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Discussion Starter #1
I have seen mixed opinions and reviews on this food. Dogfoodanalysis.com gives it a weak 4 star rating (could be worse), but I read that this website was biased on grain free foods which isn't always necessarily HEALTHIER, just better for a lot of allergies if your dog is experiencing them. Well, I have been feeding my dog Natural Balance topped with the Solid Gold Seameal powder twice a day. He seems healthy, his coat is shiny and soft, his teeth are bleach white, and he seems to have a lot of energy when you ask for it. If I'm busy working on the house, he just follows me around and sleeps all day.

I was just wanting to see if I could get a thread concentrated on Natural Balance. I hear a lot of talk about Orijen and Wellness Core, but I just don't have a lot of options financially. Is Natural Balance a good product, especially topped with SG's Seameal?
 
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A 4 star rating isn't weak at all.

Natural Balance is a quality food, reasonably priced, and readily available. Your dog is doing very well on that (with the Seameal). You are getting good results.

IMO, how you can tell whether the food you are feeding your dog is working --- just as you described it: healthy coat and skin, energy, teeth condition, normal poops.

Just because Natural Balance received a 4 star rating doesn't mean you have to change.
 

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That's what I like to hear.. I think I'm going to pair this kibble with a little bit of the RAW diet to see which he prefers and how his condition changes, if it does. Comparing RAW prices to Natural Balance's prices, RAW is still cheaper depending on what you buy..

We'll see, but Natural Balance seems to be a quality kibble for the time being :biggrin:
 
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Natural Balance is a quality food, reasonably priced, and readily available.
As an addition, the Ultra Premium formula is what I tend to recommend to adopters of dogs that I have fostered for Lab Rescue. (I've been fostering Labs and Lab Mixes for a little over 2 years now.) I always make a point of asking the adopters what they plan to feed their new dog. I always send each foster dog home with a Ziploc bag of Natural Balance which is what I like to feed my foster dogs.

Yesterday I got an e-mail from a previous adopter who adopted one of my previous fosters. She said that she has both of her dogs on Natural Balance for 6 months now and they both are doing fine on it. (When she adopted my foster dog, she had a Weimeraner at home that was being fed Iams.)
 

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I regard the DFA web site to be an opinion, and not Gospel.

In my opinion Natural Balance probably make the best "alternative" foods for problem dogs out there, but I question using them as a main stay, because then their value as an alternative becomes diminished.
 

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I like only a couple of the Natural Balance formulas. I think the Ultra Premium (blue label) one is decent (despite being so very grain-heavy and containing yeast), and their AMP formula is good aside from its containment of beet pulp and yeast. For the price, it's a pretty decent food, as far as non-grain-free kibbles go.

The problem with their other formulas is that they are way too light on their meat content, even their so-called "grain-free" options are mostly made of potatoes and dog should not be surviving off of potatoes, IMO.

So my opinion of Natural balance is *shrug* it's alright.
 
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Well, I just feel it's my responsiblity to suggest to adopters a decent quality brand that is not too expensive and is easy for them to find. The brands that I like to feed my own dogs (Wysong, Nature's Logic, and Showbound Naturals) are very expensive and are difficult to find.
 

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No I completely understand that concept! It's definitely one of the best kibbles as far as availability and price go, and definitely good for people who are feeding way lower quality foods too.
 

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Good to see your post. I have to say I was feeding my dogs Wellness Core and Innova Evo and I just now switched to Ultra Natural Balance. I believe that Wellness and the Innova are great foods but my dogs are not active and I believe that because of that I needed an alternative kibble and I decided on Ultra Natural Balance. It's too soon for me to see any results, but I only started them on it a couple of days ago. Good to "hear" that it isn't too bad considering.
 

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Hello, We are new to this site but it has been very helpful. So we should say thanks to everyone for all the interesting information.

We have a rescue fox terrier who has been having slight bouts of colitis. (He came from a very abusive environment and lived his life completely in a cage.) Our vet (who is wonderful) recommended Natural Balance potato and duck. It has helped some but hasn't been perfect. So we are thinking of trying their lamb and rice formula.

I was wondering if anyone has any experience with their lamb and rice formula?

Also, has anyone noticed that their kibble has become very irregular in size?

Our last two bags have been either twice as large as the regular little perfect disks or smallish and malformed. I know it seems a bit picky but I'm concerned that perhaps their production standards have changed. I like the fact that they post their testing results of the food on their site.

Thanks so much!
 
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I'm not familiar with any of the formulas except for Ultra-Premium (the blue bag). That's the only formula I know about and recommend to others. A lot of people tell me that their dogs have had good results with the Ultra-Premium formula. It doesn't seem to be as heavy on grains as the other formulas.
 

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Hello, We are new to this site but it has been very helpful. So we should say thanks to everyone for all the interesting information.

We have a rescue fox terrier who has been having slight bouts of colitis. (He came from a very abusive environment and lived his life completely in a cage.) Our vet (who is wonderful) recommended Natural Balance potato and duck. It has helped some but hasn't been perfect. So we are thinking of trying their lamb and rice formula.

I was wondering if anyone has any experience with their lamb and rice formula?

Also, has anyone noticed that their kibble has become very irregular in size?

Our last two bags have been either twice as large as the regular little perfect disks or smallish and malformed. I know it seems a bit picky but I'm concerned that perhaps their production standards have changed. I like the fact that they post their testing results of the food on their site.

Thanks so much!
I don't know anything about the other kibble formulas but my dogs have just started out on the Ultra Natural Balance and they are doing much better (stool wise). Before this they had soft stools and Natural Balance has firmed their stool up quite a bit.

Did you call the company and ask about the size difference of the two bags? I would just to see what they say. If you do please let me know as I'd be curious as to what they say.
 

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Hello, We are new to this site but it has been very helpful. So we should say thanks to everyone for all the interesting information.

We have a rescue fox terrier who has been having slight bouts of colitis. (He came from a very abusive environment and lived his life completely in a cage.) Our vet (who is wonderful) recommended Natural Balance potato and duck. It has helped some but hasn't been perfect. So we are thinking of trying their lamb and rice formula.

I was wondering if anyone has any experience with their lamb and rice formula?

Also, has anyone noticed that their kibble has become very irregular in size?

Our last two bags have been either twice as large as the regular little perfect disks or smallish and malformed. I know it seems a bit picky but I'm concerned that perhaps their production standards have changed. I like the fact that they post their testing results of the food on their site.

Thanks so much!
My little old dog has colitis and didn't do well on the Natural Balance. One of the oils that they use in it just doesn't agree with her. She can eat their biscuits and treats just fine though, but not their food as a main diet. She does better on Innova Senior Plus (not the regular senior) and Wellness, along with California Natural canned. All of them are free of Salmon and Salmon oils along with olive oil that sets her colitis off. It took a lot of narrowing down of all the dog foods that she has eaten and figuring out the common ingredients in which ones made her sick before I finally learned what ingredients I had to avoid with her but once I did, it opened up a lot more foods that I was able to give her. It might just be one thing in the Natural Balance Duck that doesn't agree with your pup and if you avoid it, you can find a variety of choices to try.
 

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I don't know anything about the other kibble formulas but my dogs have just started out on the Ultra Natural Balance and they are doing much better (stool wise). Before this they had soft stools and Natural Balance has firmed their stool up quite a bit.

Did you call the company and ask about the size difference of the two bags? I would just to see what they say. If you do please let me know as I'd be curious as to what they say.
Hello,
A friend who bought a bag with kibble that was also irregular in shape and size emailed them and Natural Balance responded (as I understand) that the kibble could vary due to the cooking process but that the formula has not changed. They seem very responsible so I'm thinking that it is okay. But I've never seen kibble that varied so.

Another friend who is a long time user of Natural Balance speculated that since Petco picked up the food and it has grown in popularity that perhaps mass production has led to the irregularities.
 

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My little old dog has colitis and didn't do well on the Natural Balance. One of the oils that they use in it just doesn't agree with her. She can eat their biscuits and treats just fine though, but not their food as a main diet. She does better on Innova Senior Plus (not the regular senior) and Wellness, along with California Natural canned. All of them are free of Salmon and Salmon oils along with olive oil that sets her colitis off. It took a lot of narrowing down of all the dog foods that she has eaten and figuring out the common ingredients in which ones made her sick before I finally learned what ingredients I had to avoid with her but once I did, it opened up a lot more foods that I was able to give her. It might just be one thing in the Natural Balance Duck that doesn't agree with your pup and if you avoid it, you can find a variety of choices to try.
Thanks for those recommendations.

I see from this site in general that Wellness and Innova are working well for people. I like the idea of finding something as simple as possible to try to rule out the trigger. The Natural Balance Lamb and Rice seems to only have lamb, rice, and, I think, canola oil. I've wondered if the Salmon (as well as the Duck) may be a bit "rich" for him--your advice is really helpful. Best wishes to your little guy!
 

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Hello,
A friend who bought a bag with kibble that was also irregular in shape and size emailed them and Natural Balance responded (as I understand) that the kibble could vary due to the cooking process but that the formula has not changed. They seem very responsible so I'm thinking that it is okay. But I've never seen kibble that varied so.

Another friend who is a long time user of Natural Balance speculated that since Petco picked up the food and it has grown in popularity that perhaps mass production has led to the irregularities.
That does seem strange though that every bag is different. It makes me wonder about their quality control and why they don't note this on the bags then.

I'm going to watch what happens because when a big box store picks up the product sometimes their quality does go down. Thanks for the response! :smile:
 

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Thanks for those recommendations.

I see from this site in general that Wellness and Innova are working well for people. I like the idea of finding something as simple as possible to try to rule out the trigger. The Natural Balance Lamb and Rice seems to only have lamb, rice, and, I think, canola oil. I've wondered if the Salmon (as well as the Duck) may be a bit "rich" for him--your advice is really helpful. Best wishes to your little guy!
Innova Evo and Wellness are wonderful, high quality foods. My dogs were on them and even though I was feeding them the correct amounts and lowering it to try to stop the soft stool, my dogs still had soft stool. I wish I could still feed them Innova because it's such a good food but had to change to Natural Balance and they are doing much, much better. Not all dogs take to Innova or Wellness. But, I always say try it first and then determine if it is the food. :biggrin:
 

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That is one of the issues we discovered with Natural Balance--that he does best on the lowest recommended amount. Perhaps if I lowered it a bit more, he may become more consistent.

I don't want him to get too hungry. When he came to me he was only 14 pounds and he is now 20 which is what he should weigh. It took him awhile to muscle up.

I think part of his problem adjusting is due to his history. The vet believes because he was used for testing that he may have some pre-existing gastro-intesinal issues. I'm pretty sure that some of his episodes occur when he gets too excited. So for him, I'm thinking something mild should be good and it seems like lamb and rice would be a good choice.

I agree with you regarding quality control--I never experienced variation in kibble before. I may write to them myself to see what they say. But they do seem to be very attentive to their foods.

Thanks again for the advice and supportive words.
 
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