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  • in reply to: Help picking an appropriate Victor formula? #105226 Report Abuse

    Thanks, all! I ended up going with the High-Pro line given that it has similar nutritional details as to the Dr. Tim’s I’m feeding today. This was recommended by them after I spoke to them directly.

    in reply to: Grain and White Potato Free Dog Foods #42740 Report Abuse

    Fromm Four-Star Nutritionals Grain-Free Lamb & Lentil is also potato-free. 🙂 Innova Prime is also being marketed as Innova Nature’s Table now.

    in reply to: Grain and White Potato Free Dog Foods #33098 Report Abuse

    This is a great thread and I found it very helpful, InkedMarie!

    Wondering if you’ve identified any good treats that are grain-free and potato-free? My list that I’m creating is quite small at the moment (other than raw vegetables, of course).

    in reply to: Large and Giant Breed Puppy Nutrition #23886 Report Abuse

    Thanks! Yes, it is the only Dr. Tim’s food that I’ve tried. I didn’t try the grain-inclusive formula. That’s an idea. They have similar first ingredients and the grain-inclusive Kinesis is 2% higher protein than Fromm’s Adult Gold.

    My only concern with Fromm’s Puppy Gold is that the calcium level is higher — 1.37% as-is and 1.47% dry-matter (vs. 1.16% and 1.24% respectively with the Adult).

    I do normally try and feed a wet food topper, as well.

    I’ve just never been able to get my 2 year old on a food that settled well with her — she’s been on Nature’s Recipe (ugh, I know) and that worked great but was low quality, Taste of the Wild, Acana, and then Fromm’s.

    Perhaps I’ll try the grain-inclusive Kinesis and see how it goes? I do like how their stools are with Dr. Tim’s.

    in reply to: Large and Giant Breed Puppy Nutrition #23863 Report Abuse

    HDM: a few months ago, we talked about converting my 8th month old mastiff/lab mix to Dr. Tim’s GF Kinesis. One of my main purposes for this transition was to also put my 2 year old lab/vizsla on the same food as him.

    He’s doing fine. In fact, they both love the taste. However, Quinn (2 year old) has been chewing her feet like crazy since she transition 100% over to Dr. Tim’s (3 weeks ago). She developed a rash on her stomach and I actually took her to the vet to get her on steroids as over-the-counter wasn’t working. Additionally, they gave me a pill to help with the itching prior to the steroids, but that also did nothing.

    At first, I thought it was her allergies flaring up. She had to be put on steroids last summer. However, she had lasted all of the summer (June and July) without any itching while on Fromm’s Adult Gold. The reason I believe it may be the food is that she’s also thrown up twice since I started feeding it to her.

    The basis for the background question is this:

    In your opinion, can I feed Riggs (now 10 months — will be one year in mid-October) the Fromm’s Adult Gold? Note that I said Adult Gold, not Large Breed Adult Gold.

    Quinn just hasn’t done well on any grain-free food that I’ve fed her. Acana, Taste of the Wild, etc. May be too rich for her. She did fine on Adult Gold — it’s just that I wanted her stools to be a bit firmer. That’s why I decided to try and make a household swap.

    Would really love your feedback as I find it valuable. Thank you very much!

    in reply to: Large and Giant Breed Puppy Nutrition #20028 Report Abuse

    Oh. Whoops! Misunderstood. 🙂 Thanks!

    in reply to: Large and Giant Breed Puppy Nutrition #20025 Report Abuse

    Interesting – Pet Flow includes samples with your order? I was going to go with Chewy over Pet Flow because it’s about $3/$4 cheaper, but… am intrigued by samples!

    in reply to: Large and Giant Breed Puppy Nutrition #19739 Report Abuse

    * Starbright:
    You are most welcome! I wish you the best of luck!
    And I’ve been trying to save money on treats and wanted something healthier for Quinn with her joints, so a few “healthy” suggestions are baby carrots, dehydrated fruit (we use our food dehydrator and make a bunch of apples and bananas when they’re getting a little soft for our taste or if we forget they were in the fridge drawer), and homemade treats (there’s some great peanut butter and pumpkin ones out there). Quinn loooooves apples (no seeds or core!) in any form and sometimes I sprinkle some cinnamon on them. They’re cheap and good for her. Try carrots for sure!
    Also: we subscribe to a few monthly dog subscription boxes that gives us all of our treats — mainly because it feels like Christmas when I open up the boxes. 😉

    in reply to: Large and Giant Breed Puppy Nutrition #19708 Report Abuse

    * InkedMarie:
    Yes! Dog Food Chat – I’m “Grey.” 🙂

    * Sully’s Mom:
    I really just used the sample bags as a treat. I opened them up to see their reaction and fed them a small handful. The reaction between Dr. Tim’s and Earthborn was noticeable, though, and the sample from Dr. Tim’s was larger (5lbs). Earthborn were just little bags (but they did have coupons on each one!). What’s lovely about Earthborn is that they have the UPC for Trees program (see their web site). When I was originally considering Earthborn, I LOVED that idea. I still may feed Costal Catch if I decide to rotate as I’m thinking about, though. Another thing that turned me off a bit about Earthborn is the ash level – it’s a bit higher than Dr. Tim’s. Now, mind you, it’s not as if it automatically makes it a bad food – the pea protein and the ash are just factors that Dr. Tim’s was lower on or didn’t have and that’s how I made my decision between specifically selecting between both of them. Also, something funny — some people mentioned that Dr. Tim’s smells like roasted chicken, but I think it smells like the Iowa State Fair barnyard. 😉 Dr. Tim originally suggested Pursuit for my dog (the one with hip dysplasia), too – because the extra fatty acids in Pursuit would help (per his quote). However, I circled back with him half a year later and he did say that grain-free would suit perfectly fine now that she’s in better health in terms of her joints.

    Kinesis GF has 32% protein, 18% fat,1.51% calcium, 415 cal/cup, and 6.9% ash.
    Pursuit is grain inclusive and has 30% protein, 1.06% calcium, 20% fat, 450 cal/cup, and 6.5% ash.

    They’re both a mainly chicken-based food, with Pursuit being more calories. However, the plus-side with grain-free is that you can feed less. Compare the feeding suggestions. Right there, I’d say that grain-free (in my personal opinion) is superior because 1) it’s grain-free, yay!, 2) you’re going to feed less, 3) they’ll produce less waste because of this, and 4) Kinesis has higher protein. I’m not incredibly knowledgeable about specifics of ingredients, but this is why I chose the grain-free line over the grain inclusive line. GF Kinesis looks to be roughly $5 more per 30lb bag than Pursuit, too – and Dr. Tim mentioned they are considering a 44lb bag of GF Kinesis (grain inclusive Kinesis has this option available) in the future.

    I’m thinking that he might have mentioned Pursuit over the two specifically because your dog is fairly young and likely very active – so he was thinking he’d do quite well on Pursuit. By no means are either a “bad” food to choose – remember, there’s several dogs out there eating low quality food every day. My mother fed our family dogs a food that is a 2 star food for his entire life and he lived to be 12. I know we’re trying to do our best with what they food them, but no matter what – by choosing a 4 star or 5 star food – we are making a better choice.

    in reply to: Large and Giant Breed Puppy Nutrition #19687 Report Abuse

    I’m definitely going to try rotating brands — it’s intriguing to me. 🙂 Do you personally transition between rotations? I know that you feed raw sometimes, but when you’re doing kibble — do you ever switch over cold turkey? My apologies if you’ve acknowledged this question in this thread before. Dr. Tim mentioned 50/50 for three days and then you’re free to swap over.

    in reply to: Large and Giant Breed Puppy Nutrition #19685 Report Abuse

    Each grain-free Earthborn “flavor” has a different protein level. I had originally thought they were similar to the Fromm line — where you could swap them around with no problems. I went with Dr. Tim’s Kinesis grain-free over Earthborn after receiving samples from both brands because Earthborn favors pea protein and I’ve been really impressed with Dr. Tim answering my e-mails and his office assistant when she spoke to me over the phone to get my shipping address. My dog’s really liked Earthborn’s Coastal Catch sample, but they went crazy for Dr. Tim’s.

    Dr. Tim’s is “meatier” than Earthborn. Earthborn has flat little rounded triangles, so easier to eat for smaller breeds. Dr. Tim’s are round nuggets.

    Since you have another Fromm’s bag to go, I’d suggest requesting and/or purchasing samples if they’re available. 🙂

    Just remember that there’s no “PERFECT” dog food. I have to keep telling myself that constantly. 😉

    in reply to: Large and Giant Breed Puppy Nutrition #19672 Report Abuse


    My Quinn (lab/vizsla) was diagnosed with hip dysplasia at 1 year old. I switched her food to grain-free after discovering that, along with a higher protein. She needed to build muscle as she was favoring one side. She has hip dysplasia in both hips.

    In terms of supplements, I can tell you what we’ve done that has made a phenomenal difference. She just turned two and there’s no way in the world I’d have thought she would be at this point. We were pretty certain she was going to need surgery (her range of motion was OK — but we just thought surgery would be more immediate than in the distant future).

    As HDM suggests, a great diet with anti-inflammatory supplements was suggested to us by Iowa State University. Since being recommended, we’ve had her on Nutramax Cosequin DS Double-Strength Chewable Tablets. According to Iowa State, this is the only brand to be clinically proven. You will give her two a day for a month and one a day from then on (directions are on the bottle). Coupled with this, we also immediately started her on one tablet of fish oil per day — 1,000MG (but you may have to feed less/more — consult vet).

    The diet change and supplements helped, but targeted exercise has made the difference, as well. Take your dog swimming. If she doesn’t like to swim, teach her to love it by way of rewards/playing. Swimming is the best for joint issues. Other options provided to us were walking in tall grass (makes her lift her legs all the way as opposed to close together/hopping), walking on a blown up air mattress (good for winter exercise), and frequent walks (as opposed to a long walk — more frequent is better).

    Also — obviously weight. She’s a slim 43 pounds at the moment, but she did get to 50 pounds in the winter and my vet noticed it. Slim is always, always better — and I’ve had people say she’s too thin (mostly because I don’t think most people are accustomed to seeing healthy dogs — harsh, but true… I think a lot of dogs are overweight).

    If you have any questions, let me know. I really enjoy talking about this subject because I couldn’t find enough information when this happened to us. It’s our personal experience, but Quinn is now running full-speed and playing for hours and hours daily. A definite turnaround.

    Good luck. 🙂

    in reply to: Large and Giant Breed Puppy Nutrition #18676 Report Abuse

    Calcium for Primitive Natural is 1.5% per Earthborn representative.

    I have samples coming from Dr. Tim’s (Kinesis grain-free) and from Earthborn (their grain-free line). Really excited to see which my dog’s prefer.

    • This reply was modified 9 years, 9 months ago by Saireah.
    in reply to: Large and Giant Breed Puppy Nutrition #18663 Report Abuse

    Thank you SO much, HDM and Marie.

    I actually contacted Dr. Tim’s last night through e-mail and already have a response. We briefly talked around Christmas, too. I agree — fantastic (and, more importantly, personable) customer service. What appeals to me the most is the price, too. He mentioned that Kinesis Grain Free would be fine for both of my dogs, as well. He’s sending me a 5lb sample of the grain-free at half price (which was very kind of him to offer to cut the price in half).

    Earthborn grain-free is really intriguing, too! A better price than Fromm’s and it looks like there’s different grain-free flavors that I could switch between every other bag to spice up their meal a bit. Side-note: I LOVE that Earthborn plants a tree if you send in the UPC.

    Primitive Naturals: 38% protein / Calcium: not listed on GA on official site? I sent them an e-mail.
    Great Plains: 34% protein / Calcium: 1.50%
    Coastal Catch: 32% protein / Calcium: 1.30%
    Meadow Feast: 26% protein / Calcium: 1.20%
    * Would likely not feed Meadow Feast due to protein level and rotate between Primitive Naturals, Great Plains, and Coastal Catch.

    32% protein / Calcium: 1.51%
    * If I were to feed Dr. Tim’s, I’d probably feel better about use wet food every now and again from my Pawalla box on top of it to add a bit of extra flavors whereas, with Earthborn, they’d be getting a different flavor rotation to keep things interesting.

    Thanks for putting my mind at ease. You’re right about recalls, too — a primary factor is whether or not they were precautionary or if they sat on it until they had reports of dogs being ill. Big difference.

    I’m so happy I posted here. The cost per feeding for us makes these two brands at the top of the list for me. My babies are worth all the money in the world to me, but it’s nice to use part of that money to pamper them with my subscription boxes and still feed a great quality food at a reasonable price. I like that brands such as these recognize that $65+ for a bag of food that’s less than 30lb is just… unreasonable for people with multiple pets in the household. I’d certainly be OK with that if I just had one dog… and not a dog that’s practically a horse. 😉

    in reply to: Large and Giant Breed Puppy Nutrition #18650 Report Abuse

    I was compelled to post in this thread again after I read Hound Dog Mom’s post on the grain-free Four Star Nutritionals page by Fromm: “I think Fromm is a good company but their food is way overpriced for what it is. A 26 lb. bag of the grain free is (depending on the variety) $65 – $70 at my feed store. No way would I pay $65 – $70 for 26 lbs.of food that only has 28% – 30% protein. IMO – there are much better options where you can actually get some meat for your money.”

    Can you clarify what other options you personally find suitable? I value your opinion from this thread and have been considering switching my puppy/adult to Fromm’s 4 Star Nutritionals — but am dismayed by the downgraded rating save the salmon recipe which was due to was “due to a change in our minimum protein requirements to qualify for the 5-star category.” (Thanks Dr. Mike!)

    Updated stats: I have one 8 month old lab/mastiff mix (64 pounds) and a 2 year old lab/viszla mix (43 pounds). Currently, they are on Fromm’s Large Breed Puppy Gold and Large Breed Adult Gold. I’d love to switch them to something that’s:

    * Grain-free
    * Suitable for all life stages
    * Has not had recalls

    I’ve been intrigued by BOGO Bowl as it’s an Iowa company, but it’s simply too much money despite it being for a wonderful cause. What I absolutely loved about the idea of Fromm’s grain-free line is that there’s tons of flavors to choose from and I could mix it up a bit, but the price tag is just not wonderful for a bag of food that’s less than 30lbs when you have TWO big dogs.

    I was considering Dr. Tim’s (grain-free Kinesis), but I noticed that they’re not on your list likely due to the calcium (1.51%)? I’d love to find something that’s a 30lb+ bag of food for $50 – $55. I as intrigued by Dr. Tim’s because both the grain inclusive and grain-free are 5 stars on DFA. Now that he’s passed 8 months, do you think I could switch him to Dr. Tim’s?

    Would you mind sharing what you personally feed?

    Also, as I’ve recently subscribed to Pawalla, they include wet foods in their boxes. Do you suggest adding wet foods to add some variety as a topping to dry every once in a while?

    Thanks for your suggestions! 🙂

    in reply to: Large and Giant Breed Puppy Nutrition #16733 Report Abuse

    I posted earlier in this thread regarding our new foster puppy (then failed foster puppy) Riggs… he’s now six months old and doing great. I have been feeding him Fromm’s Large Breed Puppy Gold. He’s been flourishing on it and it’s a great price in my area ($49 for a 33lb bag). It took me a bit to swallow that it’s only a 4 star food because it is grain inclusive, but my 2 year old lab/vizsla mix has been doing so much better since I took her off of grain-free food. I have her on the Adult Gold and chose the Large Breed Puppy Gold so I could do Fromm’s buy-12-get-13th-free This is strange, I know, and I’m in no way advocating switching to grain-inclusive – it just seemed as if grain-free was too rich for her.

    I wanted to throw the option of Fromm’s Large Breed Puppy Gold out there to everyone as an alternative if you’re a bit concerned about budget. What was interesting to me is that it has less calcium than Fromm’s GF Game Bird Recipe. It does have a bit less protein, but I think it looks pretty good when I did my original research on it. Feel free to correct me, though. 🙂

    And their Large Breed Puppy Gold bags currently have incorrect feeding guidelines on them due to some regulatory issues, but if you e-mail Fromm’s customer service, they will send you a document with the proper guidelines.

    I should note that, once Riggs turns a year old, I am going to try and transition them both to a grain-free Fromm’s 4 Star line and see how Quinn does again. But, for the year in which he is literally inhaling his food, I had to be a bit budget-minded. 🙂

    in reply to: Large and Giant Breed Puppy Nutrition #11803 Report Abuse

    Definitely makes sense. Thanks!
    You seem quite knowledgeable with large breeds, so I have a question if you wouldn’t mind? We’ve decided to keep our foster puppy (yay!) — but I’m not sure how much to feed him given his breed background. Again, his mother was a 60lb black lab and his father was a 150lb purebred English mastiff. I’m going to be feeding him the Fromm Four Star line. Quinn, our 50-ishlb lab/vizsla mix, gets just under 2 cups a day as we’re trying to keep her at a leaner weight due to her hip dysplasia. Ideally, she would be 45-50lbs per our discussion with Iowa State. However, for Mr. Unnamed, how many cups per day would you suggest on the Fromm Four Star line? He is 3 months old.
    Thanks again for your spreadsheet — it solidified my decision to feed Fromm’s!

    in reply to: Large and Giant Breed Puppy Nutrition #11771 Report Abuse

    Hmm! Their calcium for the grain inclusive formula is min. 0.97%. Maybe their site is wrong and your list is still okay? I can send them an e-mail separately and see what they say to me if you’d like?

    in reply to: Large and Giant Breed Puppy Nutrition #11768 Report Abuse

    Hello! This is EXACTLY the thread that I was looking for. We have a 1.5 year old vizsla/lab mix who has hip dysplasia. While I feel as if I didn’t feed her the best food during her first year (Nature’s Recipe – Large Breed Puppy), I have been feeding her better food since. I’m definitely more educated. She’s currently transitioning to Fromm’s Four Star Grain-Free Game Bird recipe from Acana Ranchlands due to itchiness from Acana.
    We are fostering a lab/mastiff mix whose parents were a 60lb lab (mom) and a 150lb purebred mastiff (dad). I have been trying to find the “best” food to feed him — and I am thrilled that I might be able to feed the same food to both of my dogs!
    I do have a question, though. You state that Dr. Tim’s Kinesis (grain-free) has 1.3% calcium — where did you get this number? His site ( states 1.51%, unless I’m reading it incorrectly.
    I’m trying to choose between Fromm’s Four Star line (I love that you can swap flavors to give variety and I also love that you can feed less because they have a bit higher protein/fat content than the grain inclusive Four Star!) or transitioning both of my dogs to Dr. Tim’s Kinesis (GF).
    I want to make sure that I am feeding my dogs one of the best foods! I know that either of these choices would be okay for Quinn, but I am really worried about hip dysplasia in a second dog. Any advice or feedback would be really appreciated. 🙂

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