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Up until now my dog (a ~40lb. BC mix) has been eating 2 cups of Nutro chicken and rice puppy food per day. The vet said fine, stools are normal, dog loves it. But since she's not a puppy anymore, it's time to switch. I've been poking around the dog food forum a bit lately and it seems that most people here aren't big fans of Nutro. Since we're switching off puppy food anyway, I figured this would be a good time to switch brands, too.

I was just checking out foods at Petco (pretty much my only choice in town, aside from the pricey place). I don't think my store carries all the foods that others have mentioned at Petco (http://www.dogforums.com/5-dog-food-forum/55903-food-question-newbie.html), but their prices seem a bit lower than what has been mentioned here. My choices seem to be Wellness, Natural Balance, Nature's Choice, and Spot's Soup (Halo). Any opinions? I was leaning towards the Wellness after checking dogfoodanalysis.com. One reason I like it is because I could switch from chicken to lamb to fish without changing brands. I read this was a good idea: http://www.dogfoodanalysis.com/how-often-should-i-change-foods.html

Any opinions on Wellness Core vs. the other Wellnesses? Obviously Core is grain free, but what's the benefit of that if my dog has no allergies to grain? Are there any drawbacks to grain free? I would describe her activity level as moderate to high.

Money isn't a huge issue, but I don't want to spend lots more than I was spending on Nutro. I compared the Nutro adult formula to Wellness, and they seemed pretty similar in price, given the difference in serving suggestions and package weight.

My dog's preference is also not an issue. I'm sure I could feed sawdust and she would gobble it right up. Since she's not tasting it anyway, there's no way to really tell if she likes it or not. I wouldn't describe her stomach as cast-iron, but it's pretty close.

That about sums it up, I guess. Any opinions would be much appreciated!
 

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Up until now my dog (a ~40lb. BC mix) has been eating 2 cups of Nutro chicken and rice puppy food per day. The vet said fine, stools are normal, dog loves it. But since she's not a puppy anymore, it's time to switch. I've been poking around the dog food forum a bit lately and it seems that most people here aren't big fans of Nutro. Since we're switching off puppy food anyway, I figured this would be a good time to switch brands, too.

I was just checking out foods at Petco (pretty much my only choice in town, aside from the pricey place). I don't think my store carries all the foods that others have mentioned at Petco (http://www.dogforums.com/5-dog-food-forum/55903-food-question-newbie.html), but their prices seem a bit lower than what has been mentioned here. My choices seem to be Wellness, Natural Balance, Nature's Choice, and Spot's Soup (Halo). Any opinions? I was leaning towards the Wellness after checking dogfoodanalysis.com. One reason I like it is because I could switch from chicken to lamb to fish without changing brands. I read this was a good idea: http://www.dogfoodanalysis.com/how-often-should-i-change-foods.html

Any opinions on Wellness Core vs. the other Wellnesses? Obviously Core is grain free, but what's the benefit of that if my dog has no allergies to grain? Are there any drawbacks to grain free? I would describe her activity level as moderate to high.

Money isn't a huge issue, but I don't want to spend lots more than I was spending on Nutro. I compared the Nutro adult formula to Wellness, and they seemed pretty similar in price, given the difference in serving suggestions and package weight.

My dog's preference is also not an issue. I'm sure I could feed sawdust and she would gobble it right up. Since she's not tasting it anyway, there's no way to really tell if she likes it or not. I wouldn't describe her stomach as cast-iron, but it's pretty close.

That about sums it up, I guess. Any opinions would be much appreciated!
Definitely switch from Nutro.
Of the foods you listed from Petco, Wellness would be my top choice, esp CORE. Dogs are carnivores, so their bodies are meant to digest high amounts of meat...they don't need grains. Wellness is a nice food, and though I like their CORE forumlas better, their kibbles are good quality. :) Solid Gold makes a nice formula called 'barking at the moon' which I believe Petco sells (maybe it's PetSmart).
Personally, I would definitely go for Wellness. :)
That's my 2cents. :)
 

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My dogs didn't do that great on Wellness, they both had soft poo, so it seems that they didn't digest it very well. I've heard the same from other people, but then some dogs do well on it. It's probably worth a try. My choice from the list would be Halo Spot's Stew. I really like the ingredients and it seems like a good company.

As far as grain free, I'm kind of on the fence about that. I really haven't noticed a difference in my dogs from when they eat grain free vs. foods with grain. Also, I've never seen any evidence or studies that potato or the other carbohydrates that are used in grain free foods are any better or more digestible than grains. The article I've posted below is interesting, especially a couple of lines toward the bottom. I do think it's a good idea to stay away from corn and wheat since they're high gluten grains and common allergens.

http://www.dogfooddemogirl.com/grainfree.htm
 
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