Big problems with Orijen & Acana
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Thread: Big problems with Orijen & Acana

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    Big problems with Orijen & Acana

    Hello all,

    My 6-month old yellow lab (Ajax) has been having problems with very soft stools, bad gas, and bad eye goop for pretty much his entire life life. I have been looking for the causes of these symptoms and i'm almost certain it is being caused by his food.

    When I first brought Ajax home, he was on Eukanuba puppy food for about a month. He was fine on it; normal stools, no gas, no eye goop. After going to the local pet store to get some more, the lady there almost strung me up for using such an inferior product and got me to switch over to high quality Orijen. I slowly switched him over, throughout the course of a week. He started developing the symptoms listed above. Rice and boiled ground beef for a week fixes him right up; no problems at all, but when I put him back on the Orijen, the symptoms always came back almost overnight. I have also tried Acana food; It isn't quite as bad as the Orijen was, but it is still causing these issues. Again, rice and ground beef always fixes him up and the symptoms go away after a few days.

    Now I know a lot of people have luck with Origen and Acana, but I don't think the high protein content sits very well with Ajax. I don't think he has any problems with grains or protein in general (Since white rice / boiled beef and/or chicken sit perfectly fine with him) but the extremely high protein content in these brands seem to be too much for him to digest.

    I'm not too keen on going back to an inferior brand such as Eukanuba, but the fact that he is able to digest it properly and not have all these problems is reason enough for me to switch back. In fact, the Orijen/Acana seems to go through im so fast, i'm not even sure if he is digesting the meals properly. He is quite thin for the amount he eats.

    Can anyone please recommend another brand that has a much higher grain / carbohydrate content that might fix Ajax's problems? My vet recommended an insanely expensive vet brand food, which was way out of my budget. For that price I could almost just feed him lobster and caviar!

    Thank you,

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  3. #2
    Senior Member MagicRe's Avatar
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    Re: Big problems with Orijen & Acana

    since your baby does well on a grain food, have you considered wellness?

    my dogs did very well on their lamb/barley/salmon super five mix and we would have tried their fish version had we not gotten giardia...the dogs, not us....which has nothing to do with anything

    we feed raw now, but had we not gone to home cooked after the giardia and then raw, we probably would have stuck with wellness super five.

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    Re: Big problems with Orijen & Acana

    Quote Originally Posted by Cytosol View Post
    Hello all,

    My 6-month old yellow lab (Ajax) has been having problems with very soft stools, bad gas, and bad eye goop for pretty much his entire life life. I have been looking for the causes of these symptoms and i'm almost certain it is being caused by his food.

    When I first brought Ajax home, he was on Eukanuba puppy food for about a month. He was fine on it; normal stools, no gas, no eye goop. After going to the local pet store to get some more, the lady there almost strung me up for using such an inferior product and got me to switch over to high quality Orijen. I slowly switched him over, throughout the course of a week. He started developing the symptoms listed above. Rice and boiled ground beef for a week fixes him right up; no problems at all, but when I put him back on the Orijen, the symptoms always came back almost overnight. I have also tried Acana food; It isn't quite as bad as the Orijen was, but it is still causing these issues. Again, rice and ground beef always fixes him up and the symptoms go away after a few days.

    Now I know a lot of people have luck with Origen and Acana, but I don't think the high protein content sits very well with Ajax. I don't think he has any problems with grains or protein in general (Since white rice / boiled beef and/or chicken sit perfectly fine with him) but the extremely high protein content in these brands seem to be too much for him to digest.

    I'm not too keen on going back to an inferior brand such as Eukanuba, but the fact that he is able to digest it properly and not have all these problems is reason enough for me to switch back. In fact, the Orijen/Acana seems to go through im so fast, i'm not even sure if he is digesting the meals properly. He is quite thin for the amount he eats.

    Can anyone please recommend another brand that has a much higher grain / carbohydrate content that might fix Ajax's problems? My vet recommended an insanely expensive vet brand food, which was way out of my budget. For that price I could almost just feed him lobster and caviar!

    Thank you,
    I would bet my bottom dollar that you are feeding too much . Eukanuba Puppy has 361 calories per cup, Orijen Puppy 480. If you are feeding the same amout of Orijen as Eukanuba it is way too much. I'm guessing from the age of your dog and the average size of a lab at that age that he needs about 1500 calories a day (about 4 cups of Eukanuba and about 3 cups of Orijen). Of course this is just a guideline and it could be more and could be less, depending on the weight, metabolism and activity level of your dog, but he needs at least 25% less Orijen than Eukanuba. Loose stools is a sure sign of overfeeding in a healthy dog.

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    Re: Big problems with Orijen & Acana

    I thought the same thing - I tried feeding both according to the guidelines, as well as 25% less than the guidelines, with no change in result.. When I fed him less, he just scratched at his bowl and carried it around in his mouth expecting more food.

    I can't remember what I was giving him for orijen, but for the Acana large breed puppy food he is currently having, he is getting 4 cups a day verus the 4 1/2 cups as per the food bag.

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    Re: Big problems with Orijen & Acana

    i personally never had much luck with orijen for my puppy when it was younger.

    stools were very soft, but not watery diarrhea. so i switched it to wellness just for puppy, and then blue buffalo (to rotate around foods), and it did very well.

    now my dog is 1 year old, and i went back to orijen, and the stools are hard, firm and basically good.

    i am guessing the food might be too rich for a puppy at times, especially if your dog is indoors most of the time and do not exercise that much. the grain-free thing might be another cause as well, since grains are basically fiber to firm the stool.

    in the meantime, you can consider innova (not evo, but just innova), wellness, blue buffalo, holistic select (same company as wellness), merrick, etc. they're all good brands!

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    Re: Big problems with Orijen & Acana

    Don't give up on the Orijen....don't go by the guidelines on the bag. I am feeding my 5 mo old Alapaha Bulldog 1/2 cup in the morn, and 1/2 cup in the eve. I was feeding 1 cup morn & eve (2 cups) and had the same problem!

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    Senior Member lucidity's Avatar
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    Re: Big problems with Orijen & Acana

    I think you are feeding too much. If the bag says feed 4 cups, go with 3. If it says 3, go with 2 or 2.5.

    When my pup was on Orijen, it said to feed him 3/4-1cup a day, but he only ate 1/2 cup a day and was fine. If I ever overfed him, his stool would be soft and mushy bordering on diarrhea.
    Lucidity's Papillons & Cavaliers

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    Re: Big problems with Orijen & Acana

    So how inferior was the food you were on now? If it's not broke don't fix it.

    The dog was doing fine on the food originally fed then you took the advice of a store owner or employee who wanted to sell you a more profitable food.

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    Re: Big problems with Orijen & Acana

    Quote Originally Posted by Cytosol View Post
    I thought the same thing - I tried feeding both according to the guidelines, as well as 25% less than the guidelines, with no change in result.. When I fed him less, he just scratched at his bowl and carried it around in his mouth expecting more food.

    I can't remember what I was giving him for orijen, but for the Acana large breed puppy food he is currently having, he is getting 4 cups a day verus the 4 1/2 cups as per the food bag.
    I think still too much. 25% less than 4.5 is about 3 1/3. You can't let the dog decide. My Bichon has been eating HALF what the bag says he should get for two years!!!! he weighs 17 pounds and gets 1/4 cup twice a day. The bag says he should be getting 1 1/4 cups per day. He has maintained his weight and is in perfect health. He also acts as if he is starving to death. Most dogs will eat about as much as you will give them. That is why there are so many overweight dogs and why they die much sooner than they should. Much better that they be a little underweight than overweight.

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    Re: Big problems with Orijen & Acana

    Quote Originally Posted by alapaha View Post
    Don't give up on the Orijen....don't go by the guidelines on the bag. I am feeding my 5 mo old Alapaha Bulldog 1/2 cup in the morn, and 1/2 cup in the eve. I was feeding 1 cup morn & eve (2 cups) and had the same problem!
    Unfortunately, I had to "give up" on a lot of really, really good foods for one of my dogs. Quite simply, they didn't agree with him. Constant diarrhea and crappy skin/coat wasn't good enough for me, just so I could say I fed "A+" brand. I think the OP has cut back on the amount of food she's feeding her dog, and even though I think Orijen is one of the the most top quality kibbles out there, it doesn't sound like the food is agreeing with *HER* dog.
    My dog was on several kinds of food over a long period of time, trying to pinpoint exactly what his problem was. He was on a brand at one time that his litter mate brother was also on, and his brother looked FANTASTIC, and my dog looked skinny and mangy. Great food, but not great for my dog

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    Re: Big problems with Orijen & Acana

    You could try Wellness Super 5 mix. It's normal protein levels with some good grains like brown rice for carbs.

    I've personally had the most success with both Orijen and Acana but some dogs don't and I understand that. How long did you keep him on the Orijen or Acana? Some dogs take up to a month to adjust to a food before they're settled.

    If you don't want to keep trying with Orijen and Acana you could try Blue Buffalo as well. Other choices are Solid Gold, Fromm, Merrick(another great food, on my top 10 list).

    Acana is actually not a very high protein food, it's quite moderate but the ones I suggested have even lower protein levels. Usually around 22-28% compared to the 32-34% of Acana and 38-40% of Orijen.

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    Re: Big problems with Orijen & Acana

    I wouldn't go back to Eukanuba that's for sure. Your dog doesn't like the high protein because either he is not used to it or his body just doesn't want to accept so much. What flavors of Acana have you tried? If you try the Lamb and Apple one, I think it might work, because they have pumpkin in it and pumpkin is used to firm stools up. The only grain it has is Oat. But it could be that your dog wants the foods with grains in it. Try another one that isn't grain-free. The Acana formulas aren't that high in protein. You could try Merricks. That might get his stool firmed up. Something like Grammy's Pot Pie, is has organic ingredients too. All a whole lot better than going back to Ewyuckanuba.

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    Re: Big problems with Orijen & Acana

    Thanks for all the suggestions! This really got me going on the right track.

    I went to the small local pet food store (NOT Petsmart this time), and they didn't have most of the brands that were suggested. And a lot of the brands they did have were way overpriced.

    However, they highly recommended a brand called HealthWise, which is a budget 'premium' dog food. The main ingredient was Chicken Meal, then oats, then brown rice. They said this food helps dogs with sensitive stomachs. Apparently it's made by Natura, the same company that does Innova and California Natural

    I gave him 1/4 the new food, and 3/4 the old last night. This morning I was pleased to see he had a very normal stool, something he hasn't had in months! I didn't think it would work this quickly, but this new food seems to be great. Best of all, it is extremely cheap! Only about $40 for a 30-pound bag, instead of $65 for a 30-pound bag of Orijen (Canadian). I'm hoping this is the way to go. I guess I will see over the next couple weeks if this is the way to go or not!

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    Re: Big problems with Orijen & Acana

    Healthwise is/was a great food but just be careful though. Natura Pets was recently bought by Proctor and Gamble.

    Here's the thread that we were talking about it and many people mentioned they won't be feeding Innova/Evo/California Natural/Healthwise anymore.

    http://www.dogforums.com/5-dog-food-...es-natura.html (Proctor & Gamble purchases Natura..)

    Proctor and Gamble is the same company that makes Eukanuba and Iams.

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    Re: Big problems with Orijen & Acana

    I switched as soon as I heard the news that P & G bought out Natura. My dogs poops were getting mushy, one's fur was full of dander, and he was shedding all over the place. Switched to Orijen 2 weeks ago, and no more shedding, and no dander, and perfect poops.

    Remember the old saying " You get what you pay for". This is an animal's heath that is on the line. I want them around for a long, long, time.

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    Re: Big problems with Orijen & Acana

    Quote Originally Posted by alapaha View Post
    I switched as soon as I heard the news that P & G bought out Natura. My dogs poops were getting mushy, one's fur was full of dander, and he was shedding all over the place. Switched to Orijen 2 weeks ago, and no more shedding, and no dander, and perfect poops.

    Remember the old saying " You get what you pay for". This is an animal's heath that is on the line. I want them around for a long, long, time.
    I'm not sure but are you saying that your dogs had mushy poop, coats with dander and alot of shedding and this happened after the Natura pet sale? If yes, it wasn't the food. They haven't changed anything yet.

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    Re: Big problems with Orijen & Acana

    Quote Originally Posted by InkedMarie View Post
    I'm not sure but are you saying that your dogs had mushy poop, coats with dander and alot of shedding and this happened after the Natura pet sale? If yes, it wasn't the food. They haven't changed anything yet.
    Yeah, I was just thinking the same thing. The acquisition happened only a few weeks ago, and none of the ingredients have been changed. Even if the ingredients were changed, it would take months for the new 'bad' food to even reach the shelves.

    Not to accuse anyone of anything, but I notice people are very quick to blame dog food when anything wrong happens with their dogs even though there are dozens of other variables that can affect the health of a dog.

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    Re: Big problems with Orijen & Acana

    Just a follow-up, Ajax has been on this food for 3 days and is doing awesome! He is half HealthWise and half Acana (which I am using up the rest of since the stuff was so damn expensive). He has twice daily, perfectly normal and solid bowel movements, absolutely no gas, and as an added surprise, his constant eye goop has completely gone away! Usually I need to wipe him up when he wakes up in the morning, but this morning he had absolutely NONE. It is fantastic!

    My vet convinced me his eye goop was caused by allergies, but it appears to be just his food (or maybe he is allergic to something in his food). Nonetheless, I am going to stick with this stuff. It's great!

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