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I have been researching possible puppy food (can and dry) for my soon-to-be Chi puppy. She will be approx. 2-3 months old when she comes to live with us.
There are SO many options available that it's getting confusing about which brand would be the best to begin feeding her. I'm sure this question has been previously answered but would greatly appreciate some clarification/direction from the experienced Chi owners here :)
Many thanks in advance!

Linda
 

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There is a site called dogfoodanalysis.com you can look at - it grades most brands of dog food by stars, 5 being the best.

Are you in Europe, the US or somewhere else?
 

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I am in the U.S. and am considering the Wellness brand of puppy food. However, I am very open to suggestions / alternatives to this brand.

lab
 

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have just looked at the website that you suggested as a beginning point. This will GREATLY narrow my search and help to compare differing brands.
I also have an older dog whom I think needs a diet that will address his allergy needs.
Big thank you from me!! :)
 

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I have been researching possible puppy food (can and dry) for my soon-to-be Chi puppy. She will be approx. 2-3 months old when she comes to live with us.
There are SO many options available that it's getting confusing about which brand would be the best to begin feeding her. I'm sure this question has been previously answered but would greatly appreciate some clarification/direction from the experienced Chi owners here :)
Many thanks in advance!

Linda
Linda,
I was confused by all the dog food info, too. I was also recommended the dog food analysis website, but that confused me even more. My groomer recommended a lamb & rice formula and said that's what they feed all their dogs (they have some little Poms and a few other breeds, as well as some cats). She even gave me a little bag of sample to try. Peanut wouldn't touch it at first. So I waited a few more weeks then tried again and now he loves it.

It really does make a difference what you feed them. Before I switched to the better food, Peanut was pooping like crazy all day long (and it wasn't no little bitty diddles, either!). It was so bad that he would have to stop in the middle of his feeding and go poop, then come back and finish eating. After we switched, his poops are normal now and not nearly so big or so often.
 

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One of my favorite subjects. :)

Definitely the dogfoodanalysis site is great. But...to lessen the confusion I'd get a list of foods you are interested in & search for them because browsing can be very overwhelming. To get a good quality food you will have to find a dog/pet specialty store. Petco/Petsmart & other chain stores generally won't carry the good stuff. However, I believe those 2 places mentioned above do sell Wellness brand. I've personally never fed Wellness but it is a decent food & I know lots of people have fed their pups that with great success.

I have fed my Chi's both Solid Golds Just a Wee Bit & EVO. Both of those foods are all life stage foods which means you can feed them from pup to senior (as long as they do well on it of course). We just started feeding raw so we don't do kibble anymore...but my pups did well on both - but better on the EVO....which is a grainless food.

Other great quality foods are Orijen, Canidae, Innova, EVO (made by Innova), Solid Gold, etc. There are many more but that should get you started. Good luck & kudos to you for doing your homework prior to getting your pup! :)

**I just want to add that the most important thing to stay away from is corn. It is the most common ingredient that most grocery store brand dog foods are made from yet it is the #1 leading cause for allergies! On top of that, most grocery store brands are loaded with fillers, dyes & other things potentially harmful to your pup. (Most) Vets are even ill educated on pet nutrition - which is why they sell Science Diet & other foods I wouldn't touch with a 10 foot poll. LOL I can't tell you how pleased I am to see someone wanting to learn before running into troubles with a certain food. :) Makes me jealous...I was one of the new pet owners who was led into the whole fancy commercial/bag/labeling/etc when first owning dogs. Thank goodness I found some great Chi forums and a great pet specialty store just after getting my first Chi. It was the most important thing I've learned from the net! ;)
 

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I have been doing the same food research. I finally decided on the Wellness after reading doggfoodanalysis.com and I really like it so far. It's still being halfed with their other food currently but so far so good!
 

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I would skip the kibble, and use a canned food. Keeps the dog more hydrated, less filler (be it corn, rice, barley or potatoes), and easier for pups to eat. The only reason people pick kibble for #1 food are that they think it cleans teeth (false), or it's more convienient for when they're gone long periods (or they want to free feed which isn't necessarly a good thing either).

So canned is your best bet to keep your pup healthy. That and they have dehydrated raw now, so you could leave that out if going away for more than 12hrs. It won't spoil like canned and isn't processed to the teeth like kibble.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Many thanks for the advice, insights, and suggestions. I don't have experience with chis and am concerned about starting her off on the wrong foot! :) Am very glad to read about your experiences with food and diet for these little beings.
I've also been talking to some people here who own Chihuahuas and have heard that Science Diet works for some, Beneful for others, etc. Seems that it just depends on the individual dog's system, much like larger dogs? Until recently, I had a toy poodle and a mixed breed, who didn't always like the same brand of food.
 

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oh my goodness, I must chime in here and plead... PLEASE do not feed beneful or science diet! Both are terrible foods. Beneful has been linked to seizures. It is the bottom of the barrel in quality.

http://www.consumeraffairs.com/pets/beneful.html

If you are having financial trouble (not saying you are) and need a cheaper food, please look at Taste of the Wild, which is grain free and very reasonably priced. Also, the chicken soup line of foods is of decent quality and also very reasonable in price.

If you are truly looking for the best quality in dry foods look at Wellness and Wellness Core, Innova, Evo, Orijen, Acana. They are all top quality.

Our Chi's are so small. Every bite they put in their mouth should be nutritious and good for them. You could also consider a home cooked diet or raw.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The dehydrated food is also being considered, i.e. Honest Kitchen brand.
I work four 10 hour days and will have to find something that I can leave in a small dish for her so that she can nibble during the day. AM and PM feedings are not an issue...just during the day time hours on those days.
 

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If you want to go with kibble, go with one of the 6 star ones on dogfoodanalysis.com HOWEVER there's a lot of controversy debating whether or not most of the grain-free diets are too high in protein, especially for such little dogs. Here are a few that aren't too high in protein but are still Grain-Free-->

*Petcurean Go! Natural Grain-Free Endurance

*Wellness Core

*Taste Of The Wild High Prairie
 

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If you are considering dehydrated raw, you could go with ZiwiPeak which is by far the BEST dry food available. (In my opinion, of course.) It is expensive, but little dogs don't eat very much, especially of the premium foods, and a bag lasts a LONG time.

http://ziwipeak.com/nzl/home.shtml

Also, look at Stella and Chewys. http://www.stellaandchewys.com/why.html They have a freeze dried raw line that is fantastic. Every batch is tested for salmonella and e.coli if you are leary of pathogens. They come in little patties that you can break up and leave out during the day. Super good food. Example, check out the ingredients in the dandy lamb ....

http://www.stellaandchewys.com/driedlamb.html
 

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I was trying to look up Honest Kitchen but the dogfoodanalysis site was down however, I know the dog store I buy at sells it & they are VERY particular about what they sell so I'm going to assume it is a quality food & MUCH more reasonable than the Ziwi Peek (which is a great food but yes, very pricey).

Please reread my post about grocery store brands. The Chi people you must be talking with don't seem like they are very educated on nutrition. I'm not saying it is bad & it's hard to sound snooty however as a society we are educated by what we watch on TV & by pretty bags at the grocery store. The foods you mentioned: Science Diet & Beneful are horrible foods packed with fillers & things that could make your baby ill or have allergies.

Out of the foods you mentioned I'd recommend the Honest Kitchen even if I can't read about it at the moment. I trust the specialty store I shop at that much...especially compared with those other two. :)

Free feeding isn't always a good thing if you have a dog that likes to eat. So just be watchful of how much they are eating & their weight. Anyway, I again applaud you for wanting to find out about this before getting your baby. Perhaps you can share some info about nutrition to your Chi friends you've been speaking with previously & other dog owner. It's a touchy subject sometimes especially when they think they're feeding the best by feeding the most expensive brands but if they truly care than they may also be enlightened. :)

Also wanted to add...while the brands mentioned above (EVO, Orijen, etc) are a bit more pricey, you also have to understand the serving size of these foods are MUCH less than that of a grocery store brand simply because it's got more nutrition & they don't need to eat as much grocery store brand to get the same amount of nutrition. Something to take into consideration as well.... :) When feeding EVO I was spending about $50 every 6-8 weeks....and that was feeding 5 dogs. They each got 1/4c DAILY. Anyway...again, good luck!
 

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I have heard good things about Honest Kitchen. However, the way I understand it, it is a dry mix that you mix with your fresh ingredients and water. So it ends up as a wet food, like canned. It is to be consumed right away and not meant to sit out.

http://www.thehonestkitchen.com/knowledge/how-to-feed/
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Many thanks to all who have responded to my question about feeding and diet.
I also discovered an article on "sitstay.com" about dog food ingredients that was informative: http://thedish.sitstay.com/2010/03/11/dog-food-ingredients.
This morning, I spoke with someone who sells Wellness and Honest Kitchen products (and other natural, organic items) in her retail shop. I have talked with her in the past about these products and she seems to be knowledgeable. I now have many good options and feel that I am on the right path for both of my animals :)
 
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