Monday, July 30, 2012

To Eat Or Not To Eat...

We struggle with food in our household.  I suppose I should not say "we" because Piper will eat anything you put in front of him, and sometimes things you don't put in front of him!  Looking back, I feel bad that I was not a more careful (or maybe thoughtful is the word) dog mom about what I fed Piper when he was growing up.  Lots of time I would feed a grocery store brand, and I didn't think anything about the ingredients and what was and wasn't in those foods.  When we got Murray, we kept him on the puppy food his breeder had used.  I can't recall exactly what food it was, but it was NOT grocery store dog food.  Our vet recommends taking our puppies off puppy food after a couple months, so we switched Murray over to adult food around 4 months old, and so began the "food games" that we play until this very day.  There are two main reasons we are constantly looking into new dog food to try.  One was Murray's on and off again skin condition.  From the moment he came home as a puppy, we have struggled to try and figure out what causes these little scab like spots that show up all down his spine, but the food he eats certainly seems to have a role.  The other reason is simply that Murray gets bored with his food very easily.  I would say we have been through 5 or 6 different brands of food in the time we've had him.  Three have stood out as food we used for a longer period of time.  He did well for a long time on Canidae.  While I still would recommend their food, I also say it with caution.  From what I understand, they changed up their formula a couple years ago, and it started making Murray sick.  It didn't seem to agree with him.  We moved to Purina Pro Plan for a long while and I recommend it to this day.  It was great because it has a "shreds" line with actual shredded (or at least it looked like it) pieces of the meat mixed in with the kibble.  Murray's boredom was not a problem because we could switch between their chicken, beef, and lamb varieties, and he LOVED the shreds.  While his boredom was not an issue, his skin was still and ongoing battle.  We weren't necessarily looking to switch up our food again yet, but I came across an article about "grain-free" dog food.  I read testimonials from people that were very positive, and after some more research, decided to give it a whirl.  We settled on the line from Taste of the Wild.  They had 4 flavors we could rotate through to reduce boredom and the grain free poultry, lamb and fish is known to be foods most closely related to what dogs are meant to eat in the wild, hence the name. Grain free is also looked to for reducing allergies, and is more easily digestible, so this was a win win for us!  I kid you not when I say that Murray's skin was almost completely cleared up within a month of feeding the Taste of the Wild Lamb.  We continue to rotate through the different flavors of Taste of the Wild still today, but this summer I have noticed Murray's skin issues have popped up again.  Not quite as bad, but still there. I am now in the process of looking into the flea/tick meds we use because of the location of the skin conditon.  It is exactly where the meds are placed, and the fact that they returned about the same time I started using the flea meds this season, might signal the problem.  So, I'm off to pour some yummy Taste of the Wild Fowl for the boys...and yes, in case you're all wondering, the fowl smells ;)



Taste of the Wild (fowl)

















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