a few questions?
1. what is the difference from Oirgen and Acana?
2. I see the stuff on both..are they the same company and what is the BEST in Acana that is for large breed? I really like the reviews on Acana..but cant find anything on Origen.
3. Why luke warm water with it?
Acana and Orijen are both made by the same company, Champion Pet Foods
. Orijen has a much higher protein content than Acana and comes in three Grain Free formulas, and while a fantastic food, some dogs find it too rich. A lot of people are not comfortable feeding such a high protein content as is present in Orijen either. I don't feel it's the right food for most pet dogs out there, but I do feel that it is a great choice for an energetic sport (Agility, Flyball, etc.) or working dog. Acana has two separate sort of lines. They have their formulas that include some grain (Adult, Senior, Lamb & Apple, Sport & Agility, etc.), and then they have three products that they call Acana Provincials, which are all Grain Free but with a lower protein content than Orijen (they are: Pacifica, Grasslands, & Wild Prairie).
I don't really consider a Doberman to be a large breed, and I believe based on what I've seen and heard from other Doberman owners I know, that a Large Breed food is not the best. Dobermans generally do best on a regular adult or All Life Stages food (which is what Acana is essentially, aside from the one or two puppy formulas they have). I'm not sure there is a formula which would be best for most Dobermans. Like I said, both of my Dobermans eat two different Acana formulas. Ripley gets the Sport & Agility because he has a hard time maintaining weight and this formula has extra calories. He is also on it because he does not do well on Acana's grain free formulas. Keira is on Pacifica because she didn't do well on any product that contains grains, and fish seems to be the easiest protein source for her to digest. My dogs have sensitive systems though.
In general, if you're going to try Acana, I'd say that either regular Acana Adult (not grain free), Acana Provincials Grasslands (lamb based), or Acana Provincials Wild Prairie (chicken based) would be your best bet. And if the dog does not do well on any of those, then you can try the Acana Provincials Pacifica (fish based) or maybe another of their formulas. Or move on to something completely different, as a brand that works wonders for me may not work so well for (general) you. All of Champion Pet Food's products are made with the same care and quality, so you can't go wrong really with any of their formulas as long as your dog does well on them. I myself prefer the Provincials/grain free line, but not all dogs do well on a grain free diet (like my Ripley, which is why he's eating Sport & Agility -- which is essentially pretty much the same as Acana Adult, except with more calories).
My experience with Orijen was not the best. It was way too rich for the dogs I tried on it. Dance would get explosive diarrhea every few days, as it was just too much for her body to handle, and Keira didn't have one solid stool the whole time she ate Orijen. That's not to say it's a bad food at all, but it certainly didn't work for my dogs. Like I said way above, Orijen is generally a really good food for a really active sport/working dog. Acana was the best choice for me and my crew.
And I put water in because I feel that it helps my dogs digest their meals better. Past dogs used to have to drink a ton of water at the end of their meals, and my current dogs do not. They're also better hydrated than my previous dogs, and do not need to drink as much during the day (except for when they've had hard exercise of course). Putting water in their food was recommended to me by my Doberman breeder 5 years ago, and at first I thought that was strange, but now feel that it is healthier for my dogs.
Sorry for so much information! Sometimes I get carried away. I hope it makes sense and will be of some help, though.