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We are trying to find out what the best food would be to feed our new little puppy we'll be getting in a few weeks...... what do you guys recommend?
 

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Mine eat Wellness...

I am copying this list of foods from a boxers forum I came across while I was researching on food

"I've spent hours upon hours reading about dog foods, nutrition, comparing ingredients, learning what to look for, what to avoid, etc. and my own personal "top picks" of dog food would be (in no particular order and no particular formula):

Nature's Variety
Innova (a Natura brand product)
Innova EVO
Wellness
Merrick
Newman's Own Organics
Solid Gold
Timberwolf Organics
Trippett (is a canned food and not a complete diet but I feed it for breakfast a few days a week)
Wysong
Spot's Stew (a canned food)
California Natural (a Natura brand product)
The Honest Kitchen (a dehydrated food)
Pinnacle
Petguard
Karma
Canidae
Healthwise (a Natura brand product)
Doc's Real Food For Dogs
Lick Your Chops
NRG (another dehydrated food)"
 

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I highly recommend starting your puppy on something that is tried and true like Science Diet Growth or Eukaneuba. These products have been tested and approved by veterinary nutritionists and have guarantees on the percentages of all the vitals inside. When you pup is older you can look into some of the newer, natural or holistic diets, but for puppies, we always recommend to start with a major brand with veterinary backing. The reason is because there can be variability in foods that aren't extensively tested, and puppyhood is a not a good time to find out if your bag is a good sample or not.
 

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Well, it's easy to go for the "natural" diets (we call them fad diets at the hospital) because they sound so great and the pet stores push them like crazy. They aren't "bad" on paper, but no one knows what the long term effects are, and there's no research on their cooking methods or ingredients. It's a little disheartening also when pull the "animal testing" card because the companies who reluctantly have to do it, spend millions to make sure that diets are formulatd correctly and won't be causing any short or long term problems in dogs of all ages and species.

If you think about it, those companies who claim they aren't doing animal testing, are really just using your animals as the tests. They aren't FDA approved so there's no guarantee and it's a risk you're taking.

This all being said, I fed Ritz Science Diet Growth as a puppy, and Natural Balance and now Wellness as an adult. I feel comfortable in trying these diets now that I'm positive he has grown up to be a healthy dog, and I can sense any changes in his metabolism and health on the new foods, and so far the only change is a little weight gain =) I also am trying to change foods regularly, in terms of brands, and bags because of the question of variability. If one bag happens to be deficient in say, Vitamin A, then he won't be eating the deficient food for a very long time. Likewise, his protein and fiber sources come from more than one diet so overall he is getting a more balanced diet.

I am really thinking about switching them both back to Euk or Science Diet though.
 

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I fed Chico Nutro MAX puppy food and he loved it.

To ilovesadie: when you were talking about the "natural" diets and some not being tested on animals and some aren't FDA approved...are the dog food ok if they say they are AAFCO approved? I bought Chico "Solid Gold" brand food, and the ingredients are, i guess you could say "all natural." The Solid Gold is AAFCO approved, so that means that its ok for him to eat and wont cause any long term damage like the natural foods your talking about, right? BTW...i was considering buying chico the Wellness brand Super5Mix chicken, but was hesitant because it says on the label it has garlic in it, but other than that it looks really good. i'm going to look up and see if solid gold is FDA approved...i'm glad you mentioned this...thx. :)
 

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I'm really glad to read some of these comments. I have been feeding Royal Canin for a while now, but Jasmine has begun to get tired of it, and was thinking about switching to Science Diet or Wellness. However, I had some reservations as I keep reading it's not good to switch dog foods very often as it can sometimes cause stomach upset.

If I understand Nate's post correctly, it is O.K. to switch brands occasionally? Or is this only for adult dogs? Jasmine is 9 months old now, and I was considering switching her to an adult food in a month or so. Is this too soon to switch? As of her last vet visit, she is very healthy and thus far we've had no problems with stomach upsets, diarhea, etc. and no weight problems.
 

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I'm sorry I didn't clarify more about the FDA. The FDA doesn't directly approve animal foods, but they have a Center for Veterinary Medicine that has staff Veterinary Nutritionists who watchdog AAFCO. AAFCO doesn't necessarily abide by the FDA's or veterinary nutrition standards.

There are some realizations you have to make about AAFCO. While there is sound medical research dictating their policies, AAFCO was created and is run by the pet food industry, not the government or medical community at large. Fortunately, there are many veteinary nutritionists working with it, and as a result, the larger pet food industries (Science Diet, Iams, Eukaneuba) has done the research that created these guidelines for others to follow as kind of a baseline protocol.

AAFCO’s main responsibilities are to regulate label text and product names. Because it is a private organization, pet food companies do not have to comply with these standards if they don’t want to and AAFCO has no enforcement authority. Interestingly, each state can set pet food manufacturing guidelines that must be adhered to for that state. Alaska and Florida have no guidelines for pet foods produced in their states.

AAFCO was formed in 1974 because the industry found NRC’s regulations to be too restrictive and created its own procedures for claiming nutritional adequacy in pet foods. They also decided that instead of lengthy feeding trials, chemical nutritional analysis would be conducted to determine minimum nutritional requirements.
This being said about AAFCO, Hills Science Diet, and Iams Inc hire Veterinary Nutritionists on staff to help design, perfect, and produce high quality foods that are healthy for companion animals. None of the other companies do. As wonderful as some of the other foods sound, none of their ingredients or label claims are unsubstantiated by veterinarians.

I too feed Wellness, because I think it's a good brand and like the idea of no byproducts, but everyday I read more articles about holistic diets (who knows, maybe propoganda?) and I am more inclined to go back with what is scientific. What do you guys think? There's so many perspectives on this topic and I want to figure out my ethics on the pet food industry before I'm bombarded with propogranda in vet school.
 

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chimom said:
I'm really glad to read some of these comments. I have been feeding Royal Canin for a while now, but Jasmine has begun to get tired of it, and was thinking about switching to Science Diet or Wellness. However, I had some reservations as I keep reading it's not good to switch dog foods very often as it can sometimes cause stomach upset.

If I understand Nate's post correctly, it is O.K. to switch brands occasionally? Or is this only for adult dogs? Jasmine is 9 months old now, and I was considering switching her to an adult food in a month or so. Is this too soon to switch? As of her last vet visit, she is very healthy and thus far we've had no problems with stomach upsets, diarhea, etc. and no weight problems.
Stomach upset from food switches often occur when they are done quickly. I've never had a problem switching foods with my dogs, but some are more sensetive than others. You also have to be aware of what protein sources are in the foods, as many dogs have an allergy to different meats which can cause upset as well.

In terms of switching Jasmine to adult, consult your vet, since they will know when it is best for her. Some dogs are ok to switch early especially if they are gaining too much weight or having urinary problems from the excess calcium or protein. Others need the extra nutrition, so it's best to ask someone who knows the dog's medical history.

=) -Nate
 

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Thankx so much for the info sadie :D i think i'm going to ditch the solid gold...not that im saying its a bad food or anything, but its very hard for me to find any info on it other than on their web site. i'm going to switch to eukanuba premium performance, it says its formulated for small breeds, so we'll see how chico likes it. he hasnt really taken to the solid gold anyways.

i just want the best for him, and if the "all natural holistic" diets are being doubted, i'm not taking any chances with my boy. thanks a bunch!
 

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I'm not totally sold on the holistic "thing" nor am I sold on current scientific fact (since that seems to change quite often). I originally picked Wellness because corn wasn't the first ingredient - now there's an illogical way to chose - then a lady that owns one of the top show dobermans in the country and I got to be friends and she's sold on Wellness and her boy is thriving on it after eating it for years. Then I started studying dog foods (ok, a little late). Then I contacted the state people (geesh old age is a pain, I can't remember the agency name now) anyway they had done a year long equine study and our horses were picked to be included and I still have a ton of paperwork from them. Long story a bit shorter they put me in touch with a veterinary nutritionist that works for the state and he liked the Wellness and was feeding it to his dogs. Personally I like the Royal Canin and the Nutro-Max just as well.
 

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My dogs love Royal Canin! I have also noticed my dogs dont poop as much as they use too, but their poops are nice and firm...not soft and stinky. I am guessing thats because there isnt as much 'junk' in the food like others where they pass it more often.
Their coats also seem shinier...not dull. I am happy with the dog food.
 

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the foods i like are science diet, eukanuba and IVD then when i heard that royal canin and IVD merged (or one bought out the other whatever) i got to speak with t dr. dan (from ivd now royal canin) and seeing all the info and reading all the scientific research that goes into the foods i like the royal canin as well..... i know through speaking with dr.'s from those 3 companies i am comfortable with the foods. chiwi is on royal canin mini puppy and when she hits 1 i'll put her on royal canin chihuahua, and under the dr.'s orders when she turns 1 1/2 i am putting her on science diet J/D.


i think switching foods also leads to picky eating as well as potential food allergies..... :?:
 

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Nemo was on naturediet puppy :) I used it cos it's completly organic and doesn't test on animals either unlike some other brands. He also had Burns once a week for his teeth and roast chicken so he'd eat it :p


Sarah
 

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thats what I was told at work they could be wrong but they also fed it to all the rescue dogs, but I am very anti animal testing and if I can feed a food that even my vet would recommend and ours do that isnt tested then I will :)
 

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I feed our two Chicken Soup for the Dog Lovers Soul. I have heard really good things about it, and I have noticed a good difference in their coats since I changed them from Iams.
 
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