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Discussion Starter #1
Can anyone suggest a top of the line kibble that is fish based? Also, what is the benefit of grain free kibble? My Shiba Inu has had skin allergies, ear infections, and stomach distress in the past. He has been on Kirkland Chicken, only one big bag, because his stool was always soft. Wellness chicken super5 kibble. And Innova adult chicken kibble. I think he would benefit from fish in his diet, because that is what his ancestors ate.
 

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We are in the process of switching Oliver over to Acana Pacifica and he loves it. A grain free kibble should help with all the issues you mention with your dog.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
What about Innova Prime Grain free Salmon and herring, or Wellness Core Ocean, or Wellness whitefish and sweet potato Super 5 mix. Arcana and Orijin are not sold locally.
 

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TOTW Pacific Stream would be another probably cheaper option. You can get it at feed stores. The two you mentioned would be just fine too.

You could look into other protein sources like beef, venison, turkey, etc as well if you think chicken is the problem. Sometimes dogs get loose stools from overfeeding though too, so you might try slightly decreasing your dog's portion sizes to see if it helps. He might not be allergic at all. :) That said, there is nothing at all wrong with rotating foods or changing around the protein sources as much as you like if the dog can handle it.

As for the benefit of grain free kibble, some dogs are allergic to grains (not as many as some would have you believe, though IMO) and also grain free foods tend to have higher fat and protein content with lower carbohydrates (generally because they contain a higher percentage of meat) than grain-inclusive foods. The second reason is why I feed them.

Oh and as an aside, I wouldn't think fish would be a huge bulk of a wolf's diet in the wild. Doesn't mean you shouldn't feed it but just wanted to dispel that myth. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I went and bought Acana Pacifica. I am going to give him a bland diet until his diarrhea gets better and then VERY slowly I will introduce the new food.
 

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I'm currently feeding our 1 year old Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon, and his stool is never soft anymore, while it would sometimes be with their regular chicken & rice formula (non-wilderness, grain inclusive).

So, not sure whether the improvements are due to the salmon or the grain-free, but both seem to be a plus. Added bonus is the grain free food requires 1 less cup per day, so although a bag may be more expensive per pound, it may come out to be less $ per day based on having to use 1/4 less food each day.

Acana Pacifica is probably going to be the next bag of food after the BBW, based on my research and the rave reviews Acana gets. I'd be curious to see if you find it to be a superior alternative to your current status. I want to try Orijen, but that has such a high protein % compared to the rest, I'm going to ease our way up there... maybe if Acana does him well and it doesn't break the bank by then :)
 

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Our Minature Schnauzer mix is on Blue Buffalo Wild Salmon alternated with the Duck. Both are grain free.I pick up her poops on walks and am surprised that since she has been on grain free the droppings are firm and alot less smelly. Sorry if this is TMI but I am thrilled.
 

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Acana & Orijen (same maker), Nature's Variety, both the Prairie (grain inclusive) and Instinct (Grainfree), Annamaet, Earthborn for starters
 

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Just bought a bag of Natural Balance Sweet potato and fish limited ingredients. So I can not give any personal reviews just yet.

Reading the book:"Following the Last Wild Wolves" by Ian McAllister. It is about the wolf pack of the northern coast of British Columbia. The Fish Trap pack caught over 200 salmon in a single night. WOW!. The wolves prefered to eat only the brains and leave the rest of the fish alone. Very interesting book looking into the life of a wolf pack.

On Natgeo a documentary was done on wolves in Alaska. That pack liked to hunt Caribou and when the caribou left the area, the wolves would eat salmon. When the caribou came back the wolves would go back hunting the caribou. This was all done through hair samples from the wolves. Science can be so interesting at times. Hair samples let them know the diet.
 

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One thing I forgot to add yesterday is do you need a low carb or moderate carb food? Does the dog have a weight problem, any allergies?
 

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My dogs get a mixture of Nature's Domain Salmon and Sweet Potato from Costco and Acana Pacifica. Acana is higher in calories so we use that one when they are more active, the Nature's Domain is for the cold wintertime when they are couch potatoes. Even Corky, who is a Pitty with a very sensitive stomach and skin issues, can go back and forth between the two with ease.
 

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Thought I'd update the status of our fish-based kibble trials: 2 weeks into it, and he absolutely loves his food, and has much better stool. I'm also noticing much less dry skin/scratching, but that may just be my placebo observations as I have no way of accurately measuring that; as he's always been a happy, energetic and healthy pup. So far, switching brands has been a positive thing. I'm hoping to switch often enough to keep him happy (change of menu) and healthy (change of protein source), but not too often to avoid upsetting his stomach, etc.

Quick Question:
For people who like to rotate their protein sources, but also love the benefits of fish to their dog's health/diet, how do you rotate your food? Or, do you even stray from the fish-based foods? I was thinking of possibly going to Duck at some point, then back to fish (and is there any benefit to rotate fish types... i.e.: salmon to herring to ??? and so on?)

Another random note: Fromm's salmon treats are great too; but with the side effect that he spits out chicken-based treats now.. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I am also on week 2 into the grain free fish switch. My dog loves it. However, I am also adding RXBiotic to his food. He won't eat the Acana Pacifica with the powder on it, so in addition I feed him a big tablespoon of Wellness Core ocean Fish canned food that I mix the powder into at each meal. My Shiba Inu has a very sensitive stomach and needs the extra probiotics at each meal. If I don't give them to him, he has very loose poops and tends to get yeasty ear infections. I wish I didnt have to give him any cans. I have ordered him probiotics and digestive enzymes that come in a treat tablet. Hopefully, when they arrive I can just give him the chewable biotics and forego the wet food.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I forgot to add, that Fromm Salmon grain free treats are great as are Blue Buffalo Wilderness grain free Salmon treats!
 

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So I figured this is the best place for me to update our status on switching to fish-based kibble, as well as our progress with different brands:

I originally bought 5-lb bags of each, to be sure it agreed with our pup: Blue Buf Wilderness Salmon, Acana Pacifica & Orijen 6 Fish.

He loved the Blue Buf Salmon (this came after eating BB Puppy chicken/rice for almost his whole first year). Transition literally took a day or two, no stomach issues, better stools immediately.

Next, he *Really* loved the Acana, coming from BB Wild. Again, quick transition starting only 25% of new stuff, but I could immediately tell he wanted more/liked the new Acana food, so within a few days was eating 75+% Acana with no issues, actually picking it out from the BBW.

Toward the end of that 5-lb'er, started the Orijen 6 Fish. As it's made by the same people that do Acana, and in comparing the ingredients of the two they are very very similar (just more fresh fish in Orijen), the transition was easy too.

Other notes: Orijen requires less cups per day on its bag, which I've interpreted to mean it has less filler, and so it's a more efficient food than the other two (Acana and BB Wild required about 3 - 3 1/2 cups/day for his body weight). So, although Orijen has a hefty price tag, we're only feeding 2 1/4 cup per day as opposed to 3+ cups/day of the other two. I'll crunch the numbers later, but Orijen is a great food nonetheless. He loves it, his stool is by far the most efficient I've ever seen, and all in all we are all happy with this one. Going to stick with this for a bit now, and if the price becomes a hindrance, probably get some Acana Pacifica again and do a 50/50 with Orijen. Eventually we'd like to go raw, so until then, I feel good about this setup.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
My dog is doing really well on Acana Pacifica. I would love to rotate in the other brands you used, but my dog's sensitive stomach wouldn't tolerate switching foods. I am going to keep him on this kibble for a long time. I am thinking about using different wet foods. I top his food with wellness core ocean canned food. I only use a tablespoon at each meal do I think his stomach could handle it.
 
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