Best Puppy Foods

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Puppies Peering Over BannerBy popular demand, the Dog Food Advisor has now created lists of its best puppy foods. For quick access to these reports, click one of the following links…

How to Find the Best Puppy Foods

Choosing the best puppy food for your new baby dog can be a daunting task. After all, today there are thousands of commercial dog foods on the market.

So, where do you start?

When searching for puppy food, the best place to start is simply knowing what an ideal dog food might look like. And what a puppy needs for proper growth.

It’s no secret, we tend to favor puppy foods that are…

  1. Higher in meat-based protein
  2. Higher in natural fats and oils
  3. Lower in carbohydrates
  4. Formulated from a named (non-generic) animal source
  5. Free of animal or vegetable by-products
  6. Free of artificial flavoring, coloring or preservatives
  7. Complete in all essential vitamins and minerals
  8. Not excessive in calcium for large breed puppies1

Doesn’t Higher Protein Content Cause
Hip and Joint Problems?

No, but overfeeding does.

Contrary to popular belief, hip dysplasia and skeletal diseases in dogs are not related to dietary protein2. They’re much more likely the result of genetics3, excessive dietary calcium4 or overfeeding during growth5.

Studies have clearly demonstrated the greatest risk of developing skeletal problems later in life is directly linked to overfeeding — allowing a puppy to eat all day on demand (free feeding).

To greatly decrease the risk of your dog suffering the ill effects of serious growth problems, avoid leaving your puppy’s food in the bowl all day long.

Serve measured amounts… on a regular schedule.

The Challenge of Proper Nutrient Content

Unfortunately, when feeding puppies, you need to pay attention to protein minimums and fiber maximums. And fat content, too.

Too little (or too much) calcium can cause bone problems. And the same for phosphorus and magnesium, too.

Getting everything right can seem frustrating.

But there’s an easier way.

How to Be Sure a Puppy Food
Is Complete and Balanced

To ensure a puppy food is nutritionally complete and balanced, the Association of American Feed Control Officials has established a special nutrient profile optimized for growing dogs.

This AAFCO profile details no less than 37 nutrients that must be present in a puppy food including…

  • 10 amino acids
  • 12 minerals
  • 11 vitamins

To save you tons of time scrutinizing every pet food label, simply look for the AAFCO nutritional adequacy statement on every package of dog food.

This simple statement assures buyers a product meets nutritional requirements for growing puppies…

  • Growth
  • All life stages
  • Growth and maintenance

Look on the label for a statement like…

Product formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO dog food nutrient profiles for growth

Is It Safe to Feed
Adult Dog Food to a Puppy?

Puppy foods contain more of certain nutrients… and less of others.

For this reason, and even though it’s safe to feed your adult dog a puppy food…

Never feed any puppy a food designed for adult maintenance only. Adult foods can be deficient in certain puppy nutrients.

How We Selected the Foods

If you’re looking for an above-average puppy food, we’ve prepared four different lists for you to consider.

Suggested products must meet two requirements. They must be rated at least either four stars or five stars by the Advisor.

And they must meet AAFCO nutritional profiles for either growth or all life stages or they must be recommended for puppies by the manufacturer.

Best Puppy Foods

Footnotes

  1. Some puppy foods on this list may be too high in calcium to meet the special needs of large or giant breeds. We are currently planning to publish a separate list dedicated to large breed puppies
  2. M Straus, Commercial dog foods, DogAware.com
  3. A Hedhammar, Canine hip dysplasia as influenced by genetic and environmental factors, EJCAP, Oct 2007, 17:2 (pp 141-143)
  4. Richardson, Skeletal diseases of the growing dog: Nutritional influences and the role of diet, Canine Hip Dysplasia: A Symposium Held at Western Veterinary Conference, 1995
  5. RD Kealy et al, Effects of limited food consumption on the incidence of hip dysplasia in growing dogs, JAVMA, Sep 1992, 201:6 (pp 857-863)
  • David Sagasa

    Cute male and female English Bulldogs puppies,They are up-to-date on shots and wormings , ready for a new home with a very responsible, loving and committed owner. I have two available. The puppies are very healthy and doing great,to have an idea how the puppies will become. Then we can discuss all the details to prepare your new puppy for their new home,more info and pics please contact [email protected]. Thanks.

  • theBCnut

    Feed him at least 3 times a day. When he is 4-6 months old, he should start to not care so much about the middle meal, and then you can go to twice a day. Yes, mix it up. Feed different brands and different proteins and different types, kibble, canned, dehydrated, freeze dried, and raw. When you start introducing him to different foods always go slow.

  • belleendings

    I just purchased a 9 week old Pomeranian boy. I am new to the dog world I have never had a dog in my life. I was going to start feeding him Orijen puppy grain free dry dog food. I want to know how many times he should be fed a day and how can I mix the food up should he always have kibble food. Should I mix up the food?

  • theBCnut

    You don’t have to get a kibble that says small breed on it. A lot of kibble manufacturers are going towards making their kibbles smaller. Just pinch the kibble through the bag to get an idea of its size.

  • Eileen Terschluse

    I was wondering what All Life Stages meant. Yes, that does help a lot. Thank you. :)

  • Eileen Terschluse

    We have a Petco and some Farm & Home stores, but the only 5 star dry that said small breed AND puppy on this list was by Acana, and it’s not available in the US.

  • Bob K

    Eileen – Did you use google maps to find pet shops near you? Any Menards, Farm Fleet, Petco or Petsmart near you? How about 4 star foods? Make sure you measure the food and not guess. You can always buy kibble on the internet but shipping costs can be pricey.

  • Eileen Terschluse

    I can’t find a 5 star small breed dry puppy food for my Bichon/Poodle mix. She is currently 4 months old and weighs 4 pounds. She will top out around 6 pounds, and has already been diagnosed with severe (grade 3 and grade 4) luxating patellas in both rear legs. I want to do what I can health-wise to counteract future painful aging problems. Any suggestions?

  • 4FootedFoodie

    Sounds like things are going well for you and your family! It’s nice to see you here again and I think it’s so cool that you were able to jump in and help Miki!

  • Miki Oyamada

    Maybe you’re right, the food brands I tried for him all has chicken and I never tried anything with lamb or fish or beef. I guess we should check with his Vet first :)
    You have been very helpful! Thank you so much!

  • EvesHumanMom

    Hi. Thanks. It has been awhile. Only lurking occasionally. Second son in college now. Better foods that are both affordable and available here make up a pretty short list, but I try to keep track of sales at a couple of places. Eve is around six now, no major problems.

  • 4FootedFoodie

    How’s that for a blast from the past!? Good to hear from you, EvesHumanMom!

  • EvesHumanMom

    Ohayo gozaimasu.

    I live in Kobe. GreenDog http://www.green-dog.com/ has real stores in Kobe and Tokyo and also internet home page. They have free consultation for feeding dogs. They are a little expensive, but have small bags, so it is good for trying out. Once you find something that works, you can shop around for a better buy. But first, did you check with your vet about the itching? My dog only gets itchy on her underside (waki,mune,onaka,) and it clears up in winter, so we are pretty sure it is from contact with the grasses (akichi ga suki) After walks I wipe her down with diluted apple cider vinegar (nama-type) and apply virgin coconut oil. Also, have you considered it might not be the brand he is allergic to, but a particular ingredient.For instance, if all the foods you tried have chicken, maybe that is the allergen. However, you should check with the vet first, to rule out contact allergies, before switching foods all over the place. For high quality foods, check out the four and five star foods here on DFA. Among the list, some of the brands I know are available here are: Acana, Blue Buffalo, Canidae, Earthborn, Evanger’s, EVO, Go!, Innova, Nutrisca, Origen, Oven-Baked, Pinnacle, Wellness, Wysong, ZiwiPeak, Artemis, Avoderm, Blackwood, Breeder’s Choice, Castor and Pollux, Chicken Soup, Diamond, Eagle Pack, Fromm, Honest Kitchen, K9 Freeze Dried Raw, Kirkland (Costco brand,) Lotus, Natural Balance, ProPac, Sojos, Solid Gold, Taste of the Wild, and Wellness. there many be more, but I am sure I have seen these on the internet. Hope this helps.

  • Miki Oyamada

    Looking for the right dog food that suits the breed of my jack russell terrier.. A brand that have from puppy food to adult food. We would really appreciate to have a stick-to-one brand for my dog, hopefully no tummy issues.

  • Miki Oyamada

    I have a 3 months old Jack russell terrier, and I need help to look for a high quality dog food for his breed.
    I’m giving him Natural Balance / Nutro and before that is Select Balance, but he still seem to never stop itching himself. I’m worried because from everything I have read about them, they have really sensitive skin and he may have skin allergies from the food I’m giving him :(
    I am from Japan and I don’t mind buying food from outside my country I just want my dog to eat real quality dog food.

  • Cyndi

    LOL! Dori! You make me laugh! You’re not nutty, you’re a Dog Dork!! :)

  • Dori

    You seriously have the most impressive set up I have ever come across. I am quite the envious dog obsessed person right now.

  • Melissaandcrew

    I have one room in the house that is the dogs room. I have 5 crates in there for the problem children to eat-the three dobes and the two ancient Italian greyhounds. The dobes are grabby and the ancient Iggies are slow. The rest of the crew races to the kitchen, and get in their “spots” and wait for the bowls to magically appear. Lol.

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    Ha-ha…I can hold 12 with three total crate banks, and several medium sized wire crates if needed. I’ve had 14 before for a few days. I actually have no more unopened bags of kibble. What am I going to try next?? Those banks are where the heartworm dogs rest.

  • Dori

    Uh Oh Sandy. I see an empty kennel. You need to get another dog. LOL

  • Ashley Marie Pirtle

    Mine golden is a free feeder, and she is not put in a crate. My house is pretty tiny, so I don’t even have room for one large enough for her to fit in. The puppy is kennel trained for night time and when I am not home, however, it is in the bedroom and I am not willing to feed her in there, she needs to know that eating happens in the kitchen because the rest of the house has carpeting. Also, because my kitchen is so small there is no place to put an additional kennel in there for the puppy. I also have three children, so they need to have a place to eat also :) I guess I will continue to fix them each their separate meals and try and just “deal” with an occasional bite or 2 out of the other ones bowl.

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    This makes it easy when I’m feeding kibble, canned, raw and different supplements. Mine wait patiently and quietly, while the others are hollering and barking!

  • Dori

    Forgot to mention that we also have three crates in our bedroom? Katie & Lola each sleep in their own crates. Hannah sleeps on the bed with us. Now I know this next part is gonna sound just a tad nutty but the third crate in the bedroom so that Hannah doesn’t feel slighted not having her own. Nutty huh? What can I say. My house is their house.

  • theBCnut

    HaHaHa!! I maintain my house for the comfort and health of my dogs. The people can just deal with it, and they seem perfectly happy too. I have 3 crates by the back door, beside the dining room. I have had as many as 5 crates there at one time. At the old house, we always ate in the breakfast nook, so the dining room became the dog room. My dogs like to go in their crates for naps too.

  • Dori

    LOL! I hear you on that front. I’ve got two crates and a pen in the kitchen. What the heck? They’re happy so I’m happy. Crates really do make feeding time so much easier when you have multiple dogs. Especially since they don’t all eat at the same pace. But I like to know immediately if one doesn’t eat or doesn’t eat it all up cause then I know something’s up with that particular dog.

  • 4FootedFoodie

    I started out with Sam’s crate in the kitchen near the back door. I cannot tell you how much I’d love to move it, but I frequently still catching him snoozing in it. A 42″ crate next to the kitchen table isn’t exactly the esthetic I was shooting for.

  • Dori

    Why is separating the dogs at meal time impossible? I have three dogs. Two of my girls I feed in their crates in the kitchen. My older girl (15 years old) I feed on a matt between the other crates. I feel it’s the best way to feed dogs. It allows you to always how much food your dog has had for each of his meal. If they are off their food and not feeling well. It also allows you to feed different foods to each of your dogs if for instance one is a puppy and one isn’t. If one has food intolerances and you have to feed different foods, etc. etc. I’ve had dogs all my life (I’m 65 years old) and have always fed my dogs this way. They really like their crates and see them as a source of good stuff to come. When they are overly tired I can usually find at least one of them hanging out in a crate. My two younger ones also sleep in their own different crates in our bedroom. The old gal sleeps on the bed with us.

    OH! Forgot to say, your 14 week puppy needs to be on puppy food unless you are a raw feeder and then they both can eat raw. Your 9 year old should not be on puppy food. Anyway, that’s my opinion for whatever it’s worth.

  • Ashley Marie Pirtle

    Hi! I have a 9 year old golden and a 12 week old mix breed. I’m having trouble keeping them out of each other’s food. Both are on 4 Health grain free duck and potato. One adult and one puppy. Any suggestions ? Separation isn’t possible.
    Should I keeping offering and just get over a few sneak bites here and there or only feed them one type food

  • aquariangt

    Could you link research that says to feed a maintenance food as opposed to a growth food? That doesn’t sound like it’s on the right track at all.
    Chicken Soup is made by Diamond I believe, so even at the right levels of everything should be avoided
    Protein levels of that food are reading at 24%-which is too low for any dog in my opinion, but especially a puppy. Low protein for a giant breed is a very dated concept according to most recent and accepted studies

  • Amy

    The choice of food was based on Great Dane research I had done and was decided based on protein, calcium and other levels recommended for a growing Dane puppy. From what I read there are very few puppy foods that are suggested for Danes. We recently had his ears cropped and our vet did a blood workup and checked his stool for worms due to his stool was soft. No worms.
    Thank you for your advice.

  • Dori

    Hi Amy. Please take HDM’s suggestions. She’s incredibly knowledgeable especially with large breed dogs. As she said, a 13 week old puppy should not be on an adult food. Also as HDM has advised, if you haven’t already done so, please take a stool sample to your vet. Most, if not all, puppies have to be dewormed and sometimes multiple times. I’m really surprised that a local specialty pet store would recommend an adult dog food for a 13 week old puppy regardless of breed and size.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hi Amy –

    Sorry to hear your pup is having issues. A puppy really shouldn’t be feed an adult food until it’s full grown. Giant breeds like Danes aren’t full grown until they are 2 years old.

    Here’s the link to the large breed puppy forum, you’ll find lots of tips and food recommendations there:

    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/forums/topic/large-and-giant-breed-puppy-nutrition/

    If you haven’t done so already, I’d recommend bringing a stool sample to the vet to be checked for parasites. Coccidia, in particular, is very common among puppies and often causes diarrhea.

    Some people have luck firming up loose stool by supplementing with probiotics and digestive enzymes and/or adding a little extra fiber to the diet (such as a couple of spoonfuls of plain canned pumpkin).

    It’s definitely possible that there could be something more serious going on (such as a food intolerance). But more often than not, especially with puppies, clearing up any parasites, a switch in food or one of the supplements I suggested will clear things up.

    Good luck! :)

  • Amy

    I have a 13 week old Great Dane puppy who has been on Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover’s Soul Large Breed Adult (per my research online and recommendation from a local specialty pet store) since he was 7 weeks old and his stools are still not solid. I had seen rave reviews but I don’t think this is working for him. Any suggestions?

  • Mieann

    Thank you Dori! I heard about

  • Dori

    I know that Nature’s Logic has Millet and bizarrely enough, Katie who is intolerant to most ingredients in food does not have an issue with Millet. Go figure????? It really is true, they are all, as we are, all individuals.. Thanks Sandy. Katie has so many issues with all things grain and fowl but somehow, thankfully, she doesn’t seem to have an issue with millet which I really felt sure she would. Huh, go figure??????

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    Nature’s Logic has millet.

  • Dori

    Mieann. I just replied to your post but it has disappeared. Hopefully it will return or I’ll try to remember exactly what I said and retype it.

  • Mieann

    I am feeding him Purina Alpo’,..ill make an appt. to her vet this week

  • Dori

    You didn’t mention what food you are feeding your puppy. Also did you have him re-checked after he was dewormed? That’s important. He might have to be dewormed again and yes, the quality of the food has a lot to do with how much he is pooping. Your vet should check for worms again and also the drops of blood at the end when he poops. Let us know what food brand and protein you are feeding your pup and maybe we can make better suggestions if it’s not a quality food.

  • Mieann

    He has a good appetite, its just bother me alot how can a 4m old pup poop to much a has a drop of blood at end,

  • Mieann

    Hi Dori, his poop is watery he poop 6x or more, he receive his dworm last months so am thinking could not be it, i am reading some of the comments here, they talk about the quality of dog food could it make sense?,

  • Massimo Reyna

    Thank you very much for your answer!! Knowing that i keep giving the same kibble to my puppy

  • Dori

    Hi Mieann. Is he constipated and straining when he poops? It could be as simple as that. If not and it continues, I would make an appt. with the vet. Just keep an eye and see how often it happens, is it happening when he is straining to poop or just on a more regular basis.

  • Betsy Greer

    Hi Massimo,

    I prefer smaller size kibbles, even with my two year old large breed pup. Although my dog chews his food, many don’t, and it gets swallowed whole. The smaller the kibble size, depending on digestibility, the more quickly it should break down.

  • Massimo Reyna

    Hi everyone i have a GS puppy i used to pro pac performance puppy for the levels of calcium but the kibble its extra small, exist any proble in the kibble size? Or its the better to change for large breed puppy its to with good level of calcium but 4 star after the months i would like to change to earthborn but where i live just exist primitive natural !!!

  • Mieann

    Hi everyone, i have a belgian Teruven pup(4m) i have notice his poop at the end have like a drop of blood, is this concerning? Its not everytime he poop prab. Seen droop of blood twice.

  • Alicia Bowden

    I switched my golden retriever to Blue Puppy when we got him from the breeder at the end of April (despite all the bad things I heard) and I haven’t had any problems at all.

  • LabsRawesome

    Hi Hailey, here’s Hound dog Mom’s list of about 35 foods for large breed puppies. https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BwApI_dhlbnFY183Q0NVRXlidWc/edit?pli=1

  • Hailey Powell

    Hi everyone, I am about to get a lab/great pyrenees puppy from a rescue this Friday, I went to petco to buy his food ahead of time and someone told me the blue I was buying for him was bad. My cat has been on blue since he was a little kitten and has always been healthy and has had a beautiful coat throughout his whole life. Is blue as bad as everyone says it is on here? I’m not really worried on price much, I just need a good food for large bred puppies that will give him lots of puppy energy and help him grow without the runs or upset tummy! Recommendations please & thanks!

  • Dori

    OMG! I agree completely with Sandy. I honestly cannot believe that any reputable breeder would let a puppy leave it’s mother and litter mates at that age. As Sandy mentioned, the probability that your puppy is going to have many issues from having been separated from his family is very high. If it’s at all possible, I would ask the breeder if she could keep the puppy for another month. You can offer to pay for the food for your puppy while there. Most reputable breeders will not let puppies go to their new homes until they are at least 8 weeks old. Some 12 weeks old. Our maltese’s breeder would not let us take Hannah home until she was 16 weeks old.

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    I think that’s too young to be away from the mother and sibblings and he will be stressed and you might end up with lots of vet bills. There are still things to be gained (physically, mentally and behavior-wise) by being with his canine family. But there are some small kibbles from good companies – Nutrisource small/med breed puppy, Amicus puppy, Wellness toy breed, Now Fresh, Fromm. Wishing him well.

  • SevannahD

    Hi everyone. We just got a Whipt Doxin/ Jackson Terrier mix, he’s the smallest of the litter, what food would you suggest? He’s exactly a month old tomorrow.

  • aquariangt

    try out some different foods. Dogs not eating usually mean they’re trying to tell you something, and it could be that he doesn’t like it, or something is making him feel bad.
    Try something with a different protein source for starters. See how that does. Nutro is pretty meh anyway, and you can find something for a comparable price that he may go for

  • ZakMckracken

    I haven’t tried buying wet food yet. I have tried softening his dry food with a little warm water, thinking he might be having difficulty due to teething. The first couple of times, he ate it all no problem. Then he started pushing it around in his bowl again.

    Today, he initially wouldn’t eat his breakfast, but would pick up a piece or two, run to his bed, then push his nose down onto his bed all around his bed. He did this four or five times, then laid down, and didn’t eat any more until hours later. Has anybody ever seen this?

  • Crazy4cats

    Hi Jessica-
    How is your pup doing now? Any improvements? Have you tried feeding him a few small meals of boiled chicken and rice? I usually do that and add a little pumpkin and apple sauce for a few days and see if that firms things up. If yes, then gradually add back in a little kibble every meal until transitioned. Also add a probiotic that contains bacillus coagulans and enterococcus faecium. You could also boil turkey or beef burger instead of chicken. Try using a kibble that contains different ingredients than the ones you have tried so far. I really have had good luck with grain free Victor. It’s first two ingredients are beef meal and sweet potato. Good luck. I know you are probably feeling anxious. You will get this figured out!

  • Jessicaj

    He was on the antibiotics to help treat whatever was causing the diarrhea even tho we don’t know what it is.

  • Jessicaj

    He had the diarrhea prior to the antibiotics. I did try the canned pumpkin it didn’t help. I would not consider him a large breed he’s currently 35lbs only expected to get to about 45lbs.

  • Crazy4cats

    I got cut off. Lol! Another suggestion is to take a look at dogaware.com. There are some very helpful recommendations on that site for digestive disorders. Good luck!

  • Crazy4cats

    Hi Jessica-
    Sometimes antibiotics can cause loose stools. Have you tried adding some plain canned pumpkin to his food? I find it very helpful. I actually like Fruitables canned digestive supplement even better. It has a few more ingredients besides the pumpkin that are good for pudding poop. I really like Victor kibble. It contains a clay that seems to help with the digestive issues that my dogs have suffered. One thing I am concerned about, howeve, is if you would consider your pup a large breed? If yes, check out the large breed puppy breed thread on the forum. They have special calcium requirements to help avoid future joint issues that so many large dogs suffer from.

  • Betsy Greer

    I wondered the same thing, Dori.

  • Dori

    Hi Jessicaj. Why is or was your dog on antibiotics?

  • Jessicaj

    Yes we tested him three times all negative. Even treated him with negative stool samples. He’s been on antibiotics and probiotics as well.

  • Crazy4cats

    Hi Jessica-
    Since you are working with a vet, can I assume that you have had a fecal test done, ruling out parasites or worms?

  • Jessicaj

    Have you tried mixing in some wet food with it? Also you could try a little water and heating it up. Those are some of the tricks I use to get mine to eat. The other suggestion would be to leave the bowl down and see if when you get home if the food is gone. Hope that helps.

  • Jessicaj

    Hi I have a 6 month old German Shepard/Am Staff mix. He has a lot of stomach issues diarrhea daily. (Don’t worry I am working on this problem with my vet she suggested to switch his food again.) Any suggestions on what food might be helpful? We have tried Blue buffalo Puppy, Castor and Pollux Puppy and Iams Low Residue Puppy. All created the same pudding mucous like poops. Any suggestions would be helpful! I would like to keep him on something high quality without byproducts.

  • ZakMckracken

    I have a six-month old miniature dachshund. It’s been hard trying to feed him on a schedule because my daily schedule is very different depending on what day it is (I work different hours different days).

    He’s been eating Nutro Ultra Small Breed Puppy, but he’s starting to act like he’s not interested in it anymore. He eats it well when he does eat it, and I haven’t noticed any digestive issues. It just seems like I have to “convince” him to eat in the mornings before I go to work and at night when I get home. Should I change his food, and what would be a good recommendation?

  • Aleem

    Thanks a lot for your reply and your information dear….. :)

  • Crazy4cats

    Hi Aleem-
    Wow! 45 days sounds so young. I would start out by feeding him three times per day. A lab is considered a large breed dog. They have special calcium requirements. Please chech out the large breed puppy thread on the forum. There is a lot of good information and a spreadsheet on foods appropriate for large breed pups. It is important for them to grow at a slow steady speed and to stay lean to avoid future joint problems such as hip dysplasia. Also hide your socks and fuzzy things cuz labs love to eat those too!

  • Aleem

    Hello everyone.
    I have a labrador puppy his age is 45 days can anyone tell me what kind of food is better for his health ….??
    I was feeding him cow’s milk…. and one more thing how many times I should feed him in a day….??

  • Bret Osborne

    Seems like a cup should be fine. My pup has slowly weaned herself from the habit. She used to do it pretty regularly and then I noticed that she was simply doing it less and less.

  • Bret Osborne

    Orijen, large breed puppy is in my opinion the best kibble for a pup.

  • Crazy4cats

    Check out this link: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BwApI_dhlbnFY183Q0NVRXlidWc/edit?pli=1. It contains recommended food for large breed pups. There is a lot of information on the forum of this site. A whole thread on large breed puppy information. Baby goldens are so cute! Good luck.

  • Nicole

    I feed my 4 1/2 month old Nutro Max for large breed puppies. She’s a huge Golden… “Boy-sized,” her vet says. She’s had diarrhea once, and I think that was because she got a pepperocinni that fell on the floor. I’ve always used Nutro for my dogs and cats, and never had a problem. Her barrel (lol) of food needs restocking today though so I thought I’d check out this thread. GL… Hope your boy feels better.

  • Gigi

    It’s my son/d.i.l.’s pup but I think he weighs about 10 lbs, 8 months old.
    Thanks!

  • Shar24

    My puppy is doing very well on Wellness Core puppy.

  • Bret Osborne

    How much does your puppy weigh? A single cup of food might not be enough and it’s looking for something to eat. Feces eating certainly isn’t uncommon in puppies mine did it for the first 6-7 months. It’s gross but it’s also harmless.

  • Bret Osborne

    What is the appropriate Calcium % in wet food for a large breed puppy. When it comes to Kibble I’ve read that 1.2-1.5% is an acceptable range but most wet foods seem to be in the .4-.6% range.

  • theBCnut

    You can feed puppy foods and All Life Stages foods for life, just don’t feed adult foods to puppies. If you feel strongly about switching to adult food then anytime after 6 months for a toy breed, 8 months for a small breed, 10 months for a medium breed, 12-14 months for a large breed, and 14-16 months for a giant breed.

  • Heather M

    I feed my cockapoo Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost and she does great on it. I feed her the Instinct wet now and then too.

  • Andria Rogers

    What is an appropriate age to switch from puppy food to an adult formula?

  • Gigi

    Help! Son has 8 month old Boston…he apparently hides in the house and poops and eats it because he pukes it up later. I suspect it’s the food. This is a chronic problem.
    he doesn’t do it outside because he’s on a leash.

    feeding one cup Biljack puppy dry daily.
    Any advice is appreciated….the vet is not helpful.

  • mandi

    I’m picking up my puppy husky next week and would like to know what is the best dry food to give him

  • Kaitlin Spruance

    Hello my name is kaitlin. I just adopted a puppy about 10 months old from an animal shelter. i am looking for the best food to help her not only gain weight but get her healthier. when they found her you could see all of her bones. she is a terrier mix. what kind do you recommend

  • Dr J

    I would not worry about the calcium content. We have to large malamute retriever mixes and they did most excellent on the Orijen adult kibble from 2 months of age. There is only a minimal difference between the large breed kibble and the adult one. All of our dogs do extremely well on the Orijin we give them.

  • Carol Caryl Barela Goodman

    Betsy, wanna hear something crazy, this is my 4th Golden over the years. Others were fed Purina Pro or Iams. Never had a bit of trouble. With this one, I wanted to start him off on a better food. Breeder feeds her Golden’s Eukanuba. I had no idea where I should go now? Thank you for the advise. What do you feed your Golden?

  • Betsy Greer

    I’d look for something different to feed him right away.

    I’d go grain free and would look for single proteins if at all possible. If by “too rich” you mean too much protein, I don’t think that would be a problem with what you’re currently feeding as it only has 23% protein, which many consider to be too low.

    My Golden is my problem child; and from what others have said also, it seems the breed is susceptible to have a sensitive digestive system. I’m not saying yours does, but my has food intolerance issues and it would be easier to isolate problem ingredients with a single protein recipe.

  • Carol Caryl Barela Goodman

    I am in a quandary. I have a six month old large breed, Golden. He is 50 lbs now. I started him (from recommendations here) on Fromms Large Breed Gold. My puppy seems to go in and out of diarrhea fairly frequently. I’m thinking that this food may be too rich for him
    I don’t give him a lot of treats and do make my own w/ pumpkin. (Just got results back from the dr that he does not have a parasite). Anyone have thoughts/opinions here. Thank you.

  • ardie

    I have a 13 week old cockapoo puppy, who weighs 7 pounds. I am interested in getting a good puppy food for her, and I would like your suggestions. I hope to avoid allergies.

  • LabsRawesome

    You’re Welcome. I can’t wait to see the pics of her. I love Labs, and the baby ones are just too cute! :)

  • Patty

    Thank you for your quick reply. I will look into the two you recommended. I didn’t know picking out a food would be so overwhelming. Glad I found this site. I will post some pics when we get her!

  • LabsRawesome

    Hi Patty, I would go with something from HDM’s grain free list. Because grains are inflammatory and dogs have no biological need for them. Just my 2 cents. I really like Earthborn and Dr.Tim’s. I believe some recipes from those 2 manufacturers are on her GF LBP list Please post some pictures of your pup. :)

  • Patty

    Hello…We are picking up our new yellow lab this weekend and she will be seven weeks old. I have been reading through the posts trying to figure out what type of food to get. I see I really need to watch the calcium content and choose a food on the lists. On hound dog moms list she has with and with out grains. What would be the preference for a lab…grain or no grain? We also plan on training her for duck hunting so I don’t know if that plays a role in the type of food she will require.

  • denise0331

    I fed my black lab Orijen and then Orijen Sr. food. I didn’t want to be caught with a whole bag of expensive sr food so I switched her to Acana Wild Prairie which is an all life stage food. When Duchess died and I got a new puppy I was able to switch her to the Wild Prarie. I also like the Champion foods. I recently switched to Nature Select grain free which is also a 5 star food. They deliver it to you. So far their customer service has been beyond awesome.

  • THEPUNISHERINCHIEF

    Good morning. Our long awaited Rottweiler pup was born yesterday. In 9 weeks time she will be coming home. I will be sending our breeder food for our pup, as I would like her to start on her LBP food from the get go.

    I live in South Africa and have perused HDM’s amazing list (thank you for all your efforts and research AND for sharing). I can get hold of the Earthborn Holistic food, BUT, I am a huge Orijen fan (my deceased male rottie was on it for years) and wanted to know if there is any specific reason the Orijen Large breed puppy didn’t make the list – or is it specifically due to the calcium levels? This is the food I was planning to start her on – now having 2nd thoughts due to this list.

    I am a huge Champion Pet food fan, and ideally Orjien is what she will be fed for the remainder of her days – but if the calcium content is too high – I don’t want to risk it?

    Any advice would be greatly appreaciated -:) Thanking you in advance.

  • Betsy Greer

    Trustworthy, budget friendly foods that I’d recommend would be Dr. Tim’s, Whole Earth Farms, NutriSource, Wellness, Victor, Fromm, Earthborn Holistics and even Pure Balance from Wall-Mart.

    Fortunately, smaller breed dogs don’t have the Calcium requirement that large breed puppies do and I’m not aware of Beagles having any particular nutritional concerns, so you have lots of choices!

  • swueb

    We just got a 9 week old beagle puppy. What would you recommend for a good moderately priced puppy food? The breeder had him on IAMS, so that is what we are giving him now, but I know that isn’t that great. We were feeding our dear departed almost 13 year old Weimerraner Diamond Naturals large breed lamb and rice, because he had some sensitivities and it was corn and soy free. I see that brand scores fairly high for ingredients, but a lot of negative comments about quality control, recalls etc. I would like to stay at that approximate price point. I am also going from a large breed to a smaller one. I’ve seen a lot of discussion about large breed puppies…..any special concerns for smaller breeds?

  • Beth Knuth

    Have you had your pup into the vet to check for parasites? I too am confused why you feel you are wasting your money feeding your new family member? Maybe you mean you want your money well spent, you want to get the most bang for your buck and which food is the best? Kibbles and Bits is not considered a very good food, Walmart has Rachael Ray’s line of foods and it is very good food for the money. You can add canned to make it even better food. Look through this web site and learn the good foods, Merrick has a lower priced line that is excellent, Eagle Pack, Fromm, EarthBorn, etc are lower priced. The grain free dog foods at TSC called 4 Health are well priced and good foods, only the grain free tho, not the plain 4 Health. Please at least take a sample of you dog’s poop into the vet to make sure he is parasite free as well, worms are very hard on a pups system. Good luck and take care of your new baby.

  • Cyndi

    Why do you consider feeding a member of your family “wasting” money?

  • jazmiiin gee

    i have a 3 month pitbull and i’m feeding her knibbles and bites right now but she’s really skinny i can see her ribs what is a good puppy good i can give her without wasting more that 2O to 3O bucks ? /.

  • theBCnut

    Here is where you go to learn more about the issues with feeding large breed puppies. http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/forums/topic/large-and-giant-breed-puppy-nutrition/

    and here is Hound Dog Mom’s latest list of foods that are appropriate for large breed puppies. https://docs.google.com/viewer?srcid=0BwApI_dhlbnFTXhUdi1KazFzSUk&pid=explorer&efh=false&a=v
    You may have to register to view it, and you may have to save it to your computer or copy and paste to print it, but it is well worth it.

  • christal ridgley

    I just received a two month old giant German shepard yesterday. What is the best dry food to feed her that I don’t have to go on line to buy

  • Massimo Reyna

    For a Dutch shepherd puppy it’s good if eat natures domain salmon and potato grain free I have read about the calcium but in Mexico I can’t buy any brand that appear in the document by Hound Dog Mom, or probably some brand yes but no the formula and this week arrived this dog food to Costco.. thanks

  • theBCnut

    Just keep reminding the kids that he is a baby and to let babies sleep.

  • Betsy Greer

    Are you using the divider to make the section of the crate that he sleeps in smaller. He should have enough room to stretch out and turn around.

  • Eponinelove

    I shared this with my kids yesterday and they (7 and 5) do not seem to get it. He seemed to be much happier on weekdays when he goes to work with me and gets 10 to 15 minutes of playing with me and/or being adored by my co-workers. They are almost as bad as my kids, but at least he has fallen asleep on top of the laps of a few of them! I will work harder with the kids. Thank you so much for your help!

  • Eponinelove

    We do have a crate. We figured he will get pretty big so we bought the xl airline crate type. He does not like going in, but if we pet him to sleep first he does just fine and sleeps for up to 6 hours.

  • Betsy Greer

    Hi Eponinelove,

    I just wanted to correct a recommendation I made ~ I was looking again at the Earthborn website and the new Large Breed formula is for adult maintenance not growth so it’s NOT appropriate for your puppy.

    AAFCO has two profiles for dog food, growth and maintenance. Foods labeled for puppies are growth formulas and are fine for both puppies and adult dogs. Growth formulas might also read “all life stages.” Adult maintenance formulas are strictly for adult dogs.

    I generally choose growth formulas for my dogs which are now both adults. Sniff Sniff, they grow up so fast. ; )

  • Betsy Greer

    Have you bought a crate?

    Those naps in between exercise periods are a great time for rest in his own little den. Crate training = housebreaking.

  • theBCnut

    No more than twice per day. Now remember, that’s structured exercise and it includes walks, fetching, trick training, human interaction kind of stuff, but you have to use common sense too, like working on a down and stay is not going to stress their body like some things. So keep in mind the type of activity and make sure the baby gets plenty of nap time in between.
    And remember that mental work wears out the puppy much better than physical work. Going to Lowes with you is quite a mental workout. Learning low impact tricks is an excellent way to tire out a puppy.
    Have fun!!

  • Eponinelove

    We picked him up last Saturday. I started researching this site and saw that we should keep him on his same food for the first few weeks so we bought a bag of Wellness Puppy that should last for at least another week and a half. We also bought some canned pumpkin, which is much easier to find than good dog food!

  • Eponinelove

    Do you mean 5 minutes per month at a time or 5 minutes per month a day? And if at a time, which is what I am guessing, how many times per day is healthy? Thank you!

  • Betsy Greer

    Hi Eponeinelove,

    Wellness products are great and Core is an excellent food!

    Is your pup at home with you currently, or still at the rescue right now?

    It would be a good idea to keep him on the same food he was eating while at the rescue for at least a couple of weeks after he comes home if possible. Coming to a new home is a big change and if you’re able to feed the same food for the first couple of weeks, it’s one less transition for him to have to make.
    One thing I always have on hand are cans of plain canned pumpkin puree. They come in very handy when puppy develops some loose stool.

  • theBCnut

    Five minutes of structured exercise per month of age is the rule of thumb. If they are playing on their own they nap frequently and vary their type of play, so they give their muscle groups breaks as needed, but if you are exercising them, they are likely to use the same muscles past the point where they should have rested, unless you enforce the resting.

  • Eponinelove

    I also wondered what you mean about over-exercising. I got Dr. Ian Dunbar’s “Before and After Getting Your Puppy,” Gwen Bailey’s “The Perfect Puppy” and Joel Walton’s “Positive Puppy Training Works” but none of them say anything about how much exercise the puppy should get. Is there something else I should read or do you know how much exercise the puppy should get? Thank you so much for your help!

  • Eponinelove

    Thank you for the help. I read you do not like Blue Buffalo but I was not sure if their Wilderness was different. I also did not know anything about the Taste of Wild or Candidae. It sounds like the Earthborn might be good. I wrote the company an email last night and asked about maximum calcium. If they reply I will let you know. Our puppy was being fed Wellness Puppy at the rescue (we have no idea what he was being fed at the puppy mill breeder before that), and it looks like Wellness Core Puppy is on the list so ordering online it might be easiest on him to change him to that. We have a Murdoch’s store that is a reasonable distance, so that is what I looked up on the Internet. They also seem to carry Earthborn Holistic Ocean Fusion and Earthborn Holistic Large Breed Natural.

  • Betsy Greer

    Hi Eponinelove,

    Congrats on the Golden pup! I don’t know how old yours is, but I remember when mine was little he just about drove me crazy! He’s a sweetheart now that he’s turned the corner. Hang in there!

    Like theBCNut mentioned, if the foods you’re looking at aren’t on HDM’s list, it’s because the Calcium level is too high for a large breed puppy. I would definitely second Chewy.com, I’ve compared a lot of foods on various sites and their prices are consistently the best. I order from Chewy, ah hem, “a lot.”

    Young pups don’t self-regulate their Calcium intake and too much Calcium contributes to skeletal disorders like hip dysplasia. So, you need to choose a food with an appropriate Calcium level to feed your pup until he reaches at least 80% of his adult size. For your Golden, that’s probably about one year.

    In addition to feeding appropriate Calcium, you need to keep your pup lean (Goldens are eaters and are prone to gaining weight easily) and avoid overexercising him during this growth phase. Both cause stress to joints. Those things, in combination with too much Calcium and genetics, all contribute to skeletal disorders.

    Contrary to what some folks say, high protein does NOT contribute to skeletal disorders.

    All that said, I wonder if you maybe couldn’t view HDM’s list in its entirety. Some folks have trouble viewing the document and most aren’t able to print it. If you want to print it to take it shopping with you, you can copy and paste it into another word processing program, I use Word Perfect, and then print it. Here it is again, just in case: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BwApI_dhlbnFTXhUdi1KazFzSUk/edit?pli=1

    Now, all that said, I hate to say this, most of the foods you’ve mentioned, I wouldn’t choose. I steer clear of Diamond products ~ which, on you list, is Taste of The Wild and Canidae. And, I’m just not a fan of Blue Buffalo, too many QC issues and they use too many co-packers ~ you don’t even know who’s making what you’re buying.

    However, Earthborn’s Puppy Vantage is a 4.5 star food and the Calcium level is 1.3%. I would go no higher than that and would actually shoot for less if possible. Also that level is the stated minimum so the level could be higher. I’m not certain why Puppy Vantage is not on HDM’s list, but I’ll ask her. I’ve called Earthborn before and know that I was told the Ca levels generally don’t go much higher than the stated minimums, but you could try calling them and asking to be sure. They’re very helpful over the phone.

    Also, Earthborn has some other products you could consider. I’m hoping if you can find Puppy Vantage, you can also find other varieties. Puppy Vantage is grain inclusive and so is Ocean Fusion with 1% Ca. Coastal Catch is grain free with 1.3% Ca and Meadow Feast is grain free with 1.2%. They also have a new grain free Large Breed formula for all life stages with 1.10% Ca that’s grain and gluten free.

    Hope this helps!

  • theBCnut

    If they aren’t on HDM’s list, there’s a reason for that. Many of us here live in rural areas. We order online and get it shipped right to our door. Chewy dot com has free shipping on orders over a certain amount and has the best prices on dog food.

  • Eponinelove

    For a golden retriever puppy do you recommend Earthborn Holistic Puppy Vantage Natural, Canidae Life Stages Large Breed Puppy, Taste of the Wild (either Pacific Stream Puppy or High Prairie Puppy) or Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken (for large breed puppies or just for puppies)? I live in a small town and none of the puppy foods on the recommended large breed puppy google document by “Hound Dog Mom” are available. “Betsy Greer” I have also been reading all of your comments and would love your opinion, too. I am not able to assure myself that I can drive more than 2 hours every month to get the recommended foods, so these listed seem to be the best choices in my town (of course we have Iams and Purina Puppy Chow but I am trying to pick from the 4 – 5 star foods). Thanks for any help.

  • http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com Alatishe

    just got a boxmas puppy and dont know how to go about it ? first time ?

  • Kim Des Lauriers Kazee

    I should have added they are 11 week old irish setters. We had a litter of 17.

  • Kim Des Lauriers Kazee

    Wanted to know thoughts on puppy food and then the food tied to HOD and
    Pano. I have been feeding eukanuba large breed puppy. To be honest the
    puppies are not too crazy about it it all (they do eat it, but not what I
    would call aggressively and with zest) and a lot of the new buyers have
    said the puppies are finiky when leaving our house. I assumed it was
    because they were used to “herd” eating and not used to eating solo out
    of a bowl. I have not had the best of stools either, not as hard as I
    would like, they are little mushier. I even took some samples to the vet
    and did all kinds of test and everything negative, but we went ahead
    and did 2 meals of boiled chicken and rice and had perfect stools. I
    know some are doing the raw, but not an option with 12 still left here
    and would like to merge the open bag that I have of eukanuba large breed
    puppy with something else. Anyone else have these same stooling issues
    and finicky eaters?

    I have heard advice to go to Senior food, do
    an adult lamb and rice, Hills has been a popular suggestion as well. I
    am going to start “merging” them with something else, but protein,
    calcium, and phosphorus counts are high on my mind to help prevent the
    HOD, but I do want to have some good eater and poo-ers.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hi KA Ellis –

    Congrats on the new pup! Science Diet is slightly higher quality than Puppy Chow, but they are both very low quality foods. I would recommend checking out the lists above and picking a food rated 4 or 5 stars. If your puppy is reluctant to eat try mixing the dry food with a quality canned food or some healthy “toppers” like leftover lean meat, tinned sardines, cottage cheese, eggs, yogurt, etc. Just be sure to keep these unbalanced “toppers” limited to 20% of the meal or less so you don’t throw off the nutritional balance of the kibble or canned food. Another fabulous option for picky eaters is a canned product called Tripett, it contains canned green tripe and most dogs go nuts for it. However, unlike most other canned foods it’s not complete and balanced so the 20% rule applies. If you can afford it, you could feed you pup all canned food or look into other options that dogs tend to find more palatable than canned such as a fresh food (like Freshpet – found in the refrigerated section), frozen raw, dehydrated (like The Honest Kitchen) or a freeze-dried raw product. All of these options are also much healthier for your pup than kibble. Whichever food you decide to switch to be sure to transition slowly over the course of a week or so – gradually decrease the amount of Puppy Chow and increase the amount of the new food. If you decide to try other new foods in the future (which I would highly encourage you to do – variety is healthy!) you should be able to gradually shorten the transition periods until you can eventually switch between foods with no transition.

  • KA Ellis

    I have an American Cocker. She is 3 months old. The breeder has been feeding her Puppy Chow Complete. When I went to the vet he told me to change her food to Puppy Science Diet. However, when I feed her the Puppy Chow with the Science Diet she refuses to eat. When I put the Puppy Chow down alone she eats it quickly. Should I change her diet? I want what is best for her.

  • Crazy4cats

    Hi Dee-
    I’m going to have to agree that science diet is not a good food for your new pup. I, however, do not know if it would have anything to do with the aggression. And yes, golden pups can be a handful! You definitely have to keep them busy and always keep an eye on them. They will chew up and eat anything! Check out the forums on this site. There are some great threads on best foods for large breed puppies. Also, read the above tips, such as keeping the dog lean and not over exercising. They are awesome dogs. Remember, that when you do pick a new food, transition slowly to avoid digestive upset. Good luck!

  • Dee

    I have a 3month old golden retriever, she has been on science diet large breed(breeder had her on it) not sure it is the right food. her poop smells really bad and sometimes show aggresion and very very hyper.i want to switch her not sure what to put her on. last golden i had on iams. some people suggested proplan is good for goldens and some said purina. I am on a tight budget.

  • Paul A. Baldwin

    It is not a puppy or ALS. Thanks for the reply. We will look into a different food then.

  • Crazy4cats

    Hi Paul-
    Congrats on the new pup. Labs are a handful. You need to baby proof! Lol. Is the food you are feeding labeled all life stages? There are two categories: puppy/all life stages and adult maintenance. The puppy or ALS foods are fine for all ages, but the adult maint. Is only for adults. Another thing to keep in mind is the fact you are getting a large breed pup and there are some special requirements on what type of food you use for prevention of hip and elbow dysplasia. The food needs to be lower in calcium. Check out the large breed puppy topics on this site’s forum.

  • Paul A. Baldwin

    I currently feed my adult GSD Canidae Pure dry dog food and was wondering if that would be ok to feed my Lab puppy that arrives next week?

  • InkedMarie

    I’d change it. Puppy Chow is a very low quality food. If you want to feed dry, scroll up. On the left, click the link for best dry dog foods. Since he is eating a low quality food now, choose a 3 star food. Take at least a week to transition him from Puppy Chow to the new food. I’d leave him on the new food for at least a few months then transition to a 4 star, depending on what 3 star food you choose.

  • Calixto Escobar

    Hi I have a pitbull & his about 5 months old already & I been giving him puppy chow, am I feeding him the right food? Or do I need to change it?

  • Jan_Mom2Cavs

    I don’t have a pup atm, but the foods I like that are high quality (and some more reasonably priced than others) are: Annamaet, Dr. Tim’s, Victor, Fromm. I will put Merrick here, even though I don’t feed it anymore. Lots of people have good results with it. Nutrisource is another good one to add. Holistic Select, too. And of course, I like Wellness (but it ain’t cheap lol). Acana is another good one, but again it’s kind of expensive. Earthborn is another I can think of. This list should get you started. If you can’t a food locally, perhaps you could order it online. Sometimes you can actually get a food cheaper by ordering online. I can’t get Annamaet locally, but I’ve ordered from Wag.com and Chewy.com with success. :)

  • Ani Arzoomanian

    I have a Siberian Husky puppy who doesn’t like his food anymore. Vet thinks it’s the taste he has grown apart from. Any suggestions? We have him on 4Health puppy food right now.

  • Df

    Mike I dont know how you sleep at night your information is right

  • His

    They delete and mistreat buyer beware it is not fair

  • Lisa Zsigray

    I like Dr. Tim’s. it’s easy to order online and reasonably priced

  • Crazy4cats

    I’m guessing it is a lab retriever/golden retriever mix. That’s what the breeder called our bad boys.

  • neezerfan
  • L. Davis

    I have a 4 month old golden lab that is 54 lbs. The vet says he is going to be about 90 lbs full grown and said that he should be on a large breed puppy chow. He is on one that I just found out rates a 1 star. Does anyone have a recommendation without me having to get a second job to pay for it? lol

  • Lorrie Bertha Birch

    I just got a chihuahua puppy and was wondering what is the best brand of dog food for him?

  • Shannon Hepner

    i’m getting a siberian husky puppy next month and she will be fed royal canin and want to change her food. What food would be best for her?

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hi Wellington –

    Unfortunately, Blue Buffalo does not make any formulas appropriate for large breed growth that I’m aware of.

    Here are a list of 4 and 5 star foods appropriate for large breed growth:

    https://docs.google.com/a/dogfoodadvisor.com/file/d/0BwApI_dhlbnFTXhUdi1KazFzSUk/edit?pli=1

  • Wellington Spargus

    I have followed your guidelines for my weimaraner pup. He will become rather large, so I’m glad your site and others (http://www.petmd.com and http://bestpuppyfoodguide.com ) are proponents of the low calcium diet for large breed puppies. We are loving the blue buffalo that you recommend. thank you.

  • Mountain view

    You are right, you want to change proteins. A high quality food like Fromm has a variety of choices and you can stick with them. Whenever iI rotated with other brands my dog suffered and had digestive problems.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Perfect for rotating proteins, don’t you agree.

  • Mountain view

    Fromm is awesome. The company uses AAA ingredients, never had a recall and uses medication free meat USDA inspected. In my opinion they are THE best company.

  • Betsy Greer

    I was once interested in Fromm Gold products, but every single one of them contains duck. Go figure.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Fromm doesn’t have high enough protein to be any more appropriate for dogs than foods with some potato in them. And I completely agree about rotating proteins, but not all brands use different starches with their different proteins, in fact many don’t. And I’m not concerned about rotating vitamins and mineral, that’s just wrong!! But I am aware of the fact that these foods don’t necessarily balance mineral to mineral past calcium to phosphorus and staying between certain highs and lows. Switching brands is definitely beneficial.
    BTW, if you are a Fromm rep in any way, you should read the commenting policy before you post any more.

  • Shawna

    This may not be the case with every food but many brands do not change the primary starch in their different foods. Example – Orijen uses lentils and peas in the formulas I’m familiar with. Nature’s Variety uses tapioca in all their Instinct regular foods (not sure of the LID foods?). Nature’s Logic uses millet in all their foods etc.

    Both Patty and I will agree with you whole heartedly that heavily starched and potato based foods are not biologically correct. In fact, NO kibble is biologically correct. That’s why we both, and many more here on DFA, feed a raw foods diet or a combination of raw and kibble.

    You are right that no protein offers the same amino acids but ALL animal based proteins provide ALL the “essential” amino acids. Egg is the gold standard of proteins and provides 100% biological value of amino acids (for humans at least).

    We completely agree with you that it is wise to rotate proteins. We just think it is wise to rotate starches (which generally means brands) too.

    The only enzyme, needed for the digestion of foods, that dogs do not produce is cellulase. However, by grinding, processing or cooking the vegetables it breaks down the cellulose of the veggie and makes it digestible. Feed a whole carrot and whole carrot comes out. Feed a pulverized carrot and it can be digested. If you are referring to amylase, a dogs pancreas does produce amylase, they just don’t produce it in the mouth like humans.

  • Canine Connoisseur

    It is not incorrect. That is why you rotate proteins within the food line. By doing that you also rotate starches, and if you actually do any research, you would know that starch as such from a potato base, is not biologically correct for dogs. Also, the AAFCO standards are not necessarily one to follow. The USDA passes things every day that are not of correct beneficial health. Proteins are made up of amino acids, and since no protein can offer the same amino acids, you need to rotate proteins in order to fulfill your dogs needs biologically. Which is why when you move to a line like Fromm ( not necessarily this one just an example) you get all your proper rotations of amino acids, viatmins, and minerals. Also the enzymes that dogs do not produce, that break down the starch that they don’t need, is only available through certain ingredients. Switching the brands themselves is not beneficial.

  • Shawna

    I agree with Patty, it’s important to change starches as well as proteins.

    Any complete and balanced food should contain all the essential amino acids in order to be complete and balanced. Not all kibbles will have the same bioavailability but all should have at least the minimum amount of essential amino acids set by the AAFCO.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Sorry, but not true. No brand is perfect and within a brand all the formulas often have the exact same vitamin/mineral premix, so they always get the exact same level of vitamins/minerals, which may be within AAFCO guidelines, but may not be balanced to each other, so that they are always getting too much of one thing and too little of another. Rotating brands may help to reduce the problems associated with mineral constantly out of balance to each other.

    BTW, allergies and intolerances aren’t aleays to meats, they can be to any ingredient that has protein in it, i.e. potato, grains, tomato, peas, etc. These all need to be rotated. Most brands use the same carbs in all their formulas.

  • Canine Connoisseur

    It is not that you should change foods, you need protein rotations. Changing food brands is highly unnecessary. Just make your your dog gets protein rotations of a fowl, a red meat, and fish within a food line. If the long doesn’t offer different options like so, change food brands. That way they get all the required aminoacids, if they do not, it will greatly compromise their immune system among many things.

  • Canine Connoisseur

    As an animal nutritionist, Fromm’s 4 Star line, especially for smaller breed dogs, does fantastic. You also have 10 different flavors in that line to switch between. They have a great puppy food in their gold line, but realistically for the 4 month old, just increase the daily feeding a little bit accordingly. Since the only difference is calorie counts.

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  • Pattyvaughn

    They always said to stick with one food to prevent stomach upset, but sticking with one food long term is what causes the stomach to not be able to handle change, just like in people. Dog food companies always perpetuated that line of thinking because that gives instant brand loyalty. It was never what is best for our dogs, anymore than it is best for us.

  • MommaFansler

    Thanks-I was reading lots of older posts and seeing that recommendation. I was always told to get a food and stick with it-now I’m seeing that train of thought is “old”. I will go back to the Natural Pet Food Store and see what I can find

  • Pattyvaughn

    I would suggest getting small bags of a few different foods and rotating foods. this helps to keep them interested in their food and helps to keep the gut strong by promoting a diverse population of probiotic.

  • MommaFansler

    We have 2 female Yorkie Poos (8 mos and 4 mos). We had been feeding them Stella & Chewy but they started sticking their nose up at it and not eating it. So I have been making them boiled chicken with sweet potatoes, carrots, green beans and spinach. We are looking for a dry food that we can feed them once a day and continue with the homemade food once a day. Any suggestions?

  • Argushenrik

    Thanks very much for your reply, I will give them one smallish piece at a time to see how they cope with it.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Yes, they are. Just pick up and throw out what they don’t consume in a couple hours and don’t give too much at once. Don’t forget that it counts as part of their food.

  • Argushenrik

    I have just bought a lot of oxtails are they ok for my 5 month old yorkie pups

  • Shawna

    When you say “puppy chow” do you mean the food Purina Puppy Chow or do you mean foods designated for puppies? If Purina Puppy Chow — get him off it as soon as you can. It is a HORRIBLE food.

    If you mean a food designated for puppies, you can switch any time. But rather than switching to an “adult” food, consider using a variety of “all life stage” foods. Most of the regulars here on DFA feed a “rotational diet” of various protein sources as well as brands. The key to feeding a rotational diet is mixing up both the protein and the starch for a wider variety. So feed beef/millet then (usually when that bag is gone) switch to rabbit/tapioca and then maybe turkey/potato etc. A rotational diet prevents a lot of issues later down the line. Try and pick foods with at least a four star rating and if able add high protein canned foods and dog appropriate people food.

    LOVE the puppy in your avatar!! Is that your puppy?

  • Vickie Younker

    HI I have a full blooded American red nosed Pit Bull Puppy that is almost a year old. How long should I keep him on puppy chow?

  • Pattyvaughn

    I can’t even imagine what your vet is thinking. Eleven weeks and 19 lbs is a nice size for a normal Am Staff. Maybe he was thinking of another breed.

  • Shawna

    Would LOVE to see a picture of him if you get a chance. Any of the Pitties are my breed of choice but the Staffie (and by default AmStaff) are the best of the best :)…

  • Shawna

    Umm, an AmStaff should be hearty but they are not particularly tall dogs… I grew up with a Staffie — a little shorter and stockier than an AmStaff but not much I don’t think.. Here’s what they say about AmStaffs “The American Staffordshire terrier also known as Amstaff is a medium-sized, short-coated American dog breed.”

    Here’s another site “Height: Males 17 – 19 inches (43 – 48 cm) Females 16 – 18 inches (41 – 46 cm)
    Weight: 57 – 67 pounds (25 – 30 kg)” http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/americanstaffordshire.htm They are stocky little dudes but not particularly tall…

    As a “medium-sized” dog you shouldn’t have to worry about large breed issues. If he were my guy, I’d feed him a high protein diet using a variety of kibbles such as Orijen, Nature’s Variety Instinct, Earthborn Primitive Naturals etc and then give him whole food toppers such as canned sardines, whole raw eggs (shell and all) etc..

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hi Kay –

    The goal with large breed puppies is slow and sustained growth – not fast growth which can result in orthopedic issues. Large breed puppies should be kept very lean during growth. With that said, TOTW is not appropriate for large breed puppies – not because it will cause a puppy to not grow quickly enough but because the calcium levels are too high (excess calcium during growth has also been linked to orthopedic disease in large breed puppies). Here are some foods with appropriate calcium levels for large breed growth:

    https://docs.google.com/a/dogfoodadvisor.com/file/d/0BwApI_dhlbnFTXhUdi1KazFzSUk/edit?pli=1

    Here’s a body condition scoring chart – asses your pup’s body condition frequently to ensure that he’s not too thin or too chunky.

    http://vet.osu.edu/vmc/body-condition-scoring-chart

  • Kay

    Hi!
    My American staff terrier puppy recently went to the vet for his second set of shots & the vet told us that we needed to change his dog food to a specific large breed dog food because he’s not as big as he should be. (Hes 11 weeks 19 lbs) He’s on taste of the wild puppy right now. IMO I think he’s growing fine. Is taste of the wild suitable for large breed puppies? If not, suggestions please!?

  • aimee

    Thank HDM,

    I was using the information from the website. If Wellness holds to 1.23% and doesn’t fluctuate from there I’d be fine with that level.

    I wonder why they report a max of 1.5% if they are holding at 1.23%?
    Why not report a max of say 1.3%?

    So I just pause and say hmm.. not sure I’d feed it to my giant breed during the first 6 months or so of rapid growth.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Wellness customer service told me their CORE Puppy formula is 1.23% calcium which should come up to 3.24 g/1,000 kcal. So it should be fine for a large breed puppy.

  • aimee

    Oops.. Don’t forget that Wellness core puppy food exceeds the calcium level that nutritionists recommend for large breed growth.

    Though I like the Wellness Core line and have fed Core to my dogs I would not feed it during the growth period of a giant breed.

  • Shawna

    Yeah, I agree with the others here… Toy and small breed dogs really don’t need any less protein than the giant breed dogs.. In fact, most diets designed for small and toy breeds have more protein than the regular lines — Blue Buffalo Freedom included. Their Small Breed Chicken has 26% protein while the regular Adult Chicken has 24% protein.

    That said this line of food has too little protein, in my opinion, for any size dog. Protein is the “building block” of the entire system. The amino acids in protein are used to build new cells, used to make the enzymes that digest the food eaten, used to repair damage tissue etc…

    I have eight toy and small breed dogs now and have had 12 total (including two Yorkies). My current smallest is four pounds and largest is 14 pounds. They get protein amounts ranging from 45 to 54%. This includes my Chihuahua mix who has had kidney disease since birth and was given a year to live. On high protein raw she has lived seven and one half years and is still going strong…

    Please do reconsider what you are feeding your little fur baby!!!

  • Zyekitty

    l have a yorkie, he is now a little over 1.5 years old. I’d recommend Wellness Core puppy and then switch him to Wellness Core Small Breed when he is an adult. My little guy is doing very good on this. It is a little expensive but can be found in most pet stores. It actually doesn’t end up costing too much since the little ones don’t eat as much as larger dogs.

    Small breed dogs need average or above average protein.

  • Pattyvaughn

    No, low in protein is not better for smaller dogs. That is a myth.

  • InkedMarie

    why do puppies need low protein?

  • Brooklyn

    I have a Yorkie myself, and am feeding him Blue-Buffalo-Freedom-Grain-Free-Chicken. It’s a bit pricier than most, but you truly get what you pay for. It’s low in protein, which is better for smaller dogs, has no grains, and is gluten-free. It’ll help with the coat, growth, and many allergies. Other good brands are Core, Organix, but most importantly, try finding a low protein, no grain puppy food.
    Hope this helps.

  • Brooklyn

    Eukanuba, as suggested below, is not a good recommendation. Brands such as Eukanuba, Royal Canin, and Science Diet all are like humans eating fast food everyday. I would recommend Wellness Core Grain-free for your new pup. It’s high in protein, with no fillers, which is good for larger sized dogs. Most sites rate it 4.5-5 stars, 5 being the highest.
    Best of luck!

  • aimee

    Hi Megan,

    Several years ago I was at the Eng. Mastiff National Specialty show. My friend, who was showing her dogs, fed Eukaneuba.

    She said after trying a variety of foods, including raw, she found she got the best results with that brand. Her female was the top winning female in the history of the breed.

    What I found interesting though was that I asked every breeder I struck up a conversation with what food did they think was best for raising a Mastiff puppy. Every breeder I talked to that day said Eukaneuba puppy.

    Keep in mind when looking for a food that a review really can’t tell you how well that food will work for your dog.

  • InkedMarie

    congrats on your Christmas present LOL! HDM already posted the list I was going to.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hi Meagan –

    I’d like to direct you to this article written by Susan Lauten, PhD, on large breed puppy nutrition:

    http://portais.ufg.br/uploads/66/original_Racas_grandes.pdf

    It’s the most comprehensive article I’ve found outlining the nutritional risks for large breed puppies.

    Also, here is a list of 4 and 5 star foods I’ve compiled which have calcium levels falling within the appropriate range for large and giant breed growth:

    https://docs.google.com/a/dogfoodadvisor.com/file/d/0BwApI_dhlbnFTXhUdi1KazFzSUk/edit?pli=1

    Good luck with the new pup!

  • Megan

    Hi there,

    We are picking up our 8 week old purebred English Mastiff this week. He is currently on Natural Balance LID for puppy-adult by the breeder. I read on here that its not recommended. What would you suggest for such a big dog? I need some advice, I’ve read some horrible reviews about every brand I’ve considered. Thank you

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  • Pattyvaughn

    To be safe, I would feed a food from the list.

  • Judy

    We will have him checked out by our vet once we have him & she should be able to give us a better idea of what he is….I hope!!

  • Judy

    Thanks, I will check these out. We do not know what he is mixed with – he was found alone wondering in someone’s yard in South Carolina so we are assuming that he is a shepherd mix by his picture / what my cousin has told us. He is being transported to us in NJ & we should be getting him one day next week.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Do you know what he is mixed with? I ask because Shepherds are right on the line between being a large or a medium breed, so what he is mixed with may affect his size. To be safe you can assume he will be a large breed dog and feed foods that are appropriate for large breed puppies. They have special requirements when it comes to calcium levels in their diet. Hound Dog Mom has done the research and put together a list of foods with the appropriate calcium levels. Here’s a link.

    https://docs.google.com/viewer?srcid=0BwApI_dhlbnFTXhUdi1KazFzSUk&pid=explorer&efh=false&a=v

    You should also go over to the forum side and read the first few pages of the thread on large and giant breed puppy nutrition.

    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/forums/topic/large-and-giant-breed-puppy-nutrition/

  • Judy

    Good Morning! We are getting an 8 week old Shepard Mix puppy next week and I would like advice on what dry puppy food to feed him. Thanks!

  • BoxerDane

    Eagle Pack is a great food for Danes, I had mine on it when she was young and growing and even now that she is 10, I have her on Eagle Pack senior.

  • InkedMarie

    In the upper left hand corner, type in best puppy food and links will come up.

  • MrsCarr

    Hello Elizabeth & InkedMarie. I hate to butt in but I too am looking for some advice on puppy food. I’m getting a Morkie for my daughter for Christmas and am looking for an affordable but healthy puppy food to feed him. The breeder currently uses Life’s Abundance, which is not sold in stores (that I could find). Any suggestions?

  • InkedMarie

    Your gal is smart; Pedigree is not a good food. I have a whole list of foods I would recommend but I’m afraid you’d be in sticker shock. Can you tell us approximately how much you can depend on a large bag of food, are you willing to order online?

  • Danielle

    Hello I have a 4 1/2 month old Basset Hound puppy I am currently feeding her Pedigree Vital Protection Large Puppy food its dry. For the last few days she wont eat it…..She sniffs then walks away and is totally uninterested in it. I have to keep trying to feed her otherwise she is sick bial. She seems to eat a tiny bit then leaves it. I’m totally confused as to what I should try to feed
    her ! I was going to try Royal Canin…..HELP ?!

  • Pattyvaughn

    Here is a good place to read about the issues, including the proof about which ones are myths.

    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/forums/topic/large-and-giant-breed-puppy-nutrition/

    And here is Hound Dog Mom’s latest list of foods for giant breed puppies.

    https://docs.google.com/viewer?srcid=0BwApI_dhlbnFTXhUdi1KazFzSUk&pid=explorer&efh=false&a=v

  • Morgan

    Just bought a Great Dane puppy that i will pick up 12/19 when he is 8 weeks old. So far im leaning towards Eagle Pack large breed puppy to feed him. Any suggestions out there? Ive read about a lot of feeding/growth issues with Danes out there that scare me…..

  • Tina Rogers

    Hi! I have a new Shorkie puppy and I really need some help picking a food for her. I have a severe allergy to fish so I can’t have a food for her that has fish or fish oil in it. Does anyone have any suggestions??

  • butchroy

    On the list Storm’s Mom shows you, they have raw and I personally think raw is the most wonderful food! I cannot afford raw for every meal. Since you can, I would go with the raw! I feed Darwin’s for breakfast, which I see on the list, and another top one is Answer’s. Have fun with your precious new baby! You will have to post a picture. Pit puppies are beyond words adorable!

  • http://enria.org/ Storm’s Mom

    Large breed puppies have very specific nutritional needs, mainly to do with the calcium level and calcium:phosphorous ratio, to make sure they don’t grow too quickly. Not all foods (puppy or “all life stages) fulfill these needs. Below is a link to a spreadsheet of foods that do. I would only feed a food on this spreadsheet:

    https://docs.google.com/a/dogfoodadvisor.com/file/d/0BwApI_dhlbnFTXhUdi1KazFzSUk/edit?pli=1

  • KO

    Hi guys I have a new 10 week old !00% Razors Edge Blue Nose American Pitbull terrier and i am just looking to maximize his genetics and have him live a nice healthy life. Mother was 85 pounds and father was 115 pounds so i presume he will be a big boy. He currently is eating Blue Buffalo wilderness with a nutri-vet puppy vitamin once a day. Any suggestions on the absolute best food to feed him and price is no issue. Thank you!!

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  • InkedMarie

    First of all, Beneful is a horrible food. Read the review here. I don’t mean to be “curt” but you’re causing a picky puppy. Pick a higher quality food, put it down for 15min. Pick up whatever he doesn’t eat, he gets nothing else until the next meal. It’s called Tough Love. A healthy pup won’t starve itself.

  • Elizabeth

    Okay, I need help. I have a Pomeranian puppy that is about to turn 4 months. When I first got him, he would eat his food normally, but after the first week I got him, he would stop eating his food. I thought he was sick, but his energy level was extremely high and he didn’t show signs of sickness. He just wouldn’t eat his food. So I had to change his food over to beneful refridgerated food, to see if he would eat it because he literally would go days without eating. Once I got that he ate it like it was his last meal. So, I then went back to his dry food and would sniff it, then walk away. So, I mixed wet food with the dry dog food. At first he would eat only the wet food, eating around the dry dog food. Now, he won’t eat the wet food at all! He has become very picky and always begging and whining for table scraps (but I refuse to give him any). I have had a lot of dogs in my lifetime and I have never had a picky dog. What could I get him to eat?! Any good natural tasting dog foods out there healthy for poms?

  • Pattyvaughn

    If it’s Pano, then he will get better, otherwise it is hard to say.

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    Don’t forget, you don’t have to feed just one food. Pick a couple that your dog does well on so he can have a variety.

  • Storm’s Mom

    haha, I did get a good chuckle out of that ;-)

  • InkedMarie

    An hour? I meant a pound!

  • Dan

    InkedMarie, sandy, and Storm’s Mom, Thank you! I SO appreciate your advice and QUICK response! I will definitely reconsider my price limit. Also, thanks to y’all I have already made good progress with the extremely helpful dog food list, and am working toward making a final decision on my first better dog food. :)

    Quick aside: Thank you, Dr. Mike Sagman, for the information and time that you have put in this site!

  • Storm’s Mom

    Direct link to the large breed puppy food list that sandy refers to is: https://docs.google.com/a/dogfoodadvisor.com/file/d/0BwApI_dhlbnFTXhUdi1KazFzSUk/edit?pli=1

    As InkedMarie said, not sure you’ll find what you’re looking for for $1.50/lb though. Keep in mind that with many of the foods on that list, you’ll feed a LOT less of them than you do of the Purina, so while the bag may initially cost you more then $1.50/lb, it will end up costing around the same in the longer term.

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    I think the food list for large breed puppies is on page 15 and page 36.

    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/forums/topic/large-and-giant-breed-puppy-nutrition/page/36/

  • InkedMarie

    Go to the forums here on DFA (look above in the red line). There is a stickie in the “Diet & Health issues” sub forum. I want to say, I don’t know if you can find a food for $1.50 an hour but take a look. These are the 4 or 5 star foods appropriate for large breed pups.

  • Dan

    Hello, I am fairly new to this whole dog food search. I was wondering if I could get some advice. We have a 12 week old Chesapeake Bay Retriever (a. k. a. Chessie) puppy. She is doing fine health wise right now, but I wanted to get her on some better food than what she is eating (Purina One for Large Breed Puppies). I have read a fare amount of information-some taken from this site-on the nutritional needs of large breed puppies including calcium and phosphorous maximums, minimums, and ratios and so forth. All that said, I am looking for a dog food that is around $1.50 per lb. or less, has excellent nutrition, proper calcium and phosphorous amounts, fairly low caloric energy, and a healthy fat content. Hopefully that’s not to much restriction. If it is or there are things I have wrong a bought nutrition for large breed puppies, PLEASE don’t hesitate to let me know!!! Thanks!

  • Crazy4cats

    He is perfect. Good luck!

  • Heather

    I tell him I could kiss his face off everyday :)
    I got him from a ‘breeder’ of sorts. She lived on a farm. The mom was purebred Bernese def but the Dad looked iffy on the Bloodhound bit. Whatever though I don’t care what he is because his personality is perfect.

  • HealthyDogs

    First, he is darling!
    Could be a lot of things, including HOD. HOD is not uncommon in my breed ( Great Danes. ) I do not know how prevalent this is in other breeds, there is some evidence in Weims that it is genetic (familial), and also some serious thought that it is related to the distemper vaccine or a Vitamin C uptake problem. Could also be Pano, and while that could be nutrition related, it can also be just plain old genetics. He seems more the age for Pano than HOD.
    Did they do Xrays? Pano is fairly obvious on film, the bones get a sort of lacey pattern.
    I’ve raised several Danes over the decades on Raw or partial Raw and not had growth issues; however each individual is different as is each diet.
    Often at 9-10 months old, giant dogs will dramatically reduce the amount they eat as they are just coming off their high growth rate and require less calories.
    The lethargy and depression seem more like viral/bacterial/immune issues than a growth issue per se. General malaise, that is what made HOD come to mind.
    I hope he feels better soon. He is too cute for words!

  • Hound Dog Mom

    OMG that face is so precious. Did you get him from a shelter or did someone breed him? Just wondering because I don’t really see the bernese or bloodhound – I work at a shelter and they get the breeds wrong a lot. He looks like a red tick with maybe a little lab to me. Adorable either way though. :)

  • Betsy Greer

    Oh my gosh, he’s adorable! : )

  • Betsy Greer

    …or a python! ; )