I’m sure this has been addressed, but are there any freeze dried raw foods that are ok for large breed puppies? My trainer has recommended Stella and Chewys Lamb dinner “cakes” for training purposes because they are healthy, nutritionally balanced, very tasty and easy to break apart for small treats and the pups love them. Does anyone know the calcium content?
I’m sure the calcium content of S&C freeze-dried formulas are the same as the frozen but if you’re just using them as treats you don’t need to worry about calcium content.
Hi Hound Dog Mom,
You seem very knowledgeable on this subject. I just found your post after beginning to do a lot of dog food research. My fathers Golden Retriever just gave birth to 11 puppies a week and a half ago. We are not backyard breeders trying to profit of these dogs. They pups came from a 55lb female Golden, and a 110lb male. Both are my fathers family dogs. This will be there first and last litter. All dogs will be staying close and going to family and friends. One of them will be my young families first dog in our home. With that being said, I want to wean them onto the best food I can to help curb any growth or health issues. I also want to pick a food that I can keep my puppy on as well throughout their puppy stage and into adulthood. We live in Southern California so getting these foods is usually not the issue. Not to mention there are endless resources online. My Question to you is… What would be your top 5 choices for this breed? Any help you can give would be great. This is the food I purchased yesterday on the recommendation of my local feed store. I am starting to regret my decision since it is not grain free and am probably going to return it based on what you have to say. it is the Canidae large breed puppy http://www.canidae.com/dogs/life-stages/dry/large-breed-puppy/duck
Also, anyone else with knowledge of this subject or this breed please respond. Looking for any help I can get. Thank you !!!
One more thing… How does Orijen large breed puppy formula stack up?
Hi sippmanjr –
I personally prefer raw (my dogs eat a homemade raw diet) and in terms of the best – I believe raw is as good as it gets. I would also give preference to dehydrated, canned and freeze-dried foods over kibble. However assuming you’re looking for a kibble, if I had to choose my “top 5” they would probably be (in no particular order): Annamaet (Aqualuk, Salcha or Ultra), Dr. Tim’s Kinesis, Nature’s Variety Instinct (LID Turkey or Rabbit), Wellness CORE Puppy or Earthborn (Coastal Catch or Meadow Feast). I love Orijen foods and their new large breed puppy formula is an improvement over the previous formula (the old formula was way too high in calcium) but it’s still slightly high in calcium for me to recommend. Don’t feel that you need to pick one food and stick with it, rotating is healthier and it’s good to get puppies accustomed to a rotational diet as soon as possible. If you feed kibble, I’d also recommend topping the kibble with a quality raw, canned or dehydrated food or healthy fresh foods (like eggs, tinned sardines, lean meats, or plain yogurt or kefir) as often as possible.
Great, thank you for the info! I had always heard kibble was better than canned but I will definitely start looking into some other choices. At least as a topper. When you say eggs, raw or cooked?
When you say Dr. Tims… You are referring to the Grain free , right?
I know this has been asked and answered but I can’t find the answer. As the puppies mature, at what age is calcium level no longer an issue.
I believe HDM said that around 8 months, we don’t have to monitor so closely anymore
No the grain-inclusive Kinesis – the grain-free is too high in calcium.
I need to know a few dog foods good for a german shepherd puppy he’s 9 wks of course for bone and coat and joint you know gsd stuff,right now he’s eating blue buffalo life protection chicken and brown rice (puppy) ,I just want to know a brand to were I can stay on for a while cause he needs the best food right now I’m some what knowing what to look just not exactly
Ok great, Thank you HDM. Would you think it is better to start the pups with a grain free diet or grain inclusive?
I wouldn’t just look for a quality food and not worry about whether it’s grain-free or grain-inclusive – aim for a food that has at least 30% protein. There are some great grain-free foods and horrible grain-free foods – same for grain-inclusive. It’s about the quality of the ingredients and the amount of quality, animal-derived protein. I typically lean toward grain-free kibbles because they generally contain more protein but the Dr. Tim’s and Annamaet Ultra I mentioned are two very high quality grain-inclusive foods that I don’t have any issue with recommending.
Thank you so much for reposting this link HDM.
Does anyone know anything about the calcium levels of Performatrin Ultra, grain-free? It is the store food of PetValu and ranked high on Dog Food Advisor, but didn’t make the your list so was wondering if it was calcium or something else that kept it off the list?
It’s too high in calcium – Storm’s Mom posted the levels earlier on the Performatrin thread and they’re too high.
I also have a shepherd puppy. he’s 3 months old. I feed him Fromm Large Breed Puppy. But HDM did include her list of appropriate foods and that’s where I picked mine out. I chose it because 1) Fromm is a family owned company 2) it’s easy to find here in L.A 3)I pay about $51 for a 33lb bag. it lasts a very long time. the only thing I didn’t like at first was that it is a bit rich, so my puppy’s stools were somewhat loose. but that was something simple canned pure pumpkin cleared right up. other than that, it’s awesome
we have a 10 mo old 105lb shepherd, we leave the food out all the time and he only eats when he’s hungry, both parents are 150lb so he’s going to be big. We’ve been feeding him Purina Pro Plan Focus large puppy breed but we’ve noticed on the last 2 bags he’s been scratching terribly, no fleas and he’s starting to get red spots on his stomach. Is there a better dog food to feed him? thank you so much
Look at page 1 and 2 of this thread for the food recommendations. There’s a google doc link in there.
Page 15 has the updated list.
The updated list also has grain inclusive foods and I would strongly advise anyone with a dog on Purina that is showing signs of food intolerances to avoid chicken and all grains, like the plague. And at 10 months calcium levels are not that much of a concern anymore.
- This reply was modified 6 years, 1 month ago by theBCnut.
I think Hound Dog Mom recently reported the list on page 36. (Easier to scroll back to). Wish it could be a sticky at the top of this thread.
That sure would be nice.
Hello everyone! I’m new and found this site while trying to search for answers for my 11 week old standard poodle puppy. The breeder sent me home with instructions to feed him adult food not puppy food. She feeds a 50/50 mixture of Purina Pro Select for Sensitive Stomach and Skin (salmon) and Eukannuba Adult Large Breed. My vet disagrees and told me to only feed a large breed puppy food. I’m glad I found this site! I haven’t read all 37 pages of this forum but did read several pages on either end as well as looked at the document link on page 15. My head is swimming (numbers/stats/percentages make my brain hurt). I will be spending days on here trying to get a grasp on this subject, but meanwhile I wondered if there are any recommendations for this breed? The document listed foods by alphabetical order… is there anyone willing to give me a top three or five choices in the grain free and grain inclusive categories? Also, the breeder said to free feed to avoid bloat. Is that the consensus here or are scheduled feedings preferred for puppies? Thanks! I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed!
I just saw that HDM gave her “top 5” kibble favorites on page 36. Was this a breed specific recommendation or does it apply in general? Any changes to this list considering I have a 11 week old standard poodle puppy? Thanks!
Since she doesn’t believe that breed specific foods are anything more than a marketing gimick, they are general. I have to agree with her. Genetically, your dog is almost completely identical to a wolf, coat type doesn’t matter, since good food will feed any coat type, so feed your domestic wolf, and let the poodle take care of itself.
Free feeding is fine if your pup doesn’t overeat. I don’t like it personally, but I understand your vet’s reasoning. Don’t put out more than your dog will eat in a day, so you aren’t feeding stale or rancid kibble.
Thanks! I forgot to ask about training treats. This puppy is very full of himself and is going to need a lot more training than my last standard. I don’t want to undo any good I’m getting from the right food by using poor training treats. This pup is highly food motivated so I’m sure I’ll be using treats alot. I always cut them in to tiny pieces but I’d still love to know if there are any particular brands/types recommended to go along with these feeding guidelines. Thanks!
Patty, is there any brand you would add to the “top 5” HDM listed on page 36?
Thankyou Hound Dog Mom ,Love this breed <3 its hard to find the healthier foods here in Texas all I have is petco which sells wellness halo and natures variety which I usually get would anyone know where to get better foods maybe on a trustworthy website ? Or a local store they know of ?
For training treats, my favorite is Vital Essentials Freeze Dried dog food and I also make my own by baking chicken or making little meatballs and baking them, but those get your hands messy, the VE doesn’t.
HDM hit all my favorites for large breeds, which are the 2 by Earthborn and the 2 by Nature’s Variety. I love Brother’s Complete and Nature’s Logic too, but they will have to wait until your pup is done growing.
Nvm didn’t see the tab on, top,
Thanks! I just got back from Petco (the only pet store around… I live in small town Idaho). I’m not able to find the majority of the recommended foods on the google document in my area. I know I could order online, but I’d really like to find something local that works. I tend to be scatter brained with all the kids and pets running around my house and I’d hate to run out of food and have to wait on shipping! Our Petco carries the Nature’s Variety Instinct line, which would be my first choice, but I’m pretty sure my hubby would croak if I bought an $80 plus bag of dog food. I looked around at what else they might have and they do have Wellness Core but not for puppies. The options I was able to find are Nature’s Variety Prairie options, the Halo Spot’s Stew options, Pinnacle options.. they might have the Avoderm options, and I think I can find Innova around here as well. Of these options, do you have any recommendations?
Also, any ideas why Merrick isn’t on the recommended list? My older standard poodle loves their food.
The foods that didn’t make the list come in 2 categories. 1) They didn’t answer HDM’s request for info. 2) They were too high in calcium for large breed dogs.
She emailed every 4 and 5 star food to ask for the calcium info. Many didn’t bother to reply at all and many had too much calcium.
hi jewels. I asked HDM about Merrick and the company said that their calcium levels are over 2.0
are you any where near idaho falls?
there are a few victor pet foods on the list and their website says ameripet in idaho falls and pet center in rigby and 58 paws in hailey
i also did a zip code for idaho falls and set for 200 miles and got a decent list on the earthborn holistic website. try there for local retail stores?
some of the online stores have rotational automatic send out options so you dont have to worry. and you can get good foods for alot less then the amount you posted in your comment that i cant remember (80 a bag?) that i cant scroll up to see
blah lots of edits. i had a large bag of earthborn holistic come to me in central utah from petflow.com they shipped from las vegas. 2 days ship to american fork utah
Thanks everyone! I appreciate all the help! I am an hour away from Idaho Falls, and further from Rigby and Hailey. Idaho Falls is doable. My question now, I guess, is… since I can get Nature’s Variety Prairie, Halo Spot’s Stew, Pinnacle, Innova, Avoderm, and possibly Wellness Core (if the local Petco will order the puppy formula in)… is Earthborn Holistic really that much better that it’s worth the two hour round trip drive to get it? And if I decide to go with one of the brands I can get in my own town, what would the top two be out of the ones I just listed? Thanks everyone, this is really helpful!
in my own personal opinion, I would completely avoid Innova. it used to be a very good brand. excellent even. but this past year it was recalled numerous times. it was bought out by Proctor and Gamble. I also think the same way as you do: is it worth driving further for a certain food? depending on how much further. if what I’m saving on the kibble, I’ll be spending in gas, I don’t think it is. but that’s just me. gas here in Los Angeles isn’t so cheap anymore. my choices would be NV Prairie, Wellness Core, Pinnacle, then Halo. I prefer my food to have some kind of meal in it. some people don’t, but to each his own. I don’t really know much about Avoderm. never really caught my attention enough to make me want to research or try it. I personally feed my GSD puppy Fromm Large Breed Puppy, but will be rotating to Earthborn once it’s time to get a new bag. Luckily I can get Earthborn pretty much anywhere here, and I think it’s an excellent brand.
- This reply was modified 6 years, 1 month ago by gsdmommy89.
Thanks! I was leaning towards the NV Prairie so that makes me feel more confident in my choice. 🙂 I will look in to where I can find Earthborn. I think I will start with NV Prairie however because it is easily available. Any thoughts on whether to use Large Breed Puppy or Puppy? Or a mixture of both? They are both on the list. Also, how often is it recommended to rotate food? When I rotate, is it best to stay within a brand, or does that not matter as long as the new food is introduced properly? If I start with NV Prairie can I rotate to Earthborn? Thanks!
Rotate at the end of each bag and to different brands. Within a brand, they usually use the same vitamin/mineral premix so whatever it is high in will be high among all their foods and same with whatever it is low in.
sorry i wasnt trying to do a shameless plug for earthborn. i actually rotate between 2 differant food companies and have been testing a third
i only shared websites that I have seen and used their retail finder and an example of order ship times from chewy.com on a product i actually ordered
Thanks guys! And no need to apologize, apriliamille. I appreciated your comments. If I am rotating at the end of each bag, then it will make it easier to try some brands I can’t find locally. I’ll just order a bag when I buy something at Petco and it will be waiting for me to use when needed. I could possibly rotate in one of those $80 NV Instinct Rabbit formulas… just as long as I’m not buying that every bag! (Wow, that’s steep.) When rotating, I assume I should buy the biggest bag of food so my pup has a decent period of time on it, right? Or does that matter? Also, do I need to rotate chicken to chicken formulas or can I switch chicken to lamb or chicken to rabbit (fish etc)? Is there a limit of how many different proteins (and possibly carbs) you should have in your rotation? Thanks!
Anyone have any opinions on Fromm’s Large Breed Gold. Everyone has given me some great ideas but I just ran across this yesterday. My indecisiveness is getting the best of me for these 11 pups!
To add to my previous question. What makes this a 4 star food compared to something like Dr. Tims or Earthborn. To me the ingredients look better?
jewels i ordered the biggest NV Rabbit Meal online and i had it shipped to my door for $53. Shipping was free. I would really really strongly advise everyone to purchase online. Very cheap and very fast shipping and turnarounds.
where on earth did you find the NV Rabbit for $53? the cheapest place I found was petflow.com. for $64.99
Sorry for the confusion. I had a discount code for the 1st order on wag.com of 15% off and also at the time they were doing a sale on NV. I just went back on the website and it’s back to regular price. I did find that wag.com wasn’t the cheapest but they most frequently had discounts and sales. Also super amazing customer service. They answered at 11 O’clock at night my time cuz I ordered the wrong formula and they were more than happy to help me.
And yeah pet flow usually had the cheapest.
If you go now on wag.com you can use the code wagmobile and get 15% off. It takes down the price of nv to 62$
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