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Gas/vomiting/poop issues with Natural Balance Potato and Duck?

December 19th, 2006, 02:23 AM
I started feeding our two dogs, Rusty and Raven, Natural Balance Potato and Duck dry dog food 2.5 weeks ago and both dogs are having problems with this food that they haven't had with others. I originally bought a small bag to make sure they were going to like it. All seemed well after the first week so we bought a larger bag. Oddly enough, the kibbles in the larger bag looked different than the ones in the smaller bag even though it was the exact same food. The kibbles in the first bag were darker squares with a nubby surface and the kibbles in the second bag were lighter and round in shape. I have no idea if that's what made the difference but after the second week things started to go downhill. Both dogs starting losing interest in the food and I'm lucky if I can get them to eat at all now. This is especially unusual for Raven, who has always had a very healthy appetite and will eat practically anything placed before her. To make matters worse, Raven has vomited her food up two nights in a row now and Rusty has had constant bad gas since starting on the food. We've also noticed that their stools have been much larger in size and volume since switching foods. Their stools are relatively firm but they seem to be pooping constantly. We had them on Holistic Blend Lamb and Rice prior to this food and switched because we suspect Raven may have been allergic to something in it (she gets the itchies on certain foods) and Rusty was experiencing a lot of gas with it too (despite being on it for 3 months) though not nearly as much as she has been experiencing with the new food. Their stools were much smaller in size and volume on the Holistic Blend.

Thing is, the Potato and Duck has so few ingredients that it's hard to know what could be causing both the gas and vomiting. Here is the full list:

Potatoes, Duck Meal, Duck, Canola Oil (preserved with natural mixed tocopherols), Potato Fiber, Natural Flavor, Salmon Oil, Flaxseed, Lecithin, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Inulin, Taurine, Lysine, L-Carnitine, Yucca, 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, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B-6), Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Riboflavin (Vitamin B-2), Vitamin D Supplement, Folic Acid (Vitamin B).

Of course, we'll be taking Raven to the vet for a check up this week to rule out any other cause for the vomiting but I strongly suspect the food is the culprit given their sudden aversion to it and the gas/poop issues.

If anyone has any thoughts/opinions on what ingredients may be troublesome I would really appreciate it. I'd also appreciate any recs for other high quality dry dog foods suitable for dogs with allergies and sensitive tummies.

Thanks! :)

December 19th, 2006, 12:40 PM
My first thought is; check the best before date on the big bag of food. Obviously, if it's expired, that could be the cause of all the problems.

My second thought.... I switched my doggie to this when he was having allergy problems. He's allergic to beef (which I found out while feeding him a not-very-good brand of allergy food), but wasn't doing very well on any Lamb & Rice formula (dull coat, runny poops). When he first switched to it, his gas would clear the room. Literally. The dog weighs like 8 lbs, but one little fart, and we'd RUN from the room. Horrible. His poops weren't any better either. He was never much of an eater (I had to invent a game to get him to eat anything at that time--he's better now), so I didn't notice a change there. The gas got better, but never went away, so I thought I'd try him on the NB Venison & Brown Rice. He's been on that for about 8 months now, I think. Coat is good, poops are good (for him), and though he still has some gas, it's not room-clearing nor voluminous as it was on the Duck.

Maybe it's just my dog, or my tolerance level, but no food that I've put him on reduced his stool volume, but this food is the only one that's given him consistently firm poops. Lots of them (2-3 per walk + one more in the evening), but they're not squishy and he's not straining. I'll take lots of poops and a happy dog over just about any combination.

I'm assuming you did a good transition and that's not the problem, but could either of them have gotten into anything that could have made them sick? So I'd agree with your trip to the vet, if you're really concerned.
Be sure to check the expiry on the food, and return it to the store you bought it if it's past it's date.

If your vet doesn't find anything wrong, you might want to try the Venison & Brown Rice, if you like the Natural Balance brand. You could also try feeding them some Green Tripe ( the link isn't working for me right now), which really helps with digestion. If you suspect your dogs may have an allergy to either beef or lamb, don't buy that kind of tripe. My dog loves this stuff, but it makes me sick to give it to him.

Ingredients on the Venison & Brown Rice:
Venison, Venison Meal, Brown Rice, Ground Rice, Rice Bran, Peas, Tomato Pomace, Canola Oil, Flaxseed, Natural Flavor, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Inulin, Taurine, Natural Tocopherols, 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, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B-6), Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Riboflavin (Vitamin B-2), Vitamin D Supplement, Folic Acid (Vitamin B).

I hope that helped somewhat... please update as you go.

PS: You could also look into the Sweet Potato & Fish Formula and/or try feeding the canned version of Duck & Potato or any other NB food.

The other food that I tried to rule out certain allergies was Nature's Recipe: at the time it was called Allergy formula, now it's called "Healthy Skin" (Venison & Rice). Ingredients: Venison meal, ground rice, oatmeal, pearled barley, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), pea protein, animal digest, potassium chloride, minerals (zinc proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, iron proteinate, copper sulfate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), yeast culture, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), inositol, niacin supplement, vitamin A supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, beta-carotene, riboflavin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, menadione sodium bisulfite complex, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement), choline chloride, yucca schidigera, rosemary extract. (

December 19th, 2006, 12:57 PM
It could just be the duck. :shrug: I'm more suspicious of poultry allergies and intolerances because mine has one...:shrug:

If it's not expired, like dogmelissa suggested, I'd suggest just trying either the fish and sweet potato or the venison one.:shrug:

jesse's mommy
December 19th, 2006, 02:58 PM
Jesse can eat pretty much everything except duck. As soon as she has duck, mommy is getting the carpet shampooer out. :yuck:

December 19th, 2006, 03:06 PM
Thanks for your replies, Prin and dogmelissa. :)

Unfortunately, I can't check the date of the food because we no longer have the bag. We dump their food into a big plastic bin and throw the bag away. :rolleyes:

My hubby will be picking up new food for them on the way home ( and I'm supposed to let him know what to buy. I've been surfing through the food forum for over an hour and still can't make a decision. Ugh. Rusty has a sensitivity to tuna (it makes her yak) so I'm not sure a fish based diet would be a good choice for her. I could try them on the Natural Balance Venison and Brown Rice but I'm a bit turned off by the brand what with their complete lack of interest in the food and Raven's vomiting. :(

December 19th, 2006, 03:19 PM
Ooops. I missed your reply before hitting send, jesse's mommy. I sympathize with you about the carpets. Been there done that a few times this week. :rolleyes:

It's very helpful to know that Jesse has an intolerance to duck. I thought that duck would be a great choice for sensitive dogs because it's not a common meat but it just doesn't seem to be sitting well with Raven. Obviously, Rusty isn't a fan of it either. To say that they have a serious hate-on for this food would be an understatement. I think the protest signs would have been out had I tried to feed it to them one more day. LOL! ;)

I *may* give the venison a try and see how it goes. I just hate the thought of putting them through more gastrointestinal upset by switching them again and again. Finding the right dog food is so incredibly frustrating.

jesse's mommy
December 19th, 2006, 03:31 PM
Oh that was the thing with Jesse, she LOVED it, but would throw it up. It took me a few weeks before I associated the two, but ever since I stopped feeding her the duck, she hasn't thrown up. I wish you the best of luck in figuring this out. It really can be frustrating.

December 19th, 2006, 05:06 PM
Thanks, jesse's mommy. I need all the luck I can get right about now. :)

Prin, if you're still reading, do you consider the tomato pomace in the Natural Balance Venison and Brown Rice (ingredients are in dogmelissa's post above) to be a problematic ingredient? I came across a thread about tomato pomace during my searches and you and a few others didn't think too highly of it. That's my only real concern with at this point.

December 19th, 2006, 10:47 PM
It's not terrible, but it's not wonderful either. I guess kinda neutral.:D It's a stool hardener, and there's a risk of pesticides being that it's only the skin and pulp (no juice) and there's not much nutrition left in them...

But definitely not something to avoid with a passion.:shrug:

December 19th, 2006, 10:50 PM
Oh and if that doesn't work, there's a thread from when I was trying to find a poultry-free food for Boo...
It IS hard.:o

December 19th, 2006, 11:01 PM
We had Tyra on DVP Natural Balance duck and potato also. She had the poops the whole time she was on it. We put her on Hill's crappy food for a few months and now we are in the process of SLOWLY switching her over to GO Natural.

December 20th, 2006, 12:21 PM
Unfortunately, I can't check the date of the food because we no longer have the bag. We dump their food into a big plastic bin and throw the bag away.

You should leave the food in the original bag. Plastic pails should not be used to store dog food. I'll see if I can find the thread.

Also, I think duck is pretty rich and I would never feed it to my dogs.

December 20th, 2006, 12:27 PM
Here's the thread":

Read post #13 by Ontario Greys.

December 20th, 2006, 03:58 PM
Thanks for the links to the poultry free foods and food storage, Prin and rainbow. I had no idea that it was unsafe to store dog food in plastic. :( We just started doing this recently because the big bag was forever unrolling and I found it hard to get my small arms down to the bottom of the bag. I'll have to buy a chip clip or larger plastic bin to store the bag in.

I just wanted to post an update. Raven was still showing very little interest in eating and it dawned on us that she wasn't being her normal bouncy self the past couple of days so we took her for a check up first thing this morning. I wasn't sure if the food was the problem or possibly the beef soup bones we gave her and Rusty a week ago. They took an x-ray of her gut to ensure she didn't have any bone fragments in her digestive system and thankfully it came back clear. She's treating her for gastric irritation for the time being but thinks Raven may have a case of pancreatitis as a result of eating the fatty bone. I'd never fed them real bones before but several people assured me that they were completely safe, great for their teeth and wouldn't splinter if left uncooked. Of course, I can't but wonder if the food may be the culprit. I know that duck is high in fat also so I suppose it's entirely possible. Raven has to take a prescription antacid (famotidine), something to coat the stomach (Sulcrate) and eat nothing but soft food (Medi-Cal gastric canned food) for the next few days. If she doesn't improve by then she'll have to go back for further testing and treatment. Hopefully that won't be necessary. :fingerscr

December 20th, 2006, 10:06 PM
Good luck! :) I hope everything turns out ok. I tried the DVP fish one as a supplement for my doggies (don't trust the evo 100%), and they love all food, but weren't crazy about the DVP...:shrug:

December 21st, 2006, 03:48 PM
Thanks, Prin. :)

I've got to say that I'm not too impressed with the DVP. Rusty and Raven weren't all that crazy about it to begin with and then they lost interest in it completely. They even turned their noses up at the Venison and Brown Rice I fed them the night before Raven was put on the Medi-Cal Gastro canned prescribed by the vet. It certainly doesn't have the best ingredients but she seems to be feeling much better today most likely due to the low fat content. I've been feeding it to Rusty too until I can find a better dry dog food. I'm considering putting them back on Holistic Blend Lamb and Rice. I feel so guilty for taking them off it to begin with now. It did give Rusty some gas but they both loved it, had perfect stools (if there's such a thing ;)) and most importantly, Raven was as healthy as can be before I took her off it. :(

Interestingly enough, I did a search for canine pancreatitis on Google last night and came across a page by a woman whose dog developed pancreatitis and I shuddered when she said her dog ate DVP Potato and Duck and rarely anything else. I know it's probably just a coincidence but it really makes me wonder if the duck meat is just too rich for some dogs, putting them at risk for pancreatitis. :shrug:

December 21st, 2006, 04:48 PM
If one doggy is allergic to the Holistic blend though, you might end up with trouble again... It's all trial and error basically...

Good luck! :)

December 30th, 2006, 03:22 PM
It's been a while, so I'm hoping you have some update about your poochie problems.... (and hopefully you had a good Christmas somewhere in there).

Who was it that posted about switching their dogs to Go Natural? I considered this stuff awhile back but haven't built up the courage to try it, since my doggie seems to be doing ok on his DVP food. But I really liked the ingredient listing on it (see below), and it has an added bonus of being made in Canada. Maybe you should give it a try, for both your pups?

Go Natural by Petcurean: (their website isn't the easiest to get around)

3 lines of food: Go! Natural, Foundations & Summit

Go! Natural Chicken (Original) formula: Chicken Meal, Chicken Meat, Whole Brown Rice, Whole White Rice, Hulless Barley, Sunflower Oil, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols (vit E), citric acid (vit C) and Rosemary extract), Salmon Meal, Dried Whole Potatoes, Rice Bran, Natural Chicken Flavour, Dried Whole Apples, Dried Whole Carrots, Ground Flax, Bee Pollen, Dried Whole Garlic, Ginger, Dried Alfalfa, Dried Whole Egg, Beta Carotene, Dried Whole Cranberries, Kelp, Yucca Shidegera, Glucosamine, Chondroitin Sulphate, Potassium Chloride, Dicalcium Phosphate, Vitamin A acetate, Cholecalciferol (vit D), dl alphatocopherol acetate (vit E), ferrous sulphate, zinc proteinate, zinc oxide, niacin, calcium pantothenate, copper sulphate, copper proteinate, manganous oxide, riboflavin, calcium iodate, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vit B6), folic acid, biotin, sodium selenite, cobalt carbonate, menadione sodium bisulphate complex (vit K), Vitamin B12.

Crude Protein - (min) - 24.00%
Crude Fat - (min) - 14.00%
Crude Fiber - (max) - 3.50%
Moisture - (min) - 10.00%
Ash - (max) - 7.00%
Omega 6 Fatty Acids - 4.5%
Omega 3 Fatty Acids - 0.61%
Glucosamine - (min) - 460 mg/kg
Chondroitin - (min) - 370 mg/kg
Vitamin E - (min) - 200 IU/kg
KCal/cup - 617

Go! Natural Salmon Formula: Salmon Meal, Salmon, Oatmeal, Whole Oats, Canola Oil (preserved with mixed Tocopherols [Vitamin E], Citric Acid [Vitamin C] and Rosemary extract), Oat Fiber, Inulin (FOS), Mannanoligosaccharides (MOS), Yucca Schidigera Extract, Yeast Culture, Vitamin A Acetate, Cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3), dl Alpha Tocopherol Acetate (Vitamin E), Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Oxide, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Copper Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Manganous Oxide, Manganese Proteinate, Riboflavin, Calcium Iodate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Folic Acid, Biotin, Sodium Selenite, Cobalt Carbonate, Menadione Sodium Bisulphate Complex (source of Vitamin K activity), Vitamin B12.

Crude Protein - (min) - 22.00%
Crude Fat - (min) - 12.00%
Crude Fiber - (max) - 3.80%
Moisture - (min) - 10.00%
Omega 6 Fatty Acids - 2.75%
Omega 3 Fatty Acids - 0.30%
Vitamin E - (min) - 200 IU/kg

Please note that Petcurean has removed menadione from it's foods, see thread:

Also, as for "high fat" foods, please be aware that all foods which are commercially available must meet AAFCO standards. These standards say that the maximum fat level cannot exceed 1.5% of the minimum; so for the Chicken formula, max fat would be 15.5% and for the Salmon, 13.5%. I don't have a dog who's had pancreatitis, but I'm guessing that these numbers might be too high for them. You could look at the Petcurean Summit Three Meat Protein formula, which has only 9% minimum fat, if fat is a concern, however, it does contain corn and other not-necessarily-great ingredients.

I don't know if that helped.... but please keep us updated!

December 30th, 2006, 04:33 PM
Yeah, Petcurean's Summit and Foundations brands are not that great. I would only suggest the Go Natural one.

December 30th, 2006, 05:05 PM
Alternate foods

California Natural Herring and Sweet Potato

Wellness Fish and Sweet Potato
Wellness Simple Venison Dry Dog

Canidae has 2 limited ingredient foods
Lamb and rice
Chicken and rice

Nature's Recipe Maintenance Venison Meal and Rice

December 31st, 2006, 12:29 PM
Dogmelissa- don't get too sucked in by the "made in canada" stuff. A lot of the time, the food is actually made in the states, but the HQ is here... :shrug:

December 31st, 2006, 12:53 PM
Petcurean definitely manufactures their food in Abbotsford, B.C. I'm pretty sure Champion Pet Foods are manufactured in Alberta.

December 31st, 2006, 01:03 PM
Yeah, but Merrick used to make their food, remember? And then it got all contaminated and they stopped...

December 31st, 2006, 01:17 PM
Merrick didn't make all their food. It was only contracted out for food sold in the United States. The food sold in Canada was always made in Abbotsford, B.C. After the screw-up Merrick made Petcurean started making all the food in Abbotsford.

December 31st, 2006, 05:32 PM
Ahh, cool.:) Thanks Rainbow.:)

January 4th, 2007, 12:01 PM
Still waiting for an update from Celtic Fox.....

:fingerscr everything is going ok....

:offtopic: Also wanted to add that it is ILLEGAL for any product to be labelled with false or misleading information. If it says "Made In Canada", it *is*, otherwise they are breaking the law. Not that all businesses do everything "by the book", but I try to have faith that the laws protect us most of the time.

More information on that here: