I have been searching for a more economical kibble to feed my boys. I have seen whole earth by merrick recommended several times on this web site. I checked out their site and noticed that their puppy food has a little higher protein than the adult food. Would my dogs who are 18 month old lab/retriever mix be ok on the puppy food to get the higher protein? Or would they be missing out on something important? I also supplement with canned dog food and occasionally some raw nature’s variety medallions. Thank you for your help.
Hi crazy4cats –
When feeding a line of food in which the formulas aren’t labeled “all life stages” (meaning there are separate foods for puppies, adults and seniors) I think any dog, regardless of age, should eat the puppy formula. My mom uses Whole Earth Farm Puppy in her food rotation for her adult dog. You’re paying the same price for a higher quality food (more fat, more protein = more meat). Pet food companies have created this idea in people’s heads that dogs suddenly need a different food when they go from a puppy to an adult or an adult to a senior. As long as the food is high quality and supplies adequate amounts of protein, fat and key nutrients, it’s good for life. If you notice most 5 star foods don’t have puppy, adult and senior formulas and the nutrition statement on the side doesn’t read “growth” or “maintenance” – it reads “all life stages.” “All life stages” foods meet the same requirements as “growth” (puppy) foods. The AAFCO recognizes two nutrient profiles – “maintenance” (more lax – the foods labeled for maintenance are generally lower in protein and fat) and “growth” (more stringent – the food must have more protein, fat and other nutrients). A company that has a food that meets the more stringent “growth” requirements can label that formula for growth or all life stages. Therefore a food labeled for “growth” is an all life stages food and a food labeled for “all life stages” is appropriate for growth. So my recommendation would be to put your dogs on the puppy formula and keep them on the puppy formula – there’s no reason they need to move to a lower protein and fat formula just because they’re adults. I have three dogs – a 7 year old senior, 2 year old adult and 7 month old puppy – they all eat the same food. Animals in the wild don’t suddenly start eating new foods just because they age.
That is the answer I was hoping for. Thank you. I really wish I would have thought of that before. I would just have kept them on puppy food. I’ve learned so much. I had never even read a nutrition label up until about a year ago. I feel bad I didn’t know as much with our previous pets. The Whole Earth Farms puppy looks just about as good as the Blue Buffalo Life Protection I’m feeding them currently at about half the price. I notice it doesn’t have the glucosamine in it. But, I can always supplement I suppose. Don’t really think they need it yet, do they?
With six pets, a son in college and another son starting in the fall, I really need to cut some costs.
Thank you for your suggestions.
Hi crazy4cats –
The glucosamine and chondroitin advertised in the Blue Buffalo foods is just marketing (a lot of brands do this), there’s not enough in there to provide your dogs with any benefits. There are 8 cups of food per kilogram and the bag states 400 mg. glucosamine per kg.. This equates to 50 mg. glucosamine per cup. The serving size for an 80 lb. dog is about 3 cups – this equals 150 mg. glucosamine. An 80 lb. dog would need about 1,000 mg. glucosamine for any therapeutic effect (this means the dog would need to eat 20 cups of food a day to get any benefits). Glucosamine is something that should always be supplemented separately if it’s something the dog needs.
I’m sure my furry boys would love to eat 20 cups of food if I would let them! This is frustrating. I’m sure a lot of consumers are willing to pay a little more for all the “extras” in the food that really aren’t of much help any way.
Is there any other food that has a different protein such as lamb, or beef that you would suggest that is similar and about the same price that I could rotate with?
Thanks again for your help.
Nutrisource is rated 4 stars, they have several varieties (including a lamb & rice option) that run about $40 for a 33 lb. bag. Healthwise is rated 4 stars and has chicken and lamb varieties that are around $40 for a 35 lb. bag. Hi-Tek Naturals, rated 4 stars, has chicken and lamb varieties that run about $40 for a 35 lb. bag. Victor rated 4 stars has a beef/chicken/pork based all life stages food that runs $33 for 40 lbs. The Nutrisource and Healthwise would probably be easier to find than the Victor and Hi-Tek.
Also should add – “Pure Balance,” the new food sold at Walmart, has a lamb and rice formula that’s rated 3 1/2 stars and costs $39 for a 30 lb. bag.
Ok. I’ll check them out. I have not seen victor or hi-tek. I live in a suburb of Seattle, Washington. If I understand what you said earlier is that both puppy and all life stage foods are fine for any age. But adult foods are only ok for adults, not puppies.
Wanted to let you know that you recommended turkey necks for my pups about a month ago. I finally got brave enough and got some at Mud Bay. Of course they loved them. Kept a close eye on them and they did fine. Have a great day!
Hi HDM, we recently adopted a now just about 5 month old rottie cross puppy. She was on IAMs puppy when we got her, and I switched to the Orijen LBP food. After reading the LBP thread, I Am in the process of switching to Earthborn Holistoc Meadow Feast. One thing I’m a little confused on is the amount to feed. She is 40 lbs right now, on an acreage, very active.
With a ” All Life Stages” food, such as the EB MF, should we feed her more then the guidelines on the package, which would be for an adult dog? Or are they for all stages? With the Orijen, she was getting 4 cups a day, the EBMF would be 2 cups if following the guidelines. Thanks
If the food doesn’t have puppy feeding guidelines, you have to make a guess at what her adult weight should be and feed for that weight. Watch her body condition closely and adjust feeding amounts to keep her lean until she is full grown.
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