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Storygirl

What dog food do you like

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... for your puppy?

I'm sure the Hive has discussed this before, but I'm not having luck with the search feature.

We've had our 10 week old puppy for about two weeks. She seems to be doing well on the food that the breeder was giving her, and our vet does not mind if we continue using it. He also thinks it's fine if we want to change, and I want to explore our options. She is currently eating Purina Pro Plan Plus Puppy Chicken and Rice. I'd like to give her a quality food, of course, but I don't feel I need to get her something super pricey, unless I see a clear benefit.

My sister has a year-old puppy, and she and her husband have decided their dog does best with a grain free premium brand. They use Taste of the Wild.

We're not in a rush to switch, but my sister suggested that we can use a new dog food as a training treat while we are still feeding puppy what she is used to for awhile. This seems like a great idea to me, because we are going through quite a few mini treats now while house training. I'd feel better about using treats liberally, if I were dispensing kibble.

Any suggestions? What are the reasons you chose the puppy/dog food that you feed your pet?

Edited by Storygirl
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I have had friends' pups react poorly to Purina puppy chow (blood in stool, loose bowels, etc.). We've had our dog on Blue Buffalo Life Protection (Small Breed) for years with no problems but grabbed a Purina food during our recent move. Our dog developed a bad skin condition and horrible shedding after being on it a couple weeks but, after switching back, she's right as rain now. We choose this food because, while it isn't top of the line like the grain-free Wilderness line, it gets very good reviews.

Edited by Sneezyone
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I give my dog Taste of the Wild because my vet recommends it.

I'll also add I feed the same brand to my cat.

Edited by Night Elf
Adding info
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There is a new study that the popular grain free diets may be linked to heart disease. It is a very new study and the veterinary world is waiting for more info. 

 

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6 minutes ago, jrn said:

There is a new study that the popular grain free diets may be linked to heart disease. It is a very new study and the veterinary world is waiting for more info. 

 

This. The whole "grain free" thing is a gimmick anyway, as peas and lentils and potatoes are no more species appropriate than oats or rice or whatever. The carb content is more of an issue than which carbs. 

I can also say as a vet tech we saw more digestive upsets with Blue Buffalo than any other food. Did not see much of a difference between better brands, but did see a difference between grocery store dog chow vs the higher end brands, in general. Pro Plan is certainly right there with the others in terms of quality.

That said, I make a good portion of my dog's food at this point, as I'm not totally satisfied with any of them. So they get a mix of Science Diet or Bil Jac and homemade. 

More naturally minded vets tend to recommend Innova Evo but I'm sure it's very expensive. 

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Diamond Naturals Lamb & Rice

The breeder we got our dog from told us the breed is susceptible to grain allergy, and he does have a very sensitive digestive system.

Edited by Amy in NH
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We've always used Science Diet for our pets, dogs and cats. We've never had any trouble with it. I like that it actually tells you on the package that the ingredients come from specific countries, and not just some variation on "the finest ingredients from around the world" like most other brands. I specifically wanted to avoid anything from China and Science Diet doesn't use ingredients from China.

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8 minutes ago, eagleynne said:

We've always used Science Diet for our pets, dogs and cats. We've never had any trouble with it. I like that it actually tells you on the package that the ingredients come from specific countries, and not just some variation on "the finest ingredients from around the world" like most other brands. I specifically wanted to avoid anything from China and Science Diet doesn't use ingredients from China.

Science diet gets a bad rap from a lot of dog people, but  I can say that the dogs I saw that ate it always looked very healthy.

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And in totally frustrating news, my dog refused to eat breakfast again, even though it was home cooked food. Brat. (he's too skinny and I'm trying to get weight on him...at this point if he got sick he'd be in trouble. I can see vertebrae...)

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The shelter where we got ours recommended Merrick, and that's what our vet uses for his five dogs.

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Well I can tell you what NOT to get. :biggrin:  Walmart sells knockoffs of things like Beneful, etc., and our outdoor, eat anything dog does NOT like them, yuck. He ate Old Roy high pro for a while, but he didn't like it very well. Purina One actually he really likes!! I think, and this is just me and not science, that the upper end Purinas are sort of that balance between price and going to the fancy stuff. Our outdoor dog is big (being for security and bark power), and I'm not gonna pay $2 a pound for his food, kwim? Even $1 a pound is a lot. If you get the food on subscribe and save on amazon, it will save you a bit too. I think our bags come down very nicely on there, and now I don't have to carry 40-50 pounds around. Not that the exercise isn't good, but when you are putting it off because you're tired, it's not good. Dog still has to eat, lol.

Now for my small, 20 pound indoor dog, I could afford to feed him almost anything, kwim? I don't know the breed you got, but some breeds have dietary restrictions. Mine needs the fat controlled, or he'll develop pancreatitis (permanently) and get sick. I stick with the recommended fat limits for his breed, and I *rotate* brands. Everyone has their theory, and that's mine. I figure at least he won't become allergic to rice or whatever by eating the same thing every day for 5 years, mercy. So I try to rotate brands, rotate what the fillers are. I try to avoid the largely corn brands. So one month he'll be on salmon and sweet potatoes, the next month venison and lentils or something. I figure the rotation is good. He doesn't avoid food or even need transitions but just goes to his bowl and eats it. They say to transition foods slowly, but I've never had to. I just dump the next bag in and do it, and I buy a different kind every time.

Now I say that, but I have (shh) started placing some orders on amazon's subscribe and save, even for my little dog. But what I'm doing there is staggering the months. And if I want, I can still hit skip a month and go buy something different. So I've got a couple kinds, and they'll just rotate.

Some of the brands that look swanky didn't seem good for my dog. The ones with a lot of rice seemed to give him goop in the corners of his eyes. So I kind of watch that, just because that doesn't seem healthy to me. Other than that, to me, I'd feel free to use the Purina Pro Plan, maybe shaking up the varieties each time. If it's a big dog, that's probably what I would do. My only other fetish with dog foods is I REALLY like a low stool formula. That's not rocket science to figure out. Just compare serving sizes on the bags. When you get a cheaper, heavy on the corn, kind of dog food, it will tend to be a larger (sometimes MUCH larger!) serving for the same size dog. So I just compare across the bags and 20 pounds and find the ones that are very efficient. That way I don't have a lot of waste collecting where he does his business. I'm really particular about that. 

I hope you love your new dog!!! Pictures? :biggrin:

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I'm just as much interested in the company who manufactures what I feed my pets as I am in the ingredients. I have zero concern about what any internet site says about that food. Most sites are run by people who have no formal education in animal nutrition. The ratings criteria are often either completely arbitrary (IMO) or they use criteria that I don't share.

I mostly home cook. When I feed commercial food it's usually FreshPet or Vital. My dog likes those (mostly--he's picky), they're easy to find, have acceptable to me ingredients that are sourced in the USA or Canada and I've not found anything about the company that disturbs me.

Storygirl, this is JMHO and worth what it's costing you, but I'd trust Purina way, way more than I would TOTW. I will never use any product manufactured by Diamond.

Edited by Pawz4me
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4 hours ago, Storygirl said:

few mini treats now while house training. I'd feel better about using treats liberally, if I were dispensing kibble.

I've seen trainers suggesting to use vegetables. Now my dog, when he was that age/stage, was burning through calories so much the kibble would have been fine anyway. But veges are another option, sure. Or I think they'll go high value with small dices of chicken. I wouldn't buy the expensive "treats" stuff they sell, no. That's just all corn and chemicals, yuck.

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3 minutes ago, Pawz4me said:

Storygirl, this is JMHO and worth what it's costing you, but I'd trust Purina way, way more than I would TOTW. I will never use any product manufactured by Diamond.

I've done a lot of brands (because I rotate so much), but like Pawz I don't buy anything I know for sure was part of Diamond. When I first got my dog they were in the middle of a bunch of scandals and recalls that were really, really bad. I just figure there are lots of other brands. And you'd be surprised the ones that get advertised loudly as being so great that your dog totally sticks his nose up at. It's really kind of a funny thing. Merrick, Instinct, etc. are good. I just tried a Nature's Recipe, just to be really different, and my dog finds it tasty. The Doctor something with a blue bag made my dog's eyes goopy. Natural Balance I didn't really like, not sure why. Sometimes it's the eyes, sometimes it's how his fur looks and maybe that he just looks better on a different brand. Oh I think maybe Wellness was one he hated, lol. You can look at Chewy or Petco and find products and just have them delivered. 

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17 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

I've done a lot of brands (because I rotate so much), but like Pawz I don't buy anything I know for sure was part of Diamond. When I first got my dog they were in the middle of a bunch of scandals and recalls that were really, really bad. I just figure there are lots of other brands. And you'd be surprised the ones that get advertised loudly as being so great that your dog totally sticks his nose up at. It's really kind of a funny thing. Merrick, Instinct, etc. are good. I just tried a Nature's Recipe, just to be really different, and my dog finds it tasty. The Doctor something with a blue bag made my dog's eyes goopy. Natural Balance I didn't really like, not sure why. Sometimes it's the eyes, sometimes it's how his fur looks and maybe that he just looks better on a different brand. Oh I think maybe Wellness was one he hated, lol. You can look at Chewy or Petco and find products and just have them delivered. 

See this is where opinions differ so much. I wouldn't touch anything made by Merrick, either.

ETA: Ignore the above. I just refreshed my memory--Merrick was bought by Purina in 2015. Since I assume the Merrick family no longer has any say in the business I would use that food.

Edited by Pawz4me

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37 minutes ago, Pawz4me said:

 

Storygirl, this is JMHO and worth what it's costing you, but I'd trust Purina way, way more than I would TOTW. I will never use any product manufactured by Diamond.

Yup.  I've used some diamond products and never again. Lots of variation between batches, for one thing. And the dog would suddenly stop eating it, or get sick. 

Say what you will about the naturalness, etc of it, but Purina and Hills have done the studies on the dogs. (again, I at the moment make my own mostly, but after being burnt by small weird companies too many times I stick to bigger companies who really focus on dog food rather than as a side thing, and who have the science to back it up)

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I like food from The Honest Kitchen. I've been using the dehydrated base mixes and the two my dogs prefer are Veggie, Nut and Seed and Fruit and Veggie. You just mix it with warm water, let it sit for a few minutes, and then add whatever protein you use.

For canned or frozen food, I like Caru and Tylee's.

One of my dogs is a German Shepherd/White Swiss Shepherd mix with bad hips. He has been doing well on the Royal Canin kibble that is specifically designed for German Shepherds.

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I will say, I've also used Pedigree when money was really tight, and it was fine. Not superb, but at least consistent, and didn't cause GI upset, etc. And I fully admit that my choice may have been (totally was) swayed by those "good dog" commercials with David Duchovny. 

Darn commercial makes me cry every time. Shelters should play it right before you walk in to look at dogs - they'd double their adoption rate. 

 

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1 hour ago, Pawz4me said:

I'm just as much interested in the company who manufactures what I feed my pets as I am in the ingredients. I have zero concern about what any internet site says about that food. Most sites are run by people who have no formal education in animal nutrition. The ratings criteria are often either completely arbitrary (IMO) or they use criteria that I don't share.

I mostly home cook. When I feed commercial food it's usually FreshPet or Vital. My dog likes those (mostly--he's picky), they're easy to find, have acceptable to me ingredients that are sourced in the USA or Canada and I've not found anything about the company that disturbs me.

Storygirl, this is JMHO and worth what it's costing you, but I'd trust Purina way, way more than I would TOTW. I will never use any product manufactured by Diamond.

I haven't looked into any of the companies yet, but I will. This is my first dog as an adult, but our family fed our pets Purina when I was growing up, and the dogs all seemed to do well on it. I think there weren't as many choices back then, though. There are so many brands now to choose from.

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Puppy likes carrots. And making small bites of chicken would be easy, not to mention cheaper than many of the pre-packaged treats. So far she has liked everything we have offered, but we have only tried a couple of things so far. She had her first ice cube yesterday, and it was a bit hit. ?

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I'll try to post a picture, but I have to figure out how. Forwarded one from my phone to the computer, but now it's hiding from me.

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I'm glad I asked this question!! I didn't know that Diamond had a poor history, for example. And there are so many things on the shelves, it's hard to decide what to try and what to research.

I feel she's doing well on the Purina Pro Plan, though, so I can keep her on it while I consider other options. If she were having a poor time with it, I'd be in a bigger rush to make some changes. I didn't want to experiment too much without knowing what I am doing.

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47 minutes ago, Storygirl said:

I haven't looked into any of the companies yet, but I will. This is my first dog as an adult, but our family fed our pets Purina when I was growing up, and the dogs all seemed to do well on it. I think there weren't as many choices back then, though. There are so many brands now to choose from.

Goodness, yes.

And lines within brands. And different protein/carb sources within each line. It gets overwhelming. 

I was at the high end pet store the other day and saw a squid based food. Seriously. Squid. 

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We have tried so many and what works for us is Solid Gold.  If you have a gassy breed, this seems to work the best.  

No hide makes excellent dog treats that even picky dogs will eat. 

Edited by itsheresomewhere
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4 hours ago, Pawz4me said:

See this is where opinions differ so much. I wouldn't touch anything made by Merrick, either.

ETA: Ignore the above. I just refreshed my memory--Merrick was bought by Purina in 2015. Since I assume the Merrick family no longer has any say in the business I would use that food.

Yeah, Merrick is high in fat anyway, so I don't get to use it often. The flavor we got was AMAZING, like he loved it. I didn't know Purina owns it now, hmm. 

What I have a BAD impression of is the amazon dog food. I really don't know though. Like my bag of Purina One just came via amazon, and I love ordering that way, but I haven't actually bought any of their Wag and don't plan to. I think maybe the corn content was high or something. And the fat was high maybe.

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We have gone through many different foods.  Our dog is sensitive to grains (gets hot spots) and really gets sick from chicken (runny stools and sometimes vomiting.)  When he was a young, very energetic dog, we wanted a food higher in protein and fewer fillers.  There are very few brands of dog food that do not have some form of chicken meal.  We have been feeding Canidae bison formula.  Sometimes, when our friends watch our dog, he gets into their dog's food.  We end up needing to take him out a few times over night because he gets the runs.  

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We had good luck with Kirkland (Costco) puppy food (chicken and rice)....and also the Nature's Recipe  Chicken and Sweet Potato.

 

Now, our girl eats Kirkland Salmon & Sweet Potato.  

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Ours currently eat PureVita salmon and pea. Our rat terrier is allergic to all forms of poultry, so we have to be careful of ingredients, and our mixed breed is sensitive to grains unfortunately. I’m interested in the Kirkland salmon and sweet potato now. I’ll have to look in to that and see if it would be a less expensive option! Other than the cost, we’re very happy with the PureVita (although I’m a bit concerned about the grain free and heart condition study).

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OP, thank you for starting this discussion. Our little dog got very sick a few months back and though the high quality food she had been on since puppyhood didn’t cause it, it didn’t help and made her sicker. It was weeks before she could tolerate anything more than homemade chicken and rice. We were just glad she was eating again. I have spent countless hours researching dog food online and it’s just crazy. So many opinions from “experts” and very little facts. Opinions are expressed like they are facts and there are sure a lot of differing opinions out there. Eventually I started researching making dog food and entered a world of very opinionated people who are passionate about dog food. I couldn’t find a lot of consensus there either. I’m now making her food and doing the best I can to be as nutritious as possible but also doable and affordable. Why should it be harder to feed the dog than my kids? Our little dog seems to like what we’re feeding her now, she’s gained back the weight she lost, she’s happy and her coat is shiny. Hopefully that means she’s getting the nutrition she needs. She actually eats consistently better than my kids do. ? (It is so difficult to cut junk out of the kid’s diet! But that’s a whole other post! ? )

Edited by Annie Elle
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I've fed my 4-year-old Vizsla a balanced Prey Model Raw diet starting at 8 weeks. I'd rank feeding the dog raw up there with using Cuisenaire Rods with the boy as one of the best decisions I've ever made.

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I used Pedigree when we had multiple dogs because, frankly, I couldn’t really afford a better food (and most of our animals have been strays we’ve taken in from our area; not animals I have purchased then couldn’t afford to feed properly). 

I have one dog now, am currently using Pro Plan and I am pleased with it. I was thinking when I get a new dog I’d go to a more “designer” food, but honestly, I will likely stick with Pro Plan and just supplement with some healthy toppings (yogurt, eggs, raw bones, etc.).

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I have mixed feelings about Purina brand pet foods. Dog food and cat food.  I believe the quality is good, possibly very good, but that there are other brands where the quality is very good or excellent. The other brands might cost more or less than the Purina foods.

This is based on buying Purina Dog food in the USA and here in Colombia and now we have cats and buy food for them.

Our dogs, when we fed them Purina dog foods, got bored.  We would need to switch, from one Purina food to another Purina food, approximately every 12 months, because they got bored with the food.

There are many different brands of dog foods available in the USA and also here in Colombia.  One brand that I bought for my Old English Sheepdog was IAMS.  I think her breeder and/or the vet suggested that.https://www.iams.com/dog-food  Try to find something that is readily available where you live!

The food we buy here is made by a company called Solla.  Their packaging is also in English, so I wonder if they export to the USA or some other English speaking countries. It is much less expensive. We buy it from a place that only sells animal feeds and when we receive a bag of food, it is VERY fresh.  Sometimes the Purina and other foods in a supermarket have been there a long time.  Our dogs have been eating the same kind of Solla dog food for approximately 9 or 10 years. (Nutre Can Croquetas para Adultos in Spanish, made by Solla)

We have one cat who when I am putting the dog food into the bowls for the dogs, likes to eat the dog food.  I take that as a recommendation. Cats are picky eaters.

NOTE: If you switch your dog from one food to another, always do it gradually, over a minimum 7 to 10 day period. Each day, increase the percentage of the new food. See how it goes.

Disclaimer: I won my bicycle in a raffle from Purina, late in 2003...

 

Edited by Lanny
Added name of the Solla dog food
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We used to feed Science Diet, but switched to Blue Buffalo. Since we switched, one dog has had digestive problems every month, so as soon as we use this bag up, we'll be switching back to Science Diet.

Edited by wilrunner
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1 hour ago, wilrunner said:

We used to feed Science Diet, but switched to Blue Buffalo. Since we switched, one dog has had digestive problems every month, so as soon as we use this bag up, we'll be switching back to Science Diet.

Yup. As a vet tech I can say the brand that seemed most likely to cause GI problems was Blue Buffalo. 

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Also, venting here because the stupid hound just refused to eat. Again. It was home cooked chicken, eggs, oatmeal, and carrots/greenbeans. Mostly chicken. Brat.

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On 7/31/2018 at 8:41 AM, jrn said:

There is a new study that the popular grain free diets may be linked to heart disease. It is a very new study and the veterinary world is waiting for more info. 

 

 

My friend's daughter is a Vet and she says none of the Vets in her office recommend grain free for their dogs.

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12 hours ago, Ktgrok said:

Also, venting here because the stupid hound just refused to eat. Again. It was home cooked chicken, eggs, oatmeal, and carrots/greenbeans. Mostly chicken. Brat.

Ugh!! I'm sorry he's so picky. I hope you can find something he will eat reliably. That would drive me crazy; my kids and cat are picky enough, and I don't need a picky dog, too!

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12 hours ago, Ktgrok said:

Also, venting here because the stupid hound just refused to eat. Again. It was home cooked chicken, eggs, oatmeal, and carrots/greenbeans. Mostly chicken. Brat.

 

Dogs were not shaped by evolution to eat oatmeal, green beans, or carrots (much less the crap that's in commercial dog food).

 

Sounds like a smart dog, not a brat.

 

Smart dog. Good boy!

 

Bill

 

 

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I use Purina One Smart Blend True Instinct on autoship from Chewy. I started feeding that when I realized my poor hound needed more calories. She’s still skinny, but she’s super healthy and fit. There are two shapes of food in it. A triangular piece and a rough, free form piece that looks like a giant grape-nut. She almost always goes for those rough ones first. 

My dog ADORES cucumbers. I don’t think you need a low calorie training treat for a puppy, but for a grown dog, this might be an option. 

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57 minutes ago, SamanthaCarter said:

My dog ADORES cucumbers. I don’t think you need a low calorie training treat for a puppy, but for a grown dog, this might be an option. 

I've had two dogs (including the current one) who would/will eat just about any veggie or fruit put in their bowl while ignoring pieces of beef and chicken (raw or cooked).

I also had multiple dogs way back in the Stone Age when free roaming was the norm who would go into fields, drag fresh corn (stalks and all) back into the yard and then devour the corn. They took so much the farmer got a bit irate and I had to offer to pay him for his lost corn. 

All were/are healthy, energetic (often too much so), thriving dogs who lived long lives.

These experiences have allowed me to understand that meat is not the be-all-end-all for dogs. I'm a big believer in listening to the individual dog. 

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Yep, I’ve seen the dogs out at my parents place eat corn cobs like they’d found a treasure. 

Kgrok, I’m floored at the idea of a hound that’s a picky eater. Mine will actually raid my compost pile! She even eats things that are not food. I was reading some of the reviews on dog food and there was concern over many not including probiotics. I just laughed. I think my silly hound gets plenty of that in the backyard. 

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