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Hello there, I'm Carrie. I have a 1 and a half year old boxer/pointer mix named Tucker. He's around 75 pounds, moderately active, and I'm in dire need of some help.

I've been feeding him PurinaONE for the majority of his life, but for the past few weeks have been researching some holistic dog food brands and searching for the right one for him. I realized after some research what a terrible product Purina food is (no offense to anyone who uses it), and many other dog food brands you can readily purchase in supermarkets. I began my search and discovered BLUEBuffalo and Taste of the Wild dog food brands, and my heart was set on buying a bag of BLUE dry food, but after reading a lot of bad reviews about recalls and allergy issues, I'm left wondering who I can really trust to give me a healthy dog food at a moderate price ($50 or so dollars per 30lb bag).

I'm needing some help and advice if any of you know some respectable dog food brands. Thanks!
 

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I am glad you are changing foods the purina , science diet and Iams are all highly advertised as good foods but have very poor quality ingredients.
I have used Blue buffalo basic for over 2 years with no problems. I have recently change to Pure Vita
Grain Free Dog Food Turkey Formula PureVita - Pure and Natural Holistic Pet Food
because it is grain free. I will use the blue in case of a recall. It is good to have two or 3 different foods to give a variety and also some think to prevent allergies.

Rather than trying to find a single, "best" food, I recommend that you choose at least two or three different brands, using different protein sources, and rotate between them, anywhere from a daily basis to every few months. Variety is always better than feeding any single food, as it helps to guarantee that all of your dogs' nutritional needs are met and is more interesting for your dogs. The only warning I have about feeding a lot of variety is to not feed every exotic protein available (duck, rabbit, venison, etc.); always reserve one or two in case you ever need to do an elimination diet using a food your dog has never had before to test for food allergies.
DogAware.com: Commercial Dog Foods
 

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I am feeding merrick before grain now, was on Torw but they have been getting very fishy with their ingredients, Izze doesn't like fish meals/ meats so I had to go with something that didn't have lots of fish in it (which is hard cuz most grain free foods are fishy.
 

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Blue isn't bad actually as brands go, not my fav but not bad. I've fed Taste of the Wild, also look into The Honest Kitchen (they sell sample sizes off their website) as I usually find their food to be competitively priced when you break it down to meal size comparisons.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you all, I'll keep in mind what you all said.
Dawnben, thank you for the idea of switching his food every-so-often, I'll keep that in mind and try it!
 

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The only warning I have about feeding a lot of variety is to not feed every exotic protein available (duck, rabbit, venison, etc.); always reserve one or two in case you ever need to do an elimination diet using a food your dog has never had before to test for food allergies.
This is VERY important to keep in mind, which is why I always advise people to not rotate foods (since all commercial foods are supposed to be balanced) and then end up feeding the dog EVERYTHING. Stick to only a few of the protein sources (chicken, turkey, beef, lamb) and leave the weird stuff just in case you need it in the future...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Holly: So, you're basically saying to feed him normal meat products, such as chicken or beef or turkey, and have a bag of something out of the norm at hand (venison or lamb), just in case he develops an allergy to the beef or turkey?
 

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Don't bother to keep the odd bag, theres no point. Just decide that "I'm not going to feed X protein just in case we have issues later"
 

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^^ Ditto that.


Only buy the chicken/turkey/beef.

Don't try to get fancy with Venison/Duck/Salmon etc for potential future need.
 

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I used be in exactly your situation but we switched the dogs to Natural Balance Synergy. We love this brand – healthy and holistic – great ingredients, and different formulas for different dog’s needs. You will notice a big difference when you switch – we did – their coats looked so much fuller and the brown under their eyes (tear stains?) literally went away! Also noticed a difference in the back yard – less to clean up. (Synergy has probiotics so it helps with digestion). Oh and our dogs love the taste – Synergy has chicken and salmon in it among other great things – and they get very excited and wag their tails at mealtime! I very highly recommend Natural Balance to all my friends.
 

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Where can you buy Natural Balance? And is it affordable? I'm not sure I've ever heard of that brand before, but I'll be sure to check it out!
 

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I have another question, too. Regarding switching two or three different brands to give him an all-around balanced nutritional diet, I was wondering if I need to switch between brands (BLUE, Natural Balance, TOTW), or if I can switch between the same brand, just different protein sources.

Just wanting to make sure I'm doing the best possible thing for him. I was just a little confused about this.
 

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I have another question, too. Regarding switching two or three different brands to give him an all-around balanced nutritional diet, I was wondering if I need to switch between brands (BLUE, Natural Balance, TOTW), or if I can switch between the same brand, just different protein sources.

Just wanting to make sure I'm doing the best possible thing for him. I was just a little confused about this.
Yes you can just switch protein sources. The idea is to give a variety. Food companies like Blue Buffalo have many formulas to choose from. They just came out with grain free formulas.
 

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Yes, you can switch between protein sources but you need to reserve some of the exotic proteins in case you end up having a food allergic dog. I'd stay away from proteins like Rabbit, Salmon, Buffalo/Bison. Kangaroo, Duck, Venision etc. Stick with your common proteins so you have back ups in case you need to do a food trial.
 

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You can buy Natural Balance at Petco, or at any natural pet store in your area. It’s also available online. Check out the Natural Balance website for more info as well. I can’t say enough good things about their Synergy formula and how well my dog is doing on this food! Let us know how your dog likes it!
 

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i changed from purina puppy chow to Blue Buffalo for pups, gotta tell you that my puppy always ate purina well and finished the bowl, with BB i have to add some hot water to the dry food to make it more attractive (she wont eat it on its own) and in the mornings I mix it with a bit of wet food, for variety. I know Blue is better, but my puppy doesn't seem to be excited about it. weird.
 

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i changed from purina puppy chow to Blue Buffalo for pups, gotta tell you that my puppy always ate purina well and finished the bowl, with BB i have to add some hot water to the dry food to make it more attractive (she wont eat it on its own) and in the mornings I mix it with a bit of wet food, for variety. I know Blue is better, but my puppy doesn't seem to be excited about it. weird.
Good job on the change in food. You can also switch meat sources to give the pup a variety. Blue has a few puppy formulas to pick from.
 
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