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Hello - I just discovered this forum from googling and am very glad I did. I have just been reading the thread started by RCTRIPLEFRESH5 on high protein and Canidae food. My questions are related but thought I should start a new thread.

I want to change from Wellness Simple Solutions and had narrowed it down to Life's Abundance and Orijen, but have concerns with both. I will start with Orijen b/c that is what I was leaning toward the most.

When I first considered Orijen based on a recommendation my first question was, isn't that too much protein?, and her response was she had not had any problems with it (we both have shih tzu). In continuing to research Orijen I came across on this website Orijen Senior Dog Food review by "admin" on 01/13/10. She writes, "This is not the right food for you if your dog is small and/or inactive." I then went to the nutrition forum where on the thread by RCTRIPLEFRESH5 many contributors state that high protein is not bad for dogs. My question: which statement is correct, or are both statements correct in that high protein is not bad but is not for small and/or inactive dogs?

A little about my dogs. I do shih tzu and shih tzu mix rescue. I have 11 dogs ranging from 7 to 17. With the exception of blindness and deafness, they are healthy to reasonably healthy with the exception of one with heart disease (which is another food decision altogether). I am interested in a grain-free diet but willing to consider some with grain as well.

I can't tell you the number of hours I have put into searching reviews (truthaboutpetfood.com, dogfoodanalysis.com, dogfoodproject.com, dogfoodscoop.com), manufacturer websites, etc. I am very frustrated and would greatly appreciate input. :confused:
 

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I don't know about high protein and small dogs (though I wouldn't think there would be an issue...). But I wouldn't necessarily reccommend a grain-free food for a dog that is not fairly active. These foods tend to be richer and many dogs have a tendancy to put on weight from them.

But if your dogs get enough excercise, then I say "Go Orijen!" :biggrin:

Richelle
 
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your dogs will be fine on high protein diets. They may be smaller, but they are still carnivores you know.
 
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your dogs will be fine on high protein diets. They may be smaller, but they are still carnivores you know.
I forgot to mention - all but 5 are extremely inactive (mostly due to old age, they sleep a lot, and the blind ones do almost no walking). The other 5 get walked 30 minutes 2x daily.
 

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Theres no harm in trying, Orijen is a great food and a lot of small dogs do just fine on it, but because of the protein levels, you just have to feed less to avoid your dog packing on extra weight. Some dogs just have lousy metabolisms and will put on weight regardless of exercise. If youre concerned with protein levels though, you may want to look into Acana Provincial which is made by same company and basically the same except that its lower protein (33-34%)
 

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The reason why people say don't go grain free with smaller, more inactive dogs is because they generally don't burn enough calories and gain weight. But that is the only reason why, so if you are careful about how much you feed it shouldn't be an issue. Just feed less if you notice your dogs getting on the heavier side. You might find yourself feeding a VERY small amount for maintenance body condition, but that is just fine. Might actually save yourself a bit of money.

If I were you I would go with the Orijen and just keep an eye on body conditions!

Welcome to the forum! There are plenty of knowledgeable people here willing to help :biggrin:
 

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Theres no harm in trying, Orijen is a great food and a lot of small dogs do just fine on it, but because of the protein levels, you just have to feed less to avoid your dog packing on extra weight. Some dogs just have lousy metabolisms and will put on weight regardless of exercise. If youre concerned with protein levels though, you may want to look into Acana Provincial which is made by same company and basically the same except that its lower protein (33-34%)
The Acana may be the answer - I'll look into it, and thanks.
 

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The reason why people say don't go grain free with smaller, more inactive dogs is because they generally don't burn enough calories and gain weight. But that is the only reason why, so if you are careful about how much you feed it shouldn't be an issue. Just feed less if you notice your dogs getting on the heavier side. You might find yourself feeding a VERY small amount for maintenance body condition, but that is just fine. Might actually save yourself a bit of money.

If I were you I would go with the Orijen and just keep an eye on body conditions!

Welcome to the forum! There are plenty of knowledgeable people here willing to help :biggrin:
I agree. Go grain-free/high protein, just don't overfeed.
 

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I 4th or 5th that motion! LOL!
Use the feeding suggestions as a Guide. Keep an eye on their weight and adjust accordingly.
Welcome to the forum!! :smile:
 
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Of course not all kibble works for all dogs. Any food can be a cause for weight gain as are bisquits, bully sticks or any other "treat". They are like my hostess twinkies- I eat a twinkie I gotta eat less meal or be more active.

I absolutely endorsed the grain free regardless of protein levels for my dogs (actually 3 out of 4) and some product for some puppies for growth regulation reasons. For the two oldest, the grain free did put on added weight that was defintely not wanted. Wolfie tried and wanted to be his former very active self, Pax is sorta like a large black hairy rug. They ended up on Evo weight management and it actually worked. Its in the 50% for protein but around 15% fat. We were able to shed a couple of pounds, keep it off, not have the hungries but we fed them to their desired weight not their actual weight at the time. The boxer however with her major zoomies, she is either zooming or snoozing, actually had weight loss on the higher protein grain frees which are generally a higher fat, despite us upping her food totals which then had a bit of looser stool for her. So she ended up on Merrick Before Grain which had lower protein than Evo and canidae and touch higher than Taste of the Wild. Don't really know why exactly it worked so much better for her than Canidae, TOTW or the regular EVO but it did.

It is pretty much across the board that the less the grain, the more the meat, the higher the calories per cup, the higher the protein %. Natural Balance has their exotic meat foods that are grain free --low protein and low fat-- but they start with sweet potatoe as the first ingredient. I would rather have meat than a carb. On the flip side Pinnacle has a product with 40% protein yet contains oats. So of these two I would chose Pinnacle.

You are feeding a food line from a company that does seem to go the extra step-maybe you don't need to change?
 
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