Discussion in 'Health & Nutritional Care' started by TylerDurden, Jun 4, 2018.

  1. TylerDurden

    TylerDurden Well-Known Member

    All, we are still seeing some itchiness in our Mastiff puppy and I thought it might make sense to give the limited ingredient diet a try. @Nik & @Boxergirl I believe you had some good insights and experiences but I might be mistaken. I have a few questions:

    1. Which brands would you recommend? Natural Balance keeps coming up in every type of search I perform and reviews are generally good.

    2. Is it a problem that meat isn‘t always the first ingredient? In many cases it‘s sweat potato. I would definitely go for limited ingredients and grain free.

    3. Is the adult food ok for growing large/giant breed puppies? Natural Balance for example is 1.0 Calcium vs. 0.8 Phosphorus.

    Thanks as always for sharing your opinions.
  2. Boxergirl

    Boxergirl Well-Known Member

    I had a big long post typed out, but then I found the article that I wanted to use for reference - and it's much better than anything I could write. See if anything here helps you out.


    S0 after re-reading that article, my thoughts are that I probably wouldn't spend the money on a food purchased from the vet unless it was comparable to a limited ingredient diet that you can get elsewhere. I know a lot of people are very happy with Natural Balance and I think it's probably worth a try, but don't rule out environmental allergens. My dogs that had the worst allergy issues had environmental rather than food allergies, it just took me a long time to figure that out. All through trial and error. An adult food is no problem as long as it has the proper ratios. 1.0 to .8 should be fine.
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  3. April Nicole

    April Nicole Well-Known Member

    I switched Logan from Diamond Puppy to Pure Balance. And he is doing much better. The Diamond kept his stools loose. So far so good.
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  4. TylerDurden

    TylerDurden Well-Known Member

    Great article! Thanks for sharing! I was thinking about potential environmental allergies, as well, since it all pretty much started with the "pollen season" (could be a coinsidence). Do food allergies typically lead to lose stools and other symptoms too? He hasn‘t really had anything other than some itchiness.
    April Nicole likes this.
  5. Jakesmum

    Jakesmum Well-Known Member

    Jake had a real problem with loose stools until I changed him to Zignature, it's a limited ingredient food as well. With all his allergies our dermatologist recommended that we try Kangaroo as the protein source and Zignature makes a really good one. His stools have firmed up finally and he does really well on it. We now switch from Kangaroo to Whitefish, but all Zignature and he does very well on this food.
  6. scorning

    scorning Active Member

    My dog is sensitive to grass and pollen, his stomach gets really red in the spring/summer. We bathe every week or two with sensitive skin shampoo to remove the irritants and use an allergy supplement. https://shop.snookdog.com/Green-Honey-Allergy-Support-4oz-greenhoney-899744001516.htm

    I'm not sure it qualifies at limited ingredient, but we use Canidae Pure Sky kibble in the morning and raw at night, my dogs both do well on that.
    April Nicole likes this.
  7. Nik

    Nik Well-Known Member

    With Diesel I deal with both food allergies and environmental allergies. Poor guy. For him we have to choose a food that doesn't contain any poultry or poultry bi-products. We like to mix natural balance limited ingredient salmon with canidae limited ingredients salmon. Our last trip to the store found the natural balance discontinued at the store. They still had natural balance limited ingredient lamb so we grabbed that. The thing is even some limited ingredient foods that are high end (like canidae) can still contain poultry bi-product like chicken fat. The only one that didn't for Canidae was specifically the salmon. But the Canidae is too rich or something for them and when we only do canidae they have softer poops. We find that mxing the two foods has worked best.

    We have had a lot of difficulty with the foods that work well for them getting discontinued and then having to hunt for new ones. It is very frustrating actually. It has happened three times at least already.

    As for his environmental allergies. Diesel is allergic to grass and we have to baby wipe his belly and under his back legs and around his groin after playing outside. Otherwise he gets bad rashes. He always has some rashes but they irritate him less if we wipe him off when he comes in. We also need to use moisturizing shampoos for him or he dries out and gets irritated. We make sure it is always shampoo with oatmeal or we have also had luck with the ones that had aloe. But we always go for sensitive skin/moisturizing shampoo.
  8. Nik

    Nik Well-Known Member

    Food allergies don't necessarily lead to any other symptoms. For Diesel his chicken allergy only results in hives. However, he also has sensitivity to some foods (not related to his allergies) and this can cause loose stools. Over-feeding also causes loose stools.
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  9. Jarena

    Jarena Well-Known Member

    I don’t know if it’s helpful or not, but we use Open Farm. They have about 4 different foods that don’t contain any poultry or grain (which Lettie is sensitive to). And I can pronounce all the ingredients. It’s all human grade food. The calcium and phosphorous levels are all appropriate also. Maybe you could buy a small bag and try it out? You might even be able to email them and request samples. Openfarmpet.com
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  10. TylerDurden

    TylerDurden Well-Known Member

    Thanks again. Here is what I found on the Natural Balance website (slightly differs from the info on Chewy).

    0.6 and 0.5 respectivly seem a little low. It always says min, so I don‘t know if that means that it typically is higher and by how much.
    I‘ve read some comments from proplr (not on this forum) who said they wouldn‘t feed a growing Mastiff with this food due to the lower amount of calories. 350kcal per cup doesn‘t sound too low to me. Do you see any other possible issues? I would really like to give it a try to see if it helps with the itchiness at all, but don‘t want to create any nutrional imbalances or difficulties.
  11. Boxergirl

    Boxergirl Well-Known Member

    I think those are a little on the low side too. I like to see levels around 1-1.8% protein to .08-1% phosphorus. I also like a decent protein amount and I believe that 21% is considered a low protein food.

    What about just going with a novel protein source? There are a lot of foods that have those and are comparable in price.
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  12. marke

    marke Well-Known Member

    I have seen pretty clear and consistent results in studies showing lower caloric intake coinciding with better hip type , even in dogs bred to be predisposed to hip dysplasia ………. dog raised on suboptimal diets have been shown to have better hip type than dogs raised on optimal diets ……… puppies given unlimited exercise have been shown to have better hip type than pups with limited exercise ………… what I would take from the studies I have seen is , keep your puppies skinny and exercised (sensible exercise types) ….. the most critical time period being 4-8 months ……. personally I believe 0-8 months is critical …….
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  13. TylerDurden

    TylerDurden Well-Known Member

    Thanks, I will look into other options, as well. Jarena recommended another alternative, too.

    As an FYI, Natural Balance came back with the following values for the Sweet Potato and Fish formula:


    Calcium: 1.14%
    Phosphorus: 0.71%

    "Dry Matter":

    Calcium: 1.23%
    Phosphorus: 0.76%

    They said they wouldn‘t feed it to any puppy (regardless of the size) due to it being an adult formula. I guess that‘s controversial.
    Boxergirl likes this.

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