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    1. #1
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      greagre's Avatar
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      Cool dog food, should we switch from royal canin to orijen?

      My lab puppy is 8 months now. We have been feeding her royal canin labrador puppy food since we got her when she was 8-week old. She seems doing excellently with this food. Her hair is shiny and very soft. She is generally very healthy and happy. She did not have any allergy or other health problem so far. Although she seems to be a small lab (we have been feeding her less than the guide suggested amount to have her grow slowly to avoid possible HD), but my vet confirmed that she is healthy and not underweight.

      Now we are thinking of switching her to adult food. I have seen tons of very positive reviews of Orijen dry dog food. It seems a very high-quality dog food and many people said royal canin is not comparable to orijen at all and orijen is by far better. Then I am wondering if we should switch her to Orijen adult food or Royal Canin Labrador adult food. My husband want to stick with royal canin because he thinks our lab has no problem with it then no need to risk to change. What if orijen happens to not get along with her stomach or something like that? Also, orijen seems very rich in protein. What if it makes our lab fat? But I am always thinking if there is a better quality food, why not?

      Please give us some advice on this. Thanks so much!

    2. #2
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      People can get caught up in finding a better food for their dogs but certainly some kibbles are better quality than others. If your puppy is doing well on his current food, there's no need to switch him, but it's a matter of preference. Orijen is high protein, as you have pointed out, and some dogs do well, others don't seem to tolerate it as well. You won't know until you try. As for making your dog fat, that would be on you to provide the correct amount for your pup's frame. Most dogs can get fat on whatever food you're feeding if they get more than they need and the guidelines on the bags are just that, guidelines. If I fed my dogs what the bag suggests, they would be big old porch busters but it was a matter of watching their weight as they grew and adjusting the quantity based upon their body condition.

      If the Orijen doesn't work for your puppy, you would just switch him over to something else. My pups switched from puppy to adult formula foods at about 5 months of age on the recommendation of their breeders but other breeders on here, or who people have gotten their pups from, suggest waiting until a year of age. If you got your puppy from a good breeder who is knowledgeable in such matters, you may want to check with the breeder as to when to switch from puppy to adult food. If you're switching to a food that is an All Life Stages food, that should have the correct mix of minerals for his still growing frame. There is a wide range of foods being fed to the dogs on here, from kibbles of many, many varieties, to homecooked to raw. You can only find the foods that work for your dog, there is no one best food. Speaking only for myself, my now adult dogs can eat a variety of different brands and I tend to switch things up with every bag so that should a recall occur with one brand, I have other brands I know I can switch to with no issues. There are a fair number on here who feed their dogs raw and would not dream of feeding kibble. It's all what works for you and your pup.

      When you switch, you want to go pretty slow mixing his new food with the old food in gradually increasing ratios. Orijen has both more protein and more fat than your puppy is currently eating, so watch for loose stools or other GI symptoms as indicators that the switch is not going as hoped. Sometimes dogs get some loose stools because they've been given a little more food than they need, even 1/4 cup too much can be the difference between too much and just right.

      Good luck, don't make yourself crazy with switching foods to find the "best" one- it can happen!
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    3. #3
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      Personally, I think Royal Canin has some ingredients that would worry me for long-term use. I wouldn't necessarily switch to Orijen, but I would switch to a product with less chemicals added to it.

    4. #4
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      What does your breeder say about switching food? Were you advised to go to adult food at a certain time and were there not suggestions as to which one?

      My own puppy was weaned right onto adult food. I decided to rotate main protein and filler sources and since the breeder's food worked just fine I kept protein, fat and kcal/cup numbers as close to the same as I could. To me this is sensible, if dog/puppy is doing fine on 26% protein then why bother going to 40%?

      People's opinions and ratings of food can be very subjective. Notice none of us who have responded here have told you what we are feeding. What we are feeding may not be the food that's best for your pup. What helped me the most was being shown the Dog Food Project where I was able to learn about ingredients, how to read labels and then deciding for myself which foods I thought would work for my dog.

      The Dog Food Project - How does your Dog Food Brand compare?

      I should add, I kept my dog on his breeder's food till he was about 2, but then it was an adult food. You really should talk to your breeder.

    5. #5
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      Switching is fine but not all dogs do well on these super premium foods. You can try Orijen, but be ready for the food not working. Nothing is wrong with Royal Canin. We feed Pro Plan and lots of people don't like it but I have healthy dogs that look beautiful.
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    6. #6
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      If she is doing well on it I would stick with Royal Canin. It is a perfectly fine kibble. My husbands lab did very well on it for a couple of years but then we switched to raw for all the dogs. Honestly I'm not a big fan of Orijen, I've heard a few concerning things related to their quality. A bunch of cats died in Australia awhile back due to something in the formula being wrong.

    7. #7
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      Quote Originally Posted by Berna View Post
      Personally, I think Royal Canin has some ingredients that would worry me for long-term use. I wouldn't necessarily switch to Orijen, but I would switch to a product with less chemicals added to it.
      I dunno ... Scully lived to 15 eating Royal Canin Labrador. She was on Pro-Plan until the Royal Canin came out but we were given a free sample of the Royal Canin and she seemed to prefer the taste - nothing wrong with Pro-Plan, though. Mulder was on it for a while too, but ended up switching when he developed an intolerance to chicken. He lived to 15 on Taste of the Wild, which a lot of people have concerns about.

      Food is only one part of the story in keeping your dog healthy, and in my opinion a much smaller part than people often seem to believe - I’ve never fed anything along the lines of Ol’ Roy or Beneful, so can’t speak to that level of food, but mine have always done fine on the “middle of the road” brands.
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      Remembering:
      Scully (Coventry's Truth Is Out There, UD, RN) 4/4/1996 - 6/30/2011
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    8. #8
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      Thank you guys! Really appreciate your opinions.

      As I mentioned in my original post, my 8-month lab seems smaller than the normal/average size.. I mean her size is small but her weight is fine for her size. Maybe she is just growing slowly and she might catch up later by she is one year. I am not sure. But, is there any chance that this is because the current food royal canin is not nutritious enough? Or as long as she is not underweight, genes controls the size and development speed. I do not mind to have a small lab, actually I prefer small ones, but I do not want to restrict her growth by not providing good enough food. Any opinion on this? Thank you!

    9. #9
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      Size is based on genetics. My male lab is full grown and weighs 55 lbs.

    10. #10
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      It's related primarily to genetics, assuming she hasn't been starved during the past 8 months. If you know the size of her parents, that would probably give you a better idea of her size as a full grown dog. The AAFCO standards for minimal nutrition needs for puppies is much lower than your current food. AAFCO Puppy Food Standards & Requirements Unless her food intake was at starvation levels, her food is nutritious enough for normal growth and development.

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