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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking to switch my lab mix puppy to a better food. He is currently eating Purina One. I was told to try Innova but after asking about it here I was thinking it may not be the best option. I looked at Nature's Variety Instinct. It is grain free and seems to rate well. Has anyone tried this food and did you have any problems or complaints? Thank you in advance.
 

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Yes, I've fed it and the dog who ate it did fine on it. It's a good food! Keep in mind that while one dog may do well on a certain food, others may not. As long as you have good ingredients, it doesn't really matter how other dogs do on it. The only thing that matters is how your dog does on it.
 

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Hi princesslpn
I just recently got a papillon puppy and the breeder raises her dogs on nature variety INSTINCT. I would say this is a food food our little guy loves it and again it is wheat free so good on the tummy. We haven't had any problems with him eating it. Though I do have to put a little water in it lol I would personally recommend you trying it out.
 

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I tried Nature's Variety Instinct (salmon) for one of my foster dogs a couple of months ago, I bought the small bags from my vet's office because I wasn't sure how long I would have her and I feed raw to my dogs. The first bag I bought had really small very dark brown sized pieces and she did fine on the food, however the second bag I got a month later of the same exact food, the kibble size was twice as big as the first bag and the color was lighter. From the start of the second bag, my foster didn't do well at all on it. I didn't read anything about any recent company formula changes, but I'm also unsure how much quality can vary between bags and be acceptable. I wish I had saved the first bag so I could have compared expiration dates with the second bag. In any case I ended up switching my foster to Acana (Pacifica) instead, and she was fine on that food.
 

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I've tried Nature's variety Instinct, but am now on Tollden Farms. You can tell just by feeling the food that there's something off about Nature's Variety. Tollden Farms is like real meat texture, but Nature's Variety is a bit gummy? I can't explain it, but my dog definitely eats Tollden Farms with a lot more zest, and it looks tastier to me at least.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I have been feeding Nature's Variety Instinct for the last 4 days. Odin loves it but I thought I would see a decrease in the amount of poop. Instead of 2 times a day while on Purina One he now poops 4-5 times a day and larger amounts. It is well formed but I really hope it decreases.
 

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I have been feeding Nature's Variety Instinct for the last 4 days. Odin loves it but I thought I would see a decrease in the amount of poop. Instead of 2 times a day while on Purina One he now poops 4-5 times a day and larger amounts. It is well formed but I really hope it decreases.
Did you mix the old food with the NV? How much does your dog weigh and how much are you feeding? It's possible you're overfeeding
 

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Discussion Starter #8
No, I did not mix his food and I know I should have. I ran out of the other food and just picked up the NV. He weighs 26 pounds and gets two cups a day. One in the morning and one at night. Like I said the poop is well formed it just is a lot more and more often. Do you think his system will adjust?
 

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The sudden switch to a richer, better food has your dog's stomach upset. You might want to give him a spoonful of pure pumpkin (NOT pie filling) in his food, which will help firm up the stool. You also should be feeding less of the Instinct than you were of Purina One. It's more nutrient dense; therefore your dog needs less of it. Feeding too much food can also cause stomach upset. Another food similar to Instinct is Innova Prime. Both of these foods use tapioca rather than potatoes as the starch.
 

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I agree with Georgia Peach about the pumpkin. Next time, take 5-7 days to do a switch.
 

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I think that may be too much food. My 50-pound dog eats 2 cups a day, and not a super-premium food like Instinct. She is less active but still, that's a lot of food for a 26-pounder. What are the feeding recommendations on the bag?
 

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I agree - 2 c. daily is too much food. I'd cut back to a cup and a half, divided into 2 equal feedings - morning and evening. If that's still too much, cut back just a little bit more. You don't want a large breed puppy to grow too fast - it can cause joint problems down the road.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The bag says 2 1/2 to 4 cups a day. I am feeding him below that but I am wondering if he is pooping so much because I switched him so suddenly. Maybe I am giving him too many treats? I made treats out of pumpkin and peanut butter. Could that be it?
 

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My 75ish lb doberman eats two cups of Instinct a day.
The bags give approximate amounts but they're really nothing more than a starting point.

The change in poo-ing that you're seeing is due to the hard switch, I'm pretty sure. NV:Instinct and Purina One are TOTALLY different foods and it's going to take your pup a little bit to adjust. Watch his weight closely while you try to figure out the right amount to feed him and tweak the amounts only a slight bit at a time.
 

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I would think she would need around half the amount you are currently feeding. That's almost certainly your problem (in addition to the abrupt change). The recommendations on the bag are almost always overstated. To be sure I would search for the calories per cup of the old food and the new one and adjust your feeding so she's getting around the same number of calories as before. It will for sure be less because the higher quality foods are pretty much always more calorie dense. My 20 pound dog gets 2/3 cup per day of a food with similar cpc to NV Instinct.
 

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The bag says 2 1/2 to 4 cups a day. I am feeding him below that but I am wondering if he is pooping so much because I switched him so suddenly. Maybe I am giving him too many treats? I made treats out of pumpkin and peanut butter. Could that be it?
Some dogs eat less, some more, than what the bags say. You just have to go by your dog. IMO you were feeding too much and switched too fast, which is causing the issues. FTR, it can take 4-6 weeks to know how a dog does on a new food.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I realiize I switched too fast and that was not the best thing for Odin. I will decrease the dog food to a cup and a half. I will also give it another month to see if I have decreased it enough. If I left it up to Odin he would be eating the 4 cups a day. Thank you all for your help.
 

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I'm suprised it says so much for a dog that size. Most of the higher-end foods show much less than that. Maybe because he's a puppy?

Anyway, yeah, for a Lab pup, you want to keep him slim. Labs are prone to hip troubles and being even a teensy bit heavy can be a big problem.
 
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