Jasmine is finally over the digestive problems caused by the Whipworms and is now on 100% dog food. In fact, she has been eating so quickly that it scares me! I turn my back for a minute, and when I look over, the dish has been licked clean. I guess she’s more appreciative of the dog food than I thought, or it’s just SO much better than cottage cheese and rice! 🙂
We have been feeding her California Natural Chicken and Rice dog food (both dry and canned) by Natura Pet (makers of Evo, Innova, Health Wise, Mother Nature and Karma dog foods and treats). We originally tried the Evo Small Bites food and thought that the digestive distress was caused by the change in food. WRONG. While we’re not sure whether the change in food was a causal factor in making the Whipworms go wild, the Evo line is super high in protein–a huge change from the Eukanuba Dachshund formula we’ve been feeding her.
In looking at the ingredients in the California Natural food, the ingredients are simple–Chicken meal, brown rice, rice, sunflower oil, flaxseed, natural flavors, potassium chloride, salt, vitamins, minerals and Rosemary extract. The line of food was created with a short list of ingredients and is meant to be hypo-allergenic and easy to digest (precisely why we bought it in the first place when the Evo seemed to be upsetting Jasmine’s tummy). However, it’s fairly high in carbohydrates (48.534%) but still has a good percentage of protein (25.881%) from a single source (chicken meal). I’m wondering, though, if Jasmine should have a diet that has more whole foods (veggies, eggs) and a better protein to carb ratio–still grain-free. It also bothers me that their food comes in large kibble and not small bites–possibly making it harder to digest for our little honey’s tummy.
Natura’s other line, Innova, seems to have a good balance of protein and a lot of good whole foods. The ingredients are turkey, chicken, chicken meal, barley, brown rice, potatoes, natural flavors, rice, chicken fat, herring, apples, carrots, cottage cheese, sunflower oil, dicalcium phosphate, alfalfa sprouts, eggs, garlic, potassium chloride, choline chloride, calcium carbonate, direct-fed microbials, and vitamins and minerals. It’s 24% protein, 40% carborhydrates, and seems to be a more diverse diet. But again, what do dogs really need? Both formulas provide “complete nutrition for all life stages” as defined by the AAFCO.
I called Natura today and asked them about the differences in the foods. The gal who answered, Sarah, said that it’s all about “what you feel comfortable feeding your dog.” All their foods meet the standards for complete nutrition. The Innova reaches it through a more diverse, “food-pyramid” approach to the formula, while the California natural has fewer ingredients for easier digestion and to help food-sensitive dogs to have a healthy diet. Both have vitamins and minerals added to ensure that proper nutrition is achieved. The main issue is kibble size–those gumball sized kibbles seem so large to me, but they haven’t seem to slowed Jazzy down–so I guess we’ll stick with what’s working for her. I don’t want to have to change her diet yet again.