I have a question about dog food. Years ago, we had a german shepherd who was …

I have a question about dog food. Years ago, we had a german shepherd who was allergic to chicken. We switched him (and our other 2 dogs) to grain free and they all did amazing on it. We mixed proteins and had no issues. Now, years later, we have a german shepherd pup (9 months old now). When he came to us at 8 weeks he was eating Victor grain free active dog and puppy. Our vet is anti-grain free and recommended Purina Pro Plan large breed puppy (chicken). We transitioned over a couple of weeks, but he had soft stools or diarrhea all the time and was itchy. He ended up having anal gland issues. We added pumpkin, bananas, yogurt and nothing helped.
We switched to the sslmon/sensitive skin and stomach puppy formula but it didn’t get better. We ended up adding Victor back in, and he got better. Now he is back on the Victor puppy grain free, mixed with the Victor grain included formula. No issues. But our Vet has us worried about heart issues, and I’m worried that we’re going to get a lecture because she only recommends Purina Pro Plan, Science Diet, RC, Ian’s – big companies with a vet on staff. Should we keep trying these, or stick with what’s working? (Our previous vet retired 🙁 ) We want to do the best thing for our puppy.

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Krista Magnifico
2 years ago

Hello, I am anti grain free too. I have seen perfectly healthy dogs die, in some cases even multiple dogs in the same house die from grain free diets and heart disease. It has changed me and I won’t recommend grain free until we know exactly what is happening and why. Along with what we can do about it. For now I don’t feed or recomend grain free. I also do not believe the anal glands are associated with the diet. I’ve seen thousands of dogs over decades and they don’t correlate to diet and anal sac issues. Please don’t… Read more »

2 years ago

Hi- we have a household of german shepherds. We feed Purina One large breed with glucosamine. There is a sensitive stomach option as well as a senior option. At the moment our GSDs are loving the venison option. Our youngest did have an adjustment period of about 2 weeks from when we got him until his stools got back on track with our food. Other than that one instance, we have always been very happy with this food. I should add that their health and lifespan has been great on this diet as well. ..14 years and very healthy up… Read more »

2 years ago

I feed the food the dog does best on. If that means Victor, or some other grain free brand, then that’s what it means. (Though I’m really not a fan of Victor.) I have been a fan of Merrick for a long time. Try them, or Castor + Pollux, their other brand. If you think your dog is allergic to chicken, make sure you read labels carefully – LOTS of brands use chicken fat in formulations which do not list chicken as a main ingredient, and even a little of it will make our girl break out in hives and… Read more »