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  • #21379 Report Abuse
    wallyworld
    Member

    BTW, nutro natural choice, dry is rated 4 stars on DFA. There isn’t a review on that particular formula but at the top of the nutro page it lists the large breed puppy formula as 4 stars.

    #21380 Report Abuse
    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    Hi juelz4you –

    There have been some issues with obtaining the Canine Caviar information (there is actually a thread about this). When I created the list about a year ago the calcium level I used was listed as an actual (not min). I’ve been trying to contact the company for a week now (via email and phone) and have received no response so this food will be removed from the list. I’m currently in the process of updating the list and creating a grain-inclusive list.

    #21381 Report Abuse
    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    Hi wallyworld –

    I’m actually in the process of making a grain-inclusive list now (should be done by the end of this week or early next week). I contact Nutro last week and spoke to their customer service (very polite customer service I might add) and, unfortunately, all of their formulas were too high in calcium.

    #21389 Report Abuse
    DellUSN
    Participant

    Hello, Hound Dog Mom.

    I’ve been searching around this site for a little while now and I’ve noticed your activity and knowledge about pet foods. I signed up so that I could attempt to contact you directly through private message, but I guess that’s not possible here. Either way, I’ve been reading a lot of your advice on here and I had a couple questions for you. I have a 4 month old Chocolate Lab (40 pounds) named Rooster who I just got a couple weeks ago. Having studied to become an Registered Vet Tech before I joined The Navy, I understood that importance of nutrition for large breed puppies, or any breed of puppy for that matter. After some research I decided to go with a 4 pound bag of Wellness CORE Puppy Formula. His transition over to the food went very smoothly and he’s been devouring it, so I bought him a 26 pound bag. I currently feed him 4 cups a day dry kibble (2 AM, 2 PM) and he’s doing well on the schedule. I read a post that you made about rotating dog’s brand of food and source of protein. I was curious if this was something that should be implemented at young age and some other brands you recommended for my pup. Also, I was very worried about my dog and people food because I’ve seen so many people just go nuts feeding there dogs junk food. He has not been exposed to any people food yet, but I’d like to get him on some raw meats and bones if possible. At what age would he be ready for that and what sorts of things would you recommend for him in that field? I really anticipate your reply and appreciate any input you offer. Thank you!

    #21394 Report Abuse
    InkedMarie
    Member

    A 40 pound four month old pup? That’s going to be a big dog!

    #21396 Report Abuse
    DellUSN
    Participant

    Scary thing is he won’t be four months for another 11 days. He’s a big boy for sure which is why I’m worried about his diet and rapid growth.

    #21397 Report Abuse
    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    Hi DellUSN –

    Yes – I feel that the sooner a rotational feeding program is implemented the better. There are several reasons foods should be rotated – there is no “best” or “perfect” food so switching brands will help to mitigate the shortcomings of feeding any one brand for an extended period of time, feeding a variety of foods helps to foster a strong and diverse population of microorganisms in the gut and by having several “go to” foods you’ll be able to make a quick switch in the event of a recall or formula change. Some also believe that rotating foods helps to decrease the risk of the dog developing a sensitivity to a particular ingredient later in life.

    Initially, you may need to gradually transition your pup when switching brands. You would do this by feeding 25% new/75% old for a few days, then moving to 50/50 for a few days, then 75/25 for a few days, then transitioning entirely to the new food. If your pup is experiencing loose stools during the transition a spoonful of plain canned pumpkin and/or probiotics may help. My two dogs were both started on a rotational feeding plan upon coming home at 8 weeks old and neither experienced any digestive upset – but it does depend on the dog.

    As far as which brands to feed, for the next four months or so I would recommend keeping him on a controlled calcium food. Any of the kibbles on my list would be comparable to Wellness CORE. I’m currently in the process of updating the list and by the end of this week or beginning of next week I should have a revised grain-free list, a grain-inclusive list and a raw list posted.

    There really is no rhyme or reason to rotational feeding – everyone has their own method. I haven’t fed kibble quite a few years but for my last dog that ate kibble I got a new brand with a new protein source at the end of each bag and added a variety of canned food and/or fresh food “toppers” daily. When I got Gertie (currently two years old) I rotated between The Honest Kitchen’s (dehydrated) Love, Embark, Thrive and Zeal formulas and fed a different variety each day, I also mixed in a can of Tripett with her breakfast and gave her either a raw egg, a tin or sardines or plain yogurt at dinner. When she was 8 months old I switched her to a raw diet. Mabel (my one year old) transitioned to a raw diet as soon as she came home at 8 weeks. On their homemade raw diets my dogs get something completely different at each meal.

    I would highly recommend adding “toppers” if you’re feeding kibble as the sole diet. Toppers will boost the “species-appropriateness” by adding some extra protein, moisture and providing your dog with some fresh, less processed food. Some people believe canned foods are unhealthy, however they’re actually much healthier than dry food – they’re less processed, higher in protein/lower in carbohydrates and have a high moisture content. The same applies to dehydrated foods and raw foods. If you’re adding a balanced canned, dehydrated or raw food you can top with as much as you want. “People food” is great too – any left over lean meat or veggies from your dinner, eggs, tinned sardines, plain yogurt, kefir and cottage cheese are all cheap and very healthy foods (just keep unbalanced extras such as these to 20% or less of the meal or you could risk throwing of the nutritional balance of the kibble).

    Hope that helps! 🙂

    #21399 Report Abuse
    julez4you
    Participant

    Hound Dog Mom:
    I know you are working to compile updated lists, but I’m running low on my pups current bag so hoping to switch. I just transitioned my pup to Petcurean Go Chicken, and calcium levels are a bit higher than optimal. What do you think of this formula? http://www.petcurean.com/for-dogs/go/sensitivity-and-shine-duck

    The guaranteed anaysis as fed is provided.

    Also- how would you compare feeding something like this or even a higher protein grain-free kibble vs. The Honest Kitchen Love?

    I’m a big believer in raw- my lab/mastiff mix is 100% raw fed. But I don’t have the time/desire to make my own, so I buy commercial raw and I just can’t afford to have my senior dog plus a 9week old Dane pup on raw right now. I do eventually hope to make the switch though once he’s past the high growth years where he’d be eating us out of house and home 🙂

    Thanks again! I’ve really been struggling with this one.

    #21400 Report Abuse
    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    Hi julez4you –

    The calcium levels in this particular formula are appropriate for a large breed puppy and it is an all life stages food however – imho – it’s way too low in protein and fat. If you do feed it, I would definitely recommend topping with a high protein canned food or adding some fresh meat/eggs/etc. I definitely feel high protein is preferable. I’m a big fan of THK and, in fact, my two year old was weaned onto THK and ate it until she was 8 months old – Love was a staple in the rotation.

    I completely understand where you’re coming from with the raw thing. Commercial raw is very expensive – especially for large dogs. I could never afford commercial raw for my two given the amount that they eat. I’m able to do homemade fairly cheaply but it does get quite time consuming.

    #21406 Report Abuse
    londoncalling1996
    Participant

    Hi Hound Dog Mom, I REALLY appreciate all you research and hard work compiling all the information on what to feed Large and Giant Breed Puppies, in our case, our 11 week old Bernese Mtn Dog. I printed your recommendations and took the list to our local pet and feed store. I was leaning to Fromm because it’s one of the lowest in calcium. The Fromm website listed our local pet and feed store as carrying two of their lines. Not only do they not carry Fromm, they don’t carry any of the foods on your list except Canine Caviar, which you said in a recent post that you are taking off the list. I can see this isn’t going to be so straight forward! I did call a pet store about 20 miles away and they carry Fromm, so I will go tomorrow and pick some up for LUX. Can you please tell me if feeding her just the dry food is good for her? Or should I add some protein? What about the green tripe? What about digestive aids? Should I add of of those to her diet? I do put a little wet food into the end of her kong and freeze it to give her a treat when I put her in her crate at bedtime. Should I count that as food and subtract some kibble in one of her daytime meals? Also, what do you recommend as a wet food to use in the kong and/or as a topper occasionally on her kibble? I want to do the best I can for her in her life and especially in the coming formative months! Thanks so much!!!! Cheers, Jules

    #21408 Report Abuse
    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    Hi londoncalling1996 –

    That’s too bad your store didn’t carry any of the foods. 🙁 If you’re not opposed to online ordering there are many sites that sell a wider variety of foods than you could find in a store and they also typically have lower prices – most also offer free shipping with no weight limit when you spend a certain amount of money (usually orders over $49). I’d recommend checking out wag.com, chewy.com, petflow.com and naturalk9supplies.com. Also the new lists should give you many additional options to choose from.

    I definitely feel that, if it’s financially feasible, non-dry foods should be fed as a sole diet or at least in addition to kibble. Dry food is actually the worst thing to feed a dog – however to to budget and time constraints it, understandably, comprises the bulk of most dog’s diets. I urge you to check out this article Dr. Marty Goldstein (one of my all time favorite veterinarians) posted on his blog, it ranks the different types of food from best to worst: drmarty.com/what-should-i-feed-my-pet-for-best-health/

    If you add wet food you should count account for this in her daily food intake – just monitor her weight and if she’s gaining too much start feeding a little less. One of my all time favorite wet food toppers (especially for large breed puppies) is Tripett. I like Tripett for several reasons: 1) high protein/moderate fat/low carbohydrate (ideal); 2) it has a balanced calcium to phosphorus ratio but very low amounts of each, so it can effectively be used to lower the calcium to phosphorus ratio in any food fed to a large breed puppy without the risk of throwing off the balance and 3) dogs go absolutely nuts for it (people hate it – if you feed it you’ll see why – but they love it). The only thing I want to note with Tripett is that it’s not a complete and balanced food (it’s just canned green tripe) so if you do feed it make sure it doesn’t exceed 20% of the meal or you could throw off the nutritional balance. Some other more balanced canned foods that I like that could account for over 20% of the meal are: ZiwiPeak, Addiction, Nature’s Logic, Nature’s Variety Instinct and Merrick. Dr. Mike has a great compilation of high quality canned foods over on the review site as well. If you’re looking for a quality yet budget friendly canned food (canned food can be quite pricey, especially when feeding a large breed puppy) I’d recommend checking out 4Health (available at Tractor Supply, $0.99 per can), Pure Balance (available at Walmart, $1 per can), Kirkland Cuts in Gravy (available at Costco, $0.79 per can), Whole Earth Farms (available at many online retailers about $1.50 per can) – these foods are all 4 – 5 star quality. Some other toppers you could use are dehdyrated foods (i.e. The Honest Kitchen, Grandma Lucy’s, etc.) – these foods are about the same consistency as a stew type canned food when rehydrated, a balanced frozen or freeze-dried commercial raw food (freeze-dried rehydrates to canned food consistency) or fresh toppers such as sardines, eggs, plain yogurt or left over lean meat or steam veggies from your dinner.

    Digestive aids aren’t necessary, but many feel they’re beneficial. Many of the regulars here supplement with probiotics and enzymes. I don’t supplement with either because my dogs eat a raw diet (naturally occurring enzymes) and consume raw green tripe (rich in enzymes and probiotics) and kefir (rich in probiotics) on a regular basis. If feeding cooked food only (like kibble and canned) I do feel that enzymes and probiotics can provide benefit.

    #21409 Report Abuse
    InkedMarie
    Member

    from HDM: ” Love was a staple in the rotation.”

    this made me smile, Love is always a rotation in my home!!! <G>

    #21410 Report Abuse
    sharfie
    Member

    So, I am a bit confused. Right now I am feeding my puppy NV Turkey and adding Bravo Buffalo Boneless as a topper. If I were to use Bravo Balance or a canned food, which is a complete and balanced raw food, would it raise the calcium to a level that is too high?

    Thanks so much for your help.

    #21414 Report Abuse
    Jessica1
    Participant

    Hello H.D.M, Thank you so much for all your insight. My puppy is between 9-10 wks and a mix between GSD and Bernese Mountain Dog (they think, he is a rescue). He currently weighs 15lbs, so I know he will be a big boy. He was being feed Pedigree so I wanted to start to transition him right away to a better quality food, for health and developmental reasons. I was getting confused with all the info that is out there but finding you has been great, informative and easy to understand.
    I really wanted to do the non grain. But, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to start a non grain food since the costs are high I didn’t want to switch if I couldn’t keep it up. So I put him on Organix Puppy (dry), due to the ingredients the higher standards of organics. Would this be listed on your new list as a good choice?
    My second question, you state rotational feeding, would a rotation with non grain and grain inclusive be a good idea? Lastly, I was always told (by my vet) kibble was better for their teeth than canned food, but you state canned food is better for their health, so until now I never gave can food much thought. In the Organix brand I didn’t see a can puppy formula, are their big differences that I should be looking for if I want to start giving him canned? Thank you.

    #21431 Report Abuse
    londoncalling1996
    Participant

    Thanks so much for taking the time to reply to my questions. It’s really so helpful, I find it all a bit overwhelming. I made the trip to Los Altos today to the pet store with LOTS of good dog food options. I got 7 small sample bags of different kinds of Fromm dry kibble for Lux to try. I also got a can of Trippett, Green beef tripe, duck and salmon. (I haven’t opened it yet though, got to psych myself up for that I think! :-)) And a can each of Ziwipeak venison&fish recipe and Nature’s logic rabbit dinner. After reading your advise, I thought, “well, cost isn’t really an isssue, man, what we paid for this dog!”, but then I got to the pet store and saw the prices! If my 16 year old is going to go to college, Lux might have to eat some kibble! These three cans I got cost 15 bucks and with a berner in the house, we might be eaten out of house and home! I am looking on line at some of the on line sites you suggested. Thanks! I do like to shop local and will, but since it’s about 20 miles to the nearest pet store with good food, I can justify not using the local shop for all of our dog food needs all the time. So, now you have me thinking about wet and raw food, do I also need to worry about the calcium content in those for the first 8 or 10 months of Lux’s life? Maybe you have a list of your favorite canned foods for Large and Giant Breed puppies that have the right amount of calcium? (Fingers crossed!) Where are you located? I’m on the San Francisco peninsula, about 20 miles south of SF. Thank you for everything! Cheers, Jules

    #21439 Report Abuse
    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    Hi Jessica1 –

    The Organix puppy formula is 1.05% calcium and has 2.89 g. calcium per 1,000 kcal. – so yes, it’s a good choice. It would be perfectly fine to use both grain-inclusive and grain-free foods in a rotational feeding program. Many people are under the assumption that dry food is good for dental health – you’re not the only one. For the most part, this is a myth. Some dogs that thoroughly chew their kibble may may derive some benefit in comparison to a soft food however this benefit is minimal and will not be enough to prevent periodontal disease and – in my experience – most dogs don’t thoroughly chew kibble and therefore would receive no benefit. The only food that promotes dental health is a raw meaty bones diet and any dog eating commercial food, be it kibble or canned food, will need their teeth brushed on a regular basis or they will get eventually develop periodontal disease to some degree. Your vet telling you that your dog will have good dental health as long as he eats kibble would be the equivalent of your dentist telling you that you don’t need to brush your teeth as long as you eat crunchy foods – kind of silly, right? About 85% of dogs fed commercial foods over the age of 3 have some degree of periodontal disease, oftentimes it goes unnoticed by owners. Many people think “doggie breath” is normal, but it’s not. A dog’s breath should have no odor. All of the Organix canned foods appear that they’re labeled for adult maintenance, however if you’re only using the canned food as a topper and the bulk of the puppy’s diet is going to be a dry food approved for growth or all life stages this is fine. You could also top the Organix puppy kibble with a canned food labeled for growth from another brand, there’s no reason you can mix different brands of kibble and canned food. I hope that helps!

    #21440 Report Abuse
    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    Hi Jules –

    If you were feeding only canned or raw foods, yes you should watch the calcium level. If you are only using them as a topper to a kibble with appropriate levels of calcium, I wouldn’t worry about it. I am getting together a list of suitable commercially available raw foods, I don’t plan on doing canned foods in the near future though – sorry! What I did with Mabel when she was a pup was to replace about 25% of what my other two adults were eating with raw green tripe which has a low, but balanced, calcium to phosphorus ratio (I make homemade raw). Sounds like we’re on nearly opposite sides of the country – I’m located in northern New York about 15 miles from the Canadian border!

    #21442 Report Abuse
    sharfie
    Member

    Hi HDM-
    Thank you for all your help. I have one other question. I have access to the commercial frozen raw foods (I work in a small pet food store): Bravo, Primal, Stella and Chewies, etc. But, I noticed there are no calcium levels listed on the bag. Do you know if any of the freeze dries or raw frozen food have the appropriate calcium levels for large breed puppies?

    #21463 Report Abuse
    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    Hi sharfie –

    Primal’s beef, duck, lamb, quail, turkey & sardine and venison formulas are okay. Stella & Chewy’s beef formula is okay. I emailed Bravo about two weeks ago asking about their calcium levels and they never responded.

    #21469 Report Abuse
    sharfie
    Member

    Thanks HDM. I appreciate the help so much. I am starting today and feeding 4% of his body weight.

    #21473 Report Abuse
    londoncalling1996
    Participant

    Hi Hound Dog Mom, Thanks for all your help! We are in different parts of the country that’s for sure! I was born in Toronto, but been in the USA 55 of my 56 years! Lots of my people live there.

    #21474 Report Abuse
    londoncalling1996
    Participant

    Hi Sharfie, I probably missed something, but where did you come up with feeding your 4% of his body weight? I have a 12 week old bernese mountain dog who was getting 3/4 of a cup of kibble 3 times a day when we got her 3 weeks ago. She was 17 pounds then, and I think she’s about 20 now. (Need to weigh her.) She INHALES that 3/4 cup every time I put the bowl down. (I looked at bowls today at the pet store that work to slow dog’s eating down. Didn’t buy it! Yet!) I think she might need more, but she’s still got a roly poly puppy body and maybe she needs to slim down a bit? I don’t know how to figure out how much to give her as she grows. I’m switching to a combination of dry and wet and want to give her the appropriate amount. So, if she’s 20 pounds, 4% of that is about 12 or 13 ounces. (Math is NOT my strong point! Ha ha!) Does that mean I should I be feeding her 12/13 oz a day while she’s 20 pounds? Thanks a lot. Cheers, Jules

    #21475 Report Abuse
    Jessica1
    Participant

    Hi H.D.M,
    Thank you so much for all the information, it has really helped me. It’s great to know that rotating grain & non grain is acceptable and won’t cause problems. Thank you also for the information on the teeth and kibble, what you are saying makes perfect sense. I just never thought much to question the vet.
    I just took our “little” rescue, Takoda in for his 2nd DHLPP & Bord. and the vet thinks they were wrong about his age and may only be 8 – 9 weeks and is already 16lbs, he is not overweight but he is solid. This leads me to my next two questions. (which I see Londoncalling is asking too) When you use the can food as a topper I don’t want to overfeed him or underfeed, how do I determine the amount to use as the topper and the amount of dry? The package on the Organix for his age & weight reads 2 ¾ – 4 cups (which I think is a big difference) I’m not currently at this point yet as I am still transitioning him over from the Pedigree, he should be on full Organix in the next day or so. (yesterday his stool was soft, today I was at ¾ mix and he got the runs).
    If you’re adding a can topper is there a good guideline to use on how much kibble and how much topper. I just don’t want to over or under do it.
    Even with the guidelines on the bag, I am not quite sure what would be the correct amount for him, and his size.
    He has never gulped his food and sometimes doesn’t seem very interested in it until “he” is ready to eat. When I first gave him the Organix he seemed to love it, and tried to pick out just those pieces, now I’m not sure. Now he seems to only eat it because he is hungry not because he is enjoying it. (But, he never gulped the pedigree either).
    The 2nd part of my question; should I only use a grain inclusive topper when using grain inclusive foods? Rotating from grain to non grain I know you said would be okay but I wasn’t sure if actually mixing grain with non grain topper would cause a problem. My main reason for asking, Organix doesn’t have a puppy formula and I’ve heard good things about the Wellness puppy can food, but it’s a non grain, and I am not sure what would be a good “grain” large breed puppy can food.
    Thanks again!

    #21476 Report Abuse
    sharfie
    Member

    Jules-
    The 4% is from the raw food forum and the % to feed if you are feeding a raw diet. I had to switch my puppy to raw a few days ago. He has had loose poops and after trying different ways to clear it up and consulting with the vet, nothing was working. I switched to raw a few days ago and things are much better.

    #21477 Report Abuse
    sharfie
    Member

    I should add that 4% is the amount for a puppy.

    #21480 Report Abuse
    julez4you
    Participant

    HDM:
    Finally heard back from Canine Caviar with their grain-free levels. I know you are working to update your list- so wanted to pass along in the event you had still not heard back from them.

    All the Guaranteed Analysis can vary by 0.03% Minimums at 2.10% would
    be a maximum of 2.13%. Maximums of 4.10% would be a minimum of 4.07%.

    Formula Calcium Phosphorus
    Chicken and Pearl Millet 1.63% 1.53%
    Lamb and Pearl Millet 2.13% 1.53%
    Wilderness 1.03% 1.01%
    Wild Ocean 2.43% 1.73%
    Open Sky 1.03% 1.01%

    -Julie

    #21481 Report Abuse
    julez4you
    Participant

    @Sharfie and others…
    Glad to hear your pup is doing much better on raw. I’m a firm believer as well- but with my senior dog 100% raw fed and my lack of desire to make my own, I just can’t afford the expense for a growing Great Dane pup. But I do hope to make the transition some day as I believe it’s what saved my former Dane life when I switched him to raw at 8.

    In the meantime- wanted to share some info that might be helpful to there as they transition to new foods and/or have periods of loose stools not as a consequence of something more concerning. My Dane pup was having them as I transitioned him from Purina to a quality holistic food. My friend told me about Honest Kitchens Perfect Form herbal supplement and this stuff is amazing. It’s all natural, and I just add a little in with 2 of his meals each day (along with a probiotic) and now everything is looking good.

    My next step is too hopefully transition him from kibble over the THK Love dehydrated raw.

    #21493 Report Abuse
    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    Hi londoncalling –

    As Sharfie pointed out feeding as a percent of body weight is a way to determine portion sizes when feeding raw. You wouldn’t want to do that for kibble as kibble is much more calorically dense than raw food (due to low moisture content).

    #21494 Report Abuse
    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    Hi jessica –

    It is perfectly okay to mix a grain-inclusive food with a grain-free topper and vice versa. As far as portioning meals, a lot of people struggle with this so you’re not alone. My advice is always to closely monitor the dog’s body condition – pup’s should have their body condition checked once or twice a week, adult dogs can have it checked less frequently such as every month or so. There really is no person or feeding chart than can tell you how much to feed your pup – energy requirements vary drastically between dogs based on factors such as size, breed, age, activity level, environment, etc. etc. You can use the feeding recommendations on the bag as a starting point, but I personally have always found them to be way off. My dogs have always required much more than the amount recommended on the bag and I know several individuals who’ve had the opposite experience – their dogs have required much less than what’s recommended on the bag. It’s just like people – there are some that can seemingly eat whatever they want and remain slim, some that so much as think about a cupcake and they gain 10 pounds and others that fall somewhere in between. Feeding charts on the bag are nothing more than a recommendation. What I do personally is feed my dogs based on calories – many people hate this method however I’ve found it to be the most successful. I know how many calories each of my dogs need per day to maintain optimum body condition and I feed them based on calories – not % of body weight, cups of food, etc. This also accounts for differences in caloric density between foods. It’s not time consuming for me because after years of doing it I, for the most part, have the calorie content of every food memorized or can make a very accurate estimate. As for accounting for the canned topper, in general, one large can of food is roughly equal in calories to 1 C. of kibble. So if you feed one can a day, feed once less cup of kibble or if you feed 1/2 can a day feed 1/2 c. less kibble, etc.

    #21495 Report Abuse
    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    Hi julie –

    Thanks for the info on CC! They still never got back to me.

    #21514 Report Abuse

    We’re picking up our new Great Dane pup next weekend and after researching foods I really need to make a decision. She is currently being fed 4health Large Breed, but we’ve also heard really good things about the Costco “Nature’s Domain – Salmon”. Which would you recommend?

    Sara

    #21516 Report Abuse
    DogFoodie
    Member

    Hi Please Pass the Calgon,

    The 4Health Large Breed that your pup is eating now is a grain inclusive product and Nature’s Domain is grain free; but, personally, I wouldn’t recommend either, primarily for the reason that both are Diamond products. Until your pup makes the transition to his/her new home, I’d probably keep him/her on the 4Health for a least a few weeks to avoid any more digestive upset that comes with the transition to a new home.

    One very important thing with a large breed puppy is making certain that there’s an appropriate Calcium level ~ did you take a look at the documents that Hound Dog Mom shared at the very beginning of this thread? She included a list of foods that have Calcium levels appropriate for large breeds as well as some critical information for raising a large breed through puppyhood ~ you’ll want to take a look at the information she shared.

    #21544 Report Abuse
    Lemdem
    Participant

    I’m loving this thread! It’s really informative!

    I work at Petco, and I have a lot of pet parents come in when they get a new puppy. Not everyone can afford (or is willing to pay for) these more expensive, quality brands, and I was wondering if you might be able to show me a few formulas in the different price ranges so I can recommend the best food for their budget. I’ve always had small breed dogs, so cost isn’t as much of an issue for me as it is for parents of dogs who will eat 4+ cups a day.

    Is Nutro Max Large Breed Puppy a decent food in the $1/lb range? It seems to be the best one i’ve seen in the price range. It’s got a bunch of corn and wheat, but still manages to get a 3.5 on DFA, which is pretty impressive for $30 a bag. Is their LBP formula worth anything?

    Any other suggestions? The cheapo brands we carry at my store are Purina( Chef Michaels, Puppy Chow, Beneful, One) & Pedigree, and a small jump up in price, Iams and Nutro Max.

    Of those foods, in those two price ranges, which one would be the least harmful for a large breed puppy? The Purina and Pedigree are such garbage, does it even make a difference which one you feed?

    Whole Earth Farms is also around the Nutro Max price range, at about $40 a bag. Is the adult formula appropriate for LB puppies?

    I’ve read a lot of different things about LBP nutrition. Is it true that if an appropriate LBP formula is not available, then an adult formula is better than a regular puppy food?

    I really appreciate all of your time! Your list was really, really helpful.

    #21546 Report Abuse
    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    Hi lemdem –

    Glad you found this thread helpful 🙂

    Nutro Max LBP and Whole Earth Farms are both too high in calcium for a LBP. I have no idea about the Purina/Pedigree products, I’ve never looked into them as they’re not something I’d ever recommend. I would assume that a “large breed puppy” formula manufactured by Purina would have appropriate calcium levels though, so if someone wanted to feed a cheap brand I’d probably (reluctantly)recommend going with a Purina LBP formula. However, I honestly doubt that anyone considering feeding their pup something such as Beneful or Pedigree would have any concern for proper growth and prevention of developmental orthopedic disease. I wouldn’t ever recommend feeding an adult food to a puppy – an “all life stages” formula is fine, but not a formula labeled for “maintenance” (check the AAFCO statement on the bag because some “adult” foods are actually approved for all life stages” – meaning that they’re essentially a puppy formula). Maintenance foods are generally too low in protein and fat for a puppy (and also – imo – for adult dogs) and can be too low in certain vitamins and minerals for a growing dog. Due to the lower calorie content found in most adult formulas (in comparison to puppy or all life stages formulas), a pup may actually end up consuming more calcium per calorie even if the calcium percentage by weight is lower. Very young puppies could also have difficulty meeting their energy needs on a low calorie adult formula.

    #21547 Report Abuse
    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    Hi calgon –

    The only “large breed” 4Health formula I’m familiar with is their adult formula – I’m certain they don’t have a large breed puppy formula. I’m not sure of the calcium levels in the 4Health Large Breed adult formula – but you would not want to feed an adult formula to a growing puppy. The 4Health Large Breed adult formula is very low in protein and fat and doesn’t meet the nutrition needs of a growing puppy – at only 24% protein and 12% fat I wouldn’t even recommend feeding this to an adult dog. The calcium levels in the 4Health puppy formula are too high. The Nature’s Domain Salmon formula does have appropriate levels of calcium and I would feed comfortable recommending this for a large breed puppy.

    #21553 Report Abuse
    Lemdem
    Participant

    So I just called Purina and Iams.


    So Purina One: (2*)

    Protein: 28
    Fat: 13
    Fiber: 6
    Calcium: 1.1-1.3

    Iams (2.5*)

    Protein: 26
    Fat: 14
    Fiber: 4
    Calcium: 0.65-0.80

    Nutro Max: (3.5*)
    Protein: 26
    Fat: 14
    Fiber: 4
    Calcium: 1-1.5

    These are all in a similar price range. Which one will do the least harm?

    • This reply was modified 10 years, 12 months ago by Lemdem.
    #21556 Report Abuse
    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    Eh – I’d probably go with the Iams..

    #21557 Report Abuse
    Lemdem
    Participant

    Thanks so much!

    #21607 Report Abuse
    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    Hi Everyone –

    I’ve completed the new and improved list of foods. I just wanted to say that the responses from many of the companies’ customer service teams were disappointing – this is why everything took longer than expected. I was very surprised by the number of companies that didn’t respond to my email inquiries and/or didn’t answer their phone during business hours. I did attempt to contact every company that has a growth or all life stages formula rated four stars or higher but many of the attempts were unsuccessful. I sent the emails out about two weeks ago now which should have provided ample opportunity for companies to respond.

    https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BwApI_dhlbnFTXhUdi1KazFzSUk/edit

    • This reply was modified 10 years, 12 months ago by Hound Dog Mom.
    #21609 Report Abuse
    InkedMarie
    Member

    Bravo to you for doing all that work!

    #21610 Report Abuse
    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    Thanks Marie.

    #21611 Report Abuse
    EHubbman
    Participant

    You rock so much!! Thanks for all the hard work, I know my little guy and I definitely appreciate it!

    #21613 Report Abuse
    theBCnut
    Member

    Thanks HDM!! You are a treasure!!

    #21615 Report Abuse
    InkedMarie
    Member

    Yes, she is, Patty! She must sleep a couple hours a night; she’s young, she can do that. Me, I need my 7-8 hours!

    #21616 Report Abuse

    Thanks HDM!

    I have to say all this research is making my head spin…I just want a good, and also reasonably priced, food that will keep my Great Dane pup healthy, happy and growing well. It seems every article I read or site I research says something different is imperative. We have Costco, Tractor Supply, Petsmart, Petco available nearby but none of the employees I’ve talked to seem that informed. Calcium good, calcium bad, protein high, protein low, grain based, grain free, raw….aaack!

    #21618 Report Abuse
    glavoie
    Participant

    Hi Hound Dog Mom, Thanks for all your info. I have started my 6 month old Bernese Mountain dog puppy on Wellness Core Puppy food as recommended off your list for large breed pups. Just one more question, How long do you suggest he stay on puppy food? He’s about 60 pounds right now.
    Thanks
    Grace

    #21619 Report Abuse
    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    Aw, thanks guys. Hope it comes in handy for some new puppy owners 🙂

    #21620 Report Abuse
    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    Hi Please Pass the Calgon –

    Unfortunately, many pet store employees aren’t very well versed in nutrition – especially those that work at the big box stores such as Petsmart and Petco. I know it’s all a lot to take in and and can be a little overwhelming. If you’re a new large breed puppy owner I think the articles I posted links to at the beginning of this thread would be a great place to start researching. As far as calcium – you want to control calcium levels until the puppy is at least 8 months old. High protein is preferable, I personally prefer foods to contain at least 30% protein. I would say that raw would be the best option, followed by canned or dehydrated and then kibble. Feel free to ask any questions if they come up – either here in the forums or on the review section of the site. There are many knowledgeable posters here just waiting to help.

    • This reply was modified 10 years, 12 months ago by Hound Dog Mom.
    #21622 Report Abuse
    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    Hi glavoie –

    I personally recommend keeping dogs on either a “growth”/”all life stages” food for life. There are a few quality foods labeled for “maintenance” (likely due to simply to the company’s marketing preferences), but the best foods are generally going to be growth/all life stages formulas. Maintenance formulas tend to be too low and protein and fat and there’s no reason the quality of a dog’s food needs to be reduced just because they end the growth phase. Once your pup is around 8 – 10 months or so you can, however, stop monitoring calcium levels so closely – at this age pups are through their most rapid phase of growth and gain the ability to regulate calcium absorption.

    #21623 Report Abuse
    Swissy Mix
    Participant

    Thank you, Hound Dog Mom, for taking the time to update the list. It’s much appreciated! After numerous tries on various dog foods, our puppy seems to be happy and thriving (and not eating his own poop!) on Zignature. Zignature’s salmon one is on your list, but not the duck, turkey or lamb. All four list a min. of 1.0% calcium. When I saw your updated list, I was surprised to see only the salmon on your list still. We would like to rotate among the various Zignature products so our puppy could get some meat variety. Were the calcium % max different on the salmon than on the other three? Just curious why the other three didn’t make the list is all. Thanks again!

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