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Switching from grain to grain-free kibble

mika140
August 22nd, 2007, 04:20 PM
I just started a change-over for my dog from a grain kibble (Canidae Chicken & Rice) to a grain free (Solid Gold Barking at the Moon).

I read a previous post about not combining grain and grain-free kibbles....but it seemed to apply to a specific brand only. Does anyone have information related to Canidae or SD and whether it's ok to mix the two foods for a gradual transition?

My dog's stool was already soft to cowpie form prior to starting the transition. I'd rather not add any yogurt/pumpkin, etc yet because I want to see if the change in food makes a difference first (different protein, no grain). At least then I should know whether his loose stool was an issue of chicken or grain intolerance, right?

OC_Spirit
August 22nd, 2007, 04:30 PM
I've always done changes cold turkey here but I have also built up my dogs' digestive tolerances to sudden changes like that.

mummummum
August 22nd, 2007, 05:42 PM
I think transitioning is a good idea if there are no allergy or sensitivity issues involved. But if there are, then I say cold turkey as well. Why prolong the "agony" ?

If it turns out to be a grain and chicken issue Orijen makes am all fish, grain free kibble which I am very impressed by so far. http://www.championpetfoods.com/orijen/products/ORIJEN6fish.aspx

Kristin7
August 22nd, 2007, 08:03 PM
I'm glad you posted this, I thought I remembered reading that somewhere too (do it cold-turkey). I just did this recently...However, maybe I did it wrong.. I had to switch cold-turkey from a grain-containing food to no-grain (long story short, thought I had the 'old' grain-free and pet store not open, started feeding on-hand no-grain food). Is there some trick to this cold-turkey thing? My dog now has diarrhea, and isnt' taking well to the new food. He loves it, but it doesn't love him! Only been a few days, though, should I give him some pumpkin or rice? Was I supposed to fast him in-between (vaguely recall reading something like that...)? I only have a small bag of the no-grain, what if I go buy his old brand and now start mixing them together, would that help? Part of this was for my own interest, however, to the OP, based on my recent experience, I vote for mixing together, not cold-turkey.

Tommysmom
August 22nd, 2007, 08:32 PM
When we had some food issues with my pup we had no choice but to switch with no mixing... SEVERAL times. Some dogs can take it, some can't. There is no problem with switching gradually if that's what you want, but if you suspect an allergy I'd just switch without bothering. If your pup gets tummy upsets from the switch, well, is that any worse than dealing with an allergy?

One thing my gastro specialist vet explained to us was that dogs can develop allergies or sensitivities to foods if they are ill when they eat them. For example, if a pup is sick for whatever reason, and happens to be eating a food with chicken, they can develop a sensitivity to chicken - even though that might not have been what was causing the problem in the first place, their body associates it with being sick. She recommended that we switch fast because we thought our dog was allergic and if he continued to eat a food that made him feel ill and mixed it with another, there was a good chance he could develop a sensitivity to the new food too.

We've never had any issue at all switching cold turkey, and his poops never got really any worse during the adjustment period. It has, however, taken a long time for the poops to IMPROVE - we've had him on the mix we use now for about 3 months, and we've just started having consistently great poops for the last month or so. So you may not see any drastic improvement immediately, it does take some time.

mika140
August 22nd, 2007, 10:11 PM
Thanks for the advice. A rep from Solid Gold just got back to me and said that for switching to their grain-free you don't have to worry about mixing the old and new. They suggested a gradual transition. Which makes sense if my dog's stool was already fine and I didn't suspect food allergy/intolerance issues. Since his stool is already too soft at best, I think I'll mix a little but not too much. It'll be a quick transition. After all, it can't get much worse.

JanM
August 22nd, 2007, 11:04 PM
I switched from a grain product to grain-free and was mixing the two. When I had the mix at 1/4 cup grain-free to the rest being grain - no problem but when I increased it to 1/2 cup grain-free, Bobby got diarrhea - really runny. A member posted that they too had the problem and was told to do it cold turkey so that's what I did and there's been absolutely no problem at all...
Both my dogs are doing well on the grain free..

OC_Spirit
August 23rd, 2007, 12:21 AM
Often if your dog has eaten the same kibble for years without switching than he likely wont have much tolerance to a sudden switch. But if you have gotten him used to sudden switches of food (like I have with my two) then you wont have any probelms. I change to a different brand or different formular every week.

Mia101
August 23rd, 2007, 03:30 AM
Thanks for the advice. A rep from Solid Gold just got back to me and said that for switching to their grain-free you don't have to worry about mixing the old and new. They suggested a gradual transition.


Isn't gradual done by mixing :confused:

mika140
August 23rd, 2007, 09:23 AM
Yep....sorry, I think my language was a little confusing. The rep said that there have not been any problems identified with mixing grain and grain-free foods..(at least not with Solid Gold)...therefore making it ok to transition. I'm not sure if that's much clearer, but hopefully....

Ford Girl
August 23rd, 2007, 10:26 AM
I went from Nutro (grain) to Orijen (grain free) and mixed it and made Dazy very very sick, after contacting Orijen and my vet and the nutrionist at Pet Planet they informed me not to mix it...so I immediatly stopped mixing, she improved right away. Just my experience. They also make digestive aids to use to help, and altho you say you dont want to use pumpkin, I reccomend it.

You will need to keep your dog on this new food for a few weeks anyway to get a real read on how they are handling the new food, reactions don't always appear right away, so you will have plenty of time to see how it reacts without pumpkin, I would use pumpkin for the first few days. :dog:

mika140
August 23rd, 2007, 01:36 PM
Thanks for the advice. He's already showing some improvement, and his stool was already so poor with the old food that I don't feel I have much to lose by going to 100% new. Think I'll switch over completely today. Thanks.

Kristin7
August 23rd, 2007, 02:47 PM
Thanks for the info, I am now giving my dog some pumpkin to help him w/ the sudden switch (fyi - mine was on California Naturals Lamb and Rice, he's now on one of the Evo varieties).

gypsy_girl
August 24th, 2007, 07:07 PM
Ford Girl ...Regarding the nutritionist, vet and Orijen telling you not to mix the two grain and grain free, they say why?
I have seen these runny stools alot with peoples dogs, and have always been curious????

rainbow
August 25th, 2007, 02:07 PM
I was also wondering why they said not to mix it. :confused: I was feeding my dogs Innova and gradually switched to Orijen and neither of them had a problem. :shrug:

Kristin7
August 30th, 2007, 11:07 AM
Well, I've decided to switch back to the California Natural Lamb and Rice already. I only had a small bag of the Evo and my dog loved it, but he just started licking himself excessively again. I am not sure why he does this, but it is only at night and seems to be focused on his legs or paws. Could it be an allergy? I though previously he was bored, but now am wondering if he has a food sensitivity issue. He was doing this before on Canidae as well, but I did not notice it the entire time he was on the Cal Naturals food. After a couple of weeks on the no-grain Evo, he has been doing it again... too bad, as it was his favorite brand of food so far (he's kinda picky). If not a grain, what else are dogs typically sensitive to in their foods?

rainbow
September 1st, 2007, 05:45 PM
Kristin7, if he's scratching while on Canidae and EVO and not on the California Natural L & R then he could be allergic to the chicken. EVO also makes a beef formula (EVO RM) or try Orijen 6 Fish which would be my first choice (www.championpetfoods.com).

mika140, how is your dog doing?

mika140
September 1st, 2007, 08:30 PM
Thnx for checkin.....my dog is doing excellent. He did so well with the Solid Gold barking at the moon that by day 4 I switched him over to 100%. It's only been about a week, but he's more stable already than I've ever seen him. He's had a couple loose stools/diarrhea, but most of it was due to stress, plus I'm sure he's still adjusting to the food. I had thought maybe grass was also partly to blame, but not sure? Now that he's had a chance to adjust a little, I started adding in yogurt today. But so far so good. Thanks for the advice!

Kristin7
September 4th, 2007, 11:52 AM
Thanks Rainbow - I did have him on the Evo RM formula awhile back (that wasn't the most recent Evo that he was eating though). He seemed really hyper on it, so I switched him off of it. But I'll see if I can find some of that Orijen 6 fish formula, it looks good. Also, I'll make a note to myself to not feed him anymore of those chicken jerky strips...

rainbow
September 4th, 2007, 12:37 PM
Kristen, Timberwolf Organics also makes a Lamb, Barley and Apples formula as well as Ocean Blue ( www.timberwolforganics.com ). And, jerky treats are not very good, period, no matter if they're chicken or beef based.

mika140
September 4th, 2007, 04:06 PM
Why are the jerky treats a bad choice?

I've been giving my dog the Solid Gold beef jerky treats. They're not really as dried out as I would normally consider "jerky" to be, but they're still labeled jerky.

mummummum
September 4th, 2007, 05:50 PM
Alot of them contain bizarro chemicals ~ what are the ingredients in your brand and are yours smoked or salted or just dried ?

rainbow
September 4th, 2007, 06:41 PM
From http://www.solidgoldhealth.com/products/showproduct.php?id=13&code=313 ....

Product Description
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A bite sized jerky treat made with beef, brown rice, oats, tapioca, cinnamon, and rosemary. Beef Jerky is soft enough for puppies or for older dogs with dental problems.

Protein, Min. 12%
Fat, Min. 5%
Fiber, Max. 3.5%
Moisture, Max. 30%

16 kcal / treat


Ingredients
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Beef | Beef Meal | Ground Brown Rice | Cracked Oats | Tapioca Meal | Beef Liver | Molasses | Glycerine | Phosphoric Acid | Unrefined Brown Sugar | Sea Salt | Garlic Powder | Natural Mesquite | Potassium Sorbate | Vitamin E | Cinnamon | Rosemary |


When I first replied I was thinking of the jerky treats that are available in the supermarket alongside the pupperoni, snausages, etc. The Solid Gold ones are not as bad but contain a fair amount of sweetener (brown sugar, molasses and glycerine) so I would only give them once in a while. Also, they contain phosphoric acid which is not good for teeth or bones.

mika140
September 4th, 2007, 07:20 PM
Thnx for the info. I usually give him about 5 pieces once a week to every 2 weeks (I use them for a specific training exercise and the smell has become a cue to him about what we are doing). I'd be open to using something else, but I haven't found anything else close enough yet. It needs to be a food that I can keep unrefrigerated in the trunk of my car every day, and something that is smelly/tasty enough that he'll work hard on the exercise for the reward.

I did a search for previous posts and saw that Solid Gold replied about the jerky and the salt/sugar in it.....they said those ingredients were basically needed to preserve the food so it wouldn't mold....if I got that right.

I guess I'm learning....considering that up til about a month ago the "big treats" for this exercise were Tiny T-Bones :o

rainbow
September 5th, 2007, 02:45 AM
I don't agree with Solid Golds answer. :rolleyes:

Old Mother Hubbbard makes better treats....

http://www.oldmotherhubbard.com/omh/products.html

Also, there are dehydrated liver treats available but I can't remember any brands right now. :o

Kristin7
September 5th, 2007, 12:08 PM
The jerky was just chicken meat, not other stuff. I've also seen other types of meat jerky like this... I'm not referring to the pressed stuff with other things mixed in. Let me see if i can find a link as an example...

mummummum
September 5th, 2007, 12:19 PM
Also, there are dehydrated liver treats available but I can't remember any brands right now. :o

Bil-jack makes liver treats but I can't remember if they are purely dehydrated liver. And there's Bully's which are freeze-dried.

It's pretty easy to make them on your own though. Just a tad time consuming.

Kristin7
September 5th, 2007, 12:25 PM
I don't remember the brand name of some of the stuff I've bought, but this (Dogswell) is one example of a brand I've found and I do buy their jerky strips occasionally: http://www.dogswell.com/?title=Jerky+Treats

I will stay away from the chicken strips though, just in case. They have the strips in different meats, such as beef, lamb and duck. Otherwise, they don't look that bad to me. Are they?

I've also seen the dehydrated liver, plus have found dehydrated lamb lung and dehydrated green tripe, which I occasionlly buy (unsure of the brand name but can find out if others are interested). They do not contain anything but the meat and are just dried down.

mummummum
September 5th, 2007, 12:46 PM
The dogswell look okay based on their product "highlights" BUT I would rather see a complete list of ingredients and their listed order than "highlights". Sometimes it's just easier to do it yourself that way you know EXACTLY what's in there! If you check the recipes section Kristin (and others who might be interested) there are a few recipes for slow-baked salmon and liver.

Ford Girl
September 5th, 2007, 12:59 PM
Ford Girl ...Regarding the nutritionist, vet and Orijen telling you not to mix the two grain and grain free, they say why?
I have seen these runny stools alot with peoples dogs, and have always been curious????

Orijen told me it was cuz the Orijen food is so rich that the small amount of protien in the other food will interfer with digestion, plus people tend to over feed when mixing - if the old food is 4 cups, and the new food is 2 cups people will tend to go 3 cups, which is more then is needed - over feeding. The vet said it's silly to mix foods...the example he gave me was it was like us human having chinese one day and pot roast the next - we'd have to have some chinese the next day with the roast and pot roast the next day with what ever we were having, and dogs in their natural enviroment don't mix yesterdays catch with todays' catch. The digestion systems doesn't work that way. That was basically it. Makes sense to me.

Kristin7
September 5th, 2007, 01:29 PM
They do list their ingredients, right under 'highlights'. So that might not be everything? I wouldn't mind trying to make my own, if I can find the time... really, these aren't a big part of his diet, just an occasional treat (due to expense mostly). This is the 'mellow mutt' version. The other brands I buy don't have this extra herbal stuff in it, though, just the meat, so it just doesn't seem that bad to me.

PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS
All-Natural, Cage-Free Chicken Breast
With Holistic Benefits
With Antioxidants
With Chamomile and Lavender
INGREDIENTS
Chicken Breast, Vitamin E Supplement, Chamomile, Clover, Lavender, Lemon Balm, Linden Flower, Oyster Shell Flour (Source of Calcium Carbonate)

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION
one treat 0.01kg
crude protein 78% (min)
crude fat 1% (min)
crude fat 3% (max)
crude fiber 1% (max)
moisture 16% (max)
vitamin E 10i.u. (min)

6 oz $8.99
16 oz $19.99

NO Hormones NO Antibiotics NO Byproducts NO Added Salt NO Wheat NO Corn NO Gluten NO BHA / BHT

TeriM
September 5th, 2007, 02:53 PM
Interestingly enough I recently had this issue. I was mixing some of the solid gold that I had bought in the US with some Orijen and both the dogs had runny poops. Riley had been eating the SG for a few weeks with basically not really any issues and had also eaten the orijen prior to that and had great results. Lucy is the total iron tummy dog and can basically usually eat anything but when I mixed them together :yuck: . Dropped the SG and they were both totally fine the next day :shrug: .

Kristin7
September 18th, 2007, 06:51 PM
rainbow - I found some of the TO Ocean Blue and the Lamb + Apples, and am going to try the Ocean Blue first... couldn't find the Orijen 6 fish at my favorite pet store that seems to have every one of the good brands, except Orijen... they also have raw. We'll see how this goes... I'd like to eventually get my cats on raw, and possibly my dog, but am first trying out some of the different kibbles to see how that goes. It may not always be practical to feed raw, so looking for options. Probably this is a dumb question - if my dog is sensitive to chicken-containing kibble, would he be sensitive to raw chicken? I'm guessing he would, but maybe if he were fed a variety of raw meats, then he would be ok, if I keep the chicken to a minimum.

mika140
September 18th, 2007, 08:34 PM
Good question about the chicken.....I think that's also my dog's intolerance. I've also figured that egg's might affect him. It hadn't occurred to me before, but I suppose they're kinda the same thing. The grain-free high protein kibbles that I've come across which don't include chicken or eggs are Orijen 6 fresh fish, Solid Gold BATM, and Nature's Variety duck & turkey (can't remember if I checked the other NV instinct types).

mummummum
September 18th, 2007, 09:23 PM
Probably this is a dumb question - if my dog is sensitive to chicken-containing kibble, would he be sensitive to raw chicken? I'm guessing he would, but maybe if he were fed a variety of raw meats, then he would be ok, if I keep the chicken to a minimum.


If you are certain that it is the chicken then he will be more likely to have a stronger reaction to it raw or cooked than in kibble form. The easiest way to determine true allergies and sensitivities is by feeding a pure form of the food rather than a complex food with multiple ingredients including the food you are trying to test.

What you may find is that rather than a true allergy, your dog has a sensitivity. For instance Ceili can eat pure chicken but not for more than three or four consecutive meals and not more than once per week. But, I've recently found out that she can consistently eat the Orijen chicken-based kibble.

Kristin7
September 21st, 2007, 05:11 PM
Thanks, mumx3. I'm not certain about the chicken, but he seems to have something going on sometimes and it is food dependent. He licks himself a lot at night, but only when he's on certain kinds of food. I should take notes, because I'm not sure of all the kinds he's been on anymore - I like him to have variety and switch occasionally. The one kind I recall that affected him was Canidae. Oh, and then there was Evo (I forget which one), that was more recent. Right now he's on something w/o chicken and is fine. That's interesting about the raw vs kibble w/ chicken. Not sure yet about raw for my animals, but am thinking about it. One of my cats has some type of senstivity as well, but no idea what it is.

TeriM
September 22nd, 2007, 01:46 AM
If you are certain that it is the chicken then he will be more likely to have a stronger reaction to it raw or cooked than in kibble form. The easiest way to determine true allergies and sensitivities is by feeding a pure form of the food rather than a complex food with multiple ingredients including the food you are trying to test.


Hmmm, I actually have found the total opposite :shrug:. Riley can't eat chicken kibble but is fine with real chicken or with raw. When Lucy was at her worst for allergies the same was true with her. She could eat the proteins raw but not in a kibble format.

Goldens4Ever
September 22nd, 2007, 11:21 PM
Hmmm, I actually have found the total opposite :shrug:. Riley can't eat chicken kibble but is fine with real chicken or with raw. When Lucy was at her worst for allergies the same was true with her. She could eat the proteins raw but not in a kibble format.

Yes, I have heard this from other as well. The dogs are are hypersensitive to the meat (chicken, beef, etc.) in kibble, but when fed the raw version, no symptoms of a hypersensitivity are present.