I am getting two St Berdoodle puppies and am looking for suggestions for a Freeze Dried Raw Grain Free puppy food
I believe most of the freeze dried are grain free. Go to BEST DOG FOODS on top of this site and then BEST FREEZE DRIED. Many have veggies included in ingredient list such as Primal. Some are strictly meat such as Vital Essentials. Some come in scoop form and others nuggets. Some proteins/flavors are higher in fat . I believe the 5* proteins/flavors for various companies are lower in fat.
Only one I know that is specially puppy is Stella Chewy’s. However guidelines for the rest are on the bag of approx. how much more you would have to feed a puppy for nutritional and calorie requirements specifically for large breed.
Exclusively fed freeze dried would be VERY expensive to feed large breed puppies. Maybe as a topper with kibble which meets requirements of large breed in grain free?
Hope this helps.crazy4catsParticipant
Hi bob D-
Congratulations on your new puppies! It sounds like they are most likely going to be large breed puppies. There are specific calcium guidelines that you want to make sure to follow to ensure that their joints grow properly to help eliminate any issues down the road. Especially hip dysplasia and torn ligaments in the knees and elbows.
You may be surprised, but Purina or Royal Canin would be your best bet while they are growing puppies. Both companies have done extensive research and feeding trials. Make sure you pick a formula that specifically states it is for large breed puppies in the AAFCO statement.
Here is a helpful link with more information: https://skeptvet.com/Blog/2010/01/nutrition-in-large-breed-puppies/
Good luck and have fun!crazy4catsParticipant
In addition, bob D, I would steer clear from grain free. There still has not been a clear answer on why and increased amount of Dilated Cardiomyopathy is happening in dogs.
Hi bob D,
Congratulations on the twins LOL. Honestly there is not a single freeze dried raw I can suggest for growth of, I’m assuming, a large breed puppy.
If a freeze dried raw is your only option to feed and the expected adult weight would be say no more than 30 lbs you could consider Natures Variety.
My thought is that you have one chance to grow this pup. Personally, I’d stick to a company with a solid nutritional background in puppy growth. With my last pup I interviewed numerous companies and settled on Purina Pro Plan.
Just curious why a company fails with answers to back up their claims on package.
Regarding DCM and WSAVA. WSAVA does NOT approve any dog foods. They supply questions for the dog owner to ask the brand. Just don’t feel good about the BIG 5 companies are the ones sponsoring them.
Additionally, if these are in fact “recommendations” based on important criteria for pet foods, should not all of Hill’s canned dog products implicated in the vitamin D recalls come off the WSAVA-recommended list? If WSAVA takes the time to update its recommendation guidelines with the criteria I’ve suggested here, it should consider involving people who do not have any potential financial gain, either from pet food sales or academic research funding.
On a positive note, WSAVA is more transparent in that it does provide an easily accessible list of its industry partners and ranks them based on contributions; however, it does leave some people scratching their heads why Nestle Purina and Mars Petcare would contribute in multiple tiers, versus just the parent company.
I’ll address your first question first because it is a good one. IMO the engagement specialist from Purina really dropped the ball. She gave a canned answer instead of a providing the research studies that support the claims. Maybe Purina needs to revisit the training of their customer service agents?
IMO Purina does some awesome research, yet as a company I feel they really fall short in making it known. IMO it should be cited whenever a claim based on that research is made.
The concern I have with this blog, is that IMO as it is written, the blog seems to leave the reader with the impression that Purina may not have any research to support the label claims. I think the point that the blogger should have made is Purina does a lot of research and publishes it regularly to the scientific community but that they need to do a better job in relaying that information to the general public.
Here are some supporting studies I found after a 3 min(?) search. There certainly may be others
Interventions in the Longevity and Maintenance of Long-Term Health in Agine Cats Cupp et al 2008 From the abstract “Cats eating the diet containing the nutritional blend lived significantly longer and showed significantly slower deterioration in a number of clinical health parameters compared to cats fed a standard adult maintenance control diet”
Effect of Nutritional Interventions on the Longevity of Senior Cats Cupp et al 2007 From the abstract “After 5 years cats fed the diet with the antioxidants Vit E and Beta-carotene, dried chicory root and a blend of n-3 and n-6 fatty acids lived significantly longer than cats fed the control diet.”
Cognitive Enhancement in Middle aged and old cat with dietary supplementation with a nutrient blend containing fish oil, B vitamins, antioxidants and arginine. Pan et al 2013
From the abstract: “The cats fed the test diet shoed significantly better performance on three of four test protocols..”
Aimee I just don’t get it. Why doesn’t Nestlé Purina PetCare own brands such as Alpo? Shouldn’t they stand by the best nutrition across the board? I don’t think I like these ingredients to much.
Ingredients: Ground yellow corn, corn germ meal, beef and bone meal, soybean meal, beef fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols, pork and bone meal, egg and chicken flavor, natural flavor, corn gluten meal, salt, potassium chloride, choline chloride, minerals [zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, calcium iodate], sodium selenite, natural grill flavor, vitamins [vitamin E supplement, niacin (vitamin B-3), vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate (vitamin B-5), pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B-6), vitamin B-12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B-1), vitamin D-3 supplement, riboflavin supplement (vitamin B-2), menadione sodium bisulfite complex (vitamin K), folic acid (vitamin B-9), biotin (vitamin B-7), ], dl-methionine, l-lysine monohydrochloride, l-tryptophan, red 40, yellow 5, calcium carbonate, blue 2, yellow 6, garlic oil
In regard to your second comment, I ‘m hoping you can clarify for me.
You are correct WSAVA does not approve foods so I’m unsure why you are asking if certain foods should be removed from the WSAVA recommended list since you seem to recognize that there is no such list. Perhaps you an clarify that point for me.
I’m also usure of what criteria you have suggested (perhaps I can find them on a different thread?) and personally, I think if you eliminate involving anyone with any potential for a financial gain or research funding gain from serving in WSAVA or any other organized foundation there would be no one left to serve! Connections can always be made and no matter how far removed or remote they may be someone will always come along and call foul if they do not like the committee’s findings.
Personally, in regard to sponsors of WSAVA, there are so many pet food companies, how come only three have stepped up to promote the advancement of animal welfare and health?
I’m assuming you meant to ask why Purina owns Alpo. It seems that you are saying by selling ALPO they are not standing by nutrition across the board. It is a sentiment I do not share.
I think there are many paths to nutritional soundness and for me the ingredient list plays a minor role in my overall assessment of a food. I didn’t used to be this way , I used to be an avid label reader but after many hours of self study using resources like the Nutritional Requirements of Dogs and Cats put out by the NRC and spending many hours on Pub Med getting familiar with nutritional research it is where I landed.
I see Purina as a company that makes food at a variety of price points to fit the various budgets and philosophies of a wide segment of the pet owning population. Foods at a lower price point I suspect are going to be more plant based and will likely have larger stool volume compared to the higher price point options but IMO they both reach nutritional goals.
The controversy continues.
In the beginning, many scientists believed DCM was caused by deficient dietary taurine. Until that theory was disproven.
Then, DCM was supposedly caused by boutique diets.
But now, some are convinced that DCM is caused by the mere presence of peas in a food.
What about the dose? Shouldn’t the amount matter, too?
FDA reps report affected animals “had eaten diets high in peas, lentils, or both”.
Shouldn’t concerns about peas and other legumes also focus on the amount and mix ratios of these ingredients? Should dried pea protein (a plant-based protein concentrate) be treated the same as small amounts of peas in a food?
There are still so many questions to answer.
The jury is still out.
“…for me the ingredient list plays a minor role in my overall assessment of a food.”
Nope. That’s not true for me.
The complete assessment of any pet food is never only about the ingredients list. It’s also about ALL of the information included on the label. Verifiable facts like caloric density, the Statement of Nutritional Adequacy (AAFCO), fat-to-protein ratios, preservative content, moisture content (which affects comparative macronutrient content) and much more.
I would never recommend ignoring or minimizing the label content. The information contained on the label is required by U.S. Federal Law for a reason and must be an important part of choosing any dog food.
Without label analysis and a science-based understanding of ingredient splitting and dry matter basis, how could you possibly compare the relative amounts of various ingredients or the primary components in any food? They can easily and legally be manipulated by the manufacturer. Yes, even by Purina or Royal Canin. They do it all the time.
Nope. That’s not for me. I’ve always been and still am an avid label reader whenever I buy ANY food (for humans or pets).
After studying more than 5900 different recipes every day for the past 14 years, ingredient lists combined with a solid understanding of AAFCO nutrient profiles (which are based on the data included in the “Nutritional Requirements of Dogs and Cats” and published by the National Academies of Science cited above), I’m not sure how any processed food can ever be magically better than the ingredients that were used to make it?
Of course, labels should never be the only thing to study when choosing food. But they provide a critically important piece of the puzzle. They’re a valuable and informative place to start. And a risky thing to ignore.
Hi Dr. Mike,
Here are some of my thoughts.
While the jury is still out on the mechanism of non-taurine diet related DCM, its existence is established. As you know, in science, conclusions are made on available data and as new data comes in previous conclusions may need to be modified or even abandoned. I’ve found that this process can appear confusing to people.
As I understand it, the first recognized cases, in retrospect, likely had two contributing factors to their disease: taurine and non-taurine. At the time those cases first surfaced, it made sense to tap taurine as the first place to look. However, as more cases came to light it was recognized that this go round would not have a simple explanation and so a pivot occurred.
The acronym BEG was coined early based on patterns observed. I think that while labels can help, they also can harm by limiting focus. FDA identified ingredient patterns, but diets without those ingredients have resulted in cases too. Market share data revealed that companies with very little market share had a very large percentage of cases, while companies who hold a large market share did not have cases despite offering grain free options. It begs the question why?
IMO pet food politics complicates the situation. In the article you linked I would have liked to have seen the authors report what percent of sales of the big three are grain free, and what percent of the grain free market share they hold. I say this because it seems there is an ongoing mistrust of the research done by veterinary cardiologists and nutritionists because the big three have sponsored conferences they have spoken at or foundations they received grants from etc. This to me never made much sense since those companies make, I suspect, a significant portion of the grain free market. It would be shooting themselves in the foot! As outlined in the article, the pea industry however has IMO directly influenced the FDA leading to them going silent.
Like you I’ve come across folks who are fretting over the mere presence of peas/legumes/potatoes in pet food, and I think it is not warranted. I’ve found that veterinarians are giving guidelines such as the one from UC Davis to limit to no more than 2 legume ingredients in a grain inclusive diet whose inclusions are below all meat and grain ingredients. I find that reasonable.
I’m in complete agreement with you that the label should not be ignored. I certainly never intended for my post to be interpreted to mean it should. I too look at the label, including the ingredient declaration when making a food choice. I’m afraid though, that over time, I’ve become quite cynical, and I likely prioritize label information differently than others, and that for me is OK.
The label is a legal document, but as you pointed out, it is one that it easily manipulated and used for the purposes of marketing. Reporting nutrients in Min. and Max. means the diets with very different nutrient profiles can have the same guaranteed analysis and IMO, there is for all practical purposes, no verification of the information a label contains.
I suspect that you, like me, have “caught” companies providing false information and know of diets that appeared stellar based on the ingredient list and other labeling information yet that when fed, resulted in death. There is always risk whenever we eat and I for one am grateful for the exhaustive catalog of foods on this site and the database of information that you have built. I use it regularly.
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