Purina Puppy Chow (Dry)


Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

Purina Puppy Chow receives the Advisor’s lowest rating of 1 star.

The Purina Puppy Chow product line includes three dry dog foods, two claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages and one for growth and maintenance (Large Breed Formula).

The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.

  • Purina Puppy Chow Complete
  • Purina Puppy Chow Healthy Morsels
  • Purina Puppy Chow Large Breed Formula

Purina Puppy Chow Complete was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Purina Puppy Chow Complete

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 31% | Fat = 14% | Carbs = 48%

Ingredients: Whole grain corn, corn gluten meal, chicken by-product meal, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of vitamin E), soybean meal, egg and chicken flavor, brewers rice, barley, animal digest, calcium phosphate, fish oil, calcium carbonate, dried yeast, salt, potassium chloride, choline chloride, l-lysine monohydrochloride, zinc sulfate, vitamin E supplement, yellow 6, ferrous sulfate, dl-methionine, yellow 5, red 40, manganese sulfate, niacin, vitamin A supplement, blue 2, copper sulfate, calcium pantothenate, garlic oil, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin B12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin D3 supplement, riboflavin supplement, calcium iodate, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of vitamin K activity), folic acid, biotin, sodium selenite

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.7%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis27%12%NA
Dry Matter Basis31%14%48%
Calorie Weighted Basis28%30%43%

The first ingredient in this dog food is corn. Corn is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain. And aside from its energy content, this grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

For this reason, we do not consider corn a preferred component in any dog food.

The second ingredient is corn gluten meal. Gluten is the rubbery residue remaining once corn has had most of its starchy carbohydrate washed out of it.

Although corn gluten meal contains 60% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.

And less costly plant-based products like this can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

The third ingredient is chicken by-product meal, a dry rendered product of slaughterhouse waste. It’s made from what’s left of a slaughtered chicken after all the prime cuts have been removed.

In addition to organs (the nourishing part), this stuff can contain almost anything — feet, beaks, undeveloped eggs — anything except feathers.

On the brighter side, by-product meals are meat concentrates and contain nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

In any case, although this item contains all the amino acids a dog needs, we consider chicken by-products an inexpensive, lower quality ingredient.

The fourth ingredient is animal fat. Animal fat is a generic by-product of rendering, the same high-temperature process used to make meat meals.

Since there’s no mention of a specific animal, this item could come from almost anywhere: roadkill, spoiled supermarket meat, dead, diseased or dying cattle — even euthanized pets.

For this reason, we do not consider generic animal fat a quality ingredient.

The fifth ingredient is soybean meal, a by-product of soybean oil production more commonly found in farm animal feeds.

Although soybean meal contains 48% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.

And less costly plant-based products like this can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

After the egg and chicken flavor, we find brewers rice. Brewers rice is a cereal grain by-product consisting of the small fragments left over after milling whole rice. Aside from the caloric energy it contains, this item is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The eighth ingredient is barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. However, aside from its energy content, this cereal grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.

But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this product.

With seven notable exceptions

First, animal digest is a chemically hydrolyzed mixture of animal by-products that is typically sprayed onto the surface of a dry kibble to improve its taste.

Next, dried yeast can be a controversial item. Dried yeast contains about 45% protein and is rich in other healthy nutrients.

Fans believe yeast repels fleas and supports the immune system.

Critics argue yeast ingredients can be linked to allergies. This may be true, but (like all allergies) only if your particular dog is allergic to the yeast itself.

What’s more, a vocal minority insist yeast can increase the risk of developing the life-threatening condition known as bloat. However, this is something we’ve not been able to scientifically verify.

In any case, unless your dog is specifically allergic to it, we feel yeast should be considered a nutritious addition.

In addition, we’re always disappointed to find artificial coloring in any pet food. That’s because coloring is used to make the product more appealing to humans — not your dog. After all, do you really think your dog cares what color his kibble is?

We also note that garlic oil can be a controversial item. Although many favor the ingredient for its claimed health benefits, garlic has been linked to Heinz body anemia in dogs.1

So, one must weigh the potential benefits of feeding garlic against its proven tendency to cause subclinical damage to the red blood cells of the animal.

Next, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.

Also, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Non-chelated minerals are usually associated with lower quality dog foods.

And lastly, this food also contains menadione, a controversial form of vitamin K linked to liver toxicity, allergies and the abnormal break-down of red blood cells.

Since vitamin K isn’t required by AAFCO in either of its dog food nutrient profiles, we question the use of this substance in any canine formulation.

Purina Puppy Chow
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Purina Puppy Chow looks like a below-average dry product.

But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 31%, a fat level of 14% and estimated carbohydrates of about 48%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 31% and a mean fat level of 13%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 48% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 42%.

Above-average protein. Below-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the corn gluten meal, soybean meal and dried yeast, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Purina Puppy Chow is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of chicken by-product meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 1 star.

Not recommended.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.

Those looking for a similar wet food from the same company may wish to visit our review of Purina Healthy Morsels canned dog food.

Purina Dog Food
Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this product line. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.

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Dog Food Coupons
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A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

We rely almost entirely on the integrity of the information posted by each company on its website. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the quality of the test results from any specific batch of food a company chooses to publish.

Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.

Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit for your pet.

For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".

Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.

However, we do receive a fee from Chewy.com for each purchase made as a direct result of a referral from our website. This fee is a fixed dollar amount and has nothing to do with the size of an order or the brand selected for purchase.

Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

05/31/2015 Last Update

  1. Yamato et al, Heinz Body hemolytic anemia with eccentrocytosis from ingestion of Chinese chive (Allium tuberosum) and garlic (Allium sativum) in a dog, Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 41:68-73 (2005)
  • Helen Beaulieu

    My 4 year old Yorkshire Terrier has a large stone in her bladder and my vet said that this food may have caused it…just wanted to let people know that although some Purina products are okay…I wouldn’t recommend this food for your puppy!

  • Justin Büyüközer

    When you choose a higher quality food, you’ll notice that the need to consume more food isn’t necessary. So though you may have to pay a little more in food, you’ll waste less of it. Unfortunately for you, the bigger the dog, the more money you’ll have to spend on food. But when feeding a good food usually whatever the bag tells you to feed for that size and age, cut the feeding in about half. Companies usually tell you to feed double what is necessary so that you go through the bag faster. As for foods that are healthy and affordable, I usually suggest Performatrin Ultra (which is what my dogs have been on for a long time and I a Holistic food, which is also nice. They just came out with a large breed formula), but there is also Natural Balance (it’s a super premium, but ingredients are good and it’s affordable), Blue Buffalo (depending where you buy it, it can be affordable). But whatever food you choose, its good to have the first two ingredients to be meat proteins (e.g. Chicken, Chicken-Meal). This website usually has some good suggestions.

  • Ronda Sherrill

    You could try 4 health puppy food from Tractor Supply. It is not as high as the others and is a good food.

  • shea barhite

    I have run into the same problem with my golden retriever puppy she is 20 pounds and I’d like to feed her Canidae which isn’t as much is Blue Buffalo or Wellness but I can’t get my mom to spend that much money on dog food so I have tried a lot of things and have found that Taste of The Wild is the best lowest price food you can feed your dog. If you go on Amazon you will find that with prime you can get it for about $10 less than the retail price. I have done tons of researching and I know a lot about what should be in dog food and what shouldn’t so I hope this helps. :-)

  • Crazy4cats

    Hi Jamie-

    Congrats on your new bundle of joy! I hesitate to make any recommendations because I’m not sure if your pup is considered large breed. Here is a link that helps with what to look for when feeding a large breed pup. Calcium levels are very important when they are growing to help with the formation of their joints. This helps to avoid hip dysplasia and other joint issues. Here is the link:

    If not a large breed, then you can check out the best puppy foods link. Hope this helps. Good luck!

  • Jamie

    I have a 12 week old Pitt puppy and I’ve been feeding him Purina Puppy Chow Healthy Morsels… But after reading some reviews I want to change it. I’m wanting a good food but can’t afford the big price tags. He’s 22lbs and thin. What do you recommend that’s not much more then what I’m paying now? When I make more money I can afford more but I’m on a tight budget right now.

  • Crazy4cats

    That little Shar Pei puppy is very cute! I hope one of the foods recommended works out for you. Good luck with the dog food and most importantly, your health. :)

  • April French Leavitt

    Could you message me on FB I actually have some more questions. I am under this name

  • Crazy4dogs

    I’m happy to help. I feed the Earthborn version from this company as we are lucky enough to be able to do so, but I can completely understand budget constraints and have been there myself. Good luck to you! I hope it works out! :)

  • April French Leavitt

    Crazy that is fantastic! Thank you so much. I will take a look right now.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Propac Ultimates, Sportmix Wholesome are both from the company that makes Earthborn, which has a good reputation and the Sportmix appears to be $29 for 40 lbs.

  • April French Leavitt

    I believe that all of those are unfortunately well past the budget I’m working with but I will take a look

  • aquariangt

    Budget friendly food wise-a few options: Precise, Earthborn, Victor if you can find it locally, Fromm Classic or Gold, Pure Balance

  • April French Leavitt

    I am feeding that cute little Shar Pei puppy in my picture. She’s just about 6 mo old. I just opened a 15 lb bag of her usual food, but I want to start switching now because I want to do it extremely slowly over the next month, which I expect that bag to last. I was going to switch her to Purina One, that’s what she first started out on. I bought the True Instinct with Turkey and Venison. I would say it’s about my budget. Unfortunately I was diagnosed with Severe Narcolepsy and will no longer be working so my income has literally been cut in half

  • Crazy4dogs

    You’re right, I have no clue as to your budget or income, but I’d be happy to help with some suggestions as are many people on this site. Are you feeding a puppy or a dog? And, is it a large breed? I have suggestions, but would prefer to give you some that you could possibly use. Also, some of my suggestions may not be as low of a cost per pound as Puppy Chow but should be comparable as you feed less of a better food.

  • April French Leavitt

    If you are still looking and can afford it, go to Chewy.com and get the Solid Gold Hund N Flocken. It’s Lamb and Rice. They have a 15lb for $21

  • April French Leavitt

    You have sorely misunderstood me. I was simply making a comment. I would in no way make an excuse. But since you brought it up and have ZERO CLUE as to what my budget is or what my income is what, Crazy, do you find budget friendly???

  • aquariangt

    Oddly enough, as I’ve gotten a bit more involved with Show Breeders and Performance People, I’m finding less and less of them that feed something as low quality as Puppy Chow. Especially for the ones not in it to make money (BYBs) The bybs are feeding junk, because they have a ton of dogs, but most responsible breeders are in an expensive money sink like hobby anyway, and they aren’t quite scraping the barrel foodwise

  • Crazy4dogs

    Yep! :(

  • DogFoodie

    Me neither! Wow, huh.

  • Crazy4dogs

    I agree that chewy is well liked. I understand that people may have to use a less expensive brand due to unfortunate circumstances. There are other foods I would choose over puppy chow that are budget friendly. Breeders are in the business of making money on their puppies. If they can’t afford to feed anything else, they shouldn’t be breeding dogs. To try to excuse it by your explanation doesn’t work for me.

  • April French Leavitt

    I agree with real vet. However, I have a Pure Bred Sharf Pei. I have recently found myself unexpectedly on a forever medical leave. So I literally can’t afford her food anymore. She’s been on Solid Gold. That isn’t crap food, you know? Her breeder of all people had her on Purina One Chicken and Rice but the breeders are the ones who use the food that you guys are all calling crap because they have so many mouths to feed they can’t afford anything else. They are brought up on it. For those of you insisting on buying high priced kibbies, buy them from Chewy.com. You will save some money. Tons. Excellent customer service, 24/7

  • Pitlove

    Yes a maltipoo is a breed, however it is what is considered a designer dog. It is NOT a pure bred dog recognized by the AKC. There are plenty of people who do breed these dogs, but without knowing the reputation of this breeder she went to it is impossible to judge whether or not she is a backyard breeder or a reputable breeder. Also Keisha is not asking for opinions about the breed of dog she bought she talking to us about dog food because this site has to do with evaluating dog food, not breed quality. Be helpful or just don’t post.

  • Shawna

    Or, one could take advice from a “real vet” that is ALSO a veterinary nutritionist. Better yet, one that has taught small animal nutrition for over 30 years. One like Dr. Meg Smart who writes on her blog —
    “If you wish to feed a commercial diet find a company that is small, family owned and accountable.” http://petnutritionbysmart.blogspot.com/2012/07/practical-advise-on-feeding-your-dog.html

    Here’s how Dr. Smart describes kibbled foods in general (same link as above)
    “Highly processed and dissected and reconstituted (convenience) foods have only been part of our diet and that of our pets for a little over 200 years. Less than one percent of the time, that dogs have been associated with man.”

    What credentials do you have that would warrant us listening to you, cause you aren’t winning us over with your Purina spiel?

    Unless ProPlan was not owned by Purina in 2001, the presence of pentobarbital in ProPlan foods is a indicator of the quality of ingredients Purina might consider using. I know that Purina gets its ingredients from USDA facilities now but that apparently has not always been the case. http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/CentersOffices/OfficeofFoods/CVM/CVMFOIAElectronicReadingRoom/ucm129135.htm

    And I know that the FDA states the small amount of pento in dog foods is not damaging but the US Fish and Wildlife Service highly disagree with that.
    “Rendering is not an acceptable way to dispose of a pentobarbital-tainted carcass. The drug residues are not destroyed in the rendering process, so the tissues and by-products may contain poison and must not be used for animal feed….

    All pentobarbital-euthanized carcasses should be prominently tagged with one or more highly-visible “POISON” warning labels. Bagged animals should have a label affixed to the carcass itself and also attached to the outside of the bag.” http://cpharm.vetmed.vt.edu/USFWS/USFWSFPentobarbFactSheet.pdf

    You lose even more credibility when you use “voodoo food” as a description for gluten and grain free foods. Of course there are dogs that have no issues with gluten and other grains but to imply that grain free foods are akin to voodoo? Might want to familiarize yourself with the term lectin protein.

  • Crazy4dogs

    “real vet” I’ve been feeding my dogs 4&5 star food for well over 16 years including fresh & raw in the last 6. My dogs look great, have great energy & live long past their expected lifespans. BTW, my REAL vet loves the condition they’re in!

  • Keisha

    Cindy. Was this conversation between u and I? I don’t think so. I know where I went. So, in other words, don’t say s–t to me if I’m not addressing u.

  • Cindy Wisman

    There is no such breed as a maltipoo therefore you did not go to a “breeder”.

  • pitlove

    “Corn and cereal are less digestible to dogs than meat, they are cheap fillers.”—-

    Nutri Life All Gold Dog Food

    Ingredients: Duck, turkey, chicken meal, ***brown rice***, ****pearled barley****,
    ****oatmeal****, lamb, menhaden fish meal, ***potato****, chicken fat (preserved with
    mixed tocopherols), ****white rice****, ****tomato pomace****, salmon oil, flaxseed, ****brewers dried yeast****, ****alfalfa meal****,
    ***sweet potato****,

    these grains are literally no better than corn, wheat and soy.
    Not only do dogs have a similar GI tract to cats, but they lack the digestive enzymes (like amylase) in their saliva to break down grains like humans can. In terms of sticking to an ancestral diet, which is the only proper diet for a dog, this food does not come even close to the standards.

    Glad you claim to have had such luck breeding large and giant breed dogs, however that literally means nothing to us as you have no way to prove your success. And judging by your choice of food, I’d say you aren’t as credible as you make yourself out to be.

  • pitlove

    what does having BC’s have to do with anything? lol. also what do you have against BC’s? overly hostile

  • pitlove

    It is not ok for a dog to be fat and over weight and I promise you they are not happy about it…I think YOU might be the crazy one..geez

  • pitlove


    APBT’s and other kinds of pits are extremely sensitive (skin and stomach wise) and are prone as a breed to allergies and skin problems. The breeder my Am Staf was from had him on this food and even she told me he had to be switched to a 5 star quality dog food. It’s been a real struggle to find foods that he likes and that wont aggravate the skin problems he has already had but I will tell you that the minute he fully switched over to an all natural grain free food the diarrhea stopped. Puppy Chow and Dog Chow has a lot of low-grade poor quality ingredients in it that are really tough on any dog let alone a breed already prone to being sensitive. I would highly suggest a very very slow tranisition to an all natural grain-free food. If you need to stay within the price range of Puppy/Dog Chow, try Whole Earth Farms first. You can find it at Petco and probably PetSmart too. Its comparable in price but is rated 4 stars on here http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/whole-earth-farms-grain-free/

  • Bobby dog

    Hi Leah Ann:
    You’re welcome. Poor puppy, shedding and allergies could also be environmental. Lawn fertilizers, cleaning products, laundry detergent, perfumes are a few culprits.
    If it is a possible food sensitivity switching to different protein/carb sources might be a better approach. A single protein food would be a good place to start. Keeping track of all foods, including treats, you feed then comparing ingredients to see what the foods have in common helps narrow down possible culprits.
    Healthy dog appropriate human foods are fine for dogs! Of course, I wouldn’t feed turkey either if it was just going to upset her stomach!

  • Leah Ann

    I have tried switching her over to Natures Recipe (lamb formula), Hills Science Diet, Innova Large Breed Dog Food, and Canidea. The most recent was Hills Science Diet. I usually feed her 1 1/2 cups 3x a day. Last night I fed her 1 cup Purina 1/2 Hills. She puked a couple hours later :(. I was told this was a lower quality food which shouldnt cause her much upset if I transition slowly. She has such a sensitive stomach. Throws up any type of human food like some turkey. (not that she is allowed to have it ) Just so frustrating. Was thinking about switching her to Purina Pro Plan. I feel like she is shedding a large amount for her age (7 months) and also is having allergies. I feel like switching her to a high quality food would be beneficial…. Just not sure which brand to try next. Thanks for the advice though.

  • Bobby dog

    Hi Leah Ann:
    Not sure what brands you tried to transition to, but sometimes when you go from a food with different protein, fat, and fiber %’s and/or different protein and carb sources dogs experience digestive upsets. If you are interested in trying a new food it might help to match or come close to these percentages; finding a recipe with the same protein and a few other similar ingredients might help too. You could also feed a 50/50 mix for a month or two then try increasing the amount of the new food again.

    Most times switching from a one star rated food to a four or above does not go well. Not sure if that is the case in this instance since I don’t know what foods you tried to introduce to your dog. Slowly moving from a one star to a two or three star food is a good first step to introducing new foods. Probiotics and other products to help with soft stools can assist in the transition process. Good luck if you decide to give it another try!

  • Leah Ann

    When I got my pup she was on this food. I have tired switching her over to MANY different high end high quality foods, but every time I try to switch her over and the new food is 50% or more of her meal…. She gets sick from it. ( yes I try gradual switching over, even have tried switching her over in the course of 1 month) This is the only food she can tolerate.

  • Dori

    Just be aware that a lot of people’s dogs are having problem lately with Blue Buffalo’s foods. Diarrhea and vomiting so if he starts any of that keep in mind that it may have nothing to do with the transition, it may be the food. I’m glad the vet had you take him off Purina but I’m not sure at this point if Blue Buffalo is a good choice either. You may want to check out the reviews on this site of Blue Buffalo and check out what posters are saying about the issues their dogs are having.

  • Keisha

    I just got a puppy from a breeder on Friday, a maltipoo. I took him to the vet the same day. The vet quickly suggested that I take him off of Purina Puppy Chow and start Buffalo blue by slowing weaning him. He was adamate about it. He has no fleas or ticks but has itchy skin. I’m waiting to see how things improve over this transitional period.

  • Dori

    Dog Love Plus. Hope you don’t mind but I took your lead and posted on the Beneful review also. Thanks for posting on all the Purina reviews. A lot of people feeding Purina may have missed it if not looking at all the Purina reviews.

  • Dog Lover Plus

    Class action lawsuit brought against Purina.=>


    “Mycotoxins are a group of toxins produced by mold found in grains, a major ingredient in Beneful. Mycotoxins pose a health risk to dogs and consumer complaints on Beneful report symptoms consistent with mycotoxin poisoning, according to the lawsuit. Cereghino said he and his team plan to collect further data and perform testing of the products for toxins.”

  • Ashley Dillon

    My APBT puppy loves this food. He is now being switched to a Dog Chow because he is getting so big that the puppy chow no longer fills him up. However, I have yet to know if he threw up due to eating too much at a time on occasion or if it was because of this food. Also, he had diarrhea a lot while on this.

  • theBCnut

    According to this, your food is an All Life Stages food, which is a puppy food.
    BTW, I had working GSDs for nearly 30 years and just got BCs within the last 4 years. And most companies don’t charge much more at all for their puppy food, but it has higher protein and more closely regulated mineral profile.
    Please do stick with what works for you, after all, healthy happy dogs is what is important.

  • Shawna

    I think “adult” food is actually the American gimmick. Adult food, at least here in the states, tends to be higher in carbohydrates. Carbohydrates puts on weight in many ways. And higher protein has been shown as an effective weight loss diet. The Journal of Nutrition has some research on the topic. The “high protein” in this paper was 52%. The title is “High-Protein Low-Carbohydrate Diets Enhance Weight Loss in Dogs” http://jn.nutrition.org/content/134/8/2087S.short

    Not only does higher protein diet help with fat loss but they also, based on data in the paper and from experience, improve muscle tone. And good muscle tone and strong tendons/ligaments supports the skeletal system and joints.

    They’ve known for some 20 years now that protein does not harm the kidneys. There’s TONS of info about this on the web but my favorite is by Dr. Kenneth Bovee, Department of Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine. He wrote an article titled “Mythology of Protein Restriction for Dogs with Reduced Renal Function”. http://dogaware.com/files/bovee.pdf

    They’ve also busted the myth of higher amounts of protein being a problem for large breed puppies. Favorite source, Dr. Jennifer Larsen, Resident, Small Animal Clinical Nutrition, Veterinary Medical Training Hospital… Dr. Larsen writes “The same group went on to investigate the individual dietary components and demonstrated that dietary protein level had no effect on the development of osteochondrosis (Nap, et. al,1991). For some reason, dietary protein level continues to be incriminated by some owners, breeders, and veterinarians, despite the lack of supportive evidence.” http://www.lgd.org/library/Optimal%20feeding%20of%20large%20breed%20puppies.pdf

    Dr. Karen Becker DVM interviewed Dr. Jeff Bergin, a human and animal chiropractor and Newf breeder. He feeds a very nutrient dense, high protein raw diet and he too has never had orthopedic problems in his line. And one of his bitches lived to 17 years of age. Pretty impressive for a Newf. http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2011/04/05/how-a-newfoundland-pet-dog-reached-17-years.aspx

  • wolftimber

    Neither does puppy food and if you think it does you are sadly mistaken, but you go ahead and keep paying into the special high priced puppy feed gimick and stick to your border collies, and I’ll stick with what my 35 years in large and giant breed dogs has PROVEN works perfectly fine and has produced a zero rate of any orthopaedic, bone, joint, hip, elbow or lameness issues.

  • theBCnut

    Fast growth comes from over feeding calories, regardless of whether or not the food is puppy or adult food. I totally agree that you want slow controlled growth, which is why we always recommend that you keep a growing puppy on the thin side. We also only recommend very specific puppy foods that have the right calcium level for large and giant breed dogs. By far, most of them don’t, even the ones marked for large breeds. Maybe you should look over on the forum side and read the thread on Large and Giant Breed Puppy Nutrition that is found in the Diet and Health Issues forum. Then you will have a better understanding about where we are coming from on this issue.

  • theBCnut

    Here, adult foods do not have to have controlled calcium levels.

    Sent from my iPod

  • theBCnut

    I’m sorry, my point that I failed to make was that they don’t actually have much of any power at all. They can ask a company to comply, but they have no power to back it up until after a lengthy court process. Their hand are tied when it comes to needing immediate action.
    Sent from my iPod

  • wolftimber

    Nope, you are wrong on that, I speak from personal experience, liek I said earlier- I have studied and researched dog food brands and contents as a
    purebred dog club health chair and show breeder, I didn’t make the
    statement offhand. In large and giant breed dogs you DONT WANT fast
    growth! you want steady slow growth, that is why you feed a GOOD QUALITY
    adult food. It’s why NO dog I’ve owned in the last 35+ years ever had
    any orthopaedic problems, no panno, no hip or joint problems or lameness
    of any kind.
    My success not feeding puppy food speaks for itself, a zero rate of any orthopaedic, joint or bone problems over 35 years with multiple dogs at a time speaks for itself as well.
    I typically own 3-5 large/giant breed dogs concurrently.
    I do not have dogs with any allergies, skin problems, hotspots or fleas either.

  • wolftimber

    You are making a totally WRONG assumption there, the FDA is another govt shill, I made a statement: the FDA regulates animal feed and has specific criteria that has to be met by manufacturers, that’s it.

  • theBCnut

    BTW, you put too much faith in FDA.

    Sent from my iPod

  • theBCnut

    That’s exactly why you should not feed an adult food to large breed puppies here. The calcium content listed is a minimum. Adult foods can go much higher than their stated minimum, while puppy foods have to stay within a certain range. Switching to adult food may help control the calorie level, but it does nothing to control the calcium level. It makes more sense to me to control calories by controlling the amount of foo fed and stick with known levels of calcium rather than assumed levels.
    Sent from my iPod

  • wolftimber

    “Puppy food is that which is recognized by AAFCO as being suited for growth.”

    Which doesn’t dismiss a high quality adult food from doing exactly the same thing, we are talking about $40-$50 a 30# bag adult food not “Old Roy” or “Walmart” brand $9.95 / 50# here

    Here’s what I feed:

    Nutri Life All Gold Dog Food

    Ingredients: Duck, turkey, chicken meal, brown rice, pearled barley,
    oatmeal, lamb, menhaden fish meal, potato, chicken fat (preserved with
    mixed tocopherols), white rice, tomato pomace, salmon oil, flaxseed, brewers dried yeast, alfalfa meal,
    sweet potato, carrots, lettuce, cranberries, celery, lecithin, chicken
    cartilage, potassium chloride, monocalcium phosphate, salt,
    dl-methionine, inulin (from chicory root), Yucca schidigera extract,
    Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium longum, Lactobacillus
    plantarum, Enterococcus faecium, vitamin A, D3, E, B12 supplements,
    choline chloride, niacin, pantothenic acid, ascorbic acid, riboflavin,
    thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, biotin, zinc
    sulfate, iron carbonate, manganous oxide, copper oxide, cobalt
    carbonate, calcium iodate, sorbic acid, sodium selenite

    Guaranteed analysis:
    24% protein
    14% fat

    If you exclude all the less common factors, orthopedic disease in large breeds (dogs over 50#) appears to be the result of at least one of 3 proven causes:

    Excessive dietary calcium

    And Too Much Calcium
    Like overfeeding, excessive dietary calcium has also been shown to increase the risk of skeletal disease in large breed puppies.

    Looking at Purina puppy chow, you’ll notice the first 2 ingredients are nothing but cereal:

    Ingredients: Whole grain corn, corn gluten meal, chicken by-product meal, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of vitamin E), soybean meal, egg and chicken flavor, brewers rice, barley, animal digest.

    It has 27% protein and 12% fat

    The adult food I feed is mainly MEAT not corn and cereal:

    Ingredients: Duck, turkey, chicken meal, brown rice, pearled barley,
    oatmeal, lamb, menhaden fish meal,

    Coming in at 24% protein it’s clsoe to Purina puppy chow’s 27%, but it has 2% more fat at 14%.

    Corn and cereal are less digestible to dogs than meat, they are cheap fillers.

    The adult food has:

    Nutritional analysis:
    Calcium 1.5 %
    Phosphorus 1.1 %

    Purina puppy chow has:

    Calcium (Ca) (Min) 1.1%
    Phosphorus (P) (Min) 0.9%

    You’ll notice that the adult food has more than enough calcium and phosphorus 0.4% more than the puppy chow.
    It is also preserved with citric acid not the chemicals most other pet food use.

    The key here is the brand and quality of adult food and NutriLife all gold adult food has been a proven winner.

  • wolftimber

    Like I said earlier- puppy feed is an American gimmick, they don’t have this in Europe as I remember. I have studied and researched dog food brands and contents as a purebred dog club health chair and show breeder, I didn’t make the statement offhand. In large and giant breed dogs you DONT WANT fast growth! you want steady slow growth, that is why you feed a GOOD QUALITY adult food. It’s why no dog I’ve owned in the last 35+ years ever had any orthopaedic problems, no panno, no hip or joint problems or lameness of any kind.
    The vast majority of dog food sold in America is already over nutritious beyond what the dog needs, why? because no dog food manufacturer can ever risk the fallout of not having enough vitamins, minerals, fats, calories and proteins in their feed and having consumers wind up with malnurished puppies and dogs. There’s also the inevitable lawsuits that would result.
    Research has found a number of years ago that dogs fed a feed with 2% calcium developed bone defects, there were brands that had 2% and higher!
    The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) guide today shows that for growth and reproduction: 1% calcium, of course it requires the correct amount of phosphorus with it.
    Too much calcium like too much protein is bad, we are seeing many dogs today with kidney failure, orthopaedic problems and more.
    The FDA regulates dog food in several ways.

    The current FDA regulations require proper identification of the
    product, net quantity statement, name and place of business of the
    manufacturer or distributor, and proper listing of all the ingredients
    in the product in order from most to least, based on weight.

  • LabsRawesome

    Okay, you’ll only find Victor at a feed/independently owned pet store. If not let me know and I can recommend something else.

  • Bob K

    I hope you are taking your puppy in for the puppy vaccinations, bloody stools should be discussed with the vet if it continues. Tractor Supply has a decent selection with good prices. Use this website as your guide and look for 3.5 stars or higher.

  • LabsRawesome

    Okay, you’ll only find Victor at a feed/independently owned pet store. If not let me know and I can recommend something else.

  • Elizabeth

    There’s a petsmart, tractor supply and a few locally owned pet stores in my area. I’ll have to check that brand out and see how he likes that :)

  • LabsRawesome

    Hi Elizabeth, I would definitely get him off Pedigree Puppy. But I wouldn’t put him on Blue Buffalo. Check out Victor. If you have a local distributor, it’s a great food at a great price. I pay Right around $40 for 30lb bags. Of the grain free formulas. I’ve used Ultra Pro 42, All life stages, and Yukon River. The grain inclusive varieties are even cheaper. Here’s Victor’s site, they have a “find a store” option. victordogfood.com If you can’t find it local, I can recommend other foods. Just let me know what stores you have in your area. :)

  • Elizabeth

    I bought the Healthy Morsels food for my 10 week old pit bull when we first got him. He definitely loved the taste, but it gives him the worst bloody diarehha and upset stomach I’ve ever seen a dog get. We ended up putting him on Pedigree Puppy and he’s doing so great on that. Hoping to get him on Blue soon. We now only give him a few pieces of the Purina if he’s constipated, but it’s still too much for his tiny belly :(

  • theBCnut

    The mineral levels are more controlled in puppy food than in adult food. Adult food may have a lower minimum on things like calcium, but the dog food company doesn’t have to stay at the minimum, so that really shouldn’t be part of the decision making process.

  • Betsy Greer

    Not exactly.

    Puppy food is that which is recognized by AAFCO as being suited for growth.

    The only other AAFCO profile, maintenance, is not suited for puppies, only adult dogs.

    Puppy food, also frequently labeled as All Life Stages, is perfectly acceptable for adult dogs.

  • wolftimber

    ” Of course if you change a dogs food their stool will be very moist and
    runny but its like that with any food your supposed to mix it and take
    them off very slowly not just switch !”

    Nope, sorry, that might apply when you feed CHEAP food, but I’ve switched puppies and dogs from cheap corn based slop to premium foods just like that and never had a problem.
    If you switch from Purina to “Ole Roy” expect problems if you don’t do it over time!

  • wolftimber

    I just brought home the 8 week puppy I bought yesterday, her breeder said he uses the Purina Puppy Chow(soft and crunchy morsels) but I am switching to the Nutri life solid gold adult food, I do not normally feed puppy food to large breed puppies, puppy food is an American advertising gimmick.

  • disqus_F2B4xJ0Jes

    How many “fattest happiest” people do you know? Cut that down to the number of “fattest happiest” HEALTHY people that you know. At this point, I’m guessing 0. FAT and HAPPY does not equal healthy. And yes, you people who get sick of your dogs dying ten years before they should will “get it together”…at some point. In the mean time, myself and fellow pet-guardians who care about their dogs’ nutrition will continue avoiding products like this, and continue enjoying our dogs’ longer, healthier, runny-eyed and runny-stool free lives. I’ll be saying many prayers for that puppy you’re getting.

  • Crazy4dogs

    I hear you! Mine come in with no food either since the rescue transports directly from the kill shelter. And I’ve seen what some of the donations the kill shelters are given….ewww! But any food is better than no food. They have all been seriously underweight, so I usually start with a good food, moderate protein that might/might not be grain free. I start with a small bag so they can get used to eating decent food for the first week or so.

  • Shawna

    I do the same thing with my fosters only I rarely have the opportunity to ease in.. 😉 Most of mine come without any of their current diet… Not sure why that is??

  • dchassett

    Patty. Well said!.

  • Pam c

    I think Patty quite literally means this food is garbage.

    Directly from Merriam-Webster’s dictionary:
    1. a)food waste b)discarded or useless material

    2. a)trash b)inaccurate or useless data

  • Pam c

    Right…because the vet can tell she’s healthy *just* by looking at her.

    I guess this vet just wants people’s money. It’s sad because I feel like doctors need to be honest with their patients. We all need to hear the truth even if we don’t like it.

    Please do your dog a favor and do research so your chihuahua doesn’t suffer from your ignorance. If you don’t feel like doing research go to a DIFFERENT vet and ask for a checklist. Make sure to ask if it’s okay for your chihuahua to be fat.

    Dogs are not supposed to be fat. People are not supposed to be fat. I can’t think of any animal that is supposed to be fat.

  • InkedMarie

    You know, I’d normally educate you a bit but I think you’re posting to cause a problem so I’ll let you do your thing.

  • Pattyvaughn

    If the very first thing your vet noticed was that your dog was fat, he was hoping you would get a hint without having to tell you something that you might not take the right way. You do pay his bills after all. There is absolutely nothing healthy about any living thing being fat.

  • InkedMarie

    You are correct. I’ve never purchased Puppy Chow. I buy much better quality food.

  • Pattyvaughn

    It is as close to vegan dog food as you can get and not be vegan. Dogs are not herbivores, they need meat. It has 4 different food dyes. It has egg and chicken flavor, not actual egg and chicken. Read the ingredient list and tell me what is good about this food, because I sure couldn’t find anything. There is nothing right about Puppy Chow. It’s disgraceful that Purina would charge people money to feed this garbage to their poor dogs.

  • Crazy4dogs

    If the 1st thing the vet commented on is that she was fat, perhaps your friend misunderstood the vet’s comment?

  • Asia Mariee

    The first thig the vet noticed was that she was fat he said ” oh yes very healthy what are you in for ”

  • Pam c

    I think the vet’s words may have been changed around. Maybe the vet has already discussed that the dog is overweight. It might not be good for the vet to tell the owner every time, “your dog is fine besides the fact that she’s fat”. I’m thinking fat = not good is implied.
    The alternative is that the vet doesn’t truly care about this pet.

  • Crazy4dogs

    LOL! I know, right? I have 2 Labs, a min pin & a hound, so I have all sizes except Giant!

  • Crazy4cats

    I have 4 cats and two big dogs. I gave up on trying to clean the house.

  • dchassett

    Unfortunately I’m allergic to cats (they’re my worst allergy) or I’d have cats too. I’m also allergic to dogs. That’s how I wound up with the breeds I have. So glad I did.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Absolutely Shawna! My dogs eat a variety all the time. The fosters are eased into it, but with pumpkin & probiotics, everyone has a happy tummy! Makes for a real easy cleanup outside!

  • Crazy4dogs

    LOL! Thanks for clearing it up Crazy4cats! I like them too (cats) and have had many of them over the years, but the last one is living with my daughter. Right now I’m Crazy4dogs. I have 2 of my own & 2 fosters right now. So I really am Crazy”4″dogs whose trying to clean the house too!

  • dchassett

    HAHAHA! Told you I was crazy.
    Always getting crazy dogs, cats and people confused! I live in my crazy world with my crazy animals and crazy family and friends. I like it here. Feels like home.

  • Crazy4cats

    Hi Dori-
    You got your crazy cats and dogs mixed up! LOL!

  • Shawna

    Veterinarian and Nutritionist Meg Smart writes

    “Variety is the Key (My conclusions after over 30 years of teaching veterinary clinical nutrition)

    Do not be afraid to add variety to your pet’s diet. Variety in the diet can include healthy table scraps (not leftovers often laden with salt and fat), homemade diets, kibble, canned, freeze-dried and dehydrated foods. Variety keeps a pet from becoming fixated on one diet with a special flavour. Variety also gives you flexibility in choosing pet foods and a selection of available foods while on vacation or when someone else is looking after your dog

    Choosing a Commercial Diet

    If you wish to feed a commercial diet find a company that is small, family owned and accountable.” http://petnutritionbysmart.blogspot.com/2012/07/practical-advise-on-feeding-your-dog.html

  • dchassett

    Hi Crazy4Cats, Please feel free to call me Dori. Vets prefer dogs to be on the thin side, not skinny, just thin rather that over weight. Never never FAT. I don’t know what else we can say to Asia Marie. We all do what we think is best misguided or other wise. I just don’t understand how she can read the ingredients in this food and think it’s a good food. Good food does not have to be expensive. None of us, I don’t think, can afford to throw money away nor would we think it’s a better food because it’s more expensive. As for me, I’ll stick with the crazies that are crazy about their animals.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Absolutely CORRECT dchasset! My 9 yo chocolate lab tore her ACL a few years back and both my regular and rehab vets said she needed to lose a few pounds (she was not even looking fat). We dropped the weight and years later she runs like a champ with great energy. If it wasn’t for the grey in her coat, you would think she was a much younger dog. Even with the grey, most people guess her a much younger dog! A good vet will tell you if you need to trim some weight off. My vets like to see a thin waist.
    LOL, Have you ever seen a dog refuse a food because they didn’t like the color? The artificial color is for people!

  • dchassett

    No ethical traditional vet or holistic vet would tell any dog or cat owner that their dog is suppose to be FAT. They will tell you if they feel the dog needs to loose a little or gain some but they will NOT say, Yeah, no problem your dog is FAT that’s the way it’s suppose to be. LOL Also, don’t you wonder at all why this dog food has all these different dyes in it?
    If your not questioning any of the other ingredients which I strongly urge you to you should at minimum wonder why a dog needs to be eating a number of colorful dyes.

  • dchassett

    Excuse me! I’ve got to chime in and add by two cents. Have you not actually read the ingredients? Have you read the ingredients on the bag or can or whatever? Do you know what by products are? At some time in most of our lives (especially us older people that have dogs) YES we probably did start out on some garbage food because we didn’t know any better. As you learn with your dogs and each dog thereafter you start to research as one usually does when they get animals and don’t solely think that the vet is some sort of know all/see seer of all things do and a miraculous person and decide HEY, this is my dog maybe I should be learning and not leave everything to someone who sees them on occasion and blindly just follows their say so. Dogs do not need carbohydrates. Just like we don’t need carbohydrates to the extent that we eat. Dogs do not need sugar, again, nor do we to the extent that we eat. And they do not need, nor should they have, nor should we, by products of any sort. Do we eat some of these things, yes, we’re all guilty of at some point driving through MacDonalds in our lives but we are one of the most unhealthy generations ever. Do some research if not here then just google or yahoo or whatever search engine you use by products, and some of the other ingredients in this food. Is your friends dog fat AND happy? You bed. So are fat AND happy people till they get diabetes, pancreatitis, heart disease, colitis, you name it. Fat and happy sounds good but it’s not. There used to be an old expression: Fat Dumb and Happy and then you die” no one bothered to add that you die pretty damn early. As for your statement of us being a bunch of crazies? Well, I can’t or won’t speak for any one else here but yes I am crazy about my dogs and their nutrition. I’m crazy enough in love with them that I want to keep them here on this earth with me as healthy and as happy as I can for as long as I can. So I will continue my crazy ways in caring for my three and I guess you and your friend can continue your own crazy ways. Crazy has a little bit of a different meaning to all. Best of luck to you and your friend and especially to your dogs.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Asia Mariee Purina Puppy Chow is really a terrible food. If your budget is tight Diamond Naturals Small Breed Puppy is a 4 star food that cost only a few cents more per pound and has much better ingredients.

    Happy dogs are happy dogs, even if they are fat. Thin dogs actually live longer. My dogs are proof of this. When you feed your dog a good quality dog food, you feed less, the poop is better, the dog will have a shiny coat and smell better. I can tell from personal experience of over 40 years with dogs that each time we raised the quality of our dogs’ food we noticed improved coat in softness and shine and they smelled better each time. We personally feed a variety of raw, dehydrated raw mixed with fresh meat, canned and grain free kibble. My dogs have no doggy odor whatsoever and their coats are sleek and shiny with little shedding, and my current personal dogs are 2 Labradors from kill shelters. The rescue I foster for as well as anyone who sees him is amazed at the transformation in my recently adopted Lab after being fed a premium diet. He looks like a show Lab.

    I do rescue & foster dogs from kill shelters and when the dogs come in from these conditions of being fed poor quality foods they have a terrible body odor even after a bath. After eating a good quality food for several weeks the doggie smell disappears. I have many friends in the dog business and we can tell what a dog is being fed by simply looking at his coat and smelling him as he walks by. Why don’t you read the ingredients on Puppy Chow vs a better dog food. If you compare Puppy Chow to the Diamond Naturals Puppy Food, I think you will see that there really is a big difference in quality and the price is almost the same.

  • Crazy4cats

    Corn, gluten meal, by-products, animal digest and food coloring is good food? That is like feeding them fruit loops cereal everyday. Not good. I hope you are on here just to stir things up and not that you really think that it is a great food! There are a lot of other foods that do not cost much more. Please at least choose a reasonably priced 3 star food for your new pup. Good luck!

  • Asia Mariee

    Get your head togeher you probably never even purchased any puppy chow you just want to talk like everyone else ! Puppy chow is a good food

  • Asia Mariee

    If the dog is FAT and her vet is saying its fine the dog is suppose to be FAT !

  • Asia Mariee

    Excuse me for 1 its not garbage food you guys will say any food that isnt $50 is garbage but thats not how everyone sees it theres nothing wrong with puppy chow ! Nothing at all !

  • Betsy Greer

    Surprisingly not. It was actually the raw that resolved those things. ; )

  • Pattyvaughn

    Seriously? Since you believe dogs are just like us, Why would you want to feed them garbage for every meal of their life, and the same garbage at that. People get fat and are happy eating garbage, but that’s not healthy, and you should want more for someone you claim to love. If this is your attitude, please rethink bringing a precious baby into your house to poison it with food dyes and other nasty ingredients. Get it together and do a little research about what is best for dogs.

  • Pam c

    I suggest you take advantage of the resources this website has to offer. Dogs are not supposed to be fat. Just like people, extra fluff puts them at risk of diseases and conditions.

    As a human I don’t eat the same food everyday. I *generally* don’t get diarrhea. I run into problems if my body is not used to how greasy or spicy a meal is. I don’t like like surprises and neither does my body. I believe the same is true for dogs.

    And I guess I need to say happy and healthy are not the same thing.

  • InkedMarie

    Not possible, Betsy, didn’t he have diarrhea and throw up when you put him on raw? I just read that happens.

  • Betsy Greer

    Raw is my rescue food. If something isn’t agreeing with my dog, especially because of his intolerance, I know I can make a quick switch to full-time raw and the loose stools will resolve immediately.

  • InkedMarie

    I have no idea what you’re trying to say. First, if your best friend has a fat dog, please encourage her to get the dog to lose weight. It’s not healthy for a dog to be fat. If she’s feeding puppy chow, it’s not a good food.

    No, no all dogs have moist & runny stool with food changes but you are correct, transition slowly.

    I believe most of the regular posters here know a lot about dogs but thank you for point out we’re crazy.

    Yes, I’d probably throw up with raw meat but dogs are NOT just like us, they can and do eat raw food. I haven’t had a dog throw up yet eating raw food but diarrhea can happen. Note I said can, not will.

    What are we supposed to get together?

  • Asia Mariee

    Hey im getting a chihuahua puppy on the 15th and some of these comments are scary ! My bestfriend has a poodle and pitbull mix she is the fattest happiest dog ive ever seen ! Of course if you change a dogs food their stool will be very moist and runny but its like that with any food your supposed to mix it and take them off very slowly not just switch ! You people are crazy ! Learn more about dogs before you get one , They are just like you , if you were eating the way you eat and some one got you and started feeding you some raw foods , wont you throw up ? Have diarrhea ? Yes you will get it together people !

  • Maltese-Shih Tzu Puppies

    This food turned my dogs’ brown moist stool (when I got them) into dark, dry, stool. I quickly switched to all natural blue buffalo wilderness puppy food and their stool looks healthy again.

  • Bergold

    I am amazed at how you will throw away money feeding a cheap food. I mean you feed more to the backyard and spend more in the long run on Puppy chow or o chow.Where as you feed less of a better food,you spend less in the long run because each bag will go farther then the cheap food.Don’t believe me flip the bags. Also the Better food offers money back. I am even writing a lesson for training classes. To educate them. You spend more for less and you spend more for better.But the more expensive is cheaper in the long run. If you think puppy chow is bad stay away from beneful.

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  • Robert

    I have a 5 month old GSD. I have been feeding him Purina Puppy Chow since he was 8 weeks old. He use to be on a TSC formula but I got good results with Purina.
    I decided since he is about ready to switch to an adult formula from the fast growing puppy chow to look into what people were saying about dog foods.
    So far my conclusion is this: Depending on the dog and the food you buy he/she may or may not like or be able to eat it without possible side effects at some point.
    Some people don’t experience any problems on these formulas but the ones that do switch to a more expensive formula or decide to look into making their own/raw food.
    I’m curious for any GSD owners reading this out there what have you decided to feed your dog(s), How old is the dog(s)? and if there have ever been any known side affects to their food choice?

  • Lara

    Purina is a terrible food. Looking at every single nutrient, you are always going to see pro’s and con’s to different foods but by no means is Purina is of high standards. By saying that you feed Purina, I immediately disregard every other peice of infromation you say. Feeding your dog a corn/by product diet is better than meat because of that 1% of something included – is ludicrous! If you are THAT worried about these small detail, feed a raw diet.

    You are completely correct to switch your dog OFF of this food. For larger breeds, I suggest feeding an adult food – this reduces that quick growth and slows down the process.

    If you want something that is biologically correct, grain-free, and never been recalled use Orijen or Acana Regionals. Awesome dog food, high protein – just what nature intended.

  • Lara

    Ol’Roy is terrible, good job for switching. However, Kirkland’s (Costco) regular plain old Kirk;and Dog Food is actually better quality (more meat less potatoes/grains) than Nature’s Domain. Check out the review of the two on this website.

  • Lara

    Why are you surprised that this is a garbage food? Look at the ingredients.

    Before buying a food ALWAYS look at the ingredient. You don’t want to see corn. Brown rice or oatmeal is okay if it is the third ingredient or farther down. The food should always have meat or meat meal (chicken, chicken meal, salmon, salmon meal, etc.) as the first 1, perfectly two ingredients.

    Look at a 4 or 5 star food for suggestions on what to feed.

  • Lara

    There is no question to why your dog is not as healthy as it should be. Purina Puppy Chow is a terrible quality food.

    When you switch over, do it slowly. Going from a high quality food like Nature’s Instinct from Purina Puppy Chow can be a big change. I suggest doing it over 14 days.

    Blue Buffalo just got bought out by P&G (the owners of Purina) and Innova as well, they have both been having recall issues. I suggest foods like: Orijen, Acana, Natures Instinct, Wellness Core, Merrick Grain-Free.

  • Rottweiler72

    This food is garbage,the smell will turn your stomach
    I wouldn’t feed this to a cat;)

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  • Jules

    the breeder had my puppy on this crap i didn’t want to cause upset stomach for the first couple days so i had him on it for the first couple days then changed it right after now i feed him Blue Wilderness Puppy Food much better and he loves to eat now.

  • kita

    You would spend that much on vet bills and you were feeding your dog Puppy Chow?

  • Pattyvaughn

    Sorry for your loss.

  • Eldee

    Your pup may be doing fine now, however, foods that fluff themselves up with corn, wheat and other fillers, will, in my opinion, cause issues down the road. What you are saving now, by buying cheap foods, is what you will end up paying in vet bills down the road, Just my own opinion.

  • Richard williams


  • Blue Bird Vision

    I’m glad you changed from Ol’ Roy as soon as you did. My dog suffered for five years on it until I did my research.

  • jujubeans 1952

    sorry to say, but the purina puppy chow almost killed my australian shepherd. three weeks and three thousand dollars later, he is still very ill. he threw up every day for 3 weeks, vet performed multiple diagnostic tests, you name it and we did it. finally, a lightbulb went off in my head that it was the puppy chow. i stopped it and VOILA! my puppy is slowly improving. i would never feed this to any of my dogs again. i thank God i didnt lose my puppy.

  • Denise

    This is what my baby and his litter mates are eating right now :( The breeders are great people and love their pets but I don’t think they know about dog food. I can’t wait to get him home and onto Wellness! (Hoping it agrees with him!)

  • Tom C.

    You never said the size or specific type of Purina you give. I’ll give some anecdotal Puppy Chow support here, if it helps:

    I have a black lab, Bear, who is just over a year old, now (Cinco de Mayo baby). I got him from my cousin who bred his yellow lab with a chocolate to produce 9 black puppies. Of all the puppies we’ve been able to keep track of, only my Bear and one other puppy seems to be above 70lbs. Bear and his brother Rudolph are both ~90 lbs. I don’t know what he’s getting, but Bear has only ate Puppy Chow: large breed formula since we’ve had him. He’s the biggest and strongest of all of them with the most energy. He regularly plays with his yellow mother and MUCH smaller brother, Axe. While they lay down after a good tousle and chase, Bear is still running around, chewing sticks and digging holes. As for stool composition, he only ever gets loose stools when he gets into the cat food (we have 2 cats) which is very rare for him since he knew from early on that his food was different. He only ever tries for the cat food after I put tuna-water (from draining the can) in there mixed w/ their dry food as a treat.

    The only things I can see for your problem are 1) The diet change. It should be done slowly to ensure Pono’s body is adjusting to the food instead of a systemic shock of a completely new food and 2) overfeeding. A lot of times puppies just don’t know when to stop. I once heard a true story of a friend’s puppy who had gotten into the bag of food, then drank all his water and got severely bloated when the food expanded in his stomach. Puppies just don’t know that “full” means “stop.” It’s our job to portion the food properly. During the stages of increasing portions, I’ve been guilty of giving a little more than I should, but it always ended in loose stool. Ration properly, use a measuring cup and always switch foods slowly. For instance we’ll be moving Bear into adult food soon; he seems to be getting a combination of bored with his food and now that he’s a year and 90 lbs I doubt he needs the puppy-centered ingredients anymore.

    Also, when they’re that young, it’s a good idea to be feeding 3 times a day if you’re able. With most work schedules this isn’t possible and it’s understandable. However, all animals (humans included) do better with many, smaller meals throughout the day rather than 1 or 2 larger concentrated meals. Bear’s been on 3 a day as long as we’ve had him (our schedule permits it) and again his metabolism is the healthiest I’ve ever seen in a typical family dog.

    I know a lot of people recommend higher priced, “organic” foods, but just reading the comments those foods seem to have their issues, as well. No mater what “quality” some website rates these foods at, we should remember our dogs aren’t statistics or gourmet food critics. They’re animals with nutritional needs and they’re all individuals. Try different foods if it seems like it will help him, but remember to do so slowly and gradually, mixing foods during a switch over the course of a week or more to ensure his GI tract can both siphon the nutrition from the food, as well as not be damaged in the process.

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  • Katasha

    I recommend Fromm Gold Puppy food, it is a magical food. I currently have a 7 week old Blue heeler and he was on Purina Puppy chow. the WORST food you can give puppies. I use to work at a vet office and they said that food was fine but as a dog owner it felt as if I was giving him Crappy food. Once I switched I felt better about it and he was less gassy and more active. Sometimes the places that sale this food can give you a bag or 2 of samples before buying. they also have a guarentee on their food and as well as an incentive plan with them, it is a buy 12 get 1 free. REMEMBER do 3 days of 25% new food and 75% old food, next 3 days 50/50 and 3 days 75% new food and 25% old and then all new food.

  • http://www.facebook.com/annie.russell.33 Annie Russell

    My bostons did the same exact thing when i fed them this food when they were puppies, so yeah i would say it’s the puppy chow.

  • Pattyvaughn

    You don’t mention possible breeds/size and these matter before we can recommend a food. But I will recommend that you go to a health food store and get a digestive supplement for him to give with every meal for a while. It should have probiotics and enzymes in it. If it turns out he needs to stay on it for a while or if you want to go the extra mile then I suggest you order from Swanson’s. They have got some great products. They are human grade but they cost a LOT less than ones for dogs. And human ones are just fine. Also, until his stools are back to normal you should give him a teaspoon of canned pure pumpkin with every meal, unless he is tiny, then 1/2 teaspoon will do.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kalani.gonzales.18 Kalani Gonzales

    Hi, I recently posted on this website seeking some advice, did Nature’s Domain continue to be good food?

  • http://www.facebook.com/kalani.gonzales.18 Kalani Gonzales

    Hi all,

    I recently acquired a six week old puppy named Pono. The “breeders” and that term is loose… More like irresponsible dog owners, fed Pono adult dog food mixed with water!! WRONG so when I got home I immediately fed Pono some purina puppy chow… Again WRONG. His farts make your nose want to die, and his stools are a puddy mess. Also very stinky. I know his upset stomach could be due to a diet change, BUT now I’m concerned its the purina puppy chow causing this problem. Can anyone suggest a very healthy puppy brand? And some remedies for Pono’s upset stomach? Also, he hasn’t had his shots yet, his first parvo shot is next week.
    And can someone tell me the correct way to transitioning from food brands to not further upset poor Pono?

  • MJ

    I started feeding my 4 month old German Shepherd puppy Purina Puppy Chow and within weeks, the poor thing broke out in a rash and was nearly scratching himself to death. After reading the above information, I understand why. Needless to say, we switched his food.

  • my car man

    so far i like natural balance for puppys and older the stoll is good has 4 star ratting sells for 1499 at pet co if ur dogs stoll is messy try natural balance

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  • Kirstie

    I use Nature’s Domain with my German Shepherd she was raised on Old Roy, yuck! She was only 5-6lb at 6 weeks old when we brought her home. She is the runt of the litter, but now weighs a healthy 58-60lbs at 10 months old. I like the Turkey one better, it smells much better. My poms also love this food, I also feed Earthborn. Great foods.

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  • Hot_Pockets_Ding

    I’m glad I found this web site. I have a 5 month old Beagle Named Dash. Our vet actually suggested the puppy chow to us. He said it was good enough. After reading this site my wife and I made what I felt was an educated decision to switch his food. I moved him to Nutro Natural Choice Wholesome Essentials Puppy. So far taking to it quite well. Thanks for all the info. Loving it.

    Oh and we are also looking for a new vet..

  • http://twitter.com/rlef2011 Ray Lefevre

    I have two Boston Terriers right now and have had six other dogs prior. They have all started with Puppy Chow and then Dog Chow. My six prior dogs all lived very long lives.

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  • CadenceMommy

    I have a 5 month old Pit/Lab mix, she’s been on Purina Puppy Chow since I rescued her a month ago. While it does it’s intended purpose and did help her gain wait. (She was underweight by about 5 lbs.) It’s unsatisfactory. She often has runny stools, horrible gas and isn’t as energetic as a puppy is expected to be. I’ll be beginning her transition to Instict, Innova or Blue as of tomorrow. Hopefully a quality food will fix the problems!

  • Martinadrienne11

    I have a six week old puppy I recused from the road side. I have taken her to the vet and had her checked and shots. A perfectly healthy puppy. I started feeding her this food and she can not keep it down. My other dogs have a tendency to seak over and get into the puppy bin they end up vomiting as well. I am so disappointed with this brand of dog food. It is not worth the bag it is held in.

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  • Armi1515

    I took in a 6 month boxer/rott mix, and they were feeding her purina pup chow. The food itself smells like poop, literally, and after she eats her ears turn red and get itchy. I know she is having an allergic reaction to it. I also have another dog, a pit, and shes has been on Natures Domain salmon and sweet potato and is the healthiest dog ever. Im trying to make the food switch as qiuck as I can, but at the same time trying not to upset her stomach. I feel so bad that she has been eating this garbage for so long. I keep seeing Purina commercials saying how great their food is, how important your dog’s health is, yet they make the lowest quality food, and make you think its top notch. I am big on high quality food, both for my human family and my canine family. I highly recommend Nature’s Domain, fyi though, you can only get it at Costco.

  • A Mcmillan2008

    i gave my puppies purina puppy chow dry ,and omg they had the ruins for 2 days.i had to give them chicken and rice to sooth their stomachs.i used a off brand puppy chow and they were just fine. come on purina company.you can do better.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/ZOHT6ZZJUDBYNJDVMFQM6KVOWU TheyCallUsMonmouth

    I know dogs that’ve been raised on every single Purina dog food out there (dry food). My family has hunting and high energy dogs from German Shorthaired Pointers to my Laborador-GoldenRetr mix. Their coats were shiny and their little puppy faces were bright and excited. Every dog food, obviously, has two sides. I never questioned it unless the dog was sick or showing grain allergy symptoms. I thought food was just food. Plus, Purina made it look so reliable too! Don’t let fancy websites and slogans move you, research! 😀

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Corn, rice, and barley are plants. Hello.

  • Roland

    How is this a plant based food when it’s mostly Grain? Corn, Rice, Barley. Hello?

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  • aimee

    Hi Maxam67,

    I honestly don’t know if your vet was aware of the specific Ca levels in the diets. It may have been a case of rec. a known over an unknown.

    I’ve never fed Innova but I wouldn’t have any reservations about feeding it.  Keep in mind that it is more likely that those that are experiencing a problem go on line and then post. So you may be seeing a sampling bias.

    I’ve had some general nutritional training but most I’ve picked up through self study.  

  • hounddogmom12


    I’m going to give you two suggestions for large breed appropriate puppy foods based on peronal experience (I’ve raised bloodhounds on both): Blue Buffalo Large Breed Puppy (1.2% calcium), Honest Kitchen Love (1.1% calcium). I don’t blame you for wanting to stay away from Innova!

  • aimee

    Hi Mike,

    Diamond has been keeping you busy and you’ve been doing a “bang-up” job keeping on top of it.

    I’ll look for some more products for your database. 

  • Maxam67


    I just finished reading all of the reviews on Innova, and now I am hesitant about that brand as well.  A lot of people were complaining about diarrhea, and many were/are concerned about P & G now owning Innova.  Are there any other low calcium puppy foods you can recommend?  

    Thanks again!

  • Maxam67


    Thanks for your response as well.

    I understand your concerns about too much calcium.  I wish our vets had mentioned that, but they never did.  If they had given me specific reasons as to why Purina is better, other than dogs need grains, I would have taken their suggestions more seriously.  It just seemed like both of them were spouting what they’ve been told to say.

    Honestly, I am going to get my puppy off of Purina no matter what.  I do not feel comfortable feeding it to him, mainly, based off the review here on Purina Puppy Chow.  However, if it’s true that AvoDerm in the long run is not good for him, I don’t want to keep him on that either.

    So, from what I read from that link you provided, Innova for large breed puppies would be a better choice?  

    Please don’t take this the wrong way, I am just curious, but do you have any special qualifications in relation to canine nutrition?  I know I didn’t ask anyone else about their qualifications, but again, I’m curious because you seem to be extremely knowledgeable about dog foods.


  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com/ Mike Sagman

    Hi Aimee,

    This is such an important point you bring up. I’m really hoping to get to this article as soon as I can.

    However, the recent tide of dog food recalls and our ongoing project to update the hundreds of reviews on this website has really slowed down my publishing schedule.

    What you say appears to be of such significance for large breed puppies that these calcium and phosphorus goals should take precedence over almost any star rating.

    Of course, excluding products containing the more critical red flag items.

    If you come across any other suitable candidates for this soon to be posted list of recommended products for large breed puppies, I’d be happy to add them to my “data stash”.

    Thanks for keeping such a watchful eye on this topic whenever you notice folks with growing large breeds innocently misunderstanding these products.

  • aimee


    Full disclosure.. I raised my Lab on Purina Pro Plan : )

    I agree choosing a food is a very difficult and you will get a variety of opinions based on what each person feels is important. My bug a boo is escessive Ca during growth because it causes skeletal abnormalities. You only have one chance to grow a healthy skeleton!

    Given the choice between Purina and Avoderm large breed I’d choose Purina. 

    Avoderm exceeds the safe upper limit for growth as established by the National Research Council. This level was based on numerous studies which document growth abnormalities in large breeds associated with high calcium levels. NRC puts this limit at 4.5 grams Ca/1000 kcals. Avoderm chicken /rice large breed has 4.93 grams/1000. 

    So…. your vet is spot on to advise Purina over Avoderm in that regard.

    Now you may choose not to use Purina for other reasons and that is fine. I posted some diets on this thread that are appropriate for growth.


  • aimee

    The take away message from this survey is this statement.
     “There appear to be associations between rendered or hydrolyzed ingredients and the presence of pentobarbital in dog food.”
     I think the only way to avoid any chance of pentobarbital would be would be to avoid any food using animal products from livestock in which pentobarbital may have been used as an euthanasia agent. 
    (I would not expect pentobarbital in poultry or fish based animal proteins.) 

    What makes no sense to me is when people ban a food based on “x”(animal fat, BBM etc) yet support a food that contains “Y” (beef meal) when the survey found “Y” also was a source of pentobarbital. 




  • neezerfan

    So the FDA and some vets don’t think it’s too bad? But if you have a choice to feed a food that doesn’t contain it, wouldn’t you choose that?

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    It can take longer than a week or two, depends on the dog. Adding probiotics/enzymes will help.

  • Maxam67

    Thank you so much to everyone who replied!  You have all put my mind at rest.  I am going to get him off the Purina gradually over the next week or so.  I am so grateful for this website!

  • Johnandchristo

    Hi Shawna…….

    100% you are right. Puppy chow almost killed my dog.
    I would never ever feed any thing purina makes again.
    When I called them and told them my dog was sick
    they mailed me a refund plus coupons, and they did not want the receipt. I guess a lot of people called about sick dogs.

  • Shawna

    Hi Maxam67 ~~ there actually are dog nutritionists and I can tell you, the ones I know of would NEVER recommend Purina foods.  Most of the ones that don’t work for large pet food companies advocate raw or home cooked however.  They are Monica Segal, Beth Taylor, Lew Olson, Mary Straus, Kymythy Schultz and Steve Brown.

    Some vets and nutritionists like grains and some don’t..  Most the ones I follow suggest against grains in a healthy dog.  Its not the grains in Purina that I want to focus on…  Look at the ingredients “animal fat” and “animal digest”.

    The FDA says these are two of four ingredients that can contain pentobarbitol — the euthanasia drug.!!  SERIOUSLY..  Below is the FDA quote and website link

    “There appear to be associations between rendered or hydrolyzed ingredients and
    the presence of pentobarbital in dog food. The ingredients Meat and Bone Meal
    (MBM), Beef and Bone Meal (BBM), Animal Fat (AF), and Animal Digest (AD) are
    rendered or hydrolyzed from animal sources that could include euthanized
    animals.”  http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/CentersOffices/OfficeofFoods/CVM/CVMFOIAElectronicReadingRoom/ucm129134.htm

    The FDA and some vets say — well there isn’t enough in there to harm a dog…  The US Fish and Wildlife Service feels differently about that.

    “Rendering is not an acceptable way to dispose of a pentobarbital-tainted carcass. The drug residues are not destroyed in the rendering process, so the tissues and by-products may contain poison and must not be used for animal feed….

    All pentobarbital-euthanized carcasses should be prominently tagged with one or more highly-visible “POISON” warning labels. Bagged animals should have a label affixed to the carcass itself and also attached to the outside of the bag.” http://cpharm.vetmed.vt.edu/USFWS/USFWSFPentobarbFactSheet.pdf

    Any vet that recommends a food that potentially could be contaminated with pento is a vet that I would REFUSE to take nutritional advice from… 

    By the way :), I do nutritional consultations for two local dog food specialty stores locally as well as teach nutritional classes for one of the stores.. 

  • melissa


    Some dogs do better with grains and or/ a bit of corn in the food. Its my personal opinion that that, is the exception to the rule, not the rule. Unless there is a medical issue at play dictating restrictions on something, then go with what you are comfortable with and what your pup seems to do well on. Since I have dogs that fall into both categories, I feed a mix of GF and grain inclusive.

    If you feel your dog needs some form of grain, then there are much higher quality/higher rated grain inclusive products out there than purina, imo

  • hounddogmom12

    DO NOT listen to your vet when it comes to food. You are making a very good choice. What you may not realize is that most vets have minimal education when it comes to nutrition and the education they do have is based on texts books funded by the big name dog food companies like purina, hills, iams, and royal canin. Also, many vets receive money from these companies to endorse their brands. Personally, there are a lot of people on this site I would take food advice from over my vet any day and this site has the best dog food reviews I’ve seen yet. All reviews on this site are based on what dogs should be eating – high protein, minimally processed food. I know what is going through your head because when I got my first dog my vet recommended Purina Beneful. I blindly believed her and fed it for years without even reading the bag. Then it was brought to my attention that purina (and most other big name commercial brands) are nothing but by-product of the human food industry and completely un-species appropriate. I was in shock when I read the ingredients list and could not believe I fed this to my babies for so long. After that moment I became proactive and educated myself about dog nutrition. My dogs are now on a completely raw and grain-free species appropriate diet. By getting your dog off Purina and feeding Avoderm you are taking a step in the right direction. When it comes to something medical by all means listen to your vet, but when it comes to food I would recommend educating yourself – this site is a wonderful resource and there are many knowledgeable people on here that will answer any question you have. Also I fully trust this sites reviews, if Mike rates and food less than three stars…beware.

  • Maxam67

    I am so confused!  We have a 13 week old boxer, Oscar, who was fed Purina Puppy Chow by the breeder we bought him from.  I knew that wasn’t good and went to work researching like crazy to find good, reasonably priced puppy food for our new family member.  After scouring the internet and studying this website, I decided to go with AvoDerm for large breed puppies.  It was within my price range and is easy to get.  (Most pet stores carry it.)  

    When he was 9 weeks old we took him into the vet’s office that we had chosen to go with.  The vet we saw there asked about his food.  I told her we were going to switch from Purina to AvoDerm.  She thought it wasn’t a good idea.  She said she has her dogs on Purina and thinks it’s good for dogs.  That threw me for a loop!

    Even though she told me that, I went ahead and started gradually adding AvoDerm to his Purina.  (By the way, he LOVES the AvoDerm!)

    So, we go back to the vet’s office for follow-up shots, and this time we see a different vet.  Again, the subject of food came up.  I told her the same.  We’re in the process of switching from Purina to AvoDerm.  She also thought it was a bad idea.  She said dogs need grains and corn.  I am starting to wonder if this particular vet’s office, which is a chain, is just pushing Purina for some reason.

    Because they both told me the same thing I don’t know what to do.  Right now I have him on a 50/50 mix.  I don’t know if I should completely make the switch, or keep him on the 50/50 mix.

    I wish there were dog nutritionists, like Llchadderdon said.  (Sorry about the bold print.  I don’t know what happened.)

    Anyway, any suggestions on what we should do?  This has become a big worry for me.  I just want to give the best food I can to my puppy.


  • K Rhodes05

    Both my dogs are on Puppy Chow. We have an 11 year old chow/lab mix and we have tried feeding him EVERYTHING and he just wont eat anything but the puppy chow. Our other dog is a 23 week old rott/shepherd/pointer mix, smart as can be, we have not had any problems at all with this food. Both our dogs are healthy, our oldest dog has cancer but that was present before we started feeding him purina brand and since we’ve switched to the puppy chow he has livend up a lot and is back to playing with the puppy. Our puppy was on Science Diet Puppy before and was having some bathroom issues with diarrhea, once we switched her to the puppy chow we no longer see any issues with her using the bathroom. This dog food works great for my dogs. 

  • Johnandchristo

    HI LIchadderdon…..

    As far as I can tell there is no reasoning, but a lack of
    reason. please dont feed puppy chow. what a night mare, for me and my dog. If you are worried about allergies rotate his food. I rotate all four kinds of Brother’s Complete Kibble. white meat red meat fish protein, allergy turkey. with three different kinds of tripett, lamb, venison , beef. and throw in rabbit, pork,
    and chicken. plus canned salmon. every now and then, to change it up from the tripe. Brother’s is grain and white potato free, plus it has enzymes and stabilized probiotics. they offer free samples. and will help you with any and all questions you might have, via emails or phone. allergies will never be a problem again.

  • melissa


    I have to admit to literally lmao. What is the vet’s point in saying this? It would seem to me that if you(not you personally) are feeding a cheaper food and allergies develop, it would most definitely be easier to fix-just take them off the fillers, chemicals and crap and voila-a dog who is 50 percent better and the vet looks good. heheeh Better idea? Just feed them higher quality to begin with an avoid the consequences of the crap.

    I feed chicken, turkey,fish, lamb, beef and buffalo. I avoid the more “exotics” like rabbit, kangaroo etc in case of allergies, but still can feed a vast variety of protein sources while keeping those in “reserve”

  • Llchadderdon

    My breeder is recommending puppy chow for my gsd pup. She says her vet recommended going to that for future litters after her.adult gsd developed allergies. She said that if the body gets use to natural dog food and develops allergies its harder to treat then when on cheaper food. I’ve always heard to start with the more basic meats like chicken or lamb and leave the more select meats like venison and buffalo in the event allergies do occur. This never meant cheaper to me or that natural foods cause the allergies. I feed my mutt Canidae all life stages and plan to do the same with my gsd pup after slow transition from the puppy crap of coarse.

    Has anyone heard the reasoning above for why to use a cheaper food first? Why aren’t vets trained more in nutrition? Where else other then great sites like this can we get advice? It would b nice to have someone b able to evaluate a dog like a vet does but with nutritional counseling in mind…ESP if allergies do develop. I would ave to guess though tat someone here is going to tell me there is ths type of peron in existence? I’d love to know more just in case the future calls for one! Thanks!

  • Parkite2

    If you can’t go “out of your way” once a month, does that mean you wouldn’t go out of your way to take your dog to a vet? Be responsible. There are sites on the internet, such as K9cusine, that you can order from online.

  • sandy

    Have you looked at Natures Select? It’s very reasonably priced.  In my area the green bag (Hi-protein) is 50 lb/$57 and uses brown rice and millet.  The grain free is 30 lb/$60.


  • Bob K

    LabsRawesome and John – I am really a 4 star kind of guy, a decent food at a decent price (Kirkland, Diamond Natural, Eagle Pack, Premium Edge, Professional) but a few 5 start look mighty good for a rotation food.   TOTW and Canidae grain free look attractive to me for 5 stars.    Surely have their own opinions.

  • Sfp28

    my puppy has that problem now and I am currently feeding him Puppy Chow as suggested by the breeder. I am so grateful for everyones comments and the review it’s self. I will be buying him a better food tonight, thanks everyone!

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  • Aaron Jensen

    Wow. I’m so glad I found this review. So glad. I mistakingly purchased this dog food and my girlfriend’s Pomeranian and he’s been having serious skin irritation since we started feeding this food to him. He’s been scratching himself way too much and he’s even drawn some blood. Stay away from this food.

  • John

    Thanks labs….


  • LabsRawesome

    John, don’t feel too bad, I doubt Bob K will eat Ol’roy, just because you said to. lol

  • John

    Bob K…..

    Sorry for my words, please dont eat ol roy . I was out of line.

  • Bob K

    Ausiegal86 – Are you serious?  Did you read the review for Purina Puppy Chow?  Is this the best you can do for your loved one?  There are many 3 and 4 star dog foods that provide better nutrition for your dog for about the same price you pay for this formula.    Remember to transition slowly to a new food.

  • John


    If theres a hedgehog in your hedgerow dont be alarmed now. But do be alarmed at feeding toxic waste to your loving dog. please read the review this food is poison. It made my lab pup very sick. Many times I found tiny moving things in purina, I called them and they sent me coupons for free food. That was hush money,they never even asked for a recite. Good luck.

  • Ausiegal86

    Amen. My dog was allergic to tons of food but does well on puupt chow and he is a pure bred Aussie. Still smarter then ever and training for agility. No problems here .

  • melissa


    I highly doubt your dog got mites from any dog food-however, feeding a dog with mange a high quality food is highly recommended, as well as a EFA capsule to help the dog and coat recover. Sarcoptic mange could have been brought to your dog by wild animal, a neighbors pet, or even yourself as in humans its called ‘scabies”. What type of treatment are they using for the pup ?

  • Gareth

    Hi there, we have a 4 month old black lab, we researched brands and found purina to be well known so we purchased puppy chow well balanced 15 kg bag, we fed her this and within a week we noticed hair loss on her belly. This got worse and we took her to the vets, we found mites, the vets diagnosed sarcoptic mange but we were all confused as to how she has cought this. The vet thought maybe hedgehogs but we havnt seen any in our garden. we got treatment and three weeks went by and the treatment was not working which it should and our wee lab was loosing more hair and still itching and biting, we have one treatment to go and six hundred dollars later and we are worried she is not on the mend. on the last visit to the vet they said they found another mite but it wasnt certain to be a sarcoptie, it looked different. so they have sent it away. i today got curious and researched her dog food and found your corn comments and im now concerend we have been feeding her grain mites. whilst treating her we could be feeding her more mites. have you heard many situations of dogs getting corn mites from purina puppy chow?

  • Bob K

    Dave W – You have many options for an affordable decent kibble. Purina One Beyond is a 3 star food sold at many retailers a little pricey for a 3 star. Evolve is in a few grocery stores. Menards carries Diamond Natural, Costco carries Kirkland and Natures Domain at some stores. 4Health at TSC. Authority at Petsmart is a 3 star food. There are Petsmarts everywhere.

    Getting a dog to eat is not all that hard, You can start with a little water and microwave it for 15 seconds to being out the juices and smells. Perhaps mix in some chopped up lunch meat. Mix in some grated cheese on top, Pour a little chicken or beef juice or gravy on it. Any leftovers that are suitable for dogs? Chop it up finely and mix throroughly into the food. Mix in some cheap liver sausage. Mix in a little 4 or 5 star canned dog foods. I have had 40 dogs in the past 3 years as a foster parent and I have been able to get each one to eat with a little enticement, It’s not that hard to get a dog to eat.

  • Gordon

    No worries Dave W. If you have time, go through these websites for some great information re just how important feeding a raw diet is to pups. And maybe your wife will be able to see the light through the fog. The fog of lies of the conglomerate mainstream processed pet food companies.

    From Dr. Tom Lonsdale’s rawmeatybones.com website http://www.rawmeatybones.com/articles/Nexus07_pub_articletext.pdf He also has a book called ‘Raw Meaty Bones’

    Another site I agree with about 90%. http://rawfed.com/myths/ Go through all the myths. It is quite enlightening and truly refreshing. Your wife can not ignore it.

    Another author in Dr. Ian Billinghurst, the BARF originator and world authority, has 3 books that unfortunately content-wise can not be retrieved on the net so it is difficult to manually quote his teachings, or reference them. However, IMO, they are the most informative and powerful literature re this subject of the biologically and species appropriate nutrition in the world IMO.

    His books world famous books are called ‘Give your dog a bone’ 1993, ‘Grow your pup with bones’ 1998, and ‘The BARF Diet’ book 2001. Everything you may have ever come across via reading many arguments and debates here, is pretty much covered theme-wise in his books, to a tea. Invaluable reading!

    I can understand though, the reluctance that after one of your pup’s demise, that its raw diet is one of the possible suspects. There are though, so many variable as to why this may have been, if at all, attributed to its raw diet?

    Anyway, good luck with it all. :)

  • Dave W

    Thanks Gordon. Well, ehhh. I made a deal with the wife that I won’t feed her raw till she’s a bit older because she seems to think that the illness of my last Doberman/pit stemmed from feeding her raw at such a young age. She developed liver problems and it got so bad that we had to put her down. Of course, the Vet isn’t much help either, as they don’t recommend raw AT ALL (probably due to the kibble companies sponsoring them) and my wife listens to that too. Oh well.. compromises. :)

  • Gordon

    Sorry, I meant “she” and “her”, as you indicated the pup is a female.

  • Gordon

    Dave W – It is an exaggeration to be called “toxic waste”, but not by much, sadly! I was proud to read the first half of what you wrote, till you said you won’t feed the new pup, raw, until he becomes older. Please feed him raw now, instead of this Purina crap. If any life stage needs a properly balanced raw BARF modeled diet, it is pups!

    Nestle and Mars are renown for making only junk. I mean if they make chocolate goodies that is seen as junk for us humans, then really, do you think they’d consider treating our pets any different? lol.

    I wish I had the power to ban them.

  • Dave W

    Guys, choosing the right food for my dogs has been a struggle. My 4 year old pitpull is mainly on raw meat now, and that’s mainly because he can’t stand kibble. He would fast for a day or two before he would even touch it. Now I have him on chicken quarters, liver and kidneys and he thrives on it. Every now and then he will eat kibble or canned food as a snack. My 10 month old doberman/lab is new to the family. She was on Science Diet which didn’t get good reviews in the first place for being such an expensive food (about 10 dollars for a 3 pound bag). So now I have her on Purina puppy chow. I don’t want her on the raw meat diet just yet until she’s an adult. Reading these reviews have been discouraging. A lot of the so called better dog foods that have been discussed are not available at my local supermarket (i.e. blue buffallo, native, pro pac etc.) It is an inconvenience for me to drive out of my way from normal food shopping to get a decent dog food. IAMS seems to be the top of the line food in the supermarket… all the way down to Ol Roy. Purina puppy chow was right in the middle. Yet, according to this review, I’m still feeding her toxic waste.

  • Bob K

    Alana – There are hundreds of dog and puppy foods listed and rated on this website. Some of the foods have limited availability and distribution. Some 4 star foods are cheaper than 3 star foods and some 2 star foods are more expensive than 4 star foods. Buyer beware. Some places for inexpensive 4 star puppy foods include Menards for Diamond Natural and Costco for Kirklands. Other 3 star foods include: ProPac, Authority (Petsmart house brand), Premium Edge is 4 star, Eagle Pack is a poplar 4 star food, do some reasearch on whats near you then look it up here and remember to transition slowly to a new food.

  • Alana

    You mentioned that there were three star products out the for puppy chow (also dog food). What are they and are they readily available at a grocery store?

  • Justin

    When I got my puppy she was on Purina Puppy Chow. After hearing that it isn’t a very good food for her we switched to Chicken Soup for the Puppy Lovers Soul. This was supposed to a good food for her. I think it got 3 or 4 stars. After she was totally on this food alone, she developed flaky skin and anal gland problems. Took her to the vet and she said to switch her diet since that food seems to be the problem. I didn’t notice any of these problems when she was on Purina, but I only had her a short while when she was on that. The problems seemed to appear more when she was on the so called “good” natural food. My parents fed their dogs purina foods and never had a problem. I’m beginning to think these holistic foods are a waste of money, at least for my dog. I have now have a 30lb bag of “good” food that will probably end up in the trash and be replaced by purina puppy chow.

  • Danielle

    You should either get Castor and pollux all oraginic food or Diamond puppy food. Both are rated four stars. Both of them have no corn in them. and neither have menadione… a controversial form of vitamin K linked to liver toxicity, allergies and the abnormal break-down of red blood cells.

  • DinaS

    Thanks Mike and Jonathan for responding to my questions. I finally choose a brand (after days of reading, and searching this site as well as others), and I’m going with Merrick Puppy Plate. I feel good that I am going to give my cavalier better quality food, and take him off Purina Puppy chow. I cannot believe that the breeder recommend this awful food to me, he even told me that at six months to switch him to Purina Healthy Radiance… I’m glad I took an active role on my puppy eats because it will pay off in the future. Thanks to sites like this, other pet owners can become well informed, and provide better nutrition to their pets. I will leave a post on the Merrick Dog food thread once I start feeding him, and see how he does on it.

  • Jonathan

    DinaS, there are many good foods that won’t break the bank on you… look for Pro Pac, Kirklands (at Costco), 4health (at Tractor Supply)… there are many more. Hey Bob K where you at with all those price points?? :-) Oh, and as far as wet food goes, Nutro Max canned foods are particularly decent for the price. At my store, they are $1.19 per can. Also, remember to properly transition him to the new food!

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Dina… Since I don’t track pricing I’ll let one of our other readers help you with your question.

  • DinaS

    I have had my Cavalier King Charles puppy for a week now, he is 14 weeks old. The breeder told me to feed him Purina puppy chow, but of what I have been reading this food is junk! I have noticed that my puppy has smelly gases, also he is eating his poop, and after pooping solid a few mins after he poops soft. I’m supposed to be feeding him twice a day, but it takes him half a day to finish his food. I’m a colllege student, and I don’t really have money to spend on super expensive dog food right now. Any suggestions on what I should feed him? I don’t mind feeding him something the cost a little extra, but not over the roof. Also I have been reading that in addition to dry kibble we should be feeding him moisture rich food as well. So would I feed him the kibble with how much wet food? He is currently 5.7 lbs, i’m feeding him a cup a day, half in the morning and the other half at night. Is this the right amount? Thank you!

  • Elizabeth

    I agree with “Mike P.” Print out the 4 and 5 star list and take it to your local pet supply store. You can also go on line and do a search for the brands you are considering. You might want to mix some raw food (I like Stella and Chewey’s Frozen Raw Food) with a high quality kibble. Remember, dogs need more than just dry kibble so make sure you supplement the kibble with some raw or canned food along with some fresh vegetables as well. I also give my dogs vitamins every day from http://www.theonlinevet.com. Check out the website…it is full of great information. Good luck!
    Elizabeth :)

  • Jonathan

    And Dean, make sure you have a little bit of the Puppy Chow left to mix with the new food for a week or so.

  • Mike P

    Dean for a start , go to the nearest store that sell 4 or 5 star dog food . It may take some trial and error , but you will get it right …good luck

  • Meagan

    Dean- I think my dog is a catahoula/aussie mix. Defineat;y sure about the catahoula. He is about 60# blue/white merle and has blue eyes. Do you live near any farm stores or pet stores?

  • Dean H

    I am finding all of these comments very interesting. I just got a new pup And a bag of Purina Puppy Chow. The vet recommended it. After i finish this bag (i do not want to waste it) What easy to get brand should I switch him to? He is about 6lbs. now. And is in the Austrailian Shep or Catahoula family 8 wks old Thanks Dean H

  • Elizabeth

    When I rescued my 3 month old weimaraner, I couldn’t figure out why her coat was so dull and dry (along with flaking skin). Well…I found out from the rescue that the previous owner was feeding her Purina Puppy Chow! Since I am a big believer in high quality dog food I was shocked that she was fed such JUNK FOOD!!! After about a month of high quality food, vitamins, fresh vegetables, etc. her coat was beautiful!

    Folks, it makes a huge difference what you feed your dog! I wouldn’t feed this junk to my worst enemy! Any REPUTABLE breeder would never feed this POISON to their dogs! Both of my weimaraners get a combination of Stella and Chewey’s Frozen Raw, Acana kibble and fresh steamed vegetables. They are both very healthy with the most amazing coats!

  • Karen

    I breed Shih Tzu puppies and why not start your puppy on a good nutritional diet from the start. Shih Tzu’s are prone to allergies and some are food related. I know a lot of breeders who use Purina and it is because of cost. I myself spend the money on Earthborn small bite for Puppies that has all the good stuff in the food! Blue is another good dogfood!!!! If you don’t want the continuous vet bills than it is worth it to do the research on your dogs food and give them a good nutritional diet also to include some veggies. Remember!!! They are a big part of your family!!!!!!

  • Dena V

    My puppy had a problem with eating his poop. After lots of research I narrowed it down to a nutrition issue. As soon as I STOPPED feeding him Puppy Chow and started with a higher quality food (Blue Buffalo) my dog has almost completely stopped eating his poop – and it’s been less than a week on the new food. I think he ate his poop because he couldn’t tell the difference between that and the Puppy Chow!!

  • Tom

    Many professional breeders get discounts or free food by recommending certain foods. i know many people who feed Ol’ Roy dog food with tolerable results, but i would never feed my dogs such garbage. i have fed puppy chow and dog chow before with decent results, but then i started considering how much of the food was needed to keep the dog to weight. if you need 3 cups of dog chow to keep healthy weight, odds are a better dog food will require half the amount. now if the food lasts twice as long is the cost really different? If you buy 40 lbs of puppy chow for $23, or 40 lbs of native for $45 but you feed 2 lbs per day of puppy chow, and only 1 lbs of native which is the cheaper food? you actually save $1 by purchasing the native… You also get the added benefit of less yard waste and a healthier dog. which can save on vet bills too.

  • Jonathan

    “Head start! Start your pup off on the road to cancer with Puppy Chow! The sooner they die, the less they cost, right?”
    -A money saving tip from your friends at Purina.

  • Joe H

    I was also told by my breeder to use Purina Puppy Chow. I just recently switched to Natures Domain. The Puppy Chow was priced roughly around 11-12 bucks for a small bag. Natures Domain was priced 29.99 for a 35lb bag at Costco. I get more for my money and the Natures Domain has awesome reviews. It’s grain free, and its also a salmon meal with sweet potatoes.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi JT… If you’re satisfied and having good results with the Purina Puppy Chow, then it may be better to stick with it. On the other hand, there are many better quality puppy foods out there to choose from. Look through the 3, 4 and 5-star product lines. May of them offer puppy foods you may like.

    In any case, your dogs may get upset tummies more because of how you transition to a different food rather than the food itself. Many times dogs get stomach distress and diarrhea just from switching quickly between brands. Whenever you make a switch, be sure to transition from the new food very GRADUALLY from the old to the new. Start with just 20% new/80% old and slowly increase to 100% new food over 7 to 10 days. Hope this helps.

  • JT

    I have been using Purina puppy chow for my yorkies as advised by the breeder I bought them from. They respond well to this food, and any other (from my parent’s house) has resulted in digestive problems. What do you suggest switching to?

  • Jonathan

    Hey Rebecca! At my store the price difference between Dog Chow and Pro Pac is about .10 cents per pound. that means we are talking about a 3 dollar difference between 30 pound bags. Not big money. But the difference in quality is remarkable. Pro Pac does use corn, which I am very against, but other than that, it doesn’t appear to contain any nasty chemicals or animal waste and the first ingrediant in their food is chicken meal. Even better, their Lamb and Rice puppy food is just lamb meal and a rice fragment. That one is a few dollars more, but an even higher step up from puppy chow. I think it’s 32 bucks for a 33 pound bag. Not gonna break the bank spending an extra 4 or 5 bucks a month on a much better food. Hope that helps!

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Rebecca… There a number of affordable (and much better quality) dog foods out there. Unfortunately, we do not keep track of product pricing. Just the same, in general, you can expect to find the ultra-cheap supermarket brands generally use ultra-cheap ingredients.

    Just remember, you don’t have to feed a 5-star dog food. If you’re feeding a 1-star food, you should be able to find a 3-star food that fits your budget. And I can assure you, the ingredient quality between a 1-star and a 3-star dog food can sometimes be dramatic. Hope this helps.

  • Rebecca

    My vet told us to use Purina because it was an inexpensive dog food that would be okay for our very large puppy and our medium sized puppy. Kaycee is 6 months and wieghs 40Lbs. already and is climbing steadily in wieght (She’s a lab, german shepheard, ridgeback mix). Satin is smaller, she’s about 8 months and is a little under 50Lbs. (she’s a lab/chow mix). Is there any other dog food that won’t cost more than 20 bucks for a big bag that would be better for them?

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Simon… After taking a quick glance at one of their products, Rotations does look like an above-average dog food. However, I’m disappointed to hear the company has not been responsive to your communications.

    Thanks to your suggestion, I’m adding Rotations to my To Do list for an upcoming review. At least for now, I’d be comfortable using what you’ve already bought. The product does seem interesting. Looks like your wife may have made a good choice :).

  • Simon Levin

    I just got a puppy and brider gave me a bag of Purina Puppy chow. I tscores bad on your website. In meanwhile my wife bought a box of “Rotations” Pet food. It sounds good and dog likes it, however my attempts to contact company worries me, no answer on e-mail and noone answers phone.
    You have not rated it yet. Any adwise?
    P.S. Web site: rotationspetfood.com

  • Tiffany

    Hey Norma,

    Maybe you should try one of the better foods for your dog before supporting this food. I also used Purina Puppy Chow with no problem, until I realized how bad it was for my babies. I switched to Natural Balance and the changes were phenomenal! Just give it a try. (o:

  • Norma

    I have been useing Purina puppy chow for years and have had no problem with it. Like the so called good food, my puppies are in good health.