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  1. #21
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    Jun. 24, 2005
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    Montgomery County, Maryland
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    27

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    My Lab has done far better on the Smart Pak food then he did on the Canidae and a couple of others I tried (skin issues). I don't know where some of you shop, but at the stores in my area, Canidae and the other premium foods by the large bag are quite a bit more expensive than the portion controlled, fresh Smart Pak brand food.



  2. #22
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    Sep. 25, 2005
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    The Land of the Frozen
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cavan View Post
    My Lab has done far better on the Smart Pak food then he did on the Canidae and a couple of others I tried (skin issues). I don't know where some of you shop, but at the stores in my area, Canidae and the other premium foods by the large bag are quite a bit more expensive than the portion controlled, fresh Smart Pak brand food.
    The TOTW that I feed is cheaper than the large bags of Smart Pak food. The Fromm is a few dollars more expensive.



  3. #23
    Join Date
    May. 22, 2003
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    9,625

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cavan View Post
    My Lab has done far better on the Smart Pak food then he did on the Canidae and a couple of others I tried (skin issues). I don't know where some of you shop, but at the stores in my area, Canidae and the other premium foods by the large bag are quite a bit more expensive than the portion controlled, fresh Smart Pak brand food.
    I can get a 35 lb bag of Canidae All Life Stages for anywhere from $40-50 depending on the store, even less if if I buy online PetFoodDirect is having a sale. (Right now, it's about $35 for a 35-lb bag there, so even with shipping to me it's about $47.) With a coupon at PetNetDirect.com a 35-lb bag costs me $44 including shipping. Also, my pet store has a special on Canidae where every 13th bag is free.

    The LiveSmart Chicken and Brown Rice formula is $43.95 for a 30-lb bag. Plus shipping (though SmartPak frequently has free-shipping codes).

    As an aside not related to the poster I quoted:

    I'm not saying the SmartPak food is crap, nor am I saying I feed the best dog food on the planet. We all feed what works best for us. Formulas vary, even among premium dog food brands. What works for one dog doesn't work for another. Just because a dog does or doesn't do well on a food doesn't mean that another dog can't do great on it.

    I just feel that for me, there are better dog food choices in the same price range. Others feel the same way about what I feed, I'm sure. To each his own.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Oct. 1, 2004
    Location
    Magnolia, TX
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    5,548

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phaxxton View Post
    Hmm, interesting! I guess all of the stores are different. I feed Canidae and I have never found it in any of the Petco stores near either of our homes... And I was in Petco yesterday. Most of what the stores near me carry is crap. I'm glad they aren't all that way.
    It probably depends on the local market. The PetCo near me carries almost exclusively premium brands. There's only one aisle for the Nutro, Purina, Iams, etc. They've really stepped up to the plate with healthy treats, too. I feed grain-free (unless you have a severe sinus blockage, you don't want to be within a 1-mile radius of the TurboMutt if she's eaten any grain ), and it's nice to have a variety of natural jerkies and freeze-dried treats to choose from.

    Now PetSmart... that's a different story. They never have any of the good stuff.
    Jer 29: 11-13



  5. #25
    Join Date
    Feb. 10, 2009
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    576

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    Well, I guess now I have a new decision to make!

    My lab is itchy. He's currently getting Wild Salmon Oil as a top dressing on Authority Large Breed Weight Management Lamb & Rice. He's also, as I said before, a food bolter/bloater. Add to that his digestive issues - he has runny stool.

    When he was a puppy and until about 2 years ago I had him on Nutro Natural Lamb & Rice Large Breed. Then I lost my job, and I couldn't quite afford Nutro Natural anymore, so he ate crap for a while.

    I still am stretching to afford something more expensive, but he's itchy enough that he needs it. He doesn't have fleas (he's on sentinel, we've fogged the house, and he's had capstar. no fleas) but still continues to be itchy. This was controlled with salmon oil until he got fleas in October from the beach house where we stayed.

    I'm thinking that instead of paying $20 every 6 weeks for salmon oil in addition to $35 for food, that I could just do the food instead and it would be a tiny bit more, but not itching is worth that.

    I've tried bathing him with t-gel shampoo, etc as well.

    So, gurus.... what feed do you recommend for an itchy lab who has firmer stool on the weight-management feed that I've tried (his weight is good, we just went with the less-rich food and it seemed to even things out for him digestively).

    Side note, StGermain - EFFING BRILLIANT. I am going to try that muffin pan rig and see what happens!



  6. #26
    Join Date
    Sep. 25, 2005
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    The Land of the Frozen
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    I'm sure people get sick of hearing my itchy dog story....but....

    One of my mutts had become so itchy and raw he was getting steroid injections and orally repeatedly. Didn't help. Vet gave us perscription shampoo, didn't help. Sprays, soaks, lotions, nothing helped. That poor mutt rubbed and itched himself so raw he had open sores on his head. Vet put him on Science Diet Z/D Ultra and he could not have ANY treats - not even a piece of cheese - nothing. For treats I would slice up the cans of Z/D and bake it in the oven til it was a hard rubbery texture. We did cortizone and prednizone. The dog ended up living with a cone on his head and even still he would flop down on the gravel or on the carpet and rub until his hair came out. He had bald patches.

    I kept up with this nightmare for a whole year and he did NOT improve. His skin was peeling and flaking off and it was so gross I had to wash his bed every couple of days. You couldn't hardly pet him he was so gross, and it was embarassing to have people come over. I was really ashamed to admit I lived with that thing in my house.

    Finally I said screw it and bought him the grain free Fromm and switched him over. The vet said NO, this was a terrible idea. He did NOT recommend it at all.

    Well, it's what - like 5 years later now, and the dog has had no more problem.

    Corn, wheat, and beet pulp are cheap fillers, and known allergens in dogs. From that point on I only bought the high end Fromm and eventually started buying Taste of the Wild also, and the dog has had no more problem. I had also made a point to choose a novel protein source instead of a food with the standard chicken and beef in it, as dogs commonly develop allergies to proteins they are accustomed to. His coat is glossy and shiny, healthy, and as another bonus, he has not had his anal glands expressed since, and that used to be an absolute necessity on a regular basis.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Oct. 1, 2004
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    Magnolia, TX
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    Quote Originally Posted by evans36 View Post
    I'm thinking that instead of paying $20 every 6 weeks for salmon oil in addition to $35 for food, that I could just do the food instead and it would be a tiny bit more, but not itching is worth that.
    PetCo usually has a PALS card price around $48 for a 28-lb bag of the grain-free Natural Balance. You could start there. They have that "buy 10, get one" deal if you buy 10 bags of the same brand within a 12-month time frame.

    I alternate between NB and Wellness Core. I think the Core is around $52 for a 26-lb bag. Core contains chicken and turkey though, which are also fairly common allergens. In addition to opting out of grains for an itchy dog, I'd stay away from the common meat sources (beef, chicken, lamb) as well.

    I wouldn't necessarily view the runny stools and itchiness as separate issues. Odds are high that when you fix whatever it is that causes him to itch, his digestive troubles will clear up as well. Unhappy tummies often go hand in hand with food allergies.
    Jer 29: 11-13



  8. #28
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2003
    Location
    NorthEast
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    24,515

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    Finally I said screw it and bought him the grain free Fromm and switched him over. The vet said NO, this was a terrible idea. He did NOT recommend it at all.
    Same exact thing happened with your cat. Health issues, SD prescribed by vet, almost killed cat, asked about switching to raw diet and vet told you no but you switched anyway and saved your cat's life.

    And the same thing happpened 5 years earlier with a dog?

    Seriously...you need new vets in your area. Sounds like there are dozens from the mutliple vet posts and not a single competent one in large or small animal practice.

    Those statistics are scary.
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte



  9. #29
    Join Date
    Feb. 10, 2009
    Posts
    576

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    Update - I bought a small bag of Taste of the Wild this morning (to make sure he liked the food before I dropped $43). Fed his breakfast feeding subbing 1/4c TOTW for old food - dog actually chewed it more than I have ever seen him chew. So unexpected - I was planning to go to Target this afternoon and buy a muffin tin, but maybe the taste of the new one is better so it's not like he has to bolt it past his mouth or something... who knows? But I am looking forward to seeing improvement Thanks everyone!!



  10. #30

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    Hi Auventura Two. Good news, you [I]can[I] like SmartPak dog food too! As a veterinarian for nearly 15 years, I have always been taught (and am now teaching) that dogs are OMNIVOROUS, not carnivorous. In fact, they need a ratio of carbs to protein at 2 or 3:1! Beet pulp (especially without the sugar), oats and barley are terrific fillers! No, I do not work for the company, but have been doing a lot of research lately to not only teach my students appropriately, but also to see if I can find a food that I like as much as Royal Canin, that may be less expensive now that I am no longer living on a veterinarian's salary. I can't say I'm sold yet on SmartPak, I have a bit more research to do (like, where is there food made... It might be made in the same factory as Blue -not my favorite- or even Pedigree), but I'm hoping to find a food that has the same quality, proven ingredients, and evidence based research behind it as Royal Canin does (no, I don't work for them either). My point is, before you start bashing anything, food, company, person, make sure you have the FACTS to support you. Guess what? Corn is not the biggest cause of food allergies or sensitivities either, the food companies would just like to take advantage of the average consumers' lack of education on the subject. And finally, beware the food companies who practice "ingredient splitting" they are the ones with something to hide!


    2 members found this post helpful.

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Oct. 21, 2008
    Location
    Little Rock and Boxley, Arkansas
    Posts
    327

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    My border collie used to scratch himself constantly when I fed him Nutro. When I switched to grain-free Taste of the Wild, he got so much better. I realize that one more anecdote does not make for good science but it is serves for my purposes.

    Dogs are carnivores. Maybe not obligate carnivores - we have all seen our dogs eat other things. The family canidae is in the order Carnivora and a review of their teeth shows that they are adapted for flesh eating..


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  12. #32
    Join Date
    Feb. 16, 2012
    Location
    TN
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    501

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    huh I find this thread interesting and I think I'll have my mom read it because they have an itchy dog who is usually on a very expensive "grain free" diet... except for friday night when I was horrified to see my dad feeding him potato chips (I know their not a grain but their not good for him either)

    Anyway, my dog has weight issues and always has, less than 2 cups a day for a 70lb dog :/ I "smartpack" his food myself along with his MSM, Glucosamine, Chondroitin, fish oil, CO Q10, and Jello. He's 4 and has had tendon surgery. ugh. To make my life easier he also has IBD (like mother like dog!) I had had him on a grain free blue buffalo, until I had a friend in vet school offer to get me science diet for practically free, not having a job I had to say yes. His poop has actually been good although he's not as shiny when I talked to my vet he basically said this...

    "I'm not going to tell you exactly what to feed your dog because I don't monitor him every day the way you do, however I will say this, a higher fat content will make him shinier, but it's also hi-fat... not something he needs. So you have a choice do you want the shiny coat and risk him hurting himself again because he's too heavy? He then explained that just because something is thought to be "hypoallergenic" doesn't mean it's so, it may just mean less dogs are on it and therefore there are less reported allergic reactions."

    so I was like okkkkk but science diet look just so crappy.... and he basically said..

    "It may not be the absolute best quality food, however science diet and royal cannin make science diet and royal cannin, all of their food is quality checked and you know your not going to have a Salmonella or similar outbreak. Just because a food says it's grain or beef or chicken free doesn't mean it's not made on the same equipment that uses those ingredients, it's dog food I highly doubt the clean the machinery meticulously and you end up cross contaminating. like I said if it bothers you try something else but at least you know the science diet is safe and he's pooping pretty good"

    I was like O.O holy cow... It still bothers me looking at the label but I haven't switched it....



  13. #33
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2001
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    16,587

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stushica View Post
    "It may not be the absolute best quality food, however science diet and royal cannin make science diet and royal cannin, all of their food is quality checked and you know your not going to have a Salmonella or similar outbreak. Just because a food says it's grain or beef or chicken free doesn't mean it's not made on the same equipment that uses those ingredients, it's dog food I highly doubt the clean the machinery meticulously and you end up cross contaminating. like I said if it bothers you try something else but at least you know the science diet is safe and he's pooping pretty good"
    Science Diet and Royal Canin have both had PLENTY of recalls. In fact, Royal Canin KILLED MY CAT with a food that was later recalled.

    While I will feed Hills (Science Diet) if I have a critter with those specific needs, I will NEVER touch Royal Canin again.



  14. #34
    Join Date
    Jan. 25, 2007
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    742

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    Wow. This thread is almost 2 years old! Anyway my two cents. My daughter feeds Smart Pak dog food and really likes it. The dogs look good and one of them has had a history of allergies. It works well because the portion size is always the same. Her scoop is the same size as her husbands scoop now. It also works well having the serving size packets so when the dogs are here they are fed the same as at home. Our dogs go out in the field and pick their own corn and bring it to the yard to eat so I don't worry about corn in their diet.



  15. #35
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    May. 23, 2009
    Location
    Texas Hill Country
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    When last I looked, SmartPak dog food was made in China.



  16. #36
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    Oct. 21, 2008
    Location
    Little Rock and Boxley, Arkansas
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    327

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    Where that awful faux protein melamine (sp?) was used to adulterate dog food. Killed a bunch as I recall.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese...n_adulteration



  17. #37
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    Aug. 28, 2007
    Location
    Triangle Area, NC
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    Stushica, blue buffal has several grain free, lower fat options for your dog that will have the right omega balance to keep him shiny.
    Look at wilderness weight control for higher protein (what my cat eats)
    Or basics grain free turkey and potato. It's low in calories but designed for food sensitivities. There's also a basics weight control but it does have some healthy grains in there.
    www.destinationconsensusequus.com
    chaque pas est fait ensemble


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  18. #38
    Join Date
    Apr. 9, 2005
    Location
    Colorado
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    1,224

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Crone of Cottonmouth County View Post
    When last I looked, SmartPak dog food was made in China.
    I checked into various dog foods in the summer and Smartpak's dog food is made at a plant in Ohio.



  19. #39
    Join Date
    Jan. 30, 2000
    Location
    SW PA
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    2,237

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    I also thought that Smartpak food used ingredients from China.
    I use Wellness Simple and Lg Breed Puppy. I purchase my foods from PetFlow. Free shipping and lower prices than the store. That said, when I get coupons, I purchase from Petco.
    I don't worry too much about the corn in foods. I live on a dairy farm, so avoiding corn is nearly impossible. The dogs love to snatch a bit here and there from in front of the cows.
    Proud to have two Gold Prince POAs!
    Takaupas Top Gold
    Gifts Black Gold Knight



  20. #40
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    Oct. 27, 2010
    Location
    Midwest
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    My Huskies have been on Taste of the Wild for two years now, and their coats are better quality and I'm feeding less than I did on Purina. The cost actually evens out, since there's less filler and Huskies eat so little. I will say that the pre-packaged SmartPak dog food makes me look forward to babysitting my friends' Huskies - so much easier for the caretaker than measuring or baggies. Then again, that's how SmartPak made its money in the first place, so I shouldn't be surprised.



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