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Alternating Food

April 10th, 2006, 04:03 PM
My dogs have been on Merrick for several months now. Panna and Cannelle get various canned food mixed in with dry Wilderness Blend while Mocha just gets dry (she doesn't like any moisture in her food :p). They're doing very well and the change has been incredible. Anyways, when I was looking for better quality food before I found Merrick I looked at Solid Gold products, but I could only find the Hund-n-Flocken and neither Mocha nor Panna were interested in it (we didn't have Cannelle at that time). Anyways, I was out and about today and found a sample of the "Just a Wee Bit" so I figured I would try a little bit of it (I couldn't resist :D). Mocha didn't touch it, but Panna and Cannelle INHALED it. I was wondering if I could try alternating the food with Panna and Cannelle whenever I bought a new bag if they continue to like it? I'd probably stick with the Merrick canned, but alternate the dry and just keep Mocha on the Merrick. I've heard that alternating food is good in case one food isn't fulfilling 100% of the dog's nutritional needs and to give the dog some variety, but then I've heard that you don't need to alternate it and it's just hard on the dog's stomach ("if it ain't broke, don't fix it"). Should I alternate, or just stick with one food?

Here's the Merrick Wilderness Blend ingredients:
Buffalo, Oatmeal, Barley, Salmon Meal, Venison,Whole Brown Rice, Canola Oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols – a source of Natural Vitamin E and Ascorbic Acid, a source of Vitamin C), Flaxseed, Potatoes, Carrots, Peas, Dried Chicken Liver, Whole Apples, Dicalcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Chloride, Lysine, Guar Gum, Salt, Choline Chloride, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Whole Blueberries, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Whole Clove Garlic, Chondroitin Sulfate, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Natural Venison Flavor, Chicory Root, Marigold Extract, Lactobacillus Plantarum, Enterocococcus Faecium, Lactobacillus Casei, Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Natural Celery Flavor, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Vitamin E Supplement, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Natural Caramel Color, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Copper Amino Acid Complex, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin D3, Niacin, Lecithin, Ribofl avin Supplement, Biotin, Ethylenediamine Dihydriodide, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Cobalt Amino Acid Complex, Folic Acid, Thiamine Mononitrate, Sodium Selenite.

Crude Protein (Not Less Than) 24.0%
Crude Fat (Not Less Than) 14.0%
Crude Fiber (Not More Than) 3.5%
Moisture (Not More Than) 10.0%
3520 kcal/kg

Here's the canned Merrick Granny's Pot Pie ingredients (they get a couple of the canned flavours):
Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Fresh Red Jacket New Potatoes, Fresh Carrots, Fresh Snow Peas, Fresh Red Delicious Apple, Potato Starch-modified, Olive Oil, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Flax Seed Oil (For Omega -3), Natural Caramel Color, Poultry Seasoning (Thyme, Sage, Rosemary), Yucca Schidigera Extract, Choline Chloride, Salt, Lecithin, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Mixed Tocopherols, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Vitamin E Supplement, Manganese Amino Acid Complex,Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin A Acetate, Copper Amino Acid Complex, d-Calcium Pantothenate,Vitamin D3 Supplement, Niacin, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Ethylenediamine Dihydriodide, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Thiamine Mononitrate, Sodium Selenite.

Crude Protein (Min.) 9.00%
Crude Fat (Min.) 4.00%
Crude Fiber (Max.) 1.00%
Moisture (Max.) 81.00%
1045 kcal/kg

And here's the Solid Gold "Just a Wee Bit" ingredients:
Bison | Salmon Meal | Millet | Brown Rice | Cracked Pearled Barley | Rice Bran | Canola Oil | Flaxseed Oil | Garlic | Amaranth | Blueberries | Yucca Schidigera Extract | Dried Chicory Root | Taurine | Carotene | Choline Chloride | Vitamin E Supplement | Iron Proteinate | Zinc Proteinate | Copper Proteinate | Manganese Proteinate | Potassium Iodide | Thiamine Mononitrate | Ascorbic Acid | Vitamin A Supplement | Biotin | Calcium Panthothenate | Selenomethionine | Pyridoxine Hydrochloride | Vitamin B12 Supplement | Riboflavin | Vitamin D Supplement | Folic Acid |

Crude Protein, Min 28%
Crude Fat, Min 18%
Crude Fiber, Max 4%
Moisture, Max 10%
380 kcal/cup


April 10th, 2006, 08:06 PM
I don't really believe in switching to balance out a doggy. You're already supplementing it with canned, and if they are doing well, I don't see the need to switch (especially if one doesn't like it). Instead of switching, you could just add the wee bit as a treat every now and then maybe?

April 11th, 2006, 09:33 AM
I used to believe you shouldn't alternate a dogs food. But in all the books I've been reading on dog nutrition (and there have been alot!!) they ALL say you should alternate the food if you're going to feed kibble.

Basically they say it's up to you how often, some say 3 months is good, some say have 2 bags and switch every couple of days back and forth.

This way your dog is less likely to have a deficiency in his diet. You wouldn't necessarily see I problem with him and he might look like he's doing great on the one diet but he could still be lacking something or getting too much of something else so switching back and forth can help eliminate that.

Of course, when I asked my vet about it she said you should never switch a dog's diet and that Hills was a great food to keep them on :eek: Yikes!!

It's funny how they really don't seem to have much knowledge on pet nutrition! :rolleyes:

April 11th, 2006, 09:56 PM
I just started feeding Timberwolf Organics to my boys and, so far, am really pleased with it.

Their website ( ) says to rotate among their different dry formulas.

I`m still undecided as whether to do so, or not. I`d appreciate everyones`s opinions.:pawprint:

April 11th, 2006, 10:09 PM
I think I said my opinion already, but for my dogs, I won't switch unless I have to. It took us a lonnnng time to get Boo to stop throwing up, and I just can't risk that again. He's been on this food for over a year now, and he has thrown up maybe twice in that time. On other foods, he threw up all night EVERY night.

All my dogs have been very sensitive to food changes, so it's always been more about finding one that works above everything else.

Personally, I think supplementing it with different canned foods and other things is enough. Plus every now and then, I give them the Seameal supplement (makes Boo itchy a bit, so I limit it). All in all, I think they're getting everything they need.

April 12th, 2006, 07:40 AM
At the moment, I don't switch foods... I've been sticking with Canidae... but I've been thinking about doing a rotation. (Pragmatically speaking, the vendor has me hooked in to a 'buy 9 bags get the 10th free promotion and I'm on the 8th bag... hehe)... Anyway, I also have heard that alternating kibbles is a good thing to do. I supplement with raw, and I don't really think my guys are missing anything, but I do see how novelty gets them into their food again.
Then again, if I had dogs (like Prin) who have struggled with food/tummies etc, then I would NEVER switch if they were doing fine. My Sam, at least, appears to have a stomach of iron.

April 12th, 2006, 06:49 PM
No, I`d never switch if I had dogs like Prin either.:D

I was only thinking of rotating between the Timberwolf Organics formulas. Right now their on the Southwest Chicken and Herb one. I`m thinking of switching between the Wilderness Elk and Dakota Bison formulas.:pawprint:

April 12th, 2006, 11:48 PM
Dogs like whose now? lol

Seriously, when you miss work because your dog is puking every 5 minutes for 6 hours straight (and you don't go to the vet till morning because it's the 57th time he's done that in his life and you know what it's about), and then it costs you $86 each time to get him to stop throwing up, you don't mess with the belly.

The other day, he took a rib out of the garbage- MY GOD we were on him sooo fast. Probably would have cost us $1000 if he had swallowed it. He's such a twit.

And on the Wolf King, they're so healthy and shiny and they still get so excited for it. It's really great. I'm sure if everybody had the result (and saw the difference) they wouldn't switch either. But finding that food that really works for your dog is hard.

Look how shiny they are! Even their heads are shiny (I've never seen dogs with shiny heads before). And they're 5 and still full of energy (Well, Boo will be 5 at the end of May).

April 13th, 2006, 08:27 AM
exactly, Prin! Your dogs do so well on that food, and it works for them (and nothing else seemed to!) so I'd never switch.
But, I might... if Timberwolf ever came to our area I'd be sorely tempted. Meanwhile, I'm going to add to the black doggie shine-a-thon...