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Zignature dry dog food questions

Dietary/feeding issues
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RomansGirl
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Tell us about yourself: I am a college student,wife of a disabled US Army veteran and mom to an almost 18 year old son. Our family has 11 dogs and three cats. Our two oldest dogs are Hailie a 6 year old black and sable German Shepherd Dog then Casper a nearly 6 year old white German Shepherd Dog Belgian Malinois mix. Then come Tundra and her sister Drizzit two wolf husky ACD maybe beagle we dont know whats they are 5 years old. Then comes Tundra's son Cheveyo a nearly 4 year old husky wolf whatever else his mama is and boxer/ pit bull mix who was born dead. Then come Hailie's two pups three year olds Tank and Bella black lab/ German Shepherd mixes who are both Service Dogs. Then we have 2 1/2 year old siblings Garnet and Blaize Boston Terrier Min Pin mixes then there is 1 year old Demon Shadow our Pit Bull and finally Isis our 8-12 week old Dutch Shepherd puppy who was dumped on us. We were told that she was a pit bull but we knew better right off.

Zignature dry dog food questions

Post by RomansGirl » Fri Jun 19, 2015 7:39 pm

My husband and I have each got a service dog. They are brother and sister half lab half shepherd. Recently they developed some sort of allergy to something. We think it is to their food but we arent sure yet. We have decided to switch food to something grain free. We have tried Taste Of The Wild before but they didnt seem to like it. Someone suggested Zignature food or Natural Balance. There are some things I dont like in the Natural Balance such as it having potato as the main ingredient when I would rather try something with meats as the main ingredient. I guess my questions are have any of you tried these foods and if so what did you like or not like about them? How did your dogs do on the food?

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Owned-By-Hendrix
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Re: Zignature dry dog food questions

Post by Owned-By-Hendrix » Sat Jun 20, 2015 7:44 am

I haven't heard of Zignature. Natural Balance seems to have a 50/50 track record for causing problems in dogs. I would go on dog advisor.com and try anything rated 4 stars and above. I believe some favorites from the site are Orijen, ToTW, Fromm, and Merrick's. If you suspect a food allergen, I would suggest raw or home cooked meals on an elimination diet to try to determine the cause.
Kay
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(Tyson's Soul Twin)

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Stacy_R
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Re: Zignature dry dog food questions

Post by Stacy_R » Sat Jun 20, 2015 2:28 pm

Allergies are tough...
Even if it's not technically the food, if you switch to a higher quality food, you *may* see a reduction because the gut and the immune system will strengthen. What are you feeding them now?
~Stacy
Mom to:
Tyson - DS mix (Hendrix's Soul Sibling and Dinga Roo's long lost twin)
Baby Ruth - Miniature Schnauzer
Snickers - Miniature Pinscher
http://www.rescuedme.org

RomansGirl
Just Whelped
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2015 5:42 am
Tell us about yourself: I am a college student,wife of a disabled US Army veteran and mom to an almost 18 year old son. Our family has 11 dogs and three cats. Our two oldest dogs are Hailie a 6 year old black and sable German Shepherd Dog then Casper a nearly 6 year old white German Shepherd Dog Belgian Malinois mix. Then come Tundra and her sister Drizzit two wolf husky ACD maybe beagle we dont know whats they are 5 years old. Then comes Tundra's son Cheveyo a nearly 4 year old husky wolf whatever else his mama is and boxer/ pit bull mix who was born dead. Then come Hailie's two pups three year olds Tank and Bella black lab/ German Shepherd mixes who are both Service Dogs. Then we have 2 1/2 year old siblings Garnet and Blaize Boston Terrier Min Pin mixes then there is 1 year old Demon Shadow our Pit Bull and finally Isis our 8-12 week old Dutch Shepherd puppy who was dumped on us. We were told that she was a pit bull but we knew better right off.

Re: Zignature dry dog food questions

Post by RomansGirl » Sun Jun 21, 2015 4:46 am

We started them on puppy chow when they were babies then switched them to dog chow, then to old roy as we had no other choice then this winter I bought two pallets of pedigree. We are down to the last trash can full of food. Keep in mind we are feeding 11 dogs off this and have loaned "friends" some food for their dogs. They did ok on the old roy but wouldnt eat the dog chow they have been on the Pedigree since January and just started itching really bad. Orijin is too expensive around here. At the pet food store where we got the samples of Zignature a 15 pound bag or Orijin was $43.00 a bag. We have four cats that eat one of the two feline formulas of Taste Of The Wild but there are like five different types of it and finding one that will work for both dogs is gonna be hard. We gave Tank my husband's service dog the lamb based of the Zignature and he loved it. He gobbled it down like he had never had anything to eat for over a month.... Bella got the duck and I dont think she even came up for air till the bowl was empty. Back when we still had my husky before she passed away of brain cancer and my husband's prior service dog a doberman passed of a heart attack we had them on Taste of the wild. Katana the doberman was 56 pounds when we got him at 3 years old and was skin and bone. We had to have him on the wetlands formula of Taste of the wild and he did good on it the high prairie was too rich for hi and gave him as we say it runny tail. Maggie my husky had the high prairie and did well on it she was 85 pounds when we got her but due to her brain cancer she was down to 45 pounds and was fed daily but was losing weight instead of gaining it.

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Stacy_R
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Re: Zignature dry dog food questions

Post by Stacy_R » Sun Jun 21, 2015 4:29 pm

Wow. Okay. Don't take this wrong but Puppy Chow, Dog Chow, 'Ol Roy, and Pedigree are all terrible, horrible food. Awful, even. I would say switching them to a higher quality food is a must. I would throw out whatever you have left and start now as it may take awhile to detox their systems.

I'm not a fan of Taste of the Wild because they use a facility known for recalls. Even though the recalls are for salmonella (which a dog's system can handle), because of the number of times they have had recalls, I question their manufacturing processes and cleanliness.

I am a huge fan of Orijen and Acana. Both of these foods are made by the same company and they not only source free range and organic ingredients, but they add probiotics to their food. Acana is slightly cheaper than Orijen. Something to keep in mind when looking at $ per pound of food: if you feed a higher quality, more species appropriate kibble that is not overly processed, you will actually feed less and it usually evens out.

I looked briefly at Zignature and it looks to be a good dry food at first glance. That being said, I would add a probiotic. Health starts in the gut and probiotics will definitely help. Even if Zignature doesn't source organic ingredients, your dogs will be much better off if you switch them all sooner rather than later.

A couple more things to consider:
1. Just be aware that, like I stated above, you may not see instant results with allergy symptoms. It takes some dogs' systems awhile to detox. Give it time.
2. Keep a food journal (how much you feed, what you feed - including treats, allergy symptoms, weight, etc).
3. Be careful to not be your own worst enemy...meaning if you are switching to a higher quality food, don't set your dogs' systems up for failure and yourself up for frustration by giving low-quality treats. Toss the milk bones, ol roy's, pedigrees, etc.

Pricing:
I did a little price research on Chewy.com. The prices at your local store should be a little cheaper.

Zignature Lamb - a 27 lb bag is $54.90. That is $2.03 per pound.
ACANA Lamb & Okanagan Apple - a 25 lb bag is $68.99. That is $2.75 per pound.
Zignature Duck - a 27 lb bag is $64.99. That is $2.40 per pound.
ACANA Duck and Bartlett Pear - a 25 lb bag is $71.99. That is $2.87 per pound.


Orijen Adult (which I believe is their cheapest formula) - a 28.6 lb bag is $78.99. That is $2.76 per pound.
ACANA Regionals Wild Prairie Forumula - a 28.6 lb bag is $67.99. That is $2.37 per pound.
ACANA Chicken & Burbank Potato - a 28.6 lb bag is $56.99. That is $1.99 per pound.

While the Orijen and ACANA lines are little pricier (except the last one, which would be a bit cheaper), you are getting a better quality food for the extra .40 - .75 per pound. Orijen and ACANA are whole prey biologically appropriate, organic, minimally processed, use fresh ingredients (meaning preservative free), and add probiotics.
~Stacy
Mom to:
Tyson - DS mix (Hendrix's Soul Sibling and Dinga Roo's long lost twin)
Baby Ruth - Miniature Schnauzer
Snickers - Miniature Pinscher
http://www.rescuedme.org

Raven
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Re: Zignature dry dog food questions

Post by Raven » Sun Jun 21, 2015 11:34 pm

Stacy, Stacy, Stacy...our eternal source of nutritional information and advice. :D

Just wanted to mention to the OP that feeding a high-quality kibble requires feeding less of it to the dog.

Feeding 11 dogs is tough, though consider that feeding Ol' Roy and such is like keeping kids on a diet of junk food. That said, a dog needs to eat, so anything is better than the alternative. ;) :)



*******
P.S.: Stacy, because of the Diamond processing plant that you mentioned a few months ago, I switched Thor from GF TOTW to Merrick's. I'd been wanting to switch to Orijen for a few years, but I can't quite accept the price. (I'll buy those small bags as occasional treats to have in my pockets, which make me smell like ROTTEN FISH-----And what's the deal with those little bags, anyway? Even a Chihuahua owner couldn't get more than a few meals out of it.)
Though I can only hope to become the person who my animals believe I am, the things that they have taught me have made me a better human being. ~~~Sharon~~~

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Stacy_R
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Re: Zignature dry dog food questions

Post by Stacy_R » Mon Jun 22, 2015 3:10 am

Raven wrote:Just wanted to mention to the OP that feeding a high-quality kibble requires feeding less of it to the dog.
Absolutely!
Raven wrote:P.S.: Stacy, because of the Diamond processing plant that you mentioned a few months ago, I switched Thor from GF TOTW to Merrick's.
Merrick is a great food and is on the list that I recommend to adopters. :wtg: I love that they have their own processing facility. :)

On Chewy.com, both Merrick's grain free duck formula and lamb formula are $56.48 for a 25lb bag...$2.25 per pound...which is cheaper than Zignature and Acana. And I believe Merrick adds probiotics as well...
Raven wrote:I'd been wanting to switch to Orijen for a few years, but I can't quite accept the price. (I'll buy those small bags as occasional treats to have in my pockets, which make me smell like ROTTEN FISH
That made me giggle...
Raven wrote:-And what's the deal with those little bags, anyway? Even a Chihuahua owner couldn't get more than a few meals out of it.)
LOL. They are kind of silly. ;) I think the small bags are there so people can try it out. I also know there are a lot of raw feeders who will buy the small Orijen bags for the exact same reason you did...training treats...lol.
~Stacy
Mom to:
Tyson - DS mix (Hendrix's Soul Sibling and Dinga Roo's long lost twin)
Baby Ruth - Miniature Schnauzer
Snickers - Miniature Pinscher
http://www.rescuedme.org

RomansGirl
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Tell us about yourself: I am a college student,wife of a disabled US Army veteran and mom to an almost 18 year old son. Our family has 11 dogs and three cats. Our two oldest dogs are Hailie a 6 year old black and sable German Shepherd Dog then Casper a nearly 6 year old white German Shepherd Dog Belgian Malinois mix. Then come Tundra and her sister Drizzit two wolf husky ACD maybe beagle we dont know whats they are 5 years old. Then comes Tundra's son Cheveyo a nearly 4 year old husky wolf whatever else his mama is and boxer/ pit bull mix who was born dead. Then come Hailie's two pups three year olds Tank and Bella black lab/ German Shepherd mixes who are both Service Dogs. Then we have 2 1/2 year old siblings Garnet and Blaize Boston Terrier Min Pin mixes then there is 1 year old Demon Shadow our Pit Bull and finally Isis our 8-12 week old Dutch Shepherd puppy who was dumped on us. We were told that she was a pit bull but we knew better right off.

Re: Zignature dry dog food questions

Post by RomansGirl » Mon Jun 22, 2015 7:13 pm

I forgot to add that my pack are grazers and always have been. I have a 6 year old WGSD mix who absolutely CAN NOT under any circumstances have chicken unless we want to be cleaning up cannon butt multiple times a day. Our other GSD also 6 years old can eat almost anything. Our three wolf dogs, the two females being mid to low content and the male being low content wolf are the same way. Our two Boston Terrier Min Pin mixes the female likes canned food and its the only thing that keeps her at a good weight. The male will only eat kibble. Our two lab shepherds eat kibble as does Isis and our pit bull. We have auto feeders that hang in the out door runs where the dogs can eat when ever they want and however much they want.Demon our pit however shredded hers so we changed hers to a 12 pound metal one. Depending on the dog how long it takes them to go through a feeder full of food. Tundra one of our wolf dogs goes through 25 pounds of food every month. Haillie our female GSD loses weight if she gets bowl fed but it takes her about 3 weeks to empty her feeder same with Casper. Drizzit our other female wolf dog eats about the same as her sister. Cheveyo Tundra's pup goes through 25 pounds every 2 1/2 weeks as do Tank and Bella our lab shepherds. Demon really doesnt eat a lot which is odd for a pit but she takes about 3-4 weeks to empty her 12 pound feeder. Little Blaize the male Boston Terrier Min Pin goes through his feeder every 2 months as he is a lean healthy 17.1 pounds. Not sure what Isis weighs right now but she is heavy and lean. Right now she is eating out of a bowl and it takes her 3 days to empty a bowl of puppy food. Her former "owner" dumped her off on us with a bag of Beniful puppy that she hated and was making her sick. I put her on Taste Of The Wild puppy and she is doing really well on that.

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Stacy_R
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Re: Zignature dry dog food questions

Post by Stacy_R » Mon Jun 22, 2015 8:15 pm

RomansGirl wrote:I forgot to add that my pack are grazers and always have been. I have a 6 year old WGSD mix who absolutely CAN NOT under any circumstances have chicken unless we want to be cleaning up cannon butt multiple times a day.
2 things:

1. I'm not a fan of grazing because of many reasons that relate to health and training. Without going into too much detail, it's hard to nail down health issues because you can't really keep a solid food diary. And then there is training. Meal time is built-in training time.

2. Many dogs who have purported chicken allergies are not, in fact, allergic to chicken. It's the over-processing of the chicken and the type of "chicken" going into the food. Granted, there are many dogs who have chicken allergies, but I have known my fair share who, when put on a raw or high-quality, minimally processed food do fine with actual chicken as a main ingredient.

So what is your WGSD eating now?
~Stacy
Mom to:
Tyson - DS mix (Hendrix's Soul Sibling and Dinga Roo's long lost twin)
Baby Ruth - Miniature Schnauzer
Snickers - Miniature Pinscher
http://www.rescuedme.org

RomansGirl
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Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2015 5:42 am
Tell us about yourself: I am a college student,wife of a disabled US Army veteran and mom to an almost 18 year old son. Our family has 11 dogs and three cats. Our two oldest dogs are Hailie a 6 year old black and sable German Shepherd Dog then Casper a nearly 6 year old white German Shepherd Dog Belgian Malinois mix. Then come Tundra and her sister Drizzit two wolf husky ACD maybe beagle we dont know whats they are 5 years old. Then comes Tundra's son Cheveyo a nearly 4 year old husky wolf whatever else his mama is and boxer/ pit bull mix who was born dead. Then come Hailie's two pups three year olds Tank and Bella black lab/ German Shepherd mixes who are both Service Dogs. Then we have 2 1/2 year old siblings Garnet and Blaize Boston Terrier Min Pin mixes then there is 1 year old Demon Shadow our Pit Bull and finally Isis our 8-12 week old Dutch Shepherd puppy who was dumped on us. We were told that she was a pit bull but we knew better right off.

Re: Zignature dry dog food questions

Post by RomansGirl » Tue Jun 23, 2015 9:15 pm

We tried giving Casper raw chicken and he did not do well with it at all. He's eating what the others are right now. My pack has always been grazers. Our black and sable GSD will lose so much weight if she is fed at set times even if its the same amount twice a day every day. We found this out last year after she was spayed. Thats when we started free feeding the pack. The vet said at her last appointment in January she looks good the way she is now. When we got her back 3 years ago she was only 28 pounds at 3 years old. She had been badly starved. Casper the WGSD was a rescue from a local shelter and was used to having to gulp his food which I know can lead to bloat. The shelter gave a small metal bowl of food once a day and the dogs have around an hour to eat or they dont get anymore till the next morning. He will cache his away if fed out of a bowl so that is why he is free fed. I keep an eye on the dogs when I am out of school for the summer as I am a college student. My husband monitors them during the school year and we know who is and who isnt eating.

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Stacy_R
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Re: Zignature dry dog food questions

Post by Stacy_R » Tue Jun 23, 2015 9:35 pm

If Casper is getting Pedigree...he's getting chicken. Or at least chicken by-product.

In any case, I think you should definitely switch everyone over to a higher quality food. Zignature looks to be good with the little bit of research that I've done on it if that is what you are leaning towards. Your pups will thank you!

:)
~Stacy
Mom to:
Tyson - DS mix (Hendrix's Soul Sibling and Dinga Roo's long lost twin)
Baby Ruth - Miniature Schnauzer
Snickers - Miniature Pinscher
http://www.rescuedme.org

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Re: Zignature dry dog food questions

Post by Raven » Tue Jun 23, 2015 10:45 pm

I agree with Stacy about grazing. Dogs can be trained to eat when the food goes down. Your rules, not theirs. That said, if there's no other issues with the dog/s (behaviorally, respect, OB, etc.), then all's good.

When you were feeding raw chicken, was the dog eating anything else? What part of the chicken? With bone? When was the next meal--and was that chicken, too?
Though I can only hope to become the person who my animals believe I am, the things that they have taught me have made me a better human being. ~~~Sharon~~~

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Re: Zignature dry dog food questions

Post by Dutchringgirl » Tue Jun 23, 2015 11:07 pm

ewww get of Pedigree. Acana is good that is what i use
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