I'm one of the many satisfied German Shepherd owners who finally was able to get my dog regulated by feeding the Royal Canin German Shepherd food. I thought all was well...until...
...We bought the most recent bag of food. Attached to the bag is a small paper. It kind of looks like a coupon or promotional thing. I would have never noticed it...but my daughter pulled it off the bag and showed it to me.
Much to my surprise (and disgust), the company is changing the formula for their German Shepherd food. Yes, this is the food that has gotten many 5 star reviews from German Shepherd owners like myself. It's the food which has regulated our dog's sensitive tummy issues. (which, I might add, stomach issues cost me THOUSANDS in vet bills over the past 3 years until I got him on this food!)
So what is Royal Canin doing that's so bad? According to this little note - which gives you detailed instructions on how to "switch" your dog over to a new food - they are changing the ingredients to include PORK and WHEAT. It's not clear whether this change is replacing the super-stable chicken and rice - or if it's just adding to it.
I have a sensitive stomach too. I do well on chicken. I *rarely* eat pork because it causes ME stomach upset. My German Shepherd is a house dog only - do I want to take the chance on switching him to a food that can cause stomach issues? NO WAY! Not to mention the wheat...what is the company thinking? They supposedly created this dog food especially for the German Shepherd breed - who is known to have stomach and skin issues. My mother is allergic to wheat. She can have rice. Wheat gives her incredibly horrible stomach issues!
Why switch from chicken and rice (that works well) to pork and wheat? Am I the only one out here who thinks this is insane???? I did a google search and couldn't find any German Shepherd owners who are feeding this food talking about this. Of course, this note just appeared on the dog food bag this week. Other owners may not have found out about it yet. I'm sure when they do, there will be an uproar.
I have visited the Royal Canin web site and written them an email with my extreme dissatisfaction with this decision. And I will not be feeding my dog pork and wheat. So the search begins for a new dog food.
So far, the best food with the best reviews with limited ingredients I can find in my area is Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets. They have one which has chicken and it has sweet potato instead of rice. I think this is the one I will try to switch to. Reviews have been awesome of their limited ingredient diets. And being I have a guy with a sensitive stomach, I don't really want to switch to a food with tons of new ingredients...I want to keep it as basic as possible.
I guess it's a worthless cause to hope Royal Canin would change their mind on this decision. By the time they do, they probably will have lost so many customers to other brands, it most likely wouldn't make a difference anyway.
NOTE: The photo of the new formula bag is shown here - note the ingredients still reflect chicken/rice and not pork and wheat gluten.
UPDATE: I have received the new ingredient list from Royal Canin. I am posting it here for your reference:
New German shepherd
chicken meal, brown rice, oatmeal, chicken fat,barley, rice, natural chicken flavor, pork meal, soy protein isolate, sodium silico aluminate, wheat gluten meal, dried beet pulp (sugar removed), powdered cellulose, anchovy oil (source of EPA/DHA), soya oil, potassium chloride, salt, calcium carbonate, dried egg product, sodium tripolyphosphate, DL-methionine, L-tyrosine, taurine, dried brewers yeast extract (source of mannan-oligo-saccharides), vitamins [DL-alpha tocopherol acetate (source of vitamin E), inositol, niacin supplement, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), D-calcium panthotenate, biotin, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), riboflavin supplement (vitamin B2), thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), vitamin A acetate, folic acid, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement], choline chloride, glucosamine hydrochloride, marigold extract (Tagetes erecta L.), Trace minerals [zinc proteinate, zinc oxide, ferrous sulfate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, copper sulfate, manganous oxide, calcium iodate, sodium selenite], tea (green tea extract), chondroitin sulfate, preserved with natural mixed tocopherols, rosemary extract and citric acid.
They said "We added both the pork and wheat gluten to help with the digestion of the formula." (which makes no sense to me...why mess with a food that gets 5 star reviews by making these additions??)
This is the current ingredient list:
Ingredients: Chicken meal, brown rice, rice, chicken fat, oatmeal, soy protein isolate, natural chicken flavor, powdered cellulose, dried beet pulp (sugar removed), sodium silico aluminate, anchovy oil (source of DHA), soya oil, potassium chloride, calcium carbonate, dried egg product, sodium tripolyphosphate, DL-methionine, L-tyrosine, taurine*, salt, dried brewers yeast extract (source of mannan-oligosaccharides), vitamins [DL-alpha tocopherol (source of vitamin E), L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C*), inositol, niacin, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C2), D-calcium pantothenate, biotin, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), riboflavin (vitamin B2) supplement, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), vitamin A acetate, folic acid, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement], choline chloride, glucosamine hydrochloride*, marigold extract (Calendula officinalis L.), Trace minerals [zinc proteinate, zinc oxide, ferrous sulfate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, copper sulfate, manganous oxide, calcium iodate, sodium selenite], tea (green tea extract), chondroitin sulfate*, preserved with mixed tocopherols (source of vitamin E) and citric acid, rosemary extract.
So - it appears the pork meal and wheat gluten are *additions* - not *replacements* for the chicken and rice. Are they far enough down on the ingredient list to not be in a large enough quantity to cause a problem?