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Changed dog food and am finding I have to feed more

Sue R

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I have fed Diamond Naturals Chicken and Rice for several years, and with only one concern. While it's inexpensive, has a good ingredient list for its price, and readily eaten by the dogs, I did find that their feces tended on the softer side and the introduction of anything "unusual" to their diet often resulted in very soft feces or worse. Dan usually seemed most affected. Here's the ingredient list and feeding guidelines:


Protein: 26%


Fat: 16%


Calories: 368 kcal/cup Calculated ME




Chicken, chicken meal, whole grain brown rice, white rice, cracked pearled barley, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), oatmeal, dried plain beet pulp, egg product, flaxseed, natural chicken flavor, fish meal, salt, potassium chloride, choline chloride, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin, vitamin D supplement, folic acid.


Feeding Guideline (standard measuring cups/day)


Weight (lbs.)


Adult Dogs


30# - 40# 2 - 2 1/2 cups


40# - 60# 2 1/2 - 3 1/4 cups


I went to my dog food supplier and spoke with her as I respect her opinions and I know she researches her dog foods and dog nutrition. For dogs with the sort of digestive concerns that I mentioned, she recommended Eagle Pack Holistic Select Chicken and Rice, which I have fed for the last several months. It's a *lot* pricier but I have to say that the dogs' "output" has been much better in terms of being firmer and, better yet, rarely affected by any oddities thrown into their normal daily diet. Here's the ingredient list and feeding guidelines:


Guaranteed Analysis


Crude Protein not less than 24.00%


Crude Fat not less than 15.00%


Crude Fiber not more than 4.00%


Metolizable energy 386 cal/cup




Chicken Meal, Ground Brown Rice, Ground White Rice, Oatmeal, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Natural Mixed Tocopherols), Pork Meal, Dried Beet Pulp, Anchovy & Sardine Meal, Flaxseed, Dried Egg Product, Menhaden Fish Oil, Tomato Pomace, Carrots, Peas, Sun-Cured Alfalfa, Potassium Chloride, Organic Quinoa, Blueberries, Apples, Cranberries, Dried Kelp, Yucca Schidigera Extract, DL-Methionine, Vitamins [beta-Carotene, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Niacin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Folic Acid, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Biotin], Minerals [Polysaccharide Complexes of Zinc, Iron, Manganese and Copper, Cobalt Carbonate, Potassium Iodate, Sodium Selenite], Choline Chloride, Lecithin, Rosemary Extract, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Inulin, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, Enterococcus faecium, Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus licheniformis, Aspergillus oryzae and Aspergillus niger Fermentation Products, Mixed Tocopherols (a natural preservative).


Feeding guidelines:


30# - 40# 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 cups per day


50# - 60# 2 - 2 1/2 cups per day


Now, if the calorie counts are approximately equal, if the protein and fat percentages in the second feed are a little bit less than the first, I'm assuming the difference must be made up in carbohydrate calories.


What I am seeing is that I am having to feed significantly more of the Eagle Pack to maintain weight on my dogs. Their new outer coat has come in beautifully (it was very nice with the old dog food) but both Celt and Megan have lost significant weight feeding the same volume of the new food as the old. In fact, I've really had to up Celt's intake. Dan does not seem to be experiencing the same weight loss (but I have to admit this is all by feel and appearance, and I haven't had any of them to the vet to check them on the scale). Energy levels are good with both types of feed.


It is also interesting that, for the same weight, the feeding guidelines supplied by the manufacturers are very different - a much larger feeding is recommended for the Diamond Naturals for the same weight - yet my feeding experience is rather the opposite.


I feed a raw egg, a blob of home-made yogurt, and a joint supplement daily to each dog. Right now, I am also giving Celt an extra egg daily. Twice a week, a supper meal is half a chicken back instead of the kibble, about 10-11 ounces each for Celt and Dan, and 8 ounces for Megan (she's smaller, and usually very feed-efficient).


Any thoughts? I wonder if I'm throwing money away on a lot of frou-frou ingredients in the Eagle Pack, but I wasn't happy with the digestion in the Diamond Naturals. (Sorry to have made this so long.)

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I switched from TOTW to Diamond naturals chicken and rice.

I tried feeding the same amount.

Jazz the old girl has lost way to much weight that I didn't notice right away.

Mick has turned into the "don't worry Mom I'll feed myself" as I keep finding his head in the dog food container. He didn't do that very much on the other dog food. But he is maintaining his weight, I think that's cause he's "self feeding"


Ray and Dew are easy keepers and doing fine on either.


I would love to go back to TOTW but just can't afford it right now.


I'm sorta surprised with the better food that you are finding opposite results. Except I think they use high calorie fillers in the lesser food.


I'm happy, SIL just got a deer and brought me lots of goodies! The dogs are set for a month! Hopefully SIL will shoot a deer instead of hitting one with his car next and I'll have more!

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Sue - is there a reason you went with a different brand instead of a different food within the DN line?


I'd try a different DN food - Lamb and Rice or the LB puppy formula (nice ingredients and formulated for all life stages)


FWIW, I think Eagle Pack is a pretty decent food, but it is a bit pricier than DN for a similar ingredient list. You might be seeing a different due to the probiotics in the EP so you might want to try adding a probiotic to the DN food and see if that helps.

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My experience trying several different products in the Diamond line was soft gummy stool in very large volumes. I wasn't at all happy with energy level or endurance.


Sue, for actively working dogs I am looking for more like 30% (quality) protein and 20% (quality) fat. Did you try Eagle Pack Power? I did very well with it when I ran a team of Border Collies as sled dogs. If a store carries Eagle Pack they can special order it for you. My impression of the EP Holostic line; food for pets with concerned owners, not working dogs.


I am very pleased with Red Paw PowerEdge 32. I pay $1.10 per pound, tax included (wholesale through a dog food coop). Energy level and endurance are great, stool is small and firm and I feed a very small volume (1/3 what I had to feed of the Diamond line).


Red Paw has a corn free line, but even my allergy prone dogs are doing great on their line that has corn. My experience with pet foods and corn is as follows... If a dog is not allergic to it, it does not make up the bulk of calories, it is whole corn and it is processed well, they do great.


PS, why raw eggs? Cook them and they will not bind biotin and the nutrients they contain become more bioavailable.

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Liz - I didn't realize that feeding eggs cooked was better than feeding them raw. Raw is convenient, and that's what Ed has always sworn by, and so that's how I've done them.


I have always wondered about the feeds (like the Red Paw 32) where you feed so much less volume. Maybe I'm just a piggie but it sounds like the dogs (if they are fed twice daily, like mine are) would never feel "full".


My dogs are active but I can't say "very" active - the work times are few and far between, particularly at certain times of year. I take them on walks when I can, and use the Chuck-It when I can't do the walks. My feet have been bothering me recently, and walking has not been the pleasure that it has been in the past, and so I've resorted to the ball more than I should.


You summed up the DN poops - large and gummy is putting it well. And any difference in feeding (maybe some pizza crusts or bones) was likely to result in a lot of looseness, if not diarrhea. With the EP, even if there's a reason to be a bit looser, it's not much at all - and oftentimes, no looseness. I like that.

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Mara - I've never liked the proportions in the DN Lamb formula, and never considered the Puppy. I asked the dog food store owner, and I know she's a big fan of EP. She also feels that while DN is very reasonably priced for the quality of ingredients, that it may be skimpy on some of the micronutrients and supplements.


I have used the EP probiotic before, with the DN, and it seemed to do nothing. I did use it when it moved over to the EP, as part of the transition process, and I still will use a bit if anybody (usually Dan) gets a little loose for any reason.

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Kristin - My Lisa feeds TOTW, and I don't think it's any pricier than the EP that I am feeding now. It's one I have considered, and most folks seem to really like it.


I went through so many different foods when we had Bute, trying to find something that would agree with him, that I'd just like to find "the right thing" for everyone, and have it done with.


My supplier is wonderful - give a food a try and, if it doesn't work out, get full credit, but there's something about bringing things back that goes against my grain. I've got to get over that.


I was totally happy with DN Chicken and Rice, except for the poop thing. Probably, if my dogs were kenneled and I wasn't the Queen of Poop (due to always monitoring Bute), it would not bother me!

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We just moved over to a new company mid August, not as high of protien and fat as I would like, its a 27/15 but we have a top dressing on hand to bring it up for the dogs that are working hard. The food is from the old Moorman's Feed Company who are well known for really good livestock feeds, currectly distributed by ADM. They are not doing any marketing campaigns which helping to keep the cost low. We are paying $28.00 for a 40 lb bag including sales tax and it is being delivered to us twice a month. Here is the link, unfortunately the do not supply an ingredient list: http://www.admani.com/AllianceDogAndCat/Ultra%20Select%20Dog%20Food.htm



We had been feeding Native, and loved it but it went up to $45 for 40 lbs and our supplier was having problems keeping it in stock. This ADM food is feeding out at the same rate as the Native and stools are still small compared to other foods. On another note, for the first time ever I have pups that will leave a few kibbles, basically full/satisfied, that has never happened regardless of the food we have fed.



Anyway, if someone has a ADM distributor close to them they may want to give it a try, there is a dealer locator on their website.



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My dogs love their Red Paw, even my picky eaters that stop eating after they consume a certain volume. My dogs don't act starving. They turn down treats that don't meet their standards. ;-) Besides, with a lower volume of food you lower the risk of bloat.


I was feeding 5 cups a day of the Diamond products to each dog and they were underweight. I am feeding closer to 1.5 cups a day of the RP.


Check out the articles on raw eggs and biotin deficiency as well as the bioavailability of raw vs cooked eggs.

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I'm willing to take your word on the eggs, Liz - you're the vet!


With DN, I was giving Dan (at 48 to 50# and lean) two heaping cups a day, plus the egg and yogurt. Celt (at 42# and lean) was getting two scant cups a day, plus egg and yogurt. Megan (at 35 to 37# and trim but a very easy keeper) was getting just half a cup twice a day, plus egg and yogurt.


If I was feeding at the rate you were feeding, yikes!


With the EP, right now, Dan is still getting two heaping cups; Celt is getting two heaping cups; and Megan is getting two heaping half-cups (all plus the egg and yogurt). Without an accurate scale, and have just bumped Celt's and Megan's feedings up (noticing by sight and feel that they are thinner), I am hoping to be feeding them enough to gain a bit right now.


I don't object to feeding a bit more if this is the right feed because I can, at this point in life, do that. I'm largely wondering, "Why?"

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One other thought, kindly emailed to me, was wondering why I don't try feeding half and half of both feeds. I did think of something like that but I'm not sure if that would solve any/either problem - and I'm always looking for just one feed that will do for all the dogs (all three of them) because I'm not a fan of having to purchase, store, and deal with multiple feeds.


I expect doing that might reduce the bulk and softness of the stools, and help avoid at least part of the weight loss issues, but it still leads me back to multiple feeds to buy and handle.


Might well be worth a try, though.

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Kenzi did the best on Canidae when I had her on kibble (she has a sensitive digestive system and puts food away like all her legs are hollow). But since she's been on THK/raw she keeps weight on better and has finally has consistently firm poop.


I use Orijen/Acana for training treats and the occasional meal. It's kinda pricey, but it smells GOOD and since I'm using it mostly for treats then the cost isn't too bad.

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I used to feed Diamond but the coats got a bit dull. I switched to Dynamite Kibble and Dyanamite Ultimate (human grade beef only) and the Showdown supplement. I feed a lot less (1-2 cups a day) and poops are small, firm and coats are thick, shiny and skin is soft. No corn and good ingredients. I see my dogs have more stamina and seem more alert. In addition, I give them a teaspoon of redpaw fat.



Ingredients: Chicken meal, pearled barley, brown rice, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), pea fiber, oatmeal, fish meal, flax seeds, poultry liver flavors, vegetable pomace (dried carrots, dried celery, dried beets, dried parsley, dried lettuce, dried watercress, and dried spinach), salt, dicalcium phosphate, dried apples, dried peas, dried chicory root, yucca schidigera extract, dried enterococcus faecium fermentation products, potassium chloride, calcium carbonate, choline chloride, dried lecithin, dried egg product, dried brewers yeast, bentonite, zinc methionine complex, zinc oxide, vitamin e supplement, niacin supplement, manganese methionine complex, manganous oxide, copper lysine complex, copper sulfate, sodium selenite, calcium pantothenate, biotin, vitamin A supplement, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin b12 supplement, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of vitamin K activity), ethylenediamine dihydroiodide, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, cobalt glucoheptonate, cobalt carbonate, rosemary extract, ascorbic acid and tomato extract.

Protein (min) 28%


Fat (min)



Fiber (max)



Moisture (max)



Calcium (min)



Phosphorous (min)



Zinc (min)

139 mg/kg


Vitamin E (min)

175 mg/kg


Vitamin C (min)

530 ppm*


Omega 3 FA* (min)



Omega 6 FA* (min)







The Ultimate RAW dogfood

Ingredients: Meat and Bone Meal (Fresh Beef, no rendered animals), Beef Fat, Whole Extruded Soybean, Dehydrated Kelp, Fish Meal, Alfalfa Meal, Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Dehydrated Yeast Culture, Chia seed, Garlic Powder, Mushroom Extract, Dicalcium Phosphate, Magnesium Sulfate, Potassium Sulfate, Choline Chloride, Potassium Amino Acid Complex, Magnesium Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Cobalt Amino Acid Chelate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Calcium Ascorbate*, Natural Trace Mineral Salt, Vitamin E Supplement, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Extract, L-Lysine, Tomato Pomace, Sodium Selenite, Mannitol, Sorbitol, dL-Methionine, Ferric Choline Citrate Complex, Dried Citrus Meal, Iron Choline Citrate, Niacin Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin A Supplement, p-Aminobenzoic Acid, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Ethylenediamine Dihydriodide, Thiamine, D-activated Animal Sterol (source of Vitamin D3), Inositol and Folic Acid, Gelatin, Blended Mushroom Extract. Guaranteed Analysis (recently updated):


Protein (min)



Fat (min)


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I had a bag of the Red Paw that i won up in Canada and loved it, but try as i might, i couldn't figure a way to get it here without paying an arm and a leg.


I mix the orange bag of Acana (chicken and fish) with the pacific stream TOTW. I liked how my dogs did on the Red Paw, which was a fish based formula, and that got me to try the Acana/TOTW mixture. Sometimes i go with a straight diet of Acana, like if we're on the road or heavy on trials and training. It's good stuff just really pricey.

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I also have mixed foods in the past, though I wondered whether I was risking upsetting nutrient values by doing so.


I'm another who feeds DN chicken and rice to most of my dogs (the others are on TOTW) and have never noticed any poop issues. I'd go broke if I had to feed my dogs each 5 cups of food a day! Mine range from 1.5 cups to 2.5 cups (Pip, when he's working). I don't have issues with anyone holding weight either (interestingly, when I had Boy on Timberwolf Organics he dropped weight like mad, which just goes to show that sometimes the top-of-the-line foods don't necessarily suit all dogs). I think I probably went through all the high-end foods with Boy and he simply did better on some than others. Likewise, some of my dogs gain weight easily on DN and others, while they don't lose, don't tend to gain easily.


I had Jill on Wellness for a while, but the price is so high that I ended up switching her to the TOTW with a similar formula.


If I didn't have so many dogs I'd probably be more flexible in what I fed....


Oh Sue, Laura and I both fed the mid-range Natura food Healthwise and liked it. Of course Natura got into trouble over ingredients, so who knows?


It did strike me that the DN and Eagle Pack ingredient lists were very similar, at least at the major ingredients end.



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I don't mind feeding additional, as long as the dogs deal with it healthfully. I just can't figure out why some are losing weight on a "better" food.


It used to be so much easier to feed (although I'm not saying it was any better) - there simply were not all these choices. Sometimes, in the past, I have felt that I was going batty just reading labels and trying to decide what to feed, observing the results, and trying to figure out what to try if I didn't like something about what I was feeding.


I realize that just because a food is "better" (or *may* be "better") that doesn't mean the dog (any one dog) will respond to it the same as another dog - obviously, because we read about it here all the time that someone's dog can't keep weight on with Food A, and someone else's dog packs on pounds with Food A.


I am appreciating everyone's input - this is a good discussion that's giving me some ideas (thanks, Liz, especially about the eggs - who would have thought that?). I can go by the pet food store on Wed, and maybe read a few more labels and look at a few more prices and see what's available. I may stick with the Eagle Pack, look at a different variety of Eagle Pack, or make another switch...

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Something interesting is that, for Celt and Megan, I had to be careful to not overfeed the DN - they would both easily put on weight (especially Megan) if I did not measure it out carefully. Dan, on the other hand, did not tend to put on weight with DN, and I couldn't feed him over a certain amount - he would either not finish his food and/or get very loose stools.


With the EP, both Celt and Megan need more (they've both lost weight, especially Celt) and Dan cleans his up every meal, and is maintaining weight nicely on the same volume. But they all have smaller, firmer, much-easier-to-pick-up stools, which the Pooper-Scooper appreciates, and don't seem to be bothered by changes in diet (additions and so on) than with the DN.


Go figure.

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