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Acana Food?

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_whits_

Does anyone have any recent experience with Acana food? Same manufacture as Orjen.

I think I'm going to try shifting Addie from Wellnesss Simple to this due to the higher quality ingredients, but want to see if any of you have had any bad experiences and how.

Addie's allergies are noticeably better on the Wellness Simple (she was previously on Wellness Small Breed Adult Health) but over the long-term I'd like to shift her to higher quality ingredients, and I don't love the prevalence of potato (not tons of nutritional value in them) and Wellness isn't particularly forthcoming about how they source their ingredients and where the product is produced (USA, but unclear what facility in which state).

I noticed Terrier Lover was feeding it to Rosie back in 2013. I also know you make her meals at home now, which I 100% respect but I just lack the confidence in the kitchen to even attempt it.

i'd be curious to hear what people's experiences are with Acana. I'm also considering Canidae Pure Sea. I want a high quality food without an overwhelming amount of meat (I'm slightly disinclined to believe my 20lb house dog should eat exactly like a wild alpha wolf). 

So any experience with Acana or Canidae?

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Terrier lover

I know about Orijen and Acana ....it's actually made Right  here in Alberta by Champion foods. A lot of the holistic type veterinarians approve of this kibble. My vet sells it. Having said that Rosie had loose stools on both Orjen and  Acana. I tried different sources of protein and it just wasn't a fit for Rosie some dogs do great others not.  It has a high protein content. The company so far has had great reviews. What I would suggest is starting  with Acana as it is not as Rich. intergrate it into Addie's other food over a2-3 weeks and see how she does. 

 

As as far as home cooking goes there really is no need to be afraid as long as they get their calcium and vit/minerals every day with a great source of protein and fresh veggies. I was freaked out the first time I went to home cooking years ago but it's old hat now. Just think...what is bad about fresh whole food?

 

 

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hheldorfer

I tried Canidae for 6-12 months, feeding it to both Buffy and Ziggy.  They seemed to like it at first, then gradually started turning their noses up at it.  I switched back to Mealtime (yes, I know that will make people shudder with disgust, but they love it).  Within a week they both seemed to have more energy, healthier poops, etc..  That said, every dog is different and it may be perfect for Addie.  Just sharing my experience.

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Hillscreek

I thought about trying Acana for Angus. He is currently on regular Wellness whitefish and sweet potato kibble with wet topper. However the Acana price is very very high. Can it really be worth this? Might contain "fresh" ingredients - whatever that means - but it is still kibble........

whits have you tried Wellness Core?  Wellness was made in MA. for many years. However the business was sold a few years ago so maybe other sources now make the the food also.

Have to say home cooking might be good but I can't be bothered to cook for Angus and then again for me (Oooooh mean me:shock:) Of course I dare say I might be bothered if Angus had health problems. Good recipes available on the recipe page. 

Let us know how Addie gets on if you change. Are her allergies food allergies? 

 

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_whits_
3 hours ago, Terrier lover said:

I know about Orijen and Acana ....it's actually made Right  here in Alberta by Champion foods.

What I would suggest is starting  with Acana as it is not as Rich. intergrate it into Addie's other food over a2-3 weeks and see how she does. 

As as far as home cooking goes there really is no need to be afraid as long as they get their calcium and vit/minerals every day with a great source of protein and fresh veggies. 

When I saw Alberta on the bag, I immediately thought of you! After some online research and reading responses on Cairn Talk, I went ahead and purchased a small bag of Acana Pacifica to slowly introduce into Addie's diet. I know it takes weeks to adjust, and I'm sure the novelty was part of it, but stinker Miss Addie went through her bowl and ONLY ate the Acana tonight, somehow sorting out all of the Wellness Simple. Which was even more notable considering that she has loved garbling up the Wellness Simple since I introduced it in November.

I'll see how her allergies react and stools form over the next few weeks as I slowly fully replace her diet with the Acana Pacifica . I eliminated beef, chicken, and grain from her diet simultaneously with the Wellness Simple, so I don't actually know which of the three was the culprit. But I do know the allergies lingered until I cut out these CET beef rawhide (that also has grains) dental treats. She went from notably better to basically no itching once I took those away 2 weeks ago (although it could be she's too distracted by her anger at the deprivation to notice the itching).

My main hesitance with home cooking (other than the fact that I'm a bad enough cook I been known to fail at crock pot soup somehow) is that I am a vegetarian and have only twice in my life cooked meat (once at age 16 and once 3 years ago).

I don't know what methods to use to cook any meat, or what constitutes cooked enough. A few years back my dad suggested I make her boiled hamburger and rice, and I literally did not know how to even get hamburger, and had to google what type of meat to pick up at the grocery store and then how to cook it. There's a high likelihood I'd give Addie E. coli or salmonella based on having no experience with meat. 

Also, I'm a vegetarian for moral reasons and simply can't stomach going into the meat or seafood sections of grocery stores without getting squeamish and extremely sad about the factory conditions most meat is produced in. And I'm not in a place to source local humanely farmed meat.

I 100% think Addie should be eating meat in her diet but I'm 100% uncomfortable buying it in uncooked form and turning it into something edible and safe. 

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_whits_
2 hours ago, hheldorfer said:

I tried Canidae for 6-12 months, feeding it to both Buffy and Ziggy.  They seemed to like it at first, then gradually started turning their noses up at it.  I switched back to Mealtime (yes, I know that will make people shudder with disgust, but they love it).  Within a week they both seemed to have more energy, healthier poops, etc..  That said, every dog is different and it may be perfect for Addie.  Just sharing my experience.

You aren't the first person I've found who noted that their dogs didn't appear to be all that interested in Canidae. 

As for the Mealtime, you'll find no judgement from me here! The ONLY reason I'm looking into such an expensive diet is because my Addie was having issues on other diets. If she wasn't having allergy issues I never would have switched from the brand I was previously using. 

I don't think the brand of food matters (except for the junk from China) as much as the individual dog's health on the food, whatever brand it is. 

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Terrier lover

Whits I totally get the squeamish part of meat. I am trying to cut out as much meat as possible out of my own diet, but it's difficult as I live with a carnivorous DH. Dogs seem to love Arcana and Orjen, probably because it's real meat etc.

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_whits_
1 hour ago, Hillscreek said:

whits have you tried Wellness Core?  Wellness was made in MA. for many years. However the business was sold a few years ago so maybe other sources now make the the food also.

 Are her allergies food allergies? 

 

Addie was on regular Wellness from the time I adopted her until the end of last year, when she developed skin allergies (constant scratching and licking, flaky skin, and generally pretty bad  seborrhea). Before committing to a dermatologist, Addie's regular vet recommended trying a diet without grains, and I decided (based on consultation with my veterinarian dad) to also eliminate common proteins like chicken and beef. I selected Wellness Simple, as it was close to her previous diet but also without the ingredients I wanted to eliminate. I saw almost immediate improvement in Addie's allergies and they've only gotten better over the past 2-3 months. 

I've just become a bit frustrated with Wellness - even the Simple - recently because they have changed a lot of their production since I started feeding it. Batches are produced at various factories around the country where other brands are also produced, and one bag might come from one factory and the next I buy of the exact same type might come from an entirely different factory. They also don't explain where their meats or other ingredients are from. So am I feeding Asian chicken made in a US factory or not? They won't say. Which means, in the event of a health issue (salmonella of something) it would take them a lot longer to find the source of the outbreak and then eliminate it.

By switching to Wellness Simple, I already increased the cost of feeding her quite a bit, so I figured it might be worth taking the money I'm spending on that and instead buying a food that is produced in a single factory from food sourced from either the US or Canada, and knowing that's the only food produced in that factory.

I wouldn't be putting this much effort or money into her diet if I wasn't seeing results and if she wasn't having health issues clearly connected to her diet. 

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_whits_

Thank you all SO MUCH for your advice here and elsewhere on the forums. I would be completely LOST without Cairn Talk. 

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Hillscreek
12 hours ago, _whits_ said:

I've just become a bit frustrated with Wellness - even the Simple - recently because they have changed a lot of their production since I started feeding it. Batches are produced at various factories around the country where other brands are also produced, and one bag might come from one factory and the next I buy of the exact same type might come from an entirely different factory. They also don't explain where their meats or other ingredients are from. So am I feeding Asian chicken made in a US factory or not? They won't say. Which means, in the event of a health issue (salmonella of something) it would take them a lot longer to find the source of the outbreak and then eliminate it.

Yes whits that's what I've been experiencing. It's a change from before Wellness was sold to Berwind Corp in 2008. When they were independent with their great history behind them they seemed then to be forthcoming, friendly and service oriented. My local stores don't sell it any more as Berwind tells them their volume is too small to be worth it. I've fed Wellness since long before I had Angus. Now I have to get it through Amazon ........And like you I don't know which factory the current batch is from and not able to find out. 

Angus is currently doing good healthwise but I had looked at Orijen and Acana also. Price makes me hesitate. Not totally convinced it is worth it. Advertising makes it sound good but how to check the sources of the food and the manufacturing is difficult.

Let us know how Addie gets on with the Acana.

 

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bradl

For what it's worth our club had a pet nutritionist give a presentation to our local club last year.  I'm virtually certain Acana was one of very few  kibbles she suggested for those who require one. 

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hheldorfer
14 hours ago, _whits_ said:

I've just become a bit frustrated with Wellness - even the Simple - recently because they have changed a lot of their production since I started feeding it. Batches are produced at various factories around the country where other brands are also produced, and one bag might come from one factory and the next I buy of the exact same type might come from an entirely different factory. 

Interesting that you mentioned this.  DH and I wondered why Buffy suddenly lost interest in the Canidae and we wondered if it they had changed their formula.   

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Islander

Gus eats Orijen kibble and loves it...of course he loves just about anything edible and lots that is inedible. The Orijen is high protein but he is a pretty active boy and his weight is stable on 1/4 cup twice a day, often mixed with veggies or dried meat. I like that it is manufactured in Canada.

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Terrier lover

Me too....with a lot of local produce being grown right here in Alberta, the rest from other provinces. would feed it in a heart beat but Rosie has decided  that having a personal chef works for her. She is a diva:w00t::w00t:

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Hillscreek

New Acana heritage food being made in their dogstar kitchens in Kentucky.

 

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_whits_

I noticed that the Acana bag will tell you if it's produced in Alberta with Canadian meat and produce, or produced in Kentucky with Kentucky meat and produce. For whatever reason, the Acana bags my local pet food store sells is from Alberta. 

Addie is finishing day two of Acana Regionals Pacifica (it's their grain-free version with seafood  -  herring, salmon, and flounder  -  as the meat source). Not that I'd expect her system to react much this soon, but so far her poops are solid, her drinking is normal, she hasn't been itching at all, and she's gobbling it up like I just served her a freshly cooked salmon filet. 

I will say I expected some runny poop seeing as she's successfully sorting out the Acana from the Wellness Simple (even though I mixed them both well!) and is therefore getting much smaller meals with about 75% new food. So I'm impressed that after eating two days worth of almost exclusively new food (stinker, who must be hungry!) she isn't having any adverse intestinal issues. 

If Addie's skin allergies stay at bay during this switch, I will be very happy to have found a food made in one of two kitchens with US or Canada ingredients that also eliminates the itching that made me so miserable on her behalf. Like I said, I wouldn't have changed her diet if she wasn't having issues, so hopefully the extra $$$ will give Addie long-term relief.

Thank you for all of your feedback. I'll keep you updated on how Addie's allergies and poops do on this food!

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sanford
22 hours ago, Islander said:

... his weight is stable on 1/4 cup twice a day, often mixed with veggies or dried meat...

How much does Gus weigh? 1/4 cup twice a day sounds like it's very little, (unless Gus is a small cairn). How much does he weigh?... Are the veggies in addition to the 1/4 cup?  Also - what do you mean by "dried meat"?

I feed Ruffy 1/2 cup twice a day - double the amount you feed Gus! Am I feeding too much? Ruffy is 20 lbs.

Edited by sanford

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hheldorfer
24 minutes ago, sanford said:

I feed Ruffy 1/2 cup twice a day - double the amount you feed Gus! Am I feeding too much? Ruffy is 20 lbs.

Not trying to answer for Islander but I think there are a lot of variables in choosing the "right" amount of food.  It depends on the calorie content of the kibble and the other tidbits we add to make the meals more appetizing, not to mention the amount of exercise our dogs get and their individual metabolisms.  You have previously mentioned that Ruffy gets plenty of walking in addition to his exercise time at the dog park, so he's fairly active.  Buffy gets lots of exercise too, but if I gave her 1/2 cup of kibble twice a day she'd be a furry little tub.  Ruffy looks quite fit in his pics so I can't imagine you're feeding him too much.

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Islander

Gus is on the small side, about 14 pounds. I always put extra in his breakfast, frozen green beans, or some shredded dried beef patty (Stella & Chewy) or salmon skin. At supper he gets plain kibble - don't laugh but that is because my earthquake kit only contains kibble, so I want him to be used to eating it plain, just in case! When I increased his kibble to 1/3 cup, he seemed to gain weight pretty quickly. Vet and breeder both say, keep him lean.

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_whits_

Week one of introducing Acana is complete. I mixed it with her Wellness Simple and attempted to slowly phase out the Wellness and phase in the Acana. I say "attempted" because from meal one, Addie diligently sorted her food and ate ONLY the Acana for the past week, no matter how well I mixed it. She must have spent the whole week hungry, because she got the recommended serving and no more from me. I didn't want her switching abruptly so she chose hunger over balance. 

We're now on official day 2 of just Acana. She still gets treats (some small Blue/Blue wilderness training treats with her allergy medicine and a night time Wellness chew) but they're all grain, poultry, and beef free. She also gets a packet of Forti Flora a day.

So far, so good! Poops are solid and allergies are under control. I was worried I was finally getting the allergies under control and the food switch might aggravate them, but she is a largely itch-less pup. Even reacts a bit less when I give her scratches on her favorite spots (ears and head). She also tends to have a sensitive stomach so I was really pleased her poops weren't at all concerning during the transition.  

Thanks for the advice everyone! I don't love spending this much on food, but if her allergies are going to require a limited diet (and therefore more expense anyway), I'd rather her be on the best kibble I can find.

FYI, so far the two bags of Acana Regionals Pacifica I've bought have come from their Alberta factory, not the Kentucky one. In case anyone is curious. 

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Hillscreek

Good news. We do what we need to to keep our buddies healthy and happy. 

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_whits_

Update: Addie's been on Acana for 3 weeks now. It's been 4 weeks since I cut the last of her treats that had any trace of beef/chicken/grain in it (she was throwing toddler temper tantrums over not getting her night time dental chew, so it took some time for me to develop the willpower to take it away). 

I am thrilled. Addie's allergies are -- as far as I can tell -- non-existent. She is still getting Claritin (5mg once a day at night, as recommended by her veterinarian). With spring upon us and pollen slowly suffocating me, I didn't want to tempt fate by taking her off the Claritin yet. 

Each day Addie gets:

- 1 cup Acana Pacificas Regional (usually 1/3 cup in the afternoon and 2/3 at night; she won't eat when she first wakes up but will eat lunch at daycare). 

- Forti Flora sprinkled on her dinner (she's had a sensitive stomach since puppyhood and her vets recommend this)

- 5mg Claritin as night 

- A sprinkling of either Blue Buffalo Bits or Blue Wilderness Bits (grain free, the versions without beef or chicken) on top of her dinner and with her Claritin (a girl's gotta treat herself)

Her poops are the most solid and consistent they've ever been. She has entirely stopped licking her feet and aggressively scratching her ears. 

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MaryellenK

I'm getting ready to switch my girl from puppy to adult food.  She is on the small side at 13 lbs. and I want to try Acana but am a bit worried about the size of the kibble.  Jax is currently on Fromm Gold Puppy and the kibble is very small.  I'm nervous about choking and curious how other dogs manage with the size.

Thanks much!

 

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