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Discussion Starter #1
I will try to make this short. "Try" being the important word there. :rolleyes:

Six month old English Mastiff puppy. Was on Acana Large Breed Puppy since we brought her home in June. Was doing fine, maybe a bit leaner than I like, but energetic and shiny, stools fairly firm. About a month ago, I guess, she started having diarrhea. No blood in it but some mucous. Woke up one morning with a huge...for lack of a better description...cow patty on my kitchen floor. Fasted her for 24 hours, then started her on smushy rice. She was drinking and peeing normally--and very energetic throughout the whole ordeal. When her stools didn't start firming up even with the fast/rice I took a stool sample to the vet who found the clostridium bacteria in it. (Still not sure, and probably never will be sure, where she picked this up. We did uncover some nasty garbage left buried in the yard by the disgusting people who rented our acreage before we bought it, that's a possibility.) She was prescribed a week's worth of antibiotics (amoxi) and within two days her stools started firming up. At the end of the seven days she was fine...then three days later diarrhea again. Before I knew about the diarrhea (I noticed it just after this next incident) I offered her a bowl of food and she refused it. Wouldn't even touch it. (She did try to steal a different brand from a visiting dog's dish so it wasn't that she was too sick to eat.) I am returning the half eaten bag of Acana for a refund...if my dog won't even go near her bowl, to me, that's a sign that there's something wrong.

I have emailed Champion Pet Foods, twice, asking if there has been a formula change or any quality issues. I have not had a reply. :frown: Very disappointing because I have always thought highly of them and their customer service. I recommended this food to anyone and everyone. Even if it's not their "fault" that my dog is not as healthy as she should be I have lost faith that they care at all about the wellbeing of my dear puppy.

So...here we are. Food change time. Based on ingredients and ratings and cost and feeding amounts--hour upon hour of research--I think I've narrowed it down to two strong possibilities:

Innova Adult Large Bites. A 29 pound bag costs $63.00 + tax. As a puppy at 80 pounds the website suggests a feeding amount of about 4 1/2 cups per day. (Yes, I am aware that is just a suggestion and it will vary for each dog taking into account many variables...but to make this decision easier I'm going to pretend that is what I will have to feed.) At 150 pounds it is suggested that she will eat about the same. Healthy Cat Food and Dog Food Feeding Amount Calculator - Innova Holistic Pet Food

Canadian Naturals. A 35 pound bag costs $60.00 + tax. As a puppy the rep said she'd need between 4 and 6 cups per day. At 160 pounds it is suggested she will need 4 1/2 - 5 1/2 cups per day.
(There was a website but I can't find it now???)

Other possibilities??

Canidae. Waiting for email back from this company regarding feeding amounts.

Solid Gold. Also waiting for email back from them regarding feeding amounts.

I don't want to go raw and I no longer want to feed a Large Breed food or a Puppy formula. I just want an adult formula suited to a giant breed puppy.

Suggestions/opinions welcome!
 

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Wellness

My dog loves Wellness, it has a 5 rating. They have different options such as grain free. You can go to WELLNESS® - Healthy Dog and Cat Food and look at the different options. I use the chicken formula which is not grain free.

To see dog food ratings go to Dog Food Analysis - Reviews of kibble almost any brand can be searched by going to "reviews and ratings" and there is a blank search box where you can enter the brand you want to look at or you can search by rating....it was hard for me to find # 6 brands locally and ordering online is not a good option for me.

Hope you can find something good for your puppy!
 
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I'm not sure whether you've heard of Back to Basics (the NEW Honesty Chicken formula). The folks who created this kibble are breeders of English Mastiffs and feed it to their champion show mastiffs. The web site is: All Natural Human Grade Holistic Dog and Cat Food - Back to Basics and there's a link to their Mastiffs page.

I don't know how much this helps you, but I thought I would mention it.

My dogs are on Acana presently and are doing very well on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
My dog loves Wellness, it has a 5 rating. They have different options such as grain free. You can go to WELLNESS® - Healthy Dog and Cat Food and look at the different options. I use the chicken formula which is not grain free.

To see dog food ratings go to Dog Food Analysis - Reviews of kibble almost any brand can be searched by going to "reviews and ratings" and there is a blank search box where you can enter the brand you want to look at or you can search by rating....it was hard for me to find # 6 brands locally and ordering online is not a good option for me.

Hope you can find something good for your puppy!
Thanks!

I did consider WELLNESS but the food calculator suggested a huge amount of food per day. I am trying to get 'the best bang for my buck', the best quality food I can afford that is economical to feed at the same time. :)

Isn't dogfoodanalysis.com GREAT! That's where I started my research...and from there looked at the individual company websites for additional information, searched online for reviews of each food and then called local pet stores to see if they carried the ones that impressed me.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm not sure whether you've heard of Back to Basics (the NEW Honesty Chicken formula). The folks who created this kibble are breeders of English Mastiffs and feed it to their champion show mastiffs. The web site is: All Natural Human Grade Holistic Dog and Cat Food - Back to Basics and there's a link to their Mastiffs page.

I don't know how much this helps you, but I thought I would mention it.

My dogs are on Acana presently and are doing very well on it.
Thanks for sharing that website, I'm heading there right now to read about this food! I've never heard of it before.

I should have been a rep for Acana, ha ha ha, I sang it's praises for at least four years, recommended it to everyone I knew. Our last dog did well on it until they changed the formula which didn't agree with her--soft stools and horrible gas. Now this dog and this diarrhea. I'm not saying it's THEIR fault but between them not replying to my (polite) questions/concerns and the vet visit after vet visit for this puppy...well, that is enough for me to make a change.
 

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are you using grain free acana or regular?

I've heard that they recently changed their lamb formula (provincial)so it has more meat in it. Not sure about the other 2.

There are couple grain free foods that I still want to try, but I heard positive feedback on them:

Horizon Legacy and Earthborn Holistic

Horizon has a puppy formula and earthborn is suitable for puppies because its lower protein.

Out of the ones you mentioned, I'd personally go with Innova, they have not had any recalls and they are pretty good with customer service.
 

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Oh and I forgot.....probiotics help with runny stools. I like Pet dophilus by a company called Jarrow. My dog gets this mixed in with his food because it's good for his immune system and overall a good product. Wellness adds them to the food but I don't believe they are as effective when they are added to the food since they are living organisms.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
are you using grain free acana or regular?

I've heard that they recently changed their lamb formula (provincial)so it has more meat in it. Not sure about the other 2.

There are couple grain free foods that I still want to try, but I heard positive feedback on them:

Horizon Legacy and Earthborn Holistic

Horizon has a puppy formula and earthborn is suitable for puppies because its lower protein.

Out of the ones you mentioned, I'd personally go with Innova, they have not had any recalls and they are pretty good with customer service.
She was on the Acana Large Breed Puppy, the regular one, not the grain-free formula. Before the no-replies and when I thought the diarrhea was just a clostridium problem, I did consider the Orijen and the grain-free lines...but heard that some dogs have a problem with soft stool on the Orijen and the grain-free line suggests feeding ALOT, just like the Acana.

Horizon was on my list until I checked out their food calculator and found they wanted me to feed alot as well.

Earthborn is not available in our area.

Thanks very much for your input!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Oh and I forgot.....probiotics help with runny stools. I like Pet dophilus by a company called Jarrow. My dog gets this mixed in with his food because it's good for his immune system and overall a good product. Wellness adds them to the food but I don't believe they are as effective when they are added to the food since they are living organisms.
I was giving her probiotics just after we got her as she suffered from urinary tract infections because of an inverted vulva and so was on antibiotics to combat them. I stopped the probiotics when the diarrhea started because I was concerned they might be causing the problem (unlikely I know but I was at my wit's end) and haven't started them back up. I should do that, add some to her rice soup.

Thanks for the tip!
 

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I forgot to add--

She was eating 6 1/2-7 cups of the Acana Large Breed Puppy. We were going through two 29 lb. bags a month. At $52.00 + tax per bag, that was getting spendy! I am willing to spend up to spend more per bag if it means I am feeding less and getting a quality food.
 

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Thats very odd, usually you feed less of grain free then regular. But then again, I never really use the reccomended ammount, my dog eat less then half of what is reccomended.
I would have loved to feed her half of those 7 cups but she was looking leaner than I think a puppy should look! :)

I would have to re-check but I do remember that the number of cups was more than I wanted to feed for both the grain-free and the Orijen. Also, someone said something about the protein levels not being 'right' for a large breed puppy, so I stopped researching then.

Now, the lack of customer service has turned me right off. Even if one of their other lines were suitable I think I'd steer clear.
 

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I'll just reccomend what i've tried ...

We have an almost 11 month old Italian Masitff, the breeder was feeding her and all the dogs Exceed:eek: When we got her we put her on Blue Buffalo and eneded up weening her onto Innova Puppy. She was doing good on Innova, but after about 2 1/2 months she started getting straight diarrhea for a few weeks we put her on chicken and rice and it stopped. We put her back on it and it started again. Since she did well on chicken and rice we got her California Natural Chicken and Rice for 3 months and she was fine, poop was pretty thick, no runs.

We weened her last month to Horizon Legacy and she's been the best on that so far. She loves it, her poop is firm, no runs or diarrhea.

Personally i'd reccomend it, it has great ingredients and is grain free. I can get it for $56/29lb bag.

Also we feed her about 4 cups/day
 
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There are couple grain free foods that I still want to try, but I heard positive feedback on them:
Horizon Legacy and Earthborn Holistic
Before I switched my dogs to Acana grain free, I tried the Earthborn Holistic Primitive Nature grain free. It gave my dogs horrible gas and diarrahea.

They are doing beautifully on Acana grain free. I alternate between the Chicken (Prairie Harvest) and the Grasslands (Lamb).
 

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Might be a coincidence, but my coworker has a English Mastiff and as a puppy, she is now I believe 11 months old, she had pretty much the same symptoms you describe but her dog was caught eating moss in the back yard, she went through months of vet visits and white rice/chicken diet before whatever was in her intestines cleared up.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Well, my husband is on his way home with the Innova Adult Large Bites I decided on. :)

Acana has always been my preferred food--I seriously should have gotten a job with that company! And while the food may very well not be the source of my puppy's soft stools I would have liked to confirm with the company that there wasn't a formula change or one of those rare 'bad batches'...no reply to two separate emails (one to a specific person working there who I've communicated with through email and on the phone over the last four years--that email was sent about a month ago I think shortly after the diarrhea started) and one directly through the website to whoever gets those emails (sent a few days ago). You can't tell me NEITHER of these contacts haven't had a chance to reply? Even a "we're busy but will get to your question as soon as possible". I will be taking the half-used bag back for a full refund and will also be enclosing a note explaining the situation...maybe if they send the returns back someone will read the note, though I bet they just toss it out and the company doesn't really worry too much until there are numerous returns.

All it would have taken is a quick reply to my emails to put my mind at ease...I probably would try another of their lines, the grain-free or the Orijen, but if they won't respond to my concerns--valid concerns, in my opinion--I'd rather support another company. I am only one customer but word of mouth is a powerful thing--all the people, at least 20-30, who I recommended Acana to will be hearing of my issues so they can watch for similar problems in their dogs.

Thanks everyone for your input. I will let you know how our puppy does on Innova!
 
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