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What is the consensus on grain-free for dogs?

May 5th, 2007, 09:03 PM
I'm doing a lot of thinking and looking and reading about dog food now and wonder if grain-free is a good way to go. Is anyone using it? What kind and what changes, if any, have you noticed in your dogs?

I wonder too about its effect on weight? Has anyone noticed any change in their dog's weight - up or down?

Any and all info would be very helpful!

May 5th, 2007, 09:09 PM
I was using just EvoRM for a while, and Jemma did poorly on it, so I switched her to Barking at the Moon and left Boo on evoRM... Now they both get 1/2 the high protein with 1/2 Canidae lamb and rice.

While the high protein is a nice idea, for my dogs the formulas seem to be missing something. Orijen is probably better, and when their fishy version comes out, we'll be trying it for sure, but in the meantime, my doggies are doing pretty well with their half and half plus the biologic vet fats supplement and coconut oil... :shrug:

May 5th, 2007, 10:56 PM
I have been feeding Innova regularand recently added Timberwolf Organic Wild & Natural then tried the Wild & Natural alone. My lab did alright but my husky didn't so went back to feeding 1/2 of each. Decided to try Go Natural Grain Free and am now feeding 1/2 and 1/2 of each and they're doing fine. Would love to try Orijen if we can ever get it here. :frustrated:

May 6th, 2007, 09:55 AM
I have been feeding the Timberwolf Organics Ocean Blue, which is grain-free, for about 6 months now & it the best formula they've been on so far. I will never feed them grains again. I also am anxious to try Orijen's fish formula someday.

May 6th, 2007, 10:29 AM
I feed Orijen right now when they arent getting raw for what ever reason.
No difference with the 3 raw feds but Meiko's fur is getting amazingly shiny and soft. His energy levels are rising good too. And even less mess coming out the other end to clean up.

I like the Orijen and the dogs seem to enjoy it too. Its been a while now since no one is getting grains and my dogs have never looked better ( they may have felt better, some of them anyways, but its NOT related to the foods)

May 6th, 2007, 11:23 AM
I have been feeding Orijen to both my dogs sice it was available here (about 9 months now). I have also started adding in fresh foods.

I certainly have noticed a difference in both of my dogs. I have a lean husky/ hound cross and she has actually gained weight. I think she looks more muscular. She has always had a sensitive tummy and hasn't thrown-up or had diarrhea once since the switch.

My other husky mix is an average build and I wondered if a grain-free food would cause her to lose weight but she seems to be the same weight. I have seen a big reduction in her allergies.

May 6th, 2007, 11:35 AM
My six year old golden retriever has been grain-free for the last 3 months (was on Nutro lamb and rice before that). I feed him Orijen and sometimes mix a little Innova Evo canned with the dinner meal.

I switched to grain-free as a relatively easy way to see if grains might be causing all the itching and yeasty ear infections. After a week I noticed improvement and things just keep getting better: more energy, fuller and shinier coat, seems more toned/not flabby. It's almost like he looks and acts like a younger dog. Anyway, for Bentley, I would not consider going back to grains.

May 6th, 2007, 11:54 AM
Well - it sure sounds like grain-free is something for me to try - thank you everyone! Amber scratches a lot - when she was on the Go Natural Chicken her whole tummy turned bright red and was itchy - she is ok so far on the Go Natural Salmon.

With Bobby's weight problem I do wonder about the grain-free - his activity level isn't very high either - on outings he just walks along - on Bobby time actually :laughing: He will do nothing that requires real physical effort!

I have never seen Orijen here but Go Natural has a new grain-free formula - so I think I'll give it a try.

Thanks again, everyone - as ever, your experiences and information are invaluable!

May 6th, 2007, 12:28 PM
All mine are on grain free EVO RM I feed under the recommended amounts actually quite a bit

Winnie 14 pounds recommended is 3/4 to 1 1/4 he gets 2/3 cup
Nikki 27 lbs " 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 gets 7/8 cup
Maya 70lb recommended 2 1/2 to 3 gets 1 1/2 cups
Sunny 84lbs " 3 to 3 1/2 gets 1 1/2 cups very lazy was gaining weight terribly on even 1 1/2 cups of low calorie(low protein low fat food, he is consuming almost 3 times the calories now and lost and is now maintaining weight

Winnie my crested pup was started on at 6 months now 1 year old and the oldest is 10

this picture shows the condition of their coats well

May 6th, 2007, 01:17 PM
WOW - the picture tells a lot! Thank you!

May 6th, 2007, 01:35 PM
IMO, dogs with weight problems would be more likely to lose weight on a restricted amount of Evo reduced fat than any grainy food. Complex carbs (as in grains) go straight to the hips.:D

May 6th, 2007, 02:16 PM
JanM, let us know how your dogs do on the Go Natural Grain Free. :)

May 7th, 2007, 09:04 AM
I wonder if grain free is to high in calories,and also hard on the kidneys because of it's high protien? any comments or answers:)

May 7th, 2007, 09:09 AM
I wonder if grain free is to high in calories,and also hard on the kidneys because of it's high protien? any comments or answers:)

Some grain-free formulas are higher in protein & kcal than others.--not all of them are high. The one we use is fairly moderate in both those areas.

May 7th, 2007, 10:03 AM
Everything I have seen says that if your dog has kidney problems already - they should be on low protein diet.

Healthy dogs should be fine on higher protein and it may even reduce the chance of kidney problems and other diseases like diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

Large amounts of grains (especially in crappy dog foods that use lower quality ingredients) are converted to excess sugar and fats - this can cause blood sugar irregularities, weight problems and the increased risk for certain diseases.

May 7th, 2007, 09:47 PM
I wonder if grain free is to high in calories,and also hard on the kidneys because of it's high protien? any comments or answers:)

I thought so too, and I had Jemma's blood tested after she had been eating the high protein for a few months and everything was normal. :o

But yeah, from what I've heard, dogs with weak kidneys shouldn't have the super high protein foods.

May 9th, 2007, 08:58 PM
I was feeding the Evo RM and my dogs were doing great on it. I then recently switched to Orijin (cause its canadian and all lol) But I have one dog who isn't doing as well on it. So it looks like I will be buying Orijin for 4 and Evo for one.

As to the extra protien. Think about it. If you were to dehydrate a raw diet the percentages would be about the same it is in these foods. The dog foods with lower protein are actually too low IMO.

A hunk of chicken breast is about 20% protein by weight. When you remove the water its about 50% protein by weight.

May 9th, 2007, 09:46 PM
Yesterday I started to mix the Go Natural Grain Free with Bobby's regular food - Go Natural Salmon. I started with 1/4 cup of the Grain free, same today and I'll do the same probably until Friday then SAturday I'll start him on 1/2 cup of Grain free - by the end of next week he should be totally on the Grain-Free. I'm watching his energy level - which is low to begin with - his weight - which is high and his general well-being so here's hoping!

May 9th, 2007, 10:24 PM
Good luck with Bobby. :fingerscr :goodvibes:

May 10th, 2007, 10:49 AM
I share your interest. I want to feed my little lab puppy Orijen but my vet is concerned about the high protein content which could burden the kidneys and could also cause the dog to grow too fast, possibly incurring joint problems. I would appreciate hearing of others' experience with Orijen.

May 10th, 2007, 11:16 AM
Chocolate..did you see my thing on the chicken and amount of protein? Ask your vet what a dogs total protein intake should be (by weight not by volume)

I think ppl get confused cause kibble is dry. A raw diet is approx 25-35% protein. Sounds good right? Cause it is. :D But if you take that diet and stick it in a food dehydrator the same amount of protein is still there. (in weight) But now it becomes over 48% protein due to the removal of water.

So you have nothing to worry about. :thumbs up

Also I find I feed so much less of these foods than ones with lower protein. So over all consuption of protien is probably not to much difference of other high quality kibbles. And the quality and digestibility of protein is really more important than %;)