- Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 


Too many opinions! Need help!

February 16th, 2012, 12:36 PM
To start, I am sure this is the most common topic so I'm sorry! But I need advice!
We just got Tucker, he is a 3 month old Bullmastiff mix. Dad was a purebread Bullmastiff and mom was half Bullmastiff and half mutt, we think there's a decent amount of Shepard and Pointer from mom's quarter.
He is a rescue and was RIDDEN with parasites and they suspected Parvo. He just had a second de-worming because I found roundworms in his poop.
When he came to us he was eating Science Diet. I dislike Science Diet. He was eating up to 6 cups a day and still trying to get into Penny's food and was pooping upwards of 5 times a day! It was always like soft serve ice cream (sorry I just ruined DQ for you.) That sounds insane to me!
We switched him to Actr1um (a Canadian Walmart brand.) I like this brand, I have fed it to Penny before and she LOVED it, and the ingredients looked good compared to say kibbles n' bits.
He seems like like this one more, goes after Penny's food much less and isn't eating as much and pooping much less.
He has had a few sloppy stools but I've been thinking that is simply a switching food thing.
I do like the Actr1um but have heard some poor reviews.
Money is also a large factor because I am a student so my boyfriend supports our whole family, he does a very good job of it mind you, but it is nice to put a little less stress on the purse strings.
So here is my plea to you, What inexpensive but AWESOME food do you recommend? Should I just keep him on Actr1um or switch or what is good?
I'm a crazy worry ridden puppy mom, even with Penny who is 1.5 years old, so if I have a brand I like and stick to it is just one less thing to worry about!
Also sorry for the long post. If it's TLTR I understand.

February 16th, 2012, 01:56 PM
Here is an older post on Actrium. Not sure if you've seen it already:

I understand what you are saying about your budget but if you were to consider a better quality food, your dog would eat less, poop less and a bag would therefore last longer. So, you might even end up spending the same amount on a better quality kibble. Not to mention a healthier dog which likely means less trips to the vet which add up in the long run.

I have heard that Kirkland brand at Costco is a decent price for the quality if your main goal is to save money.

February 16th, 2012, 02:07 PM
I have read that thread, and like the person at the bottom of the thread pointed out the ingredients are very different now. I've also heard that the kirkland brand is a good brand and my sister feeds that to her rotty and the little nibbles that Tucker has had while visiting he seemed to like.
He is only 3 months and is already a big dog, he will get to be a VERY big dog so even if he is eating less of a better brand he will still probably go through at least a bag a month.
I'm thinking the Kirkland is our next test. I've had it suggested by several people.

February 16th, 2012, 02:11 PM
lalalorz - Welcome to the board.

Like SuperWanda, I have heard that Kirkland from Costco is a decent brand for the price. It receives a 2 scoop rating on It might be worth looking into. However, I still think that a better food leads to a healthier overall dog and, by investing in a good food, you may save yourself vet bills in the future.

February 16th, 2012, 02:22 PM
Sorry about that, yes, the new formula is very different if this is the current ingredient list. Can anyone confirm this -- I don't have a bag in front of me -- just did a search online. Do they have a website and how much does it cost?

Crude Protein (min) 24%
Crude Fat (min) 14%
Crude Fibre (max) 5%
Moisture (max) 10%
Ash (max) 10%
Calcium (min) 1.1%
Phosphorus (min) 0.8%
Omega 3 (min) 0.4%
Omega 6 (min) 2.8%

Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Potatoes, Rye, Millet, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols, a source of Vit E), Chicken, chicken Cartilage(natural source of glucosamine), natural flavour, tomatoes, salmon meal, salmon oil (a natural source of DHA), whole dried egg, flaxseed, kelp, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, diacalcium phosphate, lecithin, sodium chloride, chicory root extract, cranberries, alfalfa, spinach, broccoli, sweet potatoes, apples, blueberries, pears, bananas, Vitamins and Minerals: Vit A, Vit D3, Vit E, Niacin, Vit C, Inositol, D-Calcium, Pantothenate, thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Beta Carotene, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Vit K, Biotin, Vit B12 supplement, Zinc Proteinate, Ferrous Sulphgate, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Proteinate, Copper sulphate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite.Probiotics (Lactobacillus acidophilus, lactobacillus casei, enterococcus faecium, bifidobacterium thermophilum), Yucca schidigera extract, dried rosemary, cinnamon, turmeric, capsicum, chamomile, dandelion, paprika, garlic.

February 16th, 2012, 03:41 PM
That looks more accurate. I recently switched my sister in law to Actrium. It was a cheap food that was readily available in the small town she lives in(and its a lot better then the Beneful she was feeding to her extremely overweight pug!). I am picky about what kibble I feed and the set of ingredients on the thread linked would never have met my standards!

I, personally, feed Natures Domain. I purchase this at Costco and I quite like it. I believe its about $45 for a 40lb bag.

If your pup is doing well on Actrium I wouldn't switch but thats just my personal opinion.

February 16th, 2012, 04:22 PM
They don't have a website, I never rely on websites anyway they can all say things to make you want them, I took advertising for a reason :P
The Actrium is around 30 dollars for a 30 lbs bag.
He is doing ok on Actr1um but we had an "oh **** he's out of food moment" so we didn't switch him slowly (I know I know I feel like a terrible puppy momma!) so he's had some residual tummy troubles that I am thinking are caused by the switch. I think we're going to finish up this bag (I just bought a small bag) and see how he's doing and judge then whether or not we should switch again. His morning poops are much firmer and he doesn't need to go out as much. But RIGHT AFTER he eats there's a little more soft serve looking stuff coming out that seems to be urgent, we had an accident in the house this morning after breakfast. He has also had some BAD farts! I'm talking BAD!!!! Could the de-worming meds be causing the soft poops and the gas??

February 17th, 2012, 08:46 AM
Dog food rating websites are a poor place to get ingredient information, you can't tell with most if they are up to date. Unless you want to run to the pet store with paper and pencil in hand to laboriously copy down ingredient lists from each bag the manufacturers' websites are your best bet.

First things first, be wary of putting a puppy on a food roller coaster. He is only 3 months old, you've only had him a month and you've already switched him once. I'd let his tum tum settle down now.

I am among the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" group, within reason. The food list above seems OK, though a little low in protein and fat for my dog. But I can't tell which it is, is it the Kirkland or the Actrium?

Another key I look for is the K/cal per cup. Though I am happy with my base food I do rotate and I try to keep the protein, fat and K/cal about the same in all three. If the Actrium is working and you insist on switching I suggest you use those levels as a guide in your new food.

I know I just sort of bashed food websites but there is one I like better than most. To me it gives a more realistic description of various ingredients and points out what works for some dogs is not for others. Only trial and error can determine that for your dog so be wary of going from the frying pan to the fire.

Good luck. I know Bullmastiffs are breed with a dubious reputation but one on my street died last Fall and she was the gentlest, most loving dog you could ever want to meet. OUr whole street mourned. I'm sure you will do your best to enable that kind of personality in your new wee guy.

February 17th, 2012, 08:53 AM
If your interested in Grain Free, there is a Canadian Food, fish based available at Global, and it was very reasonably price, but I can't remember the name, I could probably recognize the bag if I saw it next time when I go.