Food choices... Royal Canin, Nutro Ultra, Blue Buffalo???

Discuss ways to improve the quality of your dog's life and longevity through proper nutrition; a place for all of your questions and answers about feeding your pooch!

Please keep discussions fun, friendly, and helpful at all times. Non-informative posts criticizing a particular brand or another poster’s choice of food are not allowed in this Forum. References to any brand of food as "junk," "garbage," or other harsh names will be removed.

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If it's in your- hand, it's gotta- be MINE
Barked: Wed Sep 2, '09 11:12am PST 
Okay, so I know I've seen a lot of similar posts, so I apologize. But still looking for more info...

I have a 4-month old mini-doxie. I've been feeding him Royal Canin Puppy-33 since I brought him home, since that was what the breeder had started him on and all seemed ok.

The vet I go to (Banfield, in PetSmart) seemed to be happy that he was on that food, and said that it was a good food. However, last week, the puppy class trainer (ALSO from PetSmart) informed me more about food choice and what to look for/avoid. When I told her that the vet had said that Royal Canin was a great food for him to be on, she asked which vet had said that. When I told her that it was the one at the PetSmart, she wasn't surprised, and informed me that a vet there that was actually endorsed by Royal Canin (I should have known better when I saw Royal Canin posters around the area).

The trainer showed me how to read labels, and suggested a few higher-end foods that I might try: she said that Blue Buffalo was one of the best overall (good nutrition, good palatability, not too expensive and easy enough to find), but that if my dog wouldn't eat it (since he seems to be a bit picky) that I might try Orijen since it has more protein (and said that a friend's finicky dog had good luck on that one).

I tried Orijen, but I didn't like it. Not sure my tiny, indoor dog needs THAT much protein. And his digestive system didn't seem too fond of it... (excuse the details), but his "business" was a bit mushy and VERY stinky.

I'm thinking about trying Blue Buffalo, but wanted some feedback on this. Everything I've read so far looks like most dogs avoid the tiny extra nutritious bits. That's okay with me, because I actually give my dog NuVet supplements. But I want to see if any picky dogs will eat this food.

I am also looking into Nutro Ulta. (A friend recommended this one to me), but wanted some feedback there, as well.

I didn't think much of it till I read a lot of different reviews, but my dog scratches a lot. Wondering if skin irritation would be relieved by a better food, which is one of the reasons I'm thinking of switching from Royal Canin (besides other reasons).

Sorry so long... but... help?

I'm a trilingual- dog!
Barked: Wed Sep 2, '09 11:23am PST 
Out of the ones you've posted, Royal Canin, Blue Buffalo, or Nutro Ultra, I would go with Blue Buffalo based on ingredients. And I would stay far, far away from Nutro. Not only is it expensive, but the ingredients pale in comparison.

Our little ones didn't do too hot on Orijen either, but they did well with Acana, a lower-protein food also by the makers of Orijen.

If your fur is dull and you're also itchy, a food sensitivity would be the first thing on my mind. Give your dog a turn with the BB and see how it works out! blue dog

an oodle of fun!
Barked: Wed Sep 2, '09 11:36am PST 
Hi! I notice the Petsmart people totally push the products they have in stores, but my dog trainer (who works at Petsmart) buys her dog food at a local feed store because she does not like the choices at Petsmart or the prices.

I agree that Blue Buffalo seems like your best bet from Petsmart. I do think it is a little expensive for what it is- although the Wilderness looks like a good product.

I am biased because I am always in a super frugal stay at home mom mode and shop at the feed store because the prices are much lower than the chain stores. Not sure if a local feed store near you would carry Blue Buffalo.

We tried Royal Canin and boy- it gave Jasper mega farts! I don't like Nutro much either (but my cat got sick from it a few years back).

I agree that Acana might be a better option for your pup than Orijen.

Good luck- we know how difficult it is to find a great food! dog


i love the beach
Barked: Wed Sep 2, '09 11:57am PST 
We had our pup on Royal Canin when we first got him as that is what his foster parents had him on. Like you, our vet also gave us "kudos" for feeding a good food. Well, only a couple of months later, we began our re-education of dog food thanks to our local pet stores and, alas, the internet. Canin is crap and you would do well to take your dog off the food. We are currently feeding Bandit Orijen 6Fish but if your dog doesn't have improved stool then it's not the right choice for you.
A good diet means no stinky farts, good solid dark poos, minimal bad breath! We are just trying out Orijen now, (so far so good) but Bandit was doing well on Wellness before that so you could check that one out too (not grain-free, but lower in protein). Also Evo is supposed to be great, and has limited ingredients which I think is great. It is also a grain-free kibble like Orijen so you may want to check the protein % . Wellness Core rated among 5 or 6 stars on the Dog Analysis Website. (A great website - check out the reviews)
Bandit itched a lot on Canin, to the point we suspected he may have chicken allergies and so switched to Holistic Blend Lamb and Rice. The itching improved very little, but otherwise he was doing great on the food. In the end, we are not returning to Holistic or Wellness primarily because I would rather feed him grain-free food. Although both foods are all natural, wheat-free, with no additives, they still aren't meeting my expectations.
We also mix in (every other day) a human grade slow baked beef loaf that is prepared locally and sold at our neighborhood pet store. It's called Human Grade Canine Cuisine Inc. We love it, although I've already found what seems to be even better prepared human grade food (including raw) at ANOTHER neighborhood pet store that just opened. The only neg I see with the one we are feeding now is that it is not grain-free. But otherwise, excellent quality!
Honestly, there are so many options it can sometimes drive me crazy! eek

King of- everything
Barked: Wed Sep 2, '09 12:36pm PST 
Boston was on RC puppy as well and actually I was very happy with the results but I found it was rather expensive for what it was. Mine are on a rotation now but do best on Orijen and EVO. Based on ingredients out of your selection Id choose Blue Buffalo. Lots of people have had great experiences with that food. Also Nutro Ultra from what I hear has been in lots of recalls so that food scares me a little bol.blue dog

Barked: Wed Sep 2, '09 12:45pm PST 
Out of those three Blue Buffalo is best. Pookie was on Royal Canin too, before I got her. I switched her to Innova puppy right away. If you're buying from Petsmart/Petco, they probably carry Solid Gold and Wellness too. Those are good foods also, so you might want to consider those as well. Or look to see if you have a local pet feed store (which will have a much bigger and better selection of foods) and check out their prices. Generally they're cheaper then Petsmart/Petco.

Also, the feed store I go to gives a VERY good deal (like 50% off) on bags damaged during shipment. You could try asking if they do anything like that. Worth a try. wink

formerly The- Very Hungry- Puppy-pillar
Barked: Wed Sep 2, '09 9:36pm PST 
Zack was on Blue Buffalo (Fish and Sweet Potato) for awhile and I really liked it. Due to food allergies, we had to switch, but it seemed like a good product with decent ingredients. The other reason we switched is because the only store that sells it did not carry big bags, and Zack weighs 50 lbs., so I wanted something that would last a little longer.

When I was first looking for dog food, one reason I didn't think too much about Nutro Ultra is that it was the most expensive brand in the store. There were many other brands (including Blue Buffalo and a few months later, TOTW) with good ingredients that were cheaper. I think the relative price probably depends on where you live though - maybe it's different somewhere else.

I've never really looked into Royal Canin because until last weekend I didn't know of any local stores that sold it. The store I was at last weekend had it, but they also had Merrick, Wellness, Natura, Canidae, and Nature's Variety, so I didn't look at it because I was more interested in those other brands.

Good Luck!
Bama AKA- "Buddybear'

'Just as cuddly- as i look!'
Barked: Thu Sep 3, '09 1:27am PST 
Royal Canin is not very good for the high price they charge!
I'd try one of the Blue Buffalo formulas....we are thinking of trying one of them one day, just haven't got around to it!

Fritz, cats are- fun when they- run
Barked: Thu Sep 3, '09 9:57am PST 
We are all doing really well on Blue Buffalo wilderness and raw food. I even like it and I am really picky and have a delicate stomach.
Lady- (1999-2013)

Barked: Thu Sep 3, '09 10:37am PST 
Of those choices, I would choose Blue Buffalo also. I would never feed Nutro to any of my pets. If you have other places to buy food, you can try some of the other brands mentioned in the other responses. We've had good luck with Chicken Soup and Nature's Variety.
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