Let's talk about Poop!
Let's face it, "sh*t happens." Those exact words were spoken by my doctor one time. (haha)
Anyway... when it comes to dogs and people too, you can tell a lot about their health by their poop. Throughout the years, I've tried some different brands of dog food. I started with Taste of the Wild, a grain-free food. It worked well for us but I was never entirely happy with their poop. When you're the one cleaning up the yard after them, you want it to be a quick and easy process.
I decided to try something new after I had gotten feedback from to puppy buyers that their females had experienced UTI's. It made me think it had something to do with the protein content. Grain-free can be a higher % of protein.
I made the switch to the brand Victor because a well known Boston breeder feeds it. When you have multiple dogs, you tend to look for something that isn't going to cost an arm and a leg and Victor fit that bill. I could purchase a 40 pound bag vs. Taste of the Wild's 30 pound bag and it was a considerable cost savings.
The first thing I noticed was the dog's coats. They didn't feel as soft as they once did and I noticed that a couple of my female's coats seemed really dull. They weren't as vibrant as they once were. I had tried a couple of Victor's formulas too. Plus I started incorporating a lot of pumpkin into their food to help "firm" things up a bit. I went through a lot of pumpkin.
When Ginger whelped her final litter of puppies, their birth weights were really on the low side. I'm not sure if that has anything to do with the Victor I was feeding or not but it was concerning enough to retire her after that litter. I didn't want to take the chance that I could run into even more problems the next time around.
So began the search for a different dog food. Breeders tend to want to avoid foods that have peas, lentils, and flax and stuff because they could cause fertility issues. Grain-Free tend to have all those in them due to the fact they are grain-free. Taste of the Wild contains peas. I did a lot of lurking on Facebook in the canine nutrition groups trying to figure out what would be good to feed.
I settled on a fairly new brand - Sport Dog Food. They haven't been around all that long but their ingredients are amazing. You could actually read/pronounce the first 10 with no problems! Upon reading one review, a person that boards dogs said she changed all the dogs' food to Sport Dog Food if they were at her facility because their poop looked like that of dogs that are fed raw. Well, I've never been able to do a raw diet so I'm not sure what that poop looks like, but it sounded good!
I chose the Active dog/puppy blend, a grain free food. My dogs aren't picky eaters so any food typically goes over well. Their poops weren't as impressive as I was hoping and had a grainy appearance. It is a bit more of a pricy food but I figured it would be well worth it if I had to pick up their perfect poop from the yard.
Then I started noticing how hard it was to get this food off of Chewy. They are a NorthEast company and only ship to those states so South Dakota was out of the question. If I couldn't get it off of Chewy, I became concerned. I tried it out for awhile but I still wasn't happy with the consistency their poop.
What else could I try without breaking the bank? Purina? Yeah, right. But guess what. That's what I picked. There's another Boston breeder out there that's fed Purina for 40 years and has had dogs live to 18 years old and has never switched brands. She's never needed to. When you look at the Purina choices, they do offer quite a selection. Of course you have the original Purina Dog and Puppy Chow you can easily find at the grocery store. You have the middle range Purina Pro Plan and of course the upper range being the Grain Free Pro Plan.
I chose a couple of Pro Plans. The first was Pro Plan Focus - Small Bites Lamb and Rice and then I wanted to find something I could get in a 50 pound bag so I chose Pro Plan Sport - Chicken 30/20. I've never EVER fed my dogs a chicken based food. I heard Bostons could have chicken allergies so I steered clear. But I threw out everything I had thought to be true and dove in head first.
Can I say this first: their poop is AMAZING!! Sure somedays some will have a little softer poop than normal (usually when they sneak a potato chip or 2), but for the most part they are all perfect and consistent! I love it. The food appears so much fresher than Sport Dog Food. Their coats are so soft! They feel so nice! Yeti appeared to have had some tear stains going on and they since gone away.
They do however still have gas, and lots of it. I'll take the gas any day over mushy poop.
Ultimately, the lesson I've learned is this. Feed your dog what works for you. Sometimes you can't focus on all the ingredients and all the hype because you need to look at your dog and see their results.
Will Pro Plan work for you? I don't know. All I know is that it's working for me.
These are the 2 kinds I use. I actually mix half and half so they eat both.
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