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So as most people have heard about this DCM issue and grain-free diet I came here looking for suggestions on how to put grain-back in my dogs' diets. I have three dogs two greys and a mix beagle/ACD/misc. All of them are on grain-free but it was all sort of a thing I stumbled on. My first grey, Hawkeye, had horrible GI problems and skin issues. It took me nearly 2 years trying every brand/formula/flavor and supplements I could get until I finally got him on Orjien Six-fishes and a digestive supplement. He has been on it nearly 8 years now and his coat and skin are perfect and he has normal BMs. My second grey, Daisy, was never a good eater according to the rescue and they actually had to sit with her and hand feed kibble. When I got her I again tried lots of food until I found a Zignature formula she loved and she's been on that since then. My third dog, Zee, was suppose to be a temporary thing but has become permanent. He was on Blue buffalo chicken and rice for years but once he stole some Orjien out of Hawkeye's bowl he refused to eat the BB.

Long story short I now have three dogs on grain-free and now I'm very concerned about the research however inconclusive the FDA says it is about heart issues. Zee already has a heart problem due to his former owner's wife "accidentally" poisoning him with psychiatric drugs. Zee shouldn't be a problem to change I believe as long as it is high quality and fish based but Daisy is supper picky and I worry about Hawkeye's GI issues especially now that he is almost 11.

So suggestions? My head is spinning looking through dog brands. I'm thinking maybe doing a 40/60 mix of the current foods or maybe just making a rice/oat/barely porridge for them (though I have no idea how to even go about making or feeding portions for that). Many posts talk about home cooked or raw diets but financially that is not an option since I have my mother-in-law with Lupus living with me and my husband was diagnosed with it just a year after we were married so medical bills take up most our three incomes. Still I want to do the best I can for these dogs they were here before life got complex and promised to give them a happy healthy life.

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Adding grain to a suspect diet doesn't help.

The diets recommended by the experts are grain-inclusive Purina, Hill's, Royal Canin, IAMS, Eukanuba.  Lots to choose from amongst those.

If you wanted to homecook, BalanceIt is a good, easy option.  It's run by board-certified veterinary nutritionists.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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just bring the food back to where you purchased it. with what is going on they will most likely give you a credit. if it was ordered on chewy- most definitely. a mid range food- purina and the rest mentioned above are easily digestible, easy to get a hold of.   sorry about all the taxing health concerns that you are dealing with in your family life.

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13 minutes ago, cleptogrey said:

just bring the food back to where you purchased it. with what is going on they will most likely give you a credit. if it was ordered on chewy- most definitely. a mid range food- purina and the rest mentioned above are easily digestible, easy to get a hold of.   sorry about all the taxing health concerns that you are dealing with in your family life.

Thanks I will try. Zignature is the only brand I use that has realized a statement about DCM. The reason I'm seriously looking right now is because I just about ready to open new bags and I know with the greys I need to mix to get them switched. Purina unless they have seriously changed their formula since about 5 years ago when I was trying to mix things up it is off the plate for the greys at least. Talk about deadly gas. They offended themselves and poor Hawkeye smelly runny BMs luckily petsmart has a good return policy about food.

Also thanks for the concern about my family not easy and now I'm worried want to do with two picky greys and a dog that already has health problems from poor care.

Edited by HDZ2004
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I know Purina and Royal Canin have more in terms of protein varieties to choose from, especially if you need fish or something particularly novel for your tummy-troubled hound. Purina also has a whole line of (veterinary) GI foods that might work better depending on what kinds of GI issues you're dealing with, I think RC does too, but I'm less familiar with their offerings. The vet foods are not cheap, but I'm guessing neither is Orijen.

No matter what you switch to, it will likely take some adjusting as dogs who've been on grain-free for a long time lack the gut bacteria they need to help with digestion, and it takes a while to build that back up. You'll definitely want to load them up with probiotics (consult your vet for their recommendations) during the transition, because if you judge by the immediate changes you see, you'll feel like everything fails. It takes time.

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1 hour ago, Bizeebee said:

I know Purina and Royal Canin have more in terms of protein varieties to choose from, especially if you need fish or something particularly novel for your tummy-troubled hound. Purina also has a whole line of (veterinary) GI foods that might work better depending on what kinds of GI issues you're dealing with, I think RC does too, but I'm less familiar with their offerings. The vet foods are not cheap, but I'm guessing neither is Orijen.

No matter what you switch to, it will likely take some adjusting as dogs who've been on grain-free for a long time lack the gut bacteria they need to help with digestion, and it takes a while to build that back up. You'll definitely want to load them up with probiotics (consult your vet for their recommendations) during the transition, because if you judge by the immediate changes you see, you'll feel like everything fails. It takes time.

Yes Orijen is EXPENSIVE so looking at the vet foods is about on par with what I'm paying now. Don't worry I know all about changing foods lol. I usually give it a bag maybe two before I call quits on a food. My vet recommended Nupro that has lots of digestive enzymes and probiotics that I currently use with the one so I'll likely start giving it to them all to help them adjust. My girl has a vet appointment next week so I'll get some advise from the vet. (She's a huge greyhound lover and has three of her own)

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for digestive enzymes and help w/ loose stools by adding to their diet look at the line of supplements rx vitamin for dogs. they are sold on amazon. i was recommended a couple of their supplements by both vets and vet tech/professional handler. their clay is excellent- amino acids/vit b complex also good. i don't think they have a bad formulation in their lot.  

remember a cheaper food will have beet pulp which is helpful, not as rich, i can't believe the stool reduction serving purina pro plan focus. we went from 6 poops a day to 1 maybe 2 small....can't complain about that. for older dogs bright minds gets great reviews by uses i know. i am wondering if most of the stuff in the $$$ food just isn't digested.

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Olewo carrots or pumpkin puree apparently help with runny stools and charcoal for dogs will help with the gas emissions.

Grace (Ardera Coleen) born 18 June 2014
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Gotcha Day 10 June 2018 

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Purina Sensitive Stomach has a basically limited ingredient turkey formula that has worked well for my dogs that need it.  Plus, everybody's stools are excellent (and they weren't bad before) and smaller, and they only poop once or twice a day rather than three or four times.  We also use a probiotic every meal (Naturevet Digestive Enzymes), but you can use Forti Flora or plain full fat yogurt or even buttermilk  consult your vet about what to use for your dogs.

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Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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