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Discussion Starter #1
I'm getting ready to pick up a full bred black lab puppy this weekend and am having a hard time deciding on a decent dry dog food for him. I've spent a few hours on the web researching various sites and would like to get some peoples opinions. After talking to the dog trainer at Petco I picked up a bag of the Nutro MAX large breed puppy food. I'm a lil worried that this isn't the best choice now I've done more research. I don't want to break the bank and would like to stay in the $40-50 range for a 30ish pound bag of food. I'm thinking of returning the Nutro MAX and starting out with Blue Buffalo Life Protection Large Breed Puppy Chicken & Rice Formula or AvoDerm Natural Large Breed Puppy Formula. Any suggestions or input would be greatly appreciated, thanks!
 

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IM,

You won't get too many out here in favor of Nutro. I think we all agree that while its a step above Pedigree and Old Roy, its still a subpar food when compared to whats available.

If price is no option?....
Puppy


If price is "somewhat of an option"....
Eliminate Pet Food Allergies – Hypoallergenic Dog Food & Cat Food – California Natural Pet Food

If cost is a real issue....
Healthy Pet Products – Natural Cat Food, Healthy Dog Food, Puppy Kibble – HealthWise Pet Food
But make no mistake, Healthwise is a wonderful food...a little simpler in ingredients and probably less meat than some more expensive formulas.

Just my opinion. take it for what its worth.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the info, dosent look like the bigger stores in my area stock this food so I'm gonna have to do some ording online or search around for a store that stocks some of the higher quality foods.
 

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check petfooddirect.com

you can try freeship50...it was a free shipping coupon code but I think it expired over this past weekend.

See my previous post...I just received product from them and it was a great experience...perfect service and price.

If you sign up for their autoship you get 15% off every order. Definitely get on their mailing lists...you'll get coupons regularly.

Another nice site is Heartypet.com....their prices are very comparable to petfooddirect.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
In my small town just Meijer and Walmat but a tractor supply store carries some food and I'm gonna see what they stock tonite, Petco and Petsmart are a 30 min drive away.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks Kevin, I saw your post earlier and am planning on shopping online in the near future if I don't find anything local.
 

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I have TSC in my area as well.

only options I would consider...

4Health-not sure if they make a puppy formula. It's a Diamond food...which I'm no fan of...but ingredient wise, certainly a respectable food.

Diamond Naturals-almost identical to the above food...again, not sure if a puppy formula exists in that line.

Blue Buffalo-if they have a Puppy formula, this would probably be my recommendation.

TOTW-don't believe a puppy formula exists but a nice food ingredient wise.

NOTE-I don't love any of the above foods but if you options are limited...they would be OK. But again, I'm just not sure many offer a Puppy formula.

Meijer does carry Newman's Own in my area which is a decent food...but once again, not sure about any Puppy formulas.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I also found a MVPets thats up by the Petco and Petsmart that looks like it carries some of the higher end food like Wellness and Innova, will stop by there and get some prices on my way to pick up my puppy.
 

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IM,

I have to say...I was hesitant on the online thing....I'm just ecstatic how great they were to deal with. Your food comes in a nicely packed box...everything seems to be very safe(I don't know why, I was worried about the safety factor)....Just top notch.

If you are in the midwest(I'm in Michigan)...thinking you probably are with your reference to Meijer...You're looking at about $13-$15 for a 30lb. bag of food shipped to your door. But remember, if you do auto ship, you get 15% off the food at petfooddirect ---or---- 1/2 off shipping at Heartypet.com
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yeah I order off the internet a lot, I'm a huge comparison shopper always looking for the best deal. And yes I'm in SW Michigan.
 

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Found a few other pet stores that are just a 30 min drive that carry the two non Orijen you recomended Kevin, think I'm gonna try one of those 1st, I like the fact the ingredient list isnt a mile long on both the California Natural and the Healthwise.
 

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A designated puppt formula isn't a must, a good all life stage formula will do just fine.

I would really look into Taste of the Wild in that price range, it's grain free, and actually a good bang for the buck.

Also if you have a CostCO nearby, Kirkland Signature is about as good for the price as you'll find anywhere. It's not the best food in the world, but it's so much better than anything else even close to it's price.

Canidae is also good for the price.

Obviously there are foods I recommend better than these, but if that's your price limit then that's what you have to go by!

Good luck with the new addition, by the way, and we love pictures around here!:smile:
 

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Only puppy kibble forumula I like in the $40 to $50 range is California Natural.

Favorite Puppy kibble is Orijen Large Breed Pup which is what I fed my pups.
 

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I would really look into Taste of the Wild in that price range, it's grain free, and actually a good bang for the buck.
TOTW reps have even been known to steer large breed pup owners away from this food

TOTW qualifies under AAFCO standards as an all life stages food. its Ca levels do not fall in range of a food that will ensure slow growth in a large breed pup. AAFCO has very loose standards (look what qualifies in the grocery store as nutritionally adequate under AAFCO guidelines).

TOTW is fine for adult dogs and smaller breed pups.
 

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I personally don't think calcium level is all that important. I fed my Great Dane pup a raw diet that was about 25% to 30% bone and he had no problems at all. He's been eating that way since he was 13 weeks old and had slow steady growth all through puppyhood. He is 5 years old now.

I remember the days that the thinking was feed low protein to a giant breed puppy. Then they decided protein level didn't matter that it was calcium level. I maintain that calcium level isn't all that important either within resonable limits. Carbs are what should be avoided.
 

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I personally don't think calcium level is all that important. I fed my Great Dane pup a raw diet that was about 25% to 30% bone and he had no problems at all. He's been eating that way since he was 13 weeks old and had slow steady growth all through puppyhood. He is 5 years old now.

I remember the days that the thinking was feed low protein to a giant breed puppy. Then they decided protein level didn't matter that it was calcium level. I maintain that calcium level isn't all that important either within resonable limits. Carbs are what should be avoided.

the old studies on high protein used low quality protein sources, and of course it was later determined that high protein from high quality sources (meat) were not detrimental to the growth of large breed pups. that was a flaw in that study, in addition to the fact that rodents were the subjects in the study.

the studies on dogs were done using diets high in Ca but not entirely from meat sources. the problem with that is that non animal sources of Ca are not going to be metabolized the same way as natural sources (much like what was seen with non animal sources of protein vs meat sources of protein). when your Calcium and Phosphorous sources are from raw natural meat, chances are that you will be supplying both of those two elements in a mixed balance of chemical compounds that are digestible and accessible for the metabolism.

that is not to say raw feeders should not be careful about Ca content of their diets, but as you have experienced, with proper balance a raw diet is what dogs were really designed to digest and metabolize with maximum efficiency.

so, i will maintain that kibble feeders should be very wary of feeding kibbles with higher Ca levels to their large breed pups.
 

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The Blue Buffalo will definitely be better than the Nutro. Wellness is another good brand you could look into that PetCo carries.
 
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