I am new to the forum and have been reading posts for awhile before finally deciding to join. I am a vet tech student in PA. I've read a lot about Natural Balance and have decided to switch my dogs over to it from Nutro. Before coming onto this site I thought Nutro was a good food. Please let me know if I'm making a good choice and if anyone else has made the switch from Nutro to Natural Balance what results did you see? Thanks!
I switched to the NB Sweet Potato/Fish almost a year ago and it's been great. All the dogs LOVE this food and their coats are awesome. I have one that is epileptic (which is why I changed, I needed a grain free food for him) and another with IBS issues. My puff with IBS has done incredible on this food. We've not had one single tummy issue since starting on it, whereas in the past I'd put him on food and 6 weeks later he could no longer eat it (can't tell you how many 1/2 eaten bags of food I've donated to my local shelter). I fed Wellness venison/rice prior to the NB, but all much prefer the NB.
I tried the potato/duck formula first but I couldn't get poos firm so switched to the SP/fish and mine all prefer the SP/fish to the potato/duck. The other thing I like about the SP/fish is when I get new fosters in that are on crappy foods, I don't even bother slowly switching them over. This formula just doesnt' seem to upset the tummy like others can. Not sure if it's the sweet potato (similar to pumpkin) in it or not, but that would be my guess.
i tried switching my dogs to natural balance also. salty broke out with a horrendous ear infection that no amount of cleaning and medicating cleared up. process of elimination i decided to put them back on the food i was feeeding prior and within 1 week the ear infection cleared up. obviously she was allergic to something in their regular formula.
sonce then i have switched them over to innovas EVO dry food and knock on wood so far so good. the EVO is free of grains so i am guessing that she was allergic to some grain that was in the NB.
I switched from NB to Precise Plus...because the NB had bugs (due to its more natural, no preservatives state). However, more and more I'm researching and feeling that a raw prey model diet is probably the best way to go.
I have cavaliers and feed Natural Balance. I am currently feeding the sweet potatoe and fish and have been very happy with the results. Wonderful coats and easy to maintain weight on the dogs - this formula is great for those picky eaters.
I have not experienced "bugs" but I keep all my dry food in a sealed container and it does not sit long on the shelf where I but it.
I have also fed the regular formula with good results.
I have been very pleased with this food.
***Edited By: heritage on 4/25/2006 10:16:02 AM*** Reason: add
My guys also eat Natural Balance potato/duck. Honestly they're eat anything though. LOL, I did try some FROMM Family foods and they loved that too, but we're on the potato/duck because the Bichon has some allergy issues--which, after Easter I am now positive he's allergic to carrots! They're doing well on the natural balance, and I have considered switching them to some of the other brands people recommend, but why mess with something that isn't broken? BTW, when I went through the list of foods I'd tried with them with my vet..... Bichon came home on puppy chow (YUCK!) switched him to Nutro natural choice, then to Royal Canin, then a short stint on canned prescription food after he had raw hide....when I told them I was planning to put him on Natual Balance her reply was "Is there a reason you're feeding these NOVELTY foods? You can just give them purina one or pro plan" --Which is just exactly what they sell!~
Geesh - I hate when vets do that. I just had a vet tell a friend of mine that Science Diet was better for her dog than the Natural Balance ... (again they sell Science Diet) .. now my friend can not understand why her dog has loos stools and is not eating... go figure.
Thanks for everyones experiences! So far my guys seem to like it. I am just feeding the NB Ultra since no one has any allergies or skin problems. I was told that if I were to put them on a sensitive skin or stomach food and later tried to switch them to a regular food such as the NB Ultra that their stomach wouldn't be able to handle it. Is that true?
I have not had any difficulties switching to the Ultra if the dog did not have stomach problems with it to begin with.
However, I have had dogs that had "sensitive" stomaches on other brands do well on several different NB formulas. I generally start my puppies in the Ultra - I feed the SP & Fish because I feel it helps maintain a better show coat in my adults (personal preferance).
We fed Science Diet for a while after my vet recommended it (we switched from Iams so we did go up a step, but...). Then another breeder I work with occasionally mentioned Eagle Pack to me and kind of gave me a crash course in why the "Novelty" (or Super Premium :) foods are better for the over all dog. I had always stayed away from the Premium foods because all I looked at was price per 20 lb bag and I couldn't get over the fact that the good foods were double the price.
Then I realized... you feed half the food without all those fillers! Hmm... not so spendy anymore... Within 2 months of switching to Eagle Pack my food allergy dog had no more hot spots. My Luxating Patella dog (post surgery) was moving better than she ever had, and my Dad's 12 year old Springer Spaniel was acting like a kid again. Almost all of my Shelties doubled their coats and man were they SHINY! And everyone's teeth were so much cleaner (yay - less teethbrushing necessary!).
I have never regretted switching.
Anyway - the moral of this long windy story...
I discovered after talking with my vet that she recommends Science Diet because she's never used a Premium food herself and had never even heard of Eagle Pack, Canidae, Wellness... Part of this has to do with the fact that there isn't a store in all of our town that carries anything better than Nutro (the wholesaler I get my food from is TRYING to get a couple of the local pet supply stores to carry ONE of them...). I sat down and showed her all the information I had compiled on Premium foods and I swear her jaw dropped. Now, she recommends Science Diet - but she does let her patients/clients know that there are better foods out there if you're willing to pay to ship them in.
On another note - we're looking at moving closer to town in the next year or so (we're about 40 minutes out and my Mom's Diabetes is starting to hit her harder and she wants to be closer to the doctor). When we do, I'm seriously contimplating getting into selling Premium dog food. It stinks when I place a puppy with a local family and the best they can do is feed Nutro...
To the OP - I looked at NB and it looks like an excellent food. I just can't quite afford to feed it, or I'd love to! I think I'm switching to Canidae though...
abby, my mom is a type 1 diabetic for 10yrs now. Make sure your mom has a good diet and eats at least 3 meals a day with a proper balance of carbs. (Not too many, I recommend a low carb diet, not atkins, just lower her carb intake... not too much pasta, bread) It helps to make meal plans for the week. be sure she always has some kind of candy or sugary snack with her in case she gets low. And make sure she gets proper bloodwork done when her dr recommends it. That should keep her diabetes in control.
Also, I've heard acupuncture helps keep levels normal. My mom is trying it out now.
***Edited By: thelifeofriley on 4/26/2006 12:40:32 PM*** Reason: add