" was started by Natura (a well respected company in its time) when they introduced their Evo line as an "alternative" to raw feeding. In itself this marketing approach was of course disingenuous because no kibble approximates a "correctly fed" raw diet, regardless of what you may think of feeding raw.

Evo did have high levels of muscle meat content, as evidenced by their uniquely high protein percentage but that formulation came at the cost of a potentially unhealthy percentage of ash with its higher than typical levels of calcium and phosphorus. This made Evo particularly inappropriate to feed to large breed puppies, although Natura did not immediately make that point clear when the food was introduced.

Evo also substituted non-grain starches for corn, wheat and rice, by necessity since kibble cannot be extruded without starches. This resulted in a food that was lower in carbs and higher in protein than grain-inclusive foods but was not necessarily "better" or "closer to raw" than the mainstream foods that had been fed for years.

Then companies like Blue Buffalo, seeing an opportunity to compete against the established giants who resisted going grain-free for some very good nutritional reasons, began to actually demonize grains. Where Evo had told us that grain free meant more meat and better protein, Blue Buffalo actually screamed that "carnivores couldn't digest grains," that grains directly caused "allergies," and that grains were nothing more than filler that mainstream companies used to pad their profit margins. There was no science behind this but soon enough websites began to "review" pet foods entirely on the basis of ingredients and completely bought into the grain-free hype.

The ultimate evolution of this is the success of Orijen and Acana, and the brilliant job Champion has done promoting its "regional" sources, the "sustainability" of its suppliers' husbandry practices, and the previously unknown advantages of its cornucopia of healthy fruits, vegetables and botanicals. G*d bless 'em; they basically ate Evo and Blue Buffalo's lunch. And now countless pet owners, usually with only one or two animals to feed, happily pay $5 a pound for what is in the end a dry dog food, manufactured from the left overs of the human food industry, processed under high heat and preserved so that its shelf life can be measured in months.

I myself was taken by the argument that a food with grains necessarily contained less meat and that the more meat a food had the better. So I fed Evo, Orijen, Taste of the Wild, Merrick and other grain free foods, not only believing they were "better" but that I had to rotate them to avoid "intolerances." All I got for my pains was a lot of diarrhea and big bills for pet food.

These days I feed a mainstream food I won't mention because I no longer do food fights but it includes grains, by-products and protein glutens. My dog's digestion is perfect, her weight is perfect and she loves the food. I can usually get it for about $1.66 a pound and could pay a little less if I bought bigger bags. I don't say it's the food everyone should feed but I'm completely over the idea that grain-free is the best for all dogs. In fact I think a judicious amount of grain is likely to make for better digestion over time.

If I didn't feed what I do I would try Dr. Tim's, Annamaet or Farmina, because I think their formulas and manufacturing processes are well thought out. I'd start with their grain-inclusive line. But if I had to I'd feed another mainstream food with grain and/or by-products and if it "worked" I wouldn't feel the least bit guilty.
Great post. I totally agree. I think as far as kibble goes, people should concern themselves more with the quality and integrity of the company then whether the food is grain inclusive or grain free. Every one should feed what works best for their dog and their budget.
 
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