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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all! Happy hump day :)

So I have a question... I have my 2 boys, and one of them seems to be experiencing allergies which have been causing him some gnarly ear infections. We've been to the vet and he's on medication to get rid of his current infection but while I was there I was talking to my vet about the food he's on and while she said that it's more likely that his allergies are environmental she did mention that the brand of food he's on, being that it's a grocery store brand (President's Choice Grain Free Salmon and Sweet Potato) the ingredients could be of a lower quality than pet store brands and it may not be as rich in nutrients. Before feeding the President's Choice food I had fed Acana/Orijen only and had switched to President's Choice for the attractive price tag. The ingredients are perfectly fine in the President's Choice food but I have thought about it and have decided to try a different food. I picked up a sample of the grain free Nutrience ocean fish formula and the boys both really really liked it (much more than their normal food) and I've been doing some research on the nutrience food and have decided that's what I'd like to try.

Now, the food I would like to put them on is the Nutrience SubZero Grain Free Fish Formula. However, this food has freeze-dried raw in it and I've heard from a lot of well-informed people that feeding raw mixed with kibble can sometimes result in digestive complications - so is freeze dried raw the same or will this food be safe for my boys?

Also, just as a side note; I really do trust my vet's judgement and don't think that she recommended against President's Choice just to cost me more money. She's always been an honest and fair vet and I've met many that I can't say the same for. I would have asked her about freeze dried raw but I forgot. I did ask her about raw and she recommended against it from a veterinary standpoint on the basis of bacterial concerns and supplementary concerns/thyroid concerns, which all made sense to me, but in the end said that if I wanted to put the boys on raw I could as long as I was willing to put the work in and ensure I do enough research to avoid causing health problems for my dogs. I have already decided against raw and thought this would be a happy middle where the boys can have a little extra something in their kibble. I also plan on adding some veggies/fruits/pumpkin puree to their food for their digestive health and enjoyment.

Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing all of your thoughts!
 

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If you suspect food allergies, you general want to use a single protein formula and use only that same protein for treats during the food trial. Then you can add one item at a time slowly to see if the dog reacts. So if for example, the problem in that food is pumpkin and you add pumpkin as a treat, you don't know if the new food isn't working or if its something you are adding.
Generally, people switch to a new protein and a new carb source.

There is a lot of ingredient splitting in the SubZero food, i.e. salmon and salmon meal, herring and herring meal, hake and hake meal. So the actual amounts of fish protein in the food may be much lower than suggested by the order of the ingredients. Since it then has peas, lentils and chickpeas which are high in protein they are likely contributing a fair amount to the total protein percentage. Whereas at least by the ingredient list, the Presidents Choice appears to have less ingredient splitting and fewer plant based protein sources so it likely has more fish protein.

I wouldn't worry at all about the freeze dried raw, but I think its separate from your search for a new food that might fix the ear infection issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi Shell! Thank you for replying to me :). We actually suspect that the allergy causing the ear infections is environmental, my vet said that most of the time it's an environmental issue. But if he gets another ear infection after this one we'll be putting him on hypoallergenic food for 2 months. If that fixes the ear issues, then we'll know that it's food related and can begin adding different things into his diet slowly.

So, you don't think the subzero formula would be a good quality food? I was leaning towards nutrience because they seem to have no recalls in their history of producing dog food, and because the boys liked it so much and I'm sure they would thoroughly enjoy the little freeze-dried bits. The food also has a 5/5 rating on dog food advisor which I've always used to gauge the quality of a food.

If you think there may be other brands that are better/safer for them please let me know :) I am totally open to suggestion. I am in Canada and price isn't a huge factor at this point.

The only thing I'm thinking is it would have to be a senior friendly formula because my other boy (who is allergic to nothing and has a stomach of steel) is 8 ish years old and I want to keep him healthy and happy as long as possible.

They're both at a healthy weight and exercise regularly. I've almost always fed fish based foods, and for a short time I fed a lamb and apple formula which my younger didn't seem too fond of.
 

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Hello there! My sister actually works for Nutrience, so we often feed the food (when I am not feeding raw).

I have personally had a good experience with the food and know that the ingredients parallel Acana or Orijen.

If your dog's allergies are environmental I do not see the harm in trying out the SubZero formula!

My dog loved the freeze dried samples we got ;)
 

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I don't think there is anything wrong with the Subzero, just that it wouldn't be my choice for a food allergy trial. If you simply want to try it because the dogs seem to like it more and it has no recalls, then go for it.

I don't like most "senior" foods because most of them have less protein than regular all-life-stages or adult formulas but seniors actually need more protein, not less.
 

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Oh lovely! Would you happen to know if they get their ingredients form within Canada? I know that the food is made in Canada but I can't seem to find any info on where the ingredients are from (sorry, tad paranoid). If not it's okay - just thought I would ask :)
 

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Yeah, I wasn't planning on switching him to a senior specific food at all, just looking for an "all life stages" type of thing. That's interesting about the protein though, I didn't know they require more.
 

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The dog food world can be so confusing, haha. There's so much information floating around. I just want to make sure I'm doing right by my boys.
 

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Oh lovely! Would you happen to know if they get their ingredients form within Canada? I know that the food is made in Canada but I can't seem to find any info on where the ingredients are from (sorry, tad paranoid). If not it's okay - just thought I would ask :)
Most of the meats are from Canada. Duck is from Europe and lamb is from NZ. And then there are things like coconut oil which just doesn't grow in Canada so not from here obv haha! Vitamins are from USA (components may be from China but this is the case for all dog foods -- they are sourced from factories that must pass EU standards, however, so they are pretty reputable)

If you contact them directly they are more than happy to answer your questions ^_^

ETA:
My sister just informed me that Subzero is completely 100% North American ingredients and made in BC, Canada.
 

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Most of the meats are from Canada. Duck is from Europe and lamb is from NZ. And then there are things like coconut oil which just doesn't grow in Canada so not from here obv haha! Vitamins are from USA (components may be from China but this is the case for all dog foods -- they are sourced from factories that must pass EU standards, however, so they are pretty reputable)

If you contact them directly they are more than happy to answer your questions ^_^
Thanks so much taquitos :) I appreciate the information.
 
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