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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an 8 month old Australian Shepherd named Cosmo. He has very dry fur and skin, which we've been dealing with for most of his life. He chews on himself a lot and if you part the fur, near the root appears a lightish brown (he's black) and it seems brittle. It doesn't appear on the front of him for the most part, such as the side of his front legs, his fluffy mane, his face, and his chest. All of that has been fairly soft, except between his shoulder blades for a while where the fur itself appeared dry which I think was because the dog park we got to is very dusty and he likes to romp and roll around with his dog friends.

At first, I thought he was just losing his puppy fur (my grandpa's dog looked weird and her hair was short up until she was about 6 months old) however he is almost a year old and it's pretty obvious it's simply dry. Before I make an expensive trip to the visit I wanted to try to see if it's the most common problem - allergies.

The food that I was feeding him had corn and wheat in it, which the other dog in the house (my grandpa's) does absolutely fine with. However those are extremely common allergens for dogs with allergies, so I took a quick trip to wal mart and in order to give him the best test run for food and relieving his dry skin, I decided to go with those slice and serve rolls in the doggy fridges in the dog aisle.

I chose Freshpet, because the all natural ingredients of brown rice, beef, carrots, and peas was very intriguing and sounded healthy!

So far I can't tell much improvement because we just started three days ago, but I wanted to know if anyone else feeds their dog Freshpet and what they think of it! I read some reviews and some people say it made their dog sick. Three days later Cosmo doesn't seem to be sick or anything, so I think he's okay with that sort of thing.

Does anyone feed this or similar products to their dog? Would they recommend it? Or should I switch to something else?

Thanks in advance!!
 

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I don't feed it to my dog as her day-to-day food, but I do buy both their treats and FreshPet Select to use for rewards. I've never had any problems with it, my dog loves it, and it was originally recommended by my trainer for a convenient higher value reward. I'd say give it the amount of time you'd give any food to see how he does on it before deciding if you want to stick with it.

What were you feeding him before?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the advice! He seem to like it a lot so I think I'll stick with it for a few weeks to see how he does :)

He's been on multiple foods because he's a bit of a finicky eater, the first was Blue Buffalo, but that gave him horrible diarrhea for some reason on both of the types we tried from the same brand. The second was Whole Earth Farms from petco and it was natural and everything, but Cosmo absolutely refused to eat it. It was so frustrated because the bag was so expensive, I think about 37 dollars, and I still have some because he won't eat it and that was a couple months ago.

The recent one, which I think has been causing a lot of the problem, was a brand I didn't know the name of until recently because my grandparents fed it to their dog and they dump it all in a huge container and toss out the bag for storage purposes. They didn't remember the name and Cosmo absolutely loved it, so after the nightmare with trying to force feed him Whole Earth I decided to just let him eat that. Well it turns out it was Ol Roy, which is an extremely cheap Wal Mart brand that they buy for their dog because she has a stomach of steel and nothing phases her (she's a lab). They don't have a lot of money so it works for them and their dog, but Ol Roy is not a good food and when I read the ingredients I ran to the pet store to grab some Fresh Pet that day because it's such a terrible brand. Even reviews online are awful.

So no more trusting my grandparents judgement, now I just have to clean up the mess that it's caused with his health.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Oh! I forgot to mention that Cosmo's eyes are also red a lot of the time, so I was wondering if maybe it's an outside allergen? Sometimes his eyes are so red he looks high or something haha, and sometimes they look normal. This could be a food allergen problem I guess, red eyes is just usually a pollen thing in humans so I thought maybe that might be the case for Cosmo. Which would be a pain because it would be a much harder thing to control.
 

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If this was my dog, I'd go grain free so that FreshPet is out, unless they make a grainfree option. Since you don't know whats causing this, I'd steer clear of chicken. I'd try a limited ingredient food: Natures Variety Instinct LID, Canidae pure, Canine Caviar are some options. I'd choose a fish based food.
 

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If this was my dog, I'd go grain free so that FreshPet is out, unless they make a grainfree option. Since you don't know whats causing this, I'd steer clear of chicken. I'd try a limited ingredient food: Natures Variety Instinct LID, Canidae pure, Canine Caviar are some options. I'd choose a fish based food.
Agreed. Instead of going to Walmart, I'd recommend going to a Petsmart or other pet store in order to see what options are available for grain-free and chicken-free food.

I think it will take at least a few weeks for any viable results to show themselves.
 

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If you need to shop at WalMart, then I suggest Pure Balance Grain Free.

Tractor Supply is a good place for affordable food and mine at least carries Earthborn Holistic grain free which has a couple formulas without chicken or turkey.
 

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You can also order from chewy.com, which has basically everything. My dog does have problems with grains, and rice is a grain. I feed him Acana, which has chicken free formulas, and he loves it.

Dogs love Ol Roy for the same reason people love McDonalds. It's not at all good for you, but it is tasty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you for all of your help! I just started working a new job and I'm beginning a second soon so its Wall Mart for now, (I won't be buying any other food there after Freshpet, however) and since I already started him on Freshpet I think we're going to go ahead and finish out the two rolls we bought to see if that makes a difference (no sense in avoiding rice to me if he's not allergic to it) If his condition does not improve, I'll be working two jobs and by 2-3 weeks time I'll have plenty of money to buy him grain free, thank you for the suggestion! I forgot about grains being a problem. I don't think chicken is the problem but it's worth a shot, not that hard to just choose lamb or duck flavors.

Also as for fish he eats a lot of mackerel with his breakfast every other day, but I am having a hard time finding fish online that would also be good for him. Someone told me salmon is a bit iffy but it's expensive anyway. If anyone could give me a short list so I could have an idea of fish that's safe for dogs (bones being a particular concern of mine) that would be great! Mackerel bones are soft and Cosmo has no problem eating those.
 

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Thank you for all of your help! I just started working a new job and I'm beginning a second soon so its Wall Mart for now, (I won't be buying any other food there after Freshpet, however) and since I already started him on Freshpet I think we're going to go ahead and finish out the two rolls we bought to see if that makes a difference (no sense in avoiding rice to me if he's not allergic to it) If his condition does not improve, I'll be working two jobs and by 2-3 weeks time I'll have plenty of money to buy him grain free, thank you for the suggestion! I forgot about grains being a problem. I don't think chicken is the problem but it's worth a shot, not that hard to just choose lamb or duck flavors.

Also as for fish he eats a lot of mackerel with his breakfast every other day, but I am having a hard time finding fish online that would also be good for him. Someone told me salmon is a bit iffy but it's expensive anyway. If anyone could give me a short list so I could have an idea of fish that's safe for dogs (bones being a particular concern of mine) that would be great! Mackerel bones are soft and Cosmo has no problem eating those.
Not all dogs have problems with grains, and some do better with grains in their diets, so if Cosmo is doing well, Freshpet is fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
It's not that much more expensive for grain free Freshpet, so this may be another option. I just don't want to avoid it if it's not necessary, because Cosmo gets lots of things in his meals for dinner (oatmeal, plain yogurt, mackerel, raw carrots, cooked peas, raw eggs, etc) and brown rice is one of them that he likes a lot.
 

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Just a FYI ... in case Fresh pet doesn't work out.

You should try smaller bags first and if you know what you may want to feed in dry foods you may be able to get samples from the company. I have been given samples from both a pet food store and from a manufacturer fee of charge.

If you can't get samples a 5 lb bag of dog food is around $15 vs $37 for larger sizes and is easier on the mind to throw away.

I'll second chewy.com but they have a $49 free shipping policy which is easy to hit once you know what you need and want.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The petco here literally only has huge bags of anything but Blue Buffalo and it's pretty overpriced :/ Blue buffalo gives him diarrhea too but I think I mentioned that. I could try samples! That would be nice:) thank you for the suggestion. I've heard mixed things about Kirkland brand dog foods , but the first five ingredients in my boyfriends moms bag is chicken, chicken meal, eggs, oatmeal, and brown rice so that's pretty good as far as food goes to me. Also no corn so that's an option I was considering that's not as pricy.
 

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I buy it as like, a kong filler, or treats, if I tried to feed it to two dogs as their sole source of food I'd be broke!!! Look for a good dry kibble that is grain free and has no corn, wheat, soy, yeast, etc (even some high end kibble brands have yeast culture in them so you will have to read the ingredients carefully). My boy is sensitive, digestively, so I have to watch how much meat protein a food has (too rich and he will have blowouts haha). I was feeding earthborn holistic, but they got too pricy, so we are starting pro pac ultimates grain free.

Here is a list of brands I would feel comfortable feeding:

Quite affordable:
Pro pac
Victor
4 health (TSCs brand)
Holistic select
taste of the wild (if it doesnt bother you that it is made by diamond)
the honest kitchen

slightly more pricy but still doable:
earthborn
natures variety
back to basics

good but EXPENSIVE!
Orijin
Acana
Wellness


You can also check out www.dogfoodadvisor.com I know, I know, the guy is a dentist, but it is a good springboard for research.
 

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The petco here literally only has huge bags of anything but Blue Buffalo and it's pretty overpriced :/ Blue buffalo gives him diarrhea too but I think I mentioned that. I could try samples! That would be nice:) thank you for the suggestion. I've heard mixed things about Kirkland brand dog foods , but the first five ingredients in my boyfriends moms bag is chicken, chicken meal, eggs, oatmeal, and brown rice so that's pretty good as far as food goes to me. Also no corn so that's an option I was considering that's not as pricy.
I feed Kirkland and my dogs do well on it. It's not top of the line, the absolute best, but it's a quality food I can comfortably afford while feeding 480 lbs of dog.

You should of course ask first, but my local Petsmarts have money-back guarantees on any of the food they sell. You can literally buy the smallest bag they have, feed it for a few days, and if you don't like it, take it back. 3/4s of the bag can't be gone, of course, but I think that's a company-wide thing.
 

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I feed Kirkland and my dogs do well on it. It's not top of the line, the absolute best, but it's a quality food I can comfortably afford while feeding 480 lbs of dog.

You should of course ask first, but my local Petsmarts have money-back guarantees on any of the food they sell. You can literally buy the smallest bag they have, feed it for a few days, and if you don't like it, take it back. 3/4s of the bag can't be gone, of course, but I think that's a company-wide thing.
Oh yes, Kirkland, I forgot to name that one!
 

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My friend feeds it to her JRTs and loves it.
 

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Walmart should also have Purina One Beyond (our Target does at least). It's a pretty decent food, grain free, and there's a fish version I believe. But it's not cheap really.

Taste of the Wild is pretty cheap at Tractor Supply and it worked well for our finicky stomach dog.
 
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