See I think I have a unique perspective on this topic. I have quite a few dogs :) and I've fed Iams, Science Diet, Eagle Pack (the regular and the Holistic), and I just switched to Canidae a couple of weeks ago.
I thought my dogs did well on Iams too. Then, I switched to Science Diet and problems I didn't even realize were food related cleared up. It was crazy. I'd convinced myself that "They are doing fine" on Iams - and since they weren't actually SICK - they probably were doing just that - fine. Why settle for fine when you can have great for about the same price (cost per month, NOT per bag or pound).
Then, one of my neutered guys started showing some big time allergy problems shortly after we started feeding Science Diet and after 6 months of ruling everything else out I was fed up and decided to switch again. Another breeder I knew raved about the excellent quality of Eagle Pack. I started doing my research and was really impressed with what I found out about the food and after I realized that I was going to pay about the same price per pound for the Eagle Pack vs the Science Diet (which I was buying from my vet, with a discount, and with their breeders club coupons) I decided to give it a try.
The allergy guy I put on the Holistic Select Anchovy, Salmon, Sardine, and Oatmeal formula to rule out corn and chicken being the source of his problem. In 2 weeks, no more signs of allergies, all hot spots cleared up, and within 6 months he had almost twice the coat (I have Shelties - so long coated breed). 1/2 of the group I put on regular Eagle Pack and 1/2 on the Holistic Select Eagle Pack. Everyone improved overall. Their teeth were cleaner (yay for me as I brush everyone's teeth at least once a week), their breath smelled better, their shedding cut almost in half (a big deal with a long coated breed!), and my picky eaters started maintaining their weight and eating better and my chow hounds started maintaining their weight and it was no longer a battle to keep their weight down. Their coats became twice as shiny. On both Iams and Science Diet I was using an Omega 3 & 6 fatty acid supplement to improve their coats and to keep their skin moist (we have really low humidity which causes dry skin easily). Once on Eagle Pack, I stopped using the supplement and no longer had a problem.
After 6 months of using a little of both I realized that the ones on the Holistic (corn free food with supplements added for skin & coat, digestion, and overall health) were doing a lot better. I raised a couple of litters of puppies on the Holistic select and was shocked in the difference of how much coat they had by 8 weeks. My Mom's didn't blow their coats as badly on the Holistic Eagle Pack...
I decided to switch to Canidae for 2 reasons - 1) I wanted to get everyone on a Holistic/corn free diet and it worked out to be about .10 cents per pound cheaper to do it with Canidae as opposed to the Holistic Eagle Pack and the foods are similar quality. 2.) I liked that they didn't have 17 different formulas. I could just have 2 kinds of food on hand instead of 5 or 6 which makes my life easier since I have to order my food in by the truckload as the best quality food sold in my area (within 200 miles) is Diamond or Science Diet).
So far I've been thrilled with the Canidae switch - though it's early yet (we're on week 2 of straight Canidae). All the things I liked about my dogs on Eagle Pack Holistic are still there with the added plus that their stools are nicer, they are drinking less water, and the LOVE LOVE the food (several of my younger ones have decided that they like their food as training treats better than the treats I was using before...).
I always shake my head when people say "If it isn't broke, don't fix it". For me, I didn't know what the difference was in my dogs from a Super Premium food to what I call a "Commercial" brand (the ones you see on the TV commercials :) until I actually did it. I wouldn't switch back to Iams now if someone from Iams contacted me and offered to give me free food for the rest of my life. I had dry skin problems, breaking fur, my dogs teeth were terrible and required brushing 3-4 times a week, I couldn't keep weight ON the dogs that were picky eaters or higher energy, and I couldn't keep it OFF of the ones that tended to gain unnecessary weight. Even on Science Diet, I always had someone on the weight loss food and I still had to supplement with a skin/coat supplement to keep their skin and coats happy.
And I have an Uncle who feeds his dog Kibbles N' Bits. That dog has more problems than I could name, but my Uncle chooses to overlook them and claims since the dog is 12 and still alive, the food isn't killing him...
I have enough dogs that I kind of have my own little control group - between my parents, my sister and myself and our households (we consider the dogs as joint and they go back and forth between our homes). We have 3 different purebred dog (Shelties, Aussies, and an ancient Springer Spaniel) and one mixed breed. Some are very young, some very old. Some have allergies, some have joint problems. Honest to goodness, the difference in them all on a really great food was unbelievable.
And as far as price goes. I figured out that while I'm paying almost double per bag right now, I'm feeding about half as much as I was with Iams and Science Diet. If you them consider that I'm no longer using the skin/coat supplements, and I'm not having to give the older dogs/joint problem dogs Glucosamine (all but one) anymore, I'm SAVING quite a bit of money. I think we figured out we're saving about $1500 a year on dog food by feeding Canidae rather than Iams... Pretty crazy, huh??? :)
I just find it funny that you had such great results with Canidae.. We tried out Canidae after our dogs had been on IAMS. After 4-5 months and while Bowen did ok on it but I honestly could not tell any differences in his coat shine and texture. He'd always been a healthy dog so no differneces in allergies or anything else. Our Akita didn't do well on Canidae at all. She had consistently soft stools and we *knew* it wasn't Giardia or Coccidia, her coat looked like crap. I know someone with Briards who had a similar experience feeding Canidae to her dogs, their coats went all wonky.
So I changed to chicken soup. Now that food I can tell a big difference on in the texture and conditioning of both Bowen, Ramoth and Riddick's coats.
Irishgirl, Glad my comment could be helpful. Our girl's are Pomeranian/Dachshund. LONG STORY! I believe the breeder as much as I believe the moon is made of cheese! Anyhoo, the three girl's have varying hair texture's and each has a much different look but the Royal Canin puppy has been so good for their coat. Pom's are notorious for dry skin and itching. But since having been put on this when they were two month's old they have never had those issue's. Now I will warn you that the food smell's rich and if they should need to "expell" some gas it will smell RANK! lol. My vet agree's for our small girl's it is a great choice and has worked well.
I'm getting a "mutt". I know what specific kind but I'm tired of all the negative comments on mixed breed dogs. I know what I like and I shouldnt have to defend my decision expecially seeing as how I alone am paying for it. The price isn't astronimical ethier. Any whoo, my baby will be small and around 9 weeks old so I'm preparing myself for all of the hard work! I just want to make sure I get the best and all of the advice I'm getting is so helpful. Can't wait until arrival day. Dog food topics go on and on but the same couple of brands keep getting repeated which is wonderful. I had no idea that commercial food was so bad when I first began my search for a dog. Commercials can be so misleading!
***Edited By: sweetie pie on 5/22/2006 1:46:28 PM*** Reason: typo
Hi dude, Just give him some nutritional treats which is soft and delicious without chemicals. Give him some chicken biscuits and Charlee Bear Dog Treats. Puppies always loves the taste of peanut butter flavor. Give him Puppy-Cal™ Nutritional Gel dog nutrition which tastes as a treat to puppies and adds vitamins and nutrition to your puppies.....