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Hi,

I am going to be getting a Border Collie/Red Heeler puppy in the near future (she turned 3 weeks this past Sunday), I have been doing a lot of research on dog foods and I know that what the parents have been fed is pretty low quality.

I want to feed my puppy good quality food and so far I've just ended up utterly confused. With all of the ingredients you DON'T want in your food and the stuff that you DO want and where you want it to be in the ingredient list my head is about to explode.

So I decided to make an account so I can connect with other people who own active breeds (my puppy will be my jogging partner as well as a working dog on a farm).

My question is this: What are some good brands that will provide the nutrition my puppy will need as she is growing?

I look forward to hearing from the community, so far the list I've compiled includes:
Orijen (though I can't find it ANYWHERE locally), Kirkland (the Costco brand??), Blue Buffalo, and Nutro (My local feed stores carry this but I'm not sure if it's good or not)
 

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I would scratch Nutro off your list IMMEDIATELY.

No way no how no chance.

Your other options listed range from stellar(Orjien) to so so(Kirkland) in my opinion.

I'd add Acana to your list if you want to save a few dollars.
 

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Orijen, of course, is an excellent food, although the price makes some folks hesitate. But given that you dog appears to have a very active life ahead of it (jogging + working), a dense, high-energy, grain-free food like Orijen would be a great choice.

If it is too pricey, there are other excellent grain-free foods available. Taste of the Wild is cheaper, and some of the concers regarding its use of certain preservatives may not be as relevant now, as it appears that they're moving away from that.

Blue Buffalo is a decent food, although the same manufacturer makes a grain-free version called Blue Wilderness. If you want to go cheaper, I there is a food called Nature's Domain that may be available at your Costco. It is also grain-free.
 

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Now, that is one pup who's going to keep you on your toes!
I also have a 3-1/2yo blue heeler x who's constantly on the go. She started out on Nutro puppy food (before I knew any better) but chucked it out when I found it on the 2007 petfood recall list. That recall scared me enough to start exploring the ingredients in dog food and discovered that it was a pretty lousy food anyway. We immediately swopped over to Orijen/EVO/Wellness kibble, all grain free, each meal with a different protein source and supplemented with their canned foods.
Do enjoy her puppyhood, both ACD's & BC's are just the cutest pup's out there.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you all for the suggestions. I will start looking around for some of these brands and see if I can find them anywhere locally.

I've heard that with active puppies like her you want a diet with high protein, mid-low fat, low calcium and low carbs but that doesn't sound right to me. Carbs are energy, or that's what I was told in nutrition class in high school, so wouldn't I want to find a diet with higher carbs? And higher calcium should be better for her bones... right?
 

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Leann,

I wouldn't listen to much of what you hear. I'm not going to go so far as to say that Dogs don't need carbs. They can use carbs for energy.

However, when Iams tells you they fill their food w/ Corn....for the necessary carbs that dogs need...it's pretty much BS.

Dogs certainly lean towards being carnivores(yes, they can and do consume carbs in the wild)...

You want meat/protein in a good quality food....and I'll let others chime in because I believe Puppies do have some special needs. Suffice to say though...you are going to get pointed to a good high meat/high protein diet from 99% of the members out here.
 

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One thing that I looked into when looking for Orijen was online. I know several people here order their kibbles on line and love the service. I have to watch for the "free shipping" specials because the regular shipping costs way too much for me ($20+ PER bag!).

I would check into:
heartypet.com
k9cusine.com
petfooddirect.com

You can join their mailing list and receive offers via email.

I personally think that the Orijen Puppy kibble would be awesome for your pup if you can find/get it! :smile:
 

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Carbs are energy, or that's what I was told in nutrition class in high school, so wouldn't I want to find a diet with higher carbs?
Was your high school nutrition class on canine nutrition or human nutrition? Rabbits are herbivores, humans are omnivores, and dogs are carnivores. The diets for each species are very different from one-another. You wouldn't feed a steak to a rabbit, right? Why would you feed corn to a dog?

Dogs obtain much of their energy from fat, ideally animal fat. They have no need for carbohydrates and, in fact, the highly processed carbs on most commercial dog food is actually very bad for them. There is a canine obesity and diabetes epidemic upon us now. Could the fact that it coincides with the "recent" (meaning within the last 60 or so years) use of carb-loaded fillers in commercial pet food merely be a coincidence? Do the math and it's pretty hard to conclude anything other than a link between these diseases in dogs and common modern food (i.e. commercial dog food).
 

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Discussion Starter #9
You've all made very good points... I hadn't thought about the protein and fat being converted to energy for dogs, just as muscle builder/maintainer and something to contribute to taste/weight. I think I may look into raw feeding if I can't find Orijen locally (shipping is really expensive x.x)
 

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Staying low carb is so important. Not all grain-free foods are low carb, but all low carb foods are grain free. Make sense?

Orijen, Acana, EVO, and CORE are pretty good choices, with Orijen being the best.

Kirkland is a total bang for your buck kind of food. It's not grain free or absolute top notch, but if you're on a budget, you can't beat it.

Dogs are carnivores, just remember that little fact, and suddenly reading dog food labels will be super easy.
 

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Hi Leann, Robin here! I'm also in Beliingham and Larry at Clarks on Railroad is great at giving really good info on dog kibble, he carries the Orijen/Acana line but advocates a raw diet, hope you find all the info you need here. I also feed a raw diet to my dogs.
 

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it really all depends on your budget, i think all the foods you list (orijen, kirkland, blue, and nutro) are all on their own seperate level, of course nobody can argue Orijen is number 1 among those kibbles and I beleive arguably the best dry kibble we have on the market today. Blue would come number 2 on the list that you have, my problem with Blue is that my rotties wouldnt eat their "life bits" the dark kibble in their food. My only issue with kirkland is the beet pulp, but for the price isnt bad, keep in mind it is a diamond product. And nutro is nutro hehe. You will not be dissppointed with Orijen, you should also look into Acana.
 

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Mea culpa. Many apologies, esp to Kevin.

Carry on... ;)

no problem. I'm in hold mode on Natura. Personally wouldn't opt for it with Orijen/Acana as an option....but from a label/ingredient list perspective, EVO remains a stellar food.
 

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Hey leann,
i'm sure you've figured this out by now, but Clarks does carry orijen. (I'm also in Bellingham and have an 8 month old BC.) When we got her as a baby she was very ill with parvo and after she recovered she had trouble gaining weight, all kinds of digestive issues and an incredibly sensitive stomach. After a few months on orijen she's in amazing shape and looks awesome, and you can tell she feels great to!
Good luck with your pup :D
Maybe we'll see you at the dog park.
 

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Well here is my list of great to very good dog foods, some have puppy foods and some don't. Some, I am not sure about if they have puppy food or not. EVO and Wellness Core do not have a puppy food. But California Natural has a awesome puppy food. But as far as I am concerned, Orijen is in a league by them selves.

The A list
1. Orijen--Puppy yes
2. Acana, Wild Prairie, Pacifica & Grassland only.
3. Wellness Core
4. Go, Natural Grain Free Endurance.
5. Blue Wilderness
6. Taste of the Wild, wetlands & prairie only.
7. Instinct
8. Artemis--Puppy yes
9. Fromm--Puppy yes
10. Acana, the rest of their products.--Puppy yes
11. Evo
The B list
1. Now-Puppy yes
2. GO, chicken, salmon only.
3. Merrick--Puppy yes
4. Evangers
5. Timberwolf
6. First Mate--Puppy yes
7. Wellness
8. Solid Gold
9. Canidae, grain free ALS only.
10. California Natural--Puppy yes
10. Nature’s Logic
11. Karma
12. Summit Holistic
12. Taste of the wild, rest of their products.
13. Innova--Puppy yes
14. Heath Wise
15. Costco’s Kirkland brand

Keep in mind it is also very important to find a dog food company who manufactures their own products and here is that list....

Champion foods (Orijen & Acana)
Fromm
Merrick
Horizon Legacy
Petcurean, Go, Now & Summit
Natura Pet, Evo, Innova and California Natural, Dry only..
First Mate
Precise, dry only
Timber wolf ???
Breeders Choice (Avoderm and Pinnacle), dry only..
Eagle Pack, dry only..
Evanders
Flint river ranch
Holistic Blend ???

And I believe you should always give your dog or puppy some extra meat, cooked eggs or cooked chicken as often as U can.
 
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