We switched our dogs from a "corn filler" dry food to a high-quality, oft-recommended grain-free food about 8 months ago. I've come to the conclusion that it's not a good choice for Number One Dog. My question is, should we continue to search for a premium dog food that agrees with her, or just go back to the supposedly "bad" food on which she always seemed to be healthy and happy?
Over the last 8 months we've tried 2 different formulas of the oft-recommended Taste of the Wild: first High Prairie and then Wetlands. During that time Number One Dog
--a dalmatian mix--has had a pretty-much non-stop problem with larger
, looser stools: not diarrhea per se but softer, stickier, and difficult to pick up. She also rapidly gained weight--about 12 lbs total over 6 months, which is a 20% increase over her previous 60 lb weight. We started off giving her the bag-recommended 3 cups a day (for a 60-lb dog), then this spring cut that back to 2.5 cups and now 2 cups. At 2 cups the weight gain has slowed, perhaps even stopped, but she is also not losing. And her poops are still gross. We're getting ready to board her in a week, and I finally told my husband that I was embarrassed to leave a dog for boarding whose poops can never be picked up without leaving a nasty smear, and that we should switch her back to her old food at least for now, since we know she tolerates it digestive-wise.
She's been back on her old food for 2 days now and already her poops are getting smaller and firmer. My question is, should we just leave her on the old food or in the long run should we try to look for a premium food that we don't have to measure out with a teaspoon and that doesn't give her loose poops? Home-prepared is not an option.
Additional details: Number One Dog is medium active, a bit of a weekend warrior I suppose. She gets walked for about an hour a day and taken out for a vigorous hike or run once or twice a week. She tires and overheats noticeably quicker carrying the extra weight, but there's not been a change in her energy level--which has always been good. No other health changes of note. She's always had good skin, coat, teeth, etc.
Beneful Fiesta has 25% protein and 10% fat. Both formulas of Taste of the Wild have 28% protein and 18% fat. They all have about 4% fiber.