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I was born and raised in South Florida. I lived there until February of this year when I moved to Central Florida. Now I live in Apopka, FL. I have one dog, Max, who is an almost 8 year old Great Dane (see profile pic).
Hi Patrick. I don’t have experience with GSD’s specifically, but I do know that large breed puppies have specific dietary needs. You have to have the correct amount and balance of calcium and phosphorous in the food or they could develop orthopedic issues. Also, you must not overfeed. Slow and steady growth is best. The large breed puppy nutrition thread is a great resource.
Hound Dog Mom, a very knowledgeable member made a list of foods appropriate for large breed puppy growth. All foods on the list are 4 or 5 stars. See here: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BwApI_dhlbnFTXhUdi1KazFzSUk/edit
There are some affordable 4 and 5 star foods that won’t break the bank. You can get the best selection and price by ordering online. I like Chewy.com and Petflow.com. Both ship free with a $49 order. The most affordable foods with grain from the list are: Dr. Tim’s Kinesis, Nutrisource Large Breed Puppy, and Victor Select (Chicken & Rice or Lamb & Rice). The most affordable grain-free is Earthborn Holistic (Meadow Feast or Coastal Catch). Other grain-free foods I would consider are Wellness Core Puppy and Nature’s Variety Instinct Turkey. Grain-free foods are more expensive but you can offset the cost of feeding grain-free by alternating with grain-inclusive foods as long as your dog tolerates both. It’s best to rotate through different foods and not feed the same thing all the time. I hope this helps. Someone else may chime in and give you more specifics about GSD’s specifically.
I’m a fan of the big dogs. Great Danes are my favorite. I also would like a Shiloh Shepherd and a Borzoi one day.
Where are you located? I believe no one has responded yet because these dog foods aren’t available in the US where most of us are. The Farmina brand has been reviewed on this site but only the grain-free varieties. They received 5 stars. https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/farmina-nd-grain-free-dog-food/
As Patty said, your dog is old enough now that you don’t have to worry about feeding a food appropriate for large breed puppy growth. This is what I look for in a good dog food: 30% or more protein with named meat or meat meals (ie chicken and chicken meal) and grain-free (some grains are ok if your dog does well with them, I still wouldn’t feed grains all the time).
The Enova food that you posted the analysis for looks good. The two Farmina links you posted look like good foods too. All 3 of those foods have 30% protein or higher. I prefer higher protein foods. I don’t like the Sam’s Field foods because they are lower protein. I would not feed the Fitmin foods. The Salmon & Potato has WAY too much potato (40%) and low protein. The first and major ingredient should be protein not carbohydrate. The Fitmin Rabbit & Rice has the same problem but to a lesser extent. It has 28% rice and 25% meat. Still to much carbohydrate and low protein. I would avoid foods with that much carbohydrate.
Bottomline: The Enova and Farmina foods look good. If you want to feed more variety, look for foods similar to those. Stay away from foods that have more carbohydrates than protein.
I hope that answered your questions and was helpful.
I’m not 100% sure but I think that HDM doesn’t feel the need to give her dogs a lot of fruits/veggies. I think that’s why there’s a big difference in the amount of veggie mix in HDM’s recipes versus Dr. Becker’s. I don’t think you’re going to throw off the calcium/phosphorous with the differing amount of veggies. I imagine you could feed them more or less veggies depending how their systems handle it and if they like it or not. The main component of calcium/phosphorous in the meat/bone. I believe the supplements in HDM’s recipes are for 3 adult dogs in the 65-75 pound range (I think, going by memory here). If you are unsure about the amounts of supplements you should be giving for your dogs’ weights just ask. I know I wrote it all down once.
Hopefully more people will chime in. I’ve only been doing raw for about 6 months now so I still consider myself new at it. Good luck!
Sorry I don’t have a lot of time to respond during the week. I just moved and started a new job and am still settling in to a routine.
Hot dogs, no matter the quality, are still processed meat. I try to avoid it at all costs. Most of the calories in hot dogs (80%) come from fat. They also have preservatives and a lot of sodium. I use nutritiondata.com to get a general idea of the nutritional profile of different foods. Giving your dogs eggs (raw or cooked) and fresh meats like chicken breast and thighs and beef is the way to go. As far as feeding raw, you shouldn’t be leaving the food down for anywhere near an hour. It only takes my dog 5-10 minutes to eat his food. The general rule of thumb is to let them eat for 15 minutes and then pick up the food. If there is any left, put it in the refrigerator in a covered container. You can feed what is left at the next meal.
That’s just my two cents. As always, I hope it’s helpful in some way. I share the same attitude as you- I am always willing to learn and I welcome those who want to share their knowledge with me.
I agree with what Ana said. I have a Great Dane as well so I understand the challenge that feeding a giant breed can be sometimes. I would avoid the hot dogs too. I only use hot dogs (good quality, all meat, all natural) for very special rewards. It’s not something you want to feed all the time.
My Dane was always slightly overweight on kibble no matter what brand I fed or how much I reduced his portion. The best thing I ever did for his health was switch him to The Honest Kitchen and raw. THK is a dehydrated food. You add water and let it rehydrate before serving it. It would be great for traveling in your motorhome with. You can incorporate some raw food instead of hot dogs if the concept of raw doesn’t bother you. There are a number of high quality raw frozen foods out there. I like Primal and Stella & Chewy’s the best. I started making my own homemade raw food because it was cheaper for me.
If you want to feed kibble, definitely check out the 4 and 5 star rated kibbles on this site. Everybody has their preferences. A few I like and have fed my Dane are: Earthborn Holistic, Annamaet Grain Free, Go! Fit & Free, Acana Regionals (Grain Free), and Orijen. Others I like are Horizon Legacy, Dr. Tim’s, and Victor. I would feed the 7 month old a food from Hound Dog Mom’s list of foods that are appropriate for a large breed puppy: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BwApI_dhlbnFTXhUdi1KazFzSUk/edit All of these foods are 4 or 5 stars and have the appropriate amount of calcium for a growing large breed puppy.
Good luck and have fun with your newly adopted pups!
Hi angele normand,
A homemade cooked diet is doable but you’re going to have to be really careful with the calcium/phosphorous. I’ve never cooked for a large breed puppy just adults so I don’t know how to go about making sure the calcium and phosphorous is at the right level. Hopefully Patty or someone else that is knowledgeable will chime in. Here is a website to get you started though: http://dogaware.com/diet/homemade.html This website has a wealth of info. I would go through it thoroughly. Also, the book “Real Food for Dogs and Cats” by Dr. Becker would be worth purchasing in my opinion. It explains everything about what canine diets need and how to make them. There are recipes for raw and cooked meals.
Good luck and good for you for wanting to do the best for your new furbaby!
I do like Dr. Becker’s stuff. It makes sense to me and I like how she presents her information. The eggshell can be beneficial because it is a source of calcium. I do not give my dog the shell because I don’t buy organic eggs and I can’t be sure of what’s been sprayed on them. I just crack a raw egg into my Dane’s food bowl and mix it with his other stuff. He loves it. I will also cooks eggs over easy for him. He likes them both ways. The only dairy product I will give my dog is kefir because it’s 99% lactose free. He may get cheese if I need to give him pills. Other than that I don’t see a need for dairy. I don’t know why kibbles include cheese. Fromm has the cheese. Orijen has eggs. I’ll be honest- I’m not a fan of Fromm. Some people rave about it but my dog never liked it.February 8, 2014 at 8:10 pm in reply to: Feeding Raw (non-commercial) to Large Breed Puppies #33463 Report Abuse
They are beautiful!!! Solace is one of the breeders I had bookmarked. Thank you so much for sharing!February 8, 2014 at 2:23 pm in reply to: Feeding Raw (non-commercial) to Large Breed Puppies #33412 Report Abuse
Hi Sue’s Zoo,
Glad to hear it’s going well. Can you post a pic of your pups? I’m seriously considering a shiloh for my next dog.
The general concensus is that it is safe to switch over to a food with higher calcium level at 10 months old. Orijen is a really good food. You could try the Orijen Adult when your pup is 10 months old. I also like Acana Regionals (Grain-free), Annamaet Grain-free, and Petcurean Go! Fit & Free Adult.
I give tumeric and omega 3s (fish or krill oil) daily. I buy my tumeric from Swanson’s Vitamins. You can get organic bulk tumeric by Starwest Naturals on their website. See my previous post to Lablubber for the article on Tumeric and dosage. You can give toppers with every meal. I would limit the fish to twice a week. You can also give eggs (cooked or raw) as a topper. You want to exchange the toppers with his food based on calories. Figure out how many calories the topper has and give him that much less food. Say the topper is 100 cal. Figure out how much food you need to remove based on the kcal/cup provided on the bag or website for your kibble. Ex- you would give 1/4 cup less food if your kibble is 400 kcal/cup. I hope I explained that well enough.
As far as what to look for in a food for your dog at 10 months and after is really up to you. I prefer to feed a high protein (30% or higher), grain-free (though not opposed to grain-inclusive if not fed all the time and high quality grains or pseudo-grains like oats, quinoa, or millet), and china-free ingredients (need to contact the manufacturer). I have fed my Great Dane Orijen, Acana, Annamaet, Earthborn Holistic, and Go! Fit & Free with no problems. Others that I would try if I still fed kibble (I feed raw and dehydrated now) are: Dr. Tim’s Kinesis grain-free, Victor GF Ultra Pro, and Timberwolf.
I hope that helps. 🙂
I just wanted to say that I didn’t intentionally ignore your post. I tend not to respond unless I feel 100% sure in the advice I can offer. I personally didn’t go through the LBP phase. I adopted my Great Dane when he was 2. I feed a combination of raw and dehydrated but I know that not everyone is comfortable in feeding raw. I fed my boy kibble for 5 years before I started learning about raw.
I think that coconut oil, flax, and fish oil are great supplements to be adding right now. I don’t think it’s wise to give a ton of supplements to puppies right off the bat. Those 3 though are great. The only other thing you might want to consider is digestive enzymes and probiotics if you notice your pup needs a little extra digestive support. I give them to my dog because he’s older. You can also give a little bit of kefir. You can find it in the grocery store. It has 10 strains of probiotics. It’s much better than yogurt. You’d have to feed way more yogurt to get the same probiotic benefit as kefir. Also, I too switch off fish oil with krill oil. I would definitely continue to do that. They don’t need as much krill oil as fish oil because it is more bioavailable so you’ll want to watch your dosage. Here is info on krill oil from Dr. Becker: http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/krill-oil-for-pets.aspx
Here is an article from Dr. Becker on using Tumeric: http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2012/11/12/turmeric.aspx She provides dosage at the bottom. “Small to medium-sized dogs can be given 250 milligrams twice a day, and large to giant breeds should get 500 milligrams two to three times a day.” Here is an article on coconut oil if you haven’t seen it already: http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/the-health-benefits-of-coconut-oil/
If I were feeding kibble from HDM’s list, my top picks would be Earthborn Holistic and Annamaet. I have fed both to my dog and he did really well on them. I haven’t used it but I like the look of Dr. Tim’s. I also used The Honest Kitchen. I’ve been using for almost 6 years now. It’s a dehydrated food that you rehydrate with water before serving. It’s not raw because it has been heated during the dehydration process, though at a lot lower temperature than what kibble is exposed to when being extruded. You can use it as a topper if you want. The Thrive and Love varieties are complete and balanced with the correct Ca/P ratio for a LBP.
I helped my sister research other alternatives for renal diets for her dog. The best source of information I found was: http://dogaware.com/health/kidney.html
Also, if you post on the review side, Shawna has experience with this topic as her dog had kidney problems from a puppy.
Good luck! 🙂
Yes, Stephepn Langer’s 15 strain is the probiotic you want. There is a debate as to whether it is ok to mix kibble with raw. It seems some dogs do fine with it while others don’t. I mixed raw with kibble for my Dane for months and he was fine. Now he eats raw and THK, no kibble. Some people say that because the kibble takes longer to digest than raw that the raw stays in the digestive tract for too long and gives bacteria time to multiply and possibly make your dog sick. I’ve never had it happen but there are people who are very passionate about it. I think it is fine to mix grain-inclusive with grain-free kibble. People mix kibble all the time. I wouldn’t do it long term because you miss out on the benefits of rotation but if you’re doing it short term to see what your dog tolerates/does well on then I thinks it’s perfectly fine.
I hope that was helpful. 🙂
It looks pretty good to me. Nothing in it I would red flag. I wouldn’t want to feed it all the time because of the rice. I think it would be a good food to have in a rotation. You could switch back and forth with the Acana.
I would second GizmoMom. Acana and Orijen are the best. They are made by the same company. If you can’t afford Orijen, Acana is the way to go. You could also try the Fromm. Some dogs do really well on it and others have been reporting that their dogs are getting sick on it. I had a dog on the Fromm Gold Reduced Calorie for months with no problems. Keep in mind it is good to rotate foods for your pup so s/he is not eating the same thing all the time.
GSDmommy, is his brother picky too? From what you’ve said, it sounds to me like he is just a picky eater. Our pit bull is like that. It was a lot of trial and error to see what he liked. I’d buy smaller bags and rotate frequently. It sounds like he may like fish and chicken foods so far. You are going to be pretty limited if you don’t want to order online. Have you tried Wellness Core Puppy yet? That should be available locally.
My Dane used to get bored when he was eating kibble and I had to change his food after every bag. He would only eat poultry based foods (chicken, turkey, duck…). It was a pain in the butt. I added canned food and The Honest Kitchen as toppers so he would get other protein sources mixed in. I thought he was pretty picky. About 4 months ago I switched him completely over to The Honest Kitchen and raw. He is not picky anymore. He eats everything now: beef, pork, lamb, chicken, duck, goose, salmon, whitefish. So far I have not found anything he won’t eat except for THK Thrive (I don’t think he likes the quinoa in it).
I’m sure that was not too terribly helpful for you but that is my experience with 2 “picky” dogs. I hope you figure it out. Good luck 🙂
My rottie just passed last month from lymphoma. When he was eating kibble he did really well on Acana Regionals. There are 4 grain-free varieties. Orijen is another great food made by the same company that makes Acana. Other grain-free foods we tried and liked were: Annamaet grain-free, Horizon Legacy, Go! Fit & Free Adult, and Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural. Others I like but haven’t tried personally are Dr. Tim’s Kinesis grain-free and Victor grain-free.
Sometimes dogs eating kibble (and especially older dogs) can benefit from probiotics and digestive enzymes. I buy mine from swansonvitamins.com. They’re made for humans and pretty cheap. I get the regular Swanson brand digestive enzymes and Dr. Langer’s 15 strain probiotic (they’re buy 1 get 1 free right now). I crush the enzyme tablet and open the probioic capsule and mix it up in the food. You can add a little canned food, yogurt, canned pumpkin or something else so it is not just powder mixed with dry food. My almost 8 year old Great Dane is super regular and not very gassy at all. He doesn’t eat kibble but he gets probiotics and enzymes. A lot of people also like the Mercola pet enzymes and probiotics. They are more expensive but they are already in a convenient powder form.
Hope this is helpful to you.
The general consensus is that puppies can start regulating calcium uptake around 8-10 months old. To play is really safe you could wait until 1 year.
Read this for an understanding of what “all life stages” means: https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/frequently-asked-questions/aafco-nutrient-profiles/
Essentially you can feed an “all life stages” food to a puppy because it is approved for growth and reproduction as well as adult maintenance. A lot of the labels on foods (ie large breed puppy, large breed adult, senior, etc) is just marketing. If pet food companies really knew what they were doing in formulating dog foods, there would be a lot more “large breed puppy” foods on the list. If I were you, I would not get caught up on the label. You don’t have to feed a food specifically for a large breed puppy or large breed adult. You need to make sure it is approved by AAFCO for growth and reproduction (aka puppy food) or all life stages.
I had to google FCP surgery. This was done to correct elbow dysplasia? As far as supplements go, I have heard the same. You don’t want to give supplements until they are done growing. I think you’d be safe starting them at 1 year. Does your vet have an opinion on this? I think you are ok with giving the salmon oil as long as you account for the calories that it adds. How much you feed will depend on the body condition of your dog. It is hard to say how much his metabolism will slow down. I would just watch his form and if he looks like he’s getting chunky, cut back on the food. If he starts to look too skinny, increase his food. Refer to the body condition chart in the Dr. Becker article I posted previously. I keep my dog lean because he is older and has arthritis. It is much easier on the joints.
Bottom line- if I were you I would continue to feed a food on HDM’s list and hold off on additional supplements until 1 year or per your vet’s instructions. I hope that is helpful to you.
There are 3 reasons why the grain-inclusive Great Life didn’t make the list:
1- the calcium was too high.
2- the food is not 4 stars or above.
3- they didn’t respond to HDM’s inquiry about their actual calcium levels.
I’m not sure which one it was, but HDM said that if I food wasn’t on the list then it was because of one of the above reasons.
What are you still searching for? I would not be afraid to use the Wellness Core or NVI Turkey. I have to concur with Patty. The issue with growing large breed puppies is not protein. They need to grow slow and not have too much calcium. HDM has figured out the calcium for us with her list. As for slow growth, they can grow slow on high protein/high calorie foods but you can NOT overfeed them. If they get too many calories and grow too fast then you will run into problems. Regarding how much to feed- yes, you would feed less of a high protein/grain-free food because it has more calories. Those foods tend to be more calorically dense because they have more meat which means more fat and fat contains double the amount of calories as protein. If you fed a grain-inclusive the calories would probably be lower because there are more carbs (from the grains) and less fat. So you could feed more of a grain-inclusive. It depends on the dog. I had a rottie (passed last month from cancer) that acted hungry all the time no matter what food he was eating, grain-free or grain-inclusive. I suspect labs can be the same way. If I were you, I would start feeding the Wellness or NVI Turkey and see how he does on them. If he does well then great! Add those to a rotation list. Then you can try a grain-inclusive like Dr. Tim’s Kinesis and see how he does. If he does well on both types of food then I see no real reason to why he can’t eat grain-inclusive. You can alternate between grain-free and grain-inclusive foods.
That’s my 2 cents. I hope it helps alleviate some of the confusion. Here is a great article about large breed puppy growth by Dr. Karen Becker: http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2012/04/09/slow-growth-diets-for-giant-breed-puppy.aspx I feel like this is a great summary of what this whole thread is about and it explains it much better than I can.
Any addition of fresh foods is beneficial as long as you don’t go over 20% which will unbalance the kibble.
Thank you! He will be 8 in May.
LOL. I don’t think we could be much farther apart. I’m in Florida.
Shasta, where are you located? I have half of a 32oz bottle left from when I tried it.
The fat content really depends on your dog. I use the leanest meat I can find (93/7 or 90/10) because my Dane can put on weight really fast. My sister has a boxer/cur mix that has a high metabolism and is really active. She feeds 80/20 because her dog burns the calories. You could try using meat with higher fat content. That would increase the calories of his meal without adding volume. I wouldn’t go straight to 80/20 though. I would increase the fat gradually to see how he does with it.
Do you think his dry coat could be due to the weather? Some dogs get drier skin/coats in the winter when the air is drier and we use indoor heating. It’s also possible it could be due to not enough fat in his diet. The coconut oil should help that.
Freehold: I see! With your situation, I think mobility essentials makes sense. I would say that it looks like a good product to help prevent joint deterioration. If gives you room to increase the glucosamine/MSM/chondroitin when it is needed. Max is old and “creaky” so to speak. I definitely know when products aren’t working for him because his joints pop much more.
I have been using THK for 5 years now. My dog has larger stools when eating THK and raw then when eating 100% raw. I believe it’s because of the vegetables and high fiber. I also think this is good for some dogs. The feeding guidelines for Preference say you can add a fat supplement such as salmon, flax, or coconut oil which will add calories. You could also contact THK. I’ve heard their customer service is really good.
Thanks for the update on Duke! I may try B2B for our pit next. He was eating the Timberwolf Elk for about 2 weeks. He was doing well on it and seemed to be losing weight (which is good because he’s a little chunky). However, getting him to eat it was a nightmare. It seems he didn’t care for the smell/taste of it and we had to add all kinds of toppers to get him to eat. He is eating Acana Wild Prairie right now with no coaxing needed. I would still recommend trying the Timberwolf if you’re interested. Our pit is too picky for his own good.
Freehold, the liquid supplements sit ok with Max but they don’t work. I also tried Corta-flx (the powder) which was recommended by Patty. It worked ok for Max but not any better than the glucosamine/MSM/chondroitin mix I make. I buy the 1500mg glucosamine hcl tablets, 1500mg MSM tablets, and 600mg chondroitin sulfate capsules from Swanson’s. He gets 3 of each per day for a total of 4500mg glucosamine, 4500mg MSM, and 1800mg chondroitin. So far this has worked the best for him (keep in mind he is 150lbs and almost 8 years old). I remember looking at the mobility essentials but it wouldn’t work for Max. Max only responds to glucosamine hcl not glucosamine sulfate. I’m glad it seems to be working for Harry!
Shasta220, I hope Actiflex works for your lab. It didn’t work for my Dane but all dogs respond differently. Good luck!
Hi Connicorso! Hound Dog Mom already did all the hard work contacting companies for the actual amount of calcium in their foods. Protein is not the issue, rather the calcium is. Here is the list that HDM made for large breed growth appropriate foods: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BwApI_dhlbnFTXhUdi1KazFzSUk/edit
Regarding Puppy or Adult food, AAFCO only acknowledges to types of food: 1- growth and reproduction and 2- adult maintenance. See here: https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/frequently-asked-questions/aafco-nutrient-profiles/
I would make sure the food you feed meets the requirements for growth or is for “all life stages.”
Pinnacle has 3 varieties (though none grain-free) that made the cut to be on her list. It is a 4 star rated food. I used to feed my Dane the duck & potato variety and he really liked it and did well on it. Wellness Core Puppy is on HDM’s list too. It is a 5 star food. I haven’t personally used it but a lot of people seem to like it.
Remember that you don’t have to pick one food and feed it forever. The best thing you can do is rotate the food you feed your pup. Choose a few different brands and a few different protein sources. Just like with people, variety in the diet is important. You can even rotate grain-inclusive foods with grain-free foods. Also, just because someone suggests a food or it has good reviews doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for your pup. Every dog is different. If a food doesn’t seem to be working, scratch it off your list and move on to the next one.
My top 3 picks for grain-free foods would be: Earthborn Holistic (Meadow Feast and Coastal Catch), Annamaet (Salcha and Aqualuck), and Wellness Core Puppy. My top 3 picks for grain-inclusive would be: Dr. Tim’s Kinesis, Annamaet Ultra, and Nature’s Variety Prairie (Puppy or Large Breed Puppy).
Hope that helps! 🙂
I was looking up other bargain high quality foods for another thread and have more options for you. Annamaet Ultra (32% protein) is $70 for a 40lb bag ($1.75/pound). Dr. Tim’s Pursuit (30% protein) is $66 for a 44lb bag ($1.50/lb).
To use your example, the brand overall has a 4 star rating meaning the varieties listed rate 4 stars unless otherwise noted. Some varieties can rate higher or lower than others depending on their ingredients. The ones in the list without a rating next to them are 4 stars, the others rate as noted next to their name in the list. I hope that helps you make sense of things.
I love THK and have been using it for going on 6 years. You have too look at the food based on calories. THK Love has 514 cal per cup. NV LID Turkey has 444 cal per cup. You would not have to feed as much of the THK as you would the NV. A 10lb box of THK has 40 dry cups in it. To determine how long a box of Love will last you, figure out how many calories you will feed a day then convert that to cups per day. Divide 40 cups by the number of cups per day you’ll feed and that will give you how many days the box will last. I mix THK with raw at a 50/50 mix so I feed my Dane 1.5 cups THK per day. One 10lb box lasts me about 26 days. My Dane only eats about 1700 calories per day.
Overall, I’m sure THK will cost a bit more than feeding kibble but less than feeding all canned or commercial raw. You just have to decide if the extra cost is worth it to you to feed a superior food that’s made with whole foods and human-grade ingredients.
- This reply was modified 7 years, 11 months ago by RescueDaneMom.
The general consensus is that puppies can start regulating calcium uptake at 10 months. Your Danes are both over 10 months so you don’t have to feed one of the foods on HDM’s list. The most important thing is that it is “All Life Stages”. Most of the “large breed,” “giant breed,” “senior” labels are just marketing and there is no real benefit to feeding those foods over a regular ALS food.
Victor is a good food. Most of their varieties are 4 and 5 stars. https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/victor-dog-food/
The Victor Select Professional formula looks good, it’s rated 4 stars. The Hi Pro Plus is 5 stars. You would be ok feeding any of their varieties but I’d stay away from the Multi-Pro Maintenance and the Beef Meal and Brown Rice, both are 3.5 stars.
If you can, it is better to rotate different brands of foods rather than different formulas within the same brand. Any deficiencies or abundances in certain vitamins or minerals will likely be present in all formulas within a brand. If you can rotate different brands, you are more likely to cover all your bases because different brands have different vitamin/mineral profiles. Do you know what other brands your feed store carries? I could help you sort out some of the better ones to choose from if you like.
Edit- regarding transitioning, you may have to do it slowly at first. The more you change the food the easier transition will become. I changed foods after every bag and my Dane could switch cold turkey from bag to bag after awhile. That’s something you’ll need to watch your dogs for. If their stools start becoming loose then you might be transitioning too fast and need to slow it back down.
- This reply was modified 7 years, 11 months ago by RescueDaneMom.
Maybe your bulldog is intolerant of chicken. I find it interesting that all the problems went away on the venison. I would try a food that doesn’t have any chicken in it. The ones I think are available at Petsmart/Petco from HDM’s list are: Pinnacle Trout & Sweet Potato, Pinnacle Duck & Potato, Nature’s Variety Instinct Rabbit Meal Formula, and Nature’s Variety LID Turkey Meal Formula.
Hi crazy mom- There are some affordable, high quality foods out there. I have an almost 8 year old Great Dane and I understand how pricey it can be to feed them.
Annamaet Ultra from HDM’s list is $70 for a 40 pound bag which comes out to $1.75/pound. It has 480 calories/cup so you’ll feed less of it than you would other foods which will also make it stretch further- a good bang for your buck. http://www.chewy.com/dog/annamaet-ultra-32-dry-dog-food/dp/41926
Annamaet Extra is also a possibility. It is lower protein at 26% instead of 32% (I prefer higher protein for my dog). It is $53 for a 40 pound bag ($1.33/pound). It is not as calorically dense as the Ultra at 425 cal/cup so you would need to feed a little more of it. http://www.chewy.com/dog/annamaet-extra-26-dry-dog-food/dp/41927
Dr. Tim’s Kinesis is good too. It’s $61 for a 44 pound bag ($1.39/pound). It has 415 cal/cup and 26% protein. http://www.chewy.com/dog/dr-tims-kinesis-all-life-stages-dry/dp/37810
Victor Select Chicken Meal and Brown Rice or Lamb Meal and Brown Rice are also affordable. The chicken is 391 cal/cup, 24% protein, and $55 for 40 pounds ($1.38/pound). http://www.amazon.com/Victor-Dog-Food-Chicken-40-Pound/dp/B00COVMFW4/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1389619583&sr=8-6&keywords=victor+select+dog+food
The lamb is 381 cal/cup, 24% protein, and $59 for 40 pounds ($1.48/pound). This would be good so you can alternate proteins and not feed just chicken all the time. http://www.amazon.com/Victor-Dog-Food-Chicken-40-Pound/dp/B00COVSBL8/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1389619583&sr=8-9&keywords=victor+select+dog+food
Those are all grain-inclusive foods. Grain-free cost a bit more and I don’t know exactly what your budget is. I think Earthborn Holistic is the most affordable and high quality grain free food out there. Meadow Feast and Coast Catch are on HDM’s list. They are both $47.99 for a 26 pound bag ($1.85/pound). The MF is lamb-based, 26% protein, and 400 cal/cup. http://www.chewy.com/dog/earthborn-holistic-meadow-feast/dp/36414
The CC is fish-based, 32% protein, and 435 cal/cup. http://www.chewy.com/dog/earthborn-holistic-coastal-catch/dp/36406
As far as your Danes putting weight on, as long as their not ribby it’s ok for them to be on the lean side. It’s better to be lean than overweight. You don’t want added stress on the joints.
I hope I helped with the food recommendations. If you can afford it, I would try alternating the grain-inclusive foods with grain-free foods. You could do Annamaet Ultra, Earthborn Meadow Feast, Dr. Tim’s, Earthborn Coastal Catch. That way you rotate protein sources (chicken, lamb, and fish) as well as protein percentages (32% and 26%).
I just wanted to say that I love THK too and have been using it for 5 years. There are 2 formulas on HDM’s list: Thrive (4 stars, has quinoa in it so not technically grain-free but still an awesome food) and Love (5 stars).
Nutrisource is a good food. I think Victor would be good too. It is rated 4 or 5 starts and is reasonably priced. It can be found at some feed stores or online at sites like Petflow.com or Chewy.com. I would feed the Victor Select Hi Pro Plus (30% Protein). You can get it on Amazon- $55 for 40 pounds: http://www.amazon.com/Victor-Dog-Food-Formula-40-Pound/dp/B00CJLP4EA
I also like all of their grain-free formulas and would recommend any of them.
I live in South Florida and the fleas are a killer this year! We have been battling an infestation too. I think the key is to keep from bringing them back inside. We sprayed a yard spray by Virbac on the grass in the back yard where the dogs spend time outdoors. You can buy it online from Petco and Amazon but it was actually cheaper to buy from the vet. If your problem is really bad like ours was, I would recommend spraying the yard where your dogs spend their time then bomb your house a day or two after. You’ll need to treat the yard again in 10 days for the next cycle of fleas, but that should get most of them. That is what worked for us.
To give you an idea, I feed my 150lb almost 8 year old male Great Dane about 1700 calories/day and my mom’s 6 year old, 75lb male pit bull about 900 calories/day. Both dogs are very inactive. They lay around the house most of the day and go on a couple short walks. My sister has a 55lb very active, senior, female boxer mix that needs 1000-1100 calories/day. The more active the dog the more calories they’ll need.
Calories definitely do count. You are correct that there can be a big difference between different proteins and the different brands. I would check the calorie counts on everything you feed and feed the amount by a calorie basis. Ex: 1 large patty of S&C Duck Duck Goose has 285 cal while the Surf & Turf has 470 cal. Your dogs could be getting way more calories than they need which could explain the weight gain. I would try to determine how many calories you need to feed them per day to maintain the right weight and feed that. You’ll end up feeding more of one food and less of another.
Here is the link just in case: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BwApI_dhlbnFTXhUdi1KazFzSUk/edit
It is Wellness Core Puppy.
Hmmm…those sound like red flags to me. I think I’d better leave it alone. Thanks for the help Patty!
I’m currently using the Joint Health powder for dogs. So far so good. I don’t see any miraculous improvement with Max’s arthritis but I know it’s helping some as his joints don’t pop all the time like they do when a supplement is clearly not working. I’m going to try Cortaflex next.
Marie- how did the Bug Off Garlic work for you? I was thinking about trying it.
My Great Dane dreams like your Bentley. He kicks so hard in his sleep that he has kicked himself off my bed…twice! He whines, barks, and growls occasionally too. His biggest thing is running and kicking though. It’s pretty funny. I’ll have to video it sometime.
I have no experience with B2B. My local independent pet store carries Timberwolf Platinum now. I bought a small bag for our pit bull to try and he seemed to like it. We’ll probably buy a big bag of the Black Forest variety in the next couple weeks. I’ll let you know how he does on it.
Thanks Patty! Max is about 150 so he would get 3cc, right?