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Snook

VAN Balanced Life Dog Food

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Snook   

Has anyone tried the Vets All Natural Balanced Life range? They do a grain free kibble with air dried meat pieces as well as single protein air dried raw food (basically air dried BARF from what I understand and you add water to it). Justice has been getting soft stools and the odd bit of diarrhoea on Canidae (he also gets meaty bones, sardines, yoghurt and eggs but I did some testing and narrowed the problem down to the kibble), so I've temporarily put him back on Royal Canin since he does well on it but I'm not a fan of it nutritionally and am looking for something that's better for him. I really like the sound of the air dried raw food but thought I'd see if anyone on here had experience with either of the Balanced Life ranges before I buy some, as there don't seem to be a lot of reviews yet. 

 

https://balancedlifepet.com.au/?gclid=CjwKCAiAgrfhBRA3EiwAnfF4tpqWOC88gdvZjCgkZtqESITyUhAWCd3fZffS_MVGjclGt5BI8IpiDxoCfScQAvD_BwE

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I did try Balanced Life air dried BARF,  & it smelled a bit nasty,  also had a lot of Alfalfa floating on top when I mixed with warm water,  The ingredient  %  is deceptive  when the meat content is weighed fresh  &  the Veges& Lentils are weighed  Dried,  So 70% meat water weight is lost,  putting meat after the veg & Lentils,   My dog had a little & didn't seem to like it.  

 

I had a look at their new kibble with Raw bits,  it has -  Molasses &  Caramel  -   I don't think sugar needs to be in a kibble,  Enhanced with sugar  :vomit:

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Snook   

I ended up buying the chicken air dried BARF this afternoon and gave Justice some for dinner. It didn't have too much of a smell and was infinitely better than the smell of fresh raw meat to me, which makes me gag. Justice absolutely wolfed it down and locked every last morsel out of the bowl, so it's definitely a hit with him. I'm not a fan of how runny and gravy like it is when mixed with water and am a bit concerned he won't find it filling enough for amount he can have in terms of weight management. I'll see how he goes on it over the next week but am thinking I might try the Big Dog BARF Wellness Patties after this, as it's lower protein and fat and might be more suited to him given his age (13), how easily he puts on weight, and that it's designed with things like arthritis and cancer in mind (he's starting to get a bit stiff after a nap and I've ordered the 4cyte supplement for him, and he has a mast cell tumour). The company have a lot of good reviews of their food too, which helps with my confidence in giving it a go. 

 

I'm very open to other suggestions. 

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Great Justice enjoyed his new meal, I hope it helps him,  Does Justice have 1meal or 2 each day,  maybe he could have 2 different foods each day

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Snook   

He has 2 meals a day. He's been having kibble in the morning and either a lamb or Turkey neck in the evening with some plain yoghurt and a couple of times a week a raw egg is thrown in. Every third or fourth night he gets kibble with a tin of sardines instead of a meaty bone, which is what he was due to have tonight and why he got the new food mixed with some of the kibble for dinner. My plan was to replace the kibble completely with a well balanced raw mix and continue to give him the meaty bone/yoghurt/egg/sardine routine in the evenings since he loves them so much. 

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That plan sounds good,   I hope  Justice does well on the new routine,      What do you think of the sugars in Balanced Life Enhanced kibble? 

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Snook   

Thank you. 

 

I've done a bit more looking in to the molasses and caramel today as to be honest, I had assumed the molasses would be the kind that has virtually no sugar left when it reaches the final stage and didn't really consider the caramel as a major issue compared to the poor ingredient list on the Royal Canin food. Having done some reading, I'm now aware that the type of molasses used in dog food is about 50% sugar and that caramel is potentially a carcinogen for dogs, as well as the sugar component not being great. It's a shame that a food that is marketed as a much better alternative to traditional kibble includes these ingredients. I think maybe I had put more trust in the company than was warranted simply because it's made by the same company who make the VAN raw food. 

 

Justice's poos look good so far today with the air dried raw added to his kibble last night and this morning but I'm still not a fan of having to turn it in to slop to get it rehydrated properly. 

Edited by Snook
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Tassie   

@Snook   FWIW, I started my new BC pup on Big Dog Barf frozen patties last year when I got her at 10 weeks, sine she had been raw fed by her breeder .. and I'm totally not comfortable with a DIY.  She had Sensitive Skin variety at first, since she was a bit itchy, but once that settled down, she's had mostly the Combo.  I've been really happy with it (though I don't give her anywhere near the amount recommended .. she does get quite a lot of training treats etc.     I had kept my boy on the kibble he seems to do well on, along with occasional bones .. and they both have quite a bit of veg and fruit.  Big Dog put out Turdukken patties at Christmas time, so I thought that was a good chance to see how the lad (now 10) went on raw.  It's only bee 2 weeks, but so far I'm really liking what I'm seeing.  I think his coat is looking a bit better (not that it was bad before) and he seems pretty happy with it.  Again, he's not getting anywhere near the amount recommended .. but he needs to be kept lean for agility.   So I'm leaning towards keeping him on it as well  and just using the Blackhawk I have left for training treats.

 

 

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Snook   

That's great hear, Tassie. Yeah, I'm not comfortable with DIY either.. partly because the last time I tried I didn't get it right and Justice started refusing to eat after a week (but he did well on a raw mix a local store used to make before it was taken over so does like a fully raw diet), and partly because I haven't eaten meat for at least a couple of years and the thought of cutting up organs etc makes me want to hurl. The Big Dog patties sound really good and he'd only get about half the recommended amount most days because of the meaty bones etc that he gets. Thanks so much for sharing your feedback on them. 

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Boronia   

I remember reading an article years and years ago where the writer stated that caramel was one of the additives/ingredients in Pal dog-food and as caramel is addictive the dogs wouldn't eat any other brand.

I don't know if this was true but it caramel is addictive to dogs...it is just sugar so it's not needed in dog-diet

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Snook   

Hi PK! :)  How's your darling Malcolm doing? 

 

That's interesting, Boronia. It's super dodgy if it was intentionally done to keep dogs on that brand, although I can understand them needing to do whatever they can to make Pal palatable. 

 

Justice's stools started getting loose again on the Balanced Life so I gave it to a neighbour yesterday to try for her dog. He had a turkey neck last night and this morning I've given him his kibble with part of a Big Dog Wellness patty, to start transitioning him on to those. It's a lot more like the raw mix he used to get and do well on, so fingers crossed it suits him. 

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