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Looking for a solid grain free / chicken free feed for my 7 yr old lab? What is everyone recommending?
 

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All I can say is do your research, and to be careful Grain free? Studies are showing a correlation in dogs and heart disease with grain free diets. UC Davis has published articles on it and FDA is still investigate it.
 

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Looking for a solid grain free / chicken free feed for my 7 yr old lab? What is everyone recommending?
Huntem Up brings up a valid point of concern regarding Dilated Cardio-Myopathy and grain-free foods. Here's a link to an article I think provides a good overview about what is known and the practical implications to dog owners.


There's a lot we don't know about the possible link between Dilated Cardio-Myopathy and grain-free dog foods. Here's a brief summary of the take-aways from the article cited above for those who may not want to spend the time reading it.

1. DCM is likely linked to a deficit of the Amino Acid Taurine in many of the affected dog's diets.
2. Lamb protein tends to be more poorly assimilated than most other animal protein sources and it is lower in Taurine than most other animal protein sources, so I would avoid a dog food which uses Lamb as its sole protein source or even as its primary protein source.
3. I would avoid foods with lower amounts of protein because of the possibility of that also meaning lower Taurine levels. I wouldn't recommend going below 26% protein. Personally I feed foods exceeding 30% protein and top with sardines, canned salmon, beef liver, and other animal proteins for additional protein and omega 3 Fatty Acids.
4. Limited ingredient foods are also implicated in DCM.

I have heard an unconfirmed report that the legumes commonly used to replace grains in grain-free foods have properties which defeat the natural antioxidant preservatives in the food within a few months, after which time the food starts to degrade, causing the loss of available Taurine. Just a theory at this time, but heard from a source I trust.

So, there are four L's to consider in trying to avoid DCM; Lamb, Low Protein, Limited ingredient foods, and Legumes.

I rotate among several formulations from three different manufacturers to help to insure balanced nutrition over time, to vary protein and carb sources, and to try to avoid a deficit or excess of any vitamins/minerals in a single manufacturers premix if used for an extended period of time.

Long story short you might consider Farmina Ocean Canine Herring & Orange formulation or Nutrience Sub-Zero Prairie Red. Neither are readily available from Brick and Mortar pet food stores, but they can be obtained on-line.

I'm sure there are other foods which might meet your requirements, but you asked for personal recommendations! I'm also sure some may disagree with my opinions, but I took the risk of posting my thoughts in this era of intolerance of differing opinions in our nation at the risk of being attacked for my ignorance!

Good Luck finding the right food for you and your dog!

Swack
 

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Whats with all the fad dog diets?
All of my dogs have been fed nothing but Purina Pro Plan and done very well on it, for over 20 years. Before that, I fed Purina dog chow.
I just don't get it.
I guarantee no company has even come close to the amount of research and development resources they have poured into developing their dog foods.
 

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I wouldn’t advise the science diet.

Maybe Zignature or Merrick. Dogs that have sensitivities seem to do well on these. Zignature has a turkey formula that you could try since your dog seems to prefer poultry.
 

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One of mine is on a grain free diet to test for food allergies. It's Fromm's Pork and Sweet Potato kibble.
 

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There are definitely a small percentage of dogs with allergies to certain components of dog foods. The OP did not mention any.
 
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