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Discussion Starter #1
My 9 month old French Bulldog Murph seems to have a lot of allergy and tummy troubles. I was trying him on various kibbles but he itches his paws so much I figured maybe trying something more suited to allergy prone dogs would be helpful.

The small store where I get my dog food suggested Natural Balance. I really like the idea behind one protein + one carb and that's it (for allergy dogs). It just doesn't seem all that appealing to Murph, and I'm not crazy that meat isn't even the first ingredient. I know this is a big complaint when it comes to Natural Balance.

Are there any other good limited ingredient formulas out there? I know Wellness and Blue Buffalo have one. I liked Wellness's except, brown rice is the first ingredient, so that seems kinda similar to the Natural Balance. Blue Buffalo's DID have meat as the first ingredient, but it didn't seem like a true "limited ingredient diet" because it had much more than Natural Balance and Wellness did.

Any thoughts/experiences with these foods? Any other suggestions?

Blue Buffalo Basics Salmon & Potato
Ingredients:
Deboned Salmon, Peas, Whole Potatoes, Whole Ground Brown Rice, Salmon Meal(natural source of Omega 3 Fatty Acid), Flaxseed (natural source of Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids), Canola Oil (naturally preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, a natural source of Vitamin E), Tomato Pomace (natural source of Lycopene), Natural Fish Flavor, Oatmeal, Whole Carrots, Blueberries, Cranberries, Barley Grass, Dried Parsley, Alfalfa Meal, Dried Kelp, Yucca Schidigera Extract, L-Carnitine, L-Lysine, Turmeric, Oil of Rosemary, Dried Chicory Root, Calcium Carbonate, Beta Carotene, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Niacin (Vitamin B3), d-Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Biotin (Vitamin B7), Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Calcium Ascorbate (source of Vitamin C), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Choline Chloride, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate, Salt, Caramel, Potassium Chloride, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bacillus subtilis, Enterococcus faecium.

Protein: 22% minimum


Wellness Simple Salmon Formula
Ingredients:
Ground Rice, Salmon, Salmon Meal, Canola Oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols, a natural source of Vitamin E), Tomato Pomace, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Chloride, Natural Fish Flavor, Vitamins [Vitamin E Supplement, Beta-Carotene, Niacin, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin, Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Folic Acid], Minerals [Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite], Choline Chloride, Taurine.

Protein: 20% minimum

Natural Balance Sweet Potato & Fish Formula
Ingredients:
Sweet Potatoes, Salmon, Salmon Meal, Canola Oil, Potato Fiber, Natural Flavor, Sodium Chloride, Salmon Oil (a source of DHA), Flaxseed, Potassium Chloride, Methionine, Choline Chloride, Natural Mixed Tocopherols, Taurine, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B-1), Manganese Proteinate, Manganous Oxide, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Calcium Pantothenate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B-6), Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Riboflavin (Vitamin B-2), Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Folic Acid.

Protein: 21% minimum
 

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Look at Wellness core ocean formula. Its fish based(and a lot of it from what I remember) and be a possibility. If foods don't seem to work, it could also be airborn, outdoors type allergies. Grass, pollen, dust etc... Its just a thaught.
 

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Also have a look at California Natural. I'm sure they have only one protein source and simple ingredients, good for dogs with allergies.
Also, when you have time, read back over some older threads here. You'll find there is an awful lot of good advice from others in similar situations.
 

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id look at california natural as well. all the ones you posted, much like the natural balance, dont have meat as the first ingredient (peas are likely the first ingredient in the BB.

i also agree this is the time of year when there are alot of airborn allergens. my gsd does some paw chewing this time of year, but is not allergic to anything in her foods. most of the limited ingredient diets are pretty light in their meat content (thus they are all quite low in protein %) and i consider them a last resort for a dog that has absolutely no other choices.
 

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Been there, done that!!
Tried everything before giving up on the kibble all together.
I'm not sure what other foods you have used; but one of the ingredients Khan is allergic to is Flax. Natural Balance DOES have this as one of the ingredients. Although it is like #10 on the list, take a look at the other foods Murph has been on. Are there ANY common ingredients between the foods. don't forget to look at the treats also.
We were steered to this food because of his allergies; but in the end it was still using an ingredient that he was allergic to.
Cal. Nat also has Flax in the Chicken formula (I think) I believe the Lamb does not. Every dog is different, and Murph may not be allergic to Flax as Khan is, I guess what I'm saying is don't discount any common thread you may find. Even if it seems insignificant. Interestingly the crappy breeder food he came home on did not have Flax, while almost all the high quality foods include it since it's an Omega 3 that's good for you! Only a couple foods do not contain Flax, and Orijen is one that does not. Most ALL the treats have it as well, so again don't forget to look at those ingredients.
Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for your replies guys! It just breaks my heart to see him sitting there licking/chewing his paws (which he's doing now lol). I just wanna find the magic cure!

Besides the paws, he's had an ear infection and his ears just seem dirtier than normal (yes, we clean them). I also thought a L.I.D. would be good because his stools weren't quite how I wanted them to be ideally. They were a bit soft, and he was pooping way more than I figured he should (4-5 times a day).

He's been on a mixture of Premium Edge and Nature's Variety Prairie Chicken Meal with a few other foods tried but decided to discontinue, but those are the main two.

His poops are already getting a bit better only a few days on a small ratio of the Natural Balance, but I'm really not crazy about how little meat there is!

I was thinking of going grain free and doing TOTW. We have our boxer on that and have had our little mix Abbie on it in the past and they both did great, and I believe I read that grain free can really help with allergies?

I also put him on a sardine oil supplement for his coat & skin hopefully to help. Doesn't hurt at least!

Argh, I'm just so frustrated! I don't want to constantly give him benadryl! But maybe I should if he's always itching at his paws so much :(
 

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Pooping alot and soft stools is either a sign of too much food or too much filler in the food.

If I were you I'd definitely go with a grain free food for the allergy problem and if that doesn't clear up the problem then I might look into the raw section for answers.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Okay, so it seems that California Natural comes highly reccomended by a lot of people...

But then some people recommend grain free to help too?

I'd love to find a food that both dogs can be on. Is California Natural an okay food for a dog like Abbie (35 lb hound mix) who really has no food issues, she's done well on everything.

So basically, I'm trying to decide between California Natural and TOTW. Naturally, I know when I go to try it, it could be hit or miss but I wanted to hear opinions on the two....
 

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Cal. Nat is a perfectly acceptable food for any dog to be on. It is a much simpler food, so another benefit you might see is less gas!
I can tell you that the black yeast infection you are also seeing is something we dealt with as well. I am 100% positive that what you are dealing with is some sort of a food allergy. Like I said in my earlier post. Been there, done that! Go through the different foods line by line as well as the treats. Again, as I mentioned earlier Khan is allergic to Flax/Flaxseed; as well as Salmon/Salmon Oil. These are ingredients that are not looked at "typically" as being culprits. Most common are the grains, corn, wheat, dairy, whey etc.
I can say this from experience, you will need to be vigilant in your quest to find the common factor.
In our case, once we eliminated the culprits, it didn't even take a week for the licking, itching, and black yeast in his right ear to clear up !

Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #10
thank you Khan!

So, tonight I purchased a small 3lb bag of Nature's Advantage frozen raw beef nuggets. I decided to put Murph on the raw diet since it keeps getting recommended, especially for a dog with so many issues, and I hear nothing but good things about it!

It was only $12 for the 3lb bag, but now, after thinking all night, I think I'm going to stick with TOTW kibble because I will be moving in a few weeks and won't necessarily have the time/space/money to keep up a raw diet easily.

Now basically, I don't want to return the unopened bag of the raw nuggets to the dog food store because I really appreciate the time he took to talk to me today. Can I throw a few nuggets on each dogs food each day until they are used up? Is it okay just to give them a bit of something raw? They get raw frozen marrow bones once a week or so, so I'm thinking it shouldn't be too big of a problem?

I just wasn't sure if it's okay to throw in some raw every now and then like this...

I'm going to look through ingredients and see what comes up in each food if there are any similarities...if TOTW doesn't work, then on to the next food it is!
 
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