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Has anyone's dog reacted badly to TOTW? How long to spend transitioning foods?

Discussion in 'Feeding' started by NateBazooka, Nov 30, 2009.

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  1. NateBazooka

    NateBazooka Boxer Booster

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    Kevin is 7 months old, about 50 pounds, and was having a bad time about a week ago that I eventually narrowed down to switching him to Taste of the Wild.

    I guess I've been pretty bad about keeping Kevin's diet consistant. When I got him, he was on Nutro, and I switched him to Science Diet because I thought it was good, switched him to Blue Buffalo when I realized Hills was crap, and after a couple of months of that, I switched him to Wellness (large breed puppy - I know he's not a large breed, but I'm picking my battles with the girlfriend on this one...) because he tended to have soft stools with Blue Buffalo.

    Through all that, apart from the soft stools with Blue Buffalo, he never seemed to be bothered by switching foods. And I wasn't really doing a good job transitioning, either. Maybe a couple of days of half and half and then all in with the new food, but generally, Kevin has moved from food to food without any problems. I thought I had the puppy with the stomach of steel.

    Kevin's been doing great on Wellness, but it's pretty expensive. I was at a different pet store a couple of weeks ago and saw that they carried Taste of the Wild, and that it was cheaper than Wellness. I had read on dogfoodanalysis.com that TOTW was very good, and it's more highly rated than Wellness (and I needed dog food), so I bought a bag.

    Then, on the way home, Kevin and I stopped at the dog park, and he spent some time playing in the water. He gulped a bunch down, but it's a large body of moving water (Colorado River) so I didn't worry much about it.

    When we got home, I fed Kevin half Wellness and half TOTW. And then that night, he had several accidents (violent, by the looks of them) while I slept, and when I took him out in the morning, he just... fauceted all over the grass. Really really bad runs, and he did not look happy about it.

    So at first I thought... maybe this is just him getting used to the new food. I think when I've switched him before, he's had a couple of soft poops before getting "used" to the new food, and going back to normal. I thought maybe this was just a more extreme version of this, and he'd be back to normal soon. After about a day and a half, it was pretty clear that this was not the case, so I started thinking maybe his stomach was upset from the water he drank at the dog park, and maybe he just needed to flush his system or whatever (or possibly go to the vet). So I started giving him pedialyte, and switched him to a bland homecoooked diet of chicken and rice. Over several days, he slowly got better, though not quite back to 100% with the poop. And then I switched him back to TOTW, and he went right back to having really bad diarrhea.

    Well, I probably should've realized it was the food at this point, but everything I've read about TOTW was so good, and even specifically solid poops were a consistent thing I'd read from people's experience with TOTW, and by this point I had convinced myself that he had a bug from the water and needed to go to the vet. But since he had shown improvement on the home cooked diet, I decided to try putting him back on Wellness, just to return things to how they had been and see if that fixed it before resorting to taking him to the vet. And after doing that, he was immediately fine. Literally, the next time I took him out, he had a solid poop after a week of having either diarrhea or soft stools. And he's been fine for about a week now, on the old diet.

    Is this just an instance of "no right food for everybody", and TOTW doesn't agree with my dog? Or is the problem because I was cutting corners as far as transitioning the food is concerned? Maybe TOTW, as a high meat content no grain food, is just a lot more different to his system than the other foods I've switched him from? I'm just kinda baffled that it was the food that causing all of the problems. I was actually really excited when I got the bag of TOTW, thinking hey, here's a better food than what I'm feeding and it's cheaper too... Kevin's back to being fine on Wellness, and so that's what I'll keep him on for the foreseeable future, but I've got most of a bag of TOTW just sitting there, and its something like $10 or $15 a bag (30 lb) cheaper than Wellness. Just a bummer that that didn't work out like I'd hoped.

    Has anyone else experienced anything like this with TOTW?
     
  2. BxrMommieNAZ

    BxrMommieNAZ Boxer Insane

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    Well for starters TOTW doesn't have an incredibly high protein content, it is grain free, but not high protein really, one of their varieties is higher than the others, not sure which one you fed.

    Could be you transitionted too fast. Have you tried going SLOWLY like starting with 1/8 cup of the new stuff and doubling every 24 hours as long as there are no set backs? There could also be an ingredient in it that doesn't work for him. I know there's bison in a formula or two which I don't believe Wellness uses.

    Personally my dog cannot eat TOTW as he has food allergies and there's more than one trigger in that food so when i tried feeding it to him (before I knew about his food allergies) he had HORRIBLE stools, horrible explosive diarrhea, it was horrible. So personally it doesn't work for us.

    Only way you will know is to have good solid stools and slowly switch back to TOTW and see if you get bad stools again, if you do probably pretty safe to say something in it doesn't agree with him and just stick with the Wellness.

    good luck!
     
  3. NateBazooka

    NateBazooka Boxer Booster

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    Thanks for the reply! I was feeding Kevin the Wetlands Canine Formula.

    "horrible explosive diarrhea"

    : / yeah, that sounds about like what I was seeing. How did you eventually figure out what the trigger ingredients for your dog were?

    I haven't tried reintroducing the food slowly, but that definitely sounds like the best tact if I were to try going the Taste of the Wild route again. Although I'm kinda gunshy of it right now. I'll probably end up just stop trying to be thrifty with the dog food and stick with what I know works.

    I'm not *glad* to know that TOTW didn't work for your dog, but I'm glad to hear about it, just because I couldn't find anyone else having similar problems with the food with the searches I was doing, so its reassuring to know that someone else encountered the same thing.
     
  4. DiverDiva

    DiverDiva Boxer Insane

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    Sometimes you never do. I tried feeding Mali Wellness Core Ocean formula. She was fine during the transition. After the transition, when she was on 100% Core for the first time, she threw it up on the carpet 30 minutes after finishing her meal. I thought it was just a fluke. By the third meal of 100% Core, when I put the bowl down, she sniffed it, gave me a sad look as if to say, "Why do you feed me this when you know it will come back up?" and walked away. No more Core for her. I have no idea why she can't eat it. She does just fine on Orijen 6 Fish.

    I learned Oscar can't tolerate canola oil because Merrick changed the formula on their Grammy's Pot Pie while I was feeding it to him. After trying several different Solid Gold flavors, all of which gave him the runs, I discovered that he did very well on Grammy's. On the second bag, it was back to the runs. I noticed a big sticker on the second bag, "Now With Canola Oil". The first bag of Grammy's had chicken fat, and I think that was the only difference. Hmmm, all the Solid Gold varieites he tried have canola oil, too.

    You can try comparing the ingredient lists of the foods that don't work for Kevin and see if there are any common ingredients. Good luck.
     
  5. bdivell

    bdivell Boxer Pal

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    my little guy is on TOTW i switch each bag last bag he was on TOTW Bison this bag he is on the wetlands one and is doing well the only problem i forsee in the future is the border crossing issue the Bison was stuck at the border and they dont know when it will be in the store might have to switch to orijen since it is a canadian made food .....but i wanted to wait until he was a year old before switching him to orijen due to the high protien content .....ill keep my fingers crossed in hopes that we will still be able to get the Bison formula , they have a satisfaction garentee on the TOTW i would take it back and try him on the Bison and see if he takes to that if not try something else
     
  6. BxrMommieNAZ

    BxrMommieNAZ Boxer Insane

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    Through MONTHS of trial and error and trying every good food on the market (and I mean EVERY one). There's only one food on the market in 3 different varieties he can eat. Natural Balance limited ingredient diets, Fish and Sweet Potato, Venison and Sweet Potato, or Chicken and Sweet Potato and even with the only ingredient changing being the protein I still have to switch slowly over a 7-10 da period. He has multiple food allergies that are pretty severe and yep, it took months to figure it out and up to a year for some to rear their ugly heads. We've had him 100% under control now for about a year without any flare ups, but it was touch and go for a long time there.

    Good luck.
     
  7. NateBazooka

    NateBazooka Boxer Booster

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    Just an update:

    Kevin improved upon switching back to Wellness, and seemed normal to the point that I had placed the blame of his stomach problems onto switching to TOTW. But, he started having loose stools again, had an accident in his crate (highly unusual), and then had a messy accident this morning (after I had already taken him out to relieve himself) while I was in the shower. I took him to the vet, they found a high amount of bacteria in his stool, and have put him on a course of antibiotics (to be followed by a course of fortiflora canine). They said that this kind of thing can happen because of a variety of reasons - the new food, drinking lakewater, or even just stress for whatever reason.


    So, I don't know what exactly has been causing Kevin to have problems lately - it seems like he had a reaction to TOTW, but that may have been in conjunction with some other problems he was having. Luckily, he already seems to be doing better, after having taken the first pill of his prescription.
     
  8. whiskers

    whiskers Boxer Insane

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    Well that's good that you found the underlying problem... the food may have played a role in it too, who knows, but at least you're treating the biggest culprit.

    For what it's worth Juno had awful diarrhea on TOTW as well (and she was also on the Wetlands formula). However I'm more tempted to think it was caused by overfeeding her. She never had firm poop on the stuff, but it was about a month or so into it when it really got bad... which would make sense, because as she get older and bigger I increased the amount I fed her, and I was probably giving her waayyyy too much. I switched her to Innova and that's when I found out overfeeding can cause loose stool, so when her poop started firming up I couldn't be sure if it was because of the food, or just because I was feeding her less. Even now she still gets diarrhea once in a while if I feed her any more than her normal amount.
     
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