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Hey everyone, I'm Nicole! I only just started browsing the forums here and immediately knew I had to post a thread of my own. Everyone here seems so knowledgeable about dog foods, I am hoping someone will be able to help me out! I'd like some opinions about which brand of food I should be feeding my dog. I have done some mild research on dog food brands but am by no means an expert on this stuff, hehe :) Even with the slight knowledge I have, I think I'm just ending up more confused because there are -so- many brands and companies and ingredients and...so many THINGS to take into account! I really am hoping to just get some opinions of what everyone thinks would be a suitable food for my dog.

Let me start off by introducing my dog, Odin. He is a 9 1/2 month old Chocolate lab/pit mix. Right now, he is around 56lbs. I don't expect him to get larger than 60lbs. He is energy level is low-moderate, but this is mainly due to us living in a small home with no yard; he does get at minimum an hour of exercise each day; sometimes it is running off leash, other times it is going for a very long walk. He is extremely smart - but also stubborn ;)

For the time being, he is eating Wellness Super5 Mix Large Breed Puppy. I guess overall I have no complaints, but I feel like I could get a food of better quality for less or the same price. I have also noticed that his stools are often soft and he needs to poop 3-4x a day. He was originally being fed Science Diet Large Breed Puppy before I got him. I haven't noticed any real changes since switching him to Wellness Super5, other than his coat looks much shinier and I just feel better about the food he is eating, lol.
I am interested in finding a new brand of food for him to transition onto. I figured a good time to do it would be when he reaches an adult age since I would be transitioning him onto an adult food anyways.

Right now, I can only feed a quality kibble; while I have heard great things about raw and homecooked diets and would like to try it out, it just is not an option at this point. I am in my early twenties and work full time; my time and resources are limited lol! I do not have a preference over grain-free vs grain-inclusive diets, as long as the grain source being used is healthy and good quality. I would like the company who produces the food to have a good reputation.

I have my mind on a couple of brands: Acana, Merrick, Nature's Logic, and Blue Buffalo Wilderness. I definitely am open to and want to hear ANY and all suggestions; these foods are just ones I have seen personally and think them to be a good quality for the price they are. I'm not sure if my dogs lifestyle plays a huge role in deciding an appropriate food either, but I assume it would... :becky: Thanks everyone!
 

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Hey everyone, I'm Nicole! I only just started browsing the forums here and immediately knew I had to post a thread of my own. Everyone here seems so knowledgeable about dog foods, I am hoping someone will be able to help me out! I'd like some opinions about which brand of food I should be feeding my dog. I have done some mild research on dog food brands but am by no means an expert on this stuff, hehe :) Even with the slight knowledge I have, I think I'm just ending up more confused because there are -so- many brands and companies and ingredients and...so many THINGS to take into account! I really am hoping to just get some opinions of what everyone thinks would be a suitable food for my dog.

Let me start off by introducing my dog, Odin. He is a 9 1/2 month old Chocolate lab/pit mix. Right now, he is around 56lbs. I don't expect him to get larger than 60lbs. He is energy level is low-moderate, but this is mainly due to us living in a small home with no yard; he does get at minimum an hour of exercise each day; sometimes it is running off leash, other times it is going for a very long walk. He is extremely smart - but also stubborn ;)

For the time being, he is eating Wellness Super5 Mix Large Breed Puppy. I guess overall I have no complaints, but I feel like I could get a food of better quality for less or the same price. I have also noticed that his stools are often soft and he needs to poop 3-4x a day. He was originally being fed Science Diet Large Breed Puppy before I got him. I haven't noticed any real changes since switching him to Wellness Super5, other than his coat looks much shinier and I just feel better about the food he is eating, lol.
I am interested in finding a new brand of food for him to transition onto. I figured a good time to do it would be when he reaches an adult age since I would be transitioning him onto an adult food anyways.

Right now, I can only feed a quality kibble; while I have heard great things about raw and homecooked diets and would like to try it out, it just is not an option at this point. I am in my early twenties and work full time; my time and resources are limited lol! I do not have a preference over grain-free vs grain-inclusive diets, as long as the grain source being used is healthy and good quality. I would like the company who produces the food to have a good reputation.

I have my mind on a couple of brands: Acana, Merrick, Nature's Logic, and Blue Buffalo Wilderness. I definitely am open to and want to hear ANY and all suggestions; these foods are just ones I have seen personally and think them to be a good quality for the price they are. I'm not sure if my dogs lifestyle plays a huge role in deciding an appropriate food either, but I assume it would... :becky: Thanks everyone!
If you are getting good results from the Wellness line, you may want to stick with them. However, having two GSPs that are 55+ lbs each, I wouldn't consider them or your dog to be "large breed". Also, we have never fed "puppy food" to our dogs, but had them on "adult" formulas as soon as we had used up what we had from the breeder. In the case of the younger dog, we had them put our pup on the same food as the adult dog about a month before we brought him home at 3 months of age.

FWIW, we feed our guys EVO Turkey/Chicken because it is grainless. However, it is a high protein, high fat food that is not a good choice for less-active dogs because it is very calorie dense.

Bonne chance,



 

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I agree with the comment that I would not consider your dog to be a 'large breed'. This opens your options up to many different types of food. I feed Acana Lamb/Apple and LOVE it if you want a grain free food, I would highly suggest Acana. My dog is 53#. The high protein diets may not be a good choice for everyone.

Nutrisource is also a good, small company, as well as Fromm. I tend to not like Fromm so much (even though I'm from Wisconsin where it is made) because they add cheese and fish to almost all of their formulas, which sometimes doesn't sit well with too many dogs.

Also, if you "can't" feed raw exclusively, it's not a bad idea to add some in every once in a while. My philosophy is some raw is better than no raw, there are also commercial raw diets that make feeding/supplementing raw very easy. At my house we do raw/canned/kibble for variety. I understand the time constraints with working and being busy, I work 2 jobs and go to school and can still find time to add some variety to my dog's diet. Since my guy can't have too many kibbles and I found one that he does exceptionally well on, I change the canned and raw every once in a while to keep him eating and interested in food. This is just my opinion on feeding my own pets, I highly suggest doing your own research and figuring out what your dog does well on and what YOU want for your animal :)
 

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Hello and Welcome!
I do not consider my Lab large breed and she is at a healthy 70 pounds.
I am a fan of Earthborn grain free, Fromm, Nutrisource, and Native.
 

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Oh I agree with both of you about him not being a large breed. Long story short, I work at a vet clinic and he was literally just dropped off in our lobby, so I wasn't sure at the time how large he was going to get, I just had a vague idea about how old he might be and that he was 50lbs already, hehe :) I believe that it would have been more detrimental for him to have been fed a standard puppy food if he had ended up growing to be 80+ lb. But anyways, his adult weight, plus his current activity level - which will change asap - is what leads me to believe he just doesn't NEED a high protein/high fat or grain free food... at least not like some of the giant breeds or some of the high energy breeds are going to need. I would assume that every dog could benefit from being fed a high quality kibble, however...it just that it seems the big "push" right now is for high protein and grain free, but most dogs aren't suited for it. :p

I do plan on rotating the food he eats periodically so he stays interested and has some variety. That is why I was initially drawn to brands like Merrick, Acana, etc, because it seems they have grain inclusive lines as well as grain free and they have a good variety for me to switch around with. I definitely am going to look into some raw feeding on top of his kibble, too. There are a couple of pet stores where I live that carry dehydrated or prepared raw diets so I may have to go and see if I can talk to someone knowledgeable about that. Anyways, thanks for the help :)
 

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I don't feed kibble but I did research it last year when I brought home my JRT puppy. I personally would not feed Merrick. They seem to regularly have recall issues. I just don't trust them as a company.
 

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i recommend you stick with Wellness... but check out the Wellness CORE line. It's grain free, and has higher protein content. My dog, Shadow is really picky but likes this food a lot. It has a lot of meat, and a high protein content, which is excellent. They have a puppy formula, if you'd like to try that.

Wellness CORE also has a canned version of the food, and a 95% meat one strictly for topping. I use the 95% meat one for topping, and I love it. I recommend these products to anyone who asks.
 

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I work for a raw pet food company and it is totally a myth that it takes more time to feed raw. If you are going to be going for a high quality kibble, cost wise you can totally afford a prepared raw diet (Steve's Real Food is the cheapest for the quality on the market, but Darwin's is really, really good too). They have pour and serve nugget options that make it as easy as feeding kibble, and the health benefits are way better than even a high quality kibble. As for the Merrick recalls, I wouldn't worry about them too much. The FDA likes to look like it is doing something, but in reality a majority of dogs and cats have salmonella, listeria, etc in their digestive tracts and are perfectly healthy, regardless of whether their food contains it or not, and the risk of getting sick or dying are literally (i researched this) the same as getting struck by lightning. Not kidding. So if you just handle your dog food (kibble or raw alike) with the same precautions as raw meat you prepare your family, you are virtually at no risk for getting sick, regardless of what the FDA says to keep itself relevant. Best of luck feeding!
 

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I've had luck with both the lamb and pork varieties of Acana from their Singles line, as well as the grain inclusive Acana Chicken and Burbank Potato (the least expensive kibble from Acana). I also like NOW. I have not had success with Merrick grain free. It gave my boxer pudding poo no matter how slowly I transitioned. I like protein levels from 25-30%. Many of the "premium" grain free kibbles have insanely high protein levels, which most average pets don't need, IMO. Many people have had good luck with Fromm, although I have not tried it myself. You may also want to look into Victor. It has both grain-free and grain inclusive varities, and it's reasonable in cost.
 

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Oh I agree with both of you about him not being a large breed. Long story short, I work at a vet clinic and he was literally just dropped off in our lobby, so I wasn't sure at the time how large he was going to get, I just had a vague idea about how old he might be and that he was 50lbs already, hehe :) I believe that it would have been more detrimental for him to have been fed a standard puppy food if he had ended up growing to be 80+ lb. But anyways, his adult weight, plus his current activity level - which will change asap - is what leads me to believe he just doesn't NEED a high protein/high fat or grain free food... at least not like some of the giant breeds or some of the high energy breeds are going to need. I would assume that every dog could benefit from being fed a high quality kibble, however...it just that it seems the big "push" right now is for high protein and grain free, but most dogs aren't suited for it. :p

I do plan on rotating the food he eats periodically so he stays interested and has some variety. That is why I was initially drawn to brands like Merrick, Acana, etc, because it seems they have grain inclusive lines as well as grain free and they have a good variety for me to switch around with. I definitely am going to look into some raw feeding on top of his kibble, too. There are a couple of pet stores where I live that carry dehydrated or prepared raw diets so I may have to go and see if I can talk to someone knowledgeable about that. Anyways, thanks for the help :)
Hi, congrats on your new pup! If you want to be a very well informed dog food label reader/consumer, check this link out: The Dog Food Project - Introduction. If you rotate, then stick to the same brand to avoid gastric upset. Or you can put different foods in his bowl such as canned or cooked unsalted green beans, peas, carrots, yogurt, water from your tuna, or cook up some chicken for gravy. If you are considering going to raw, then you want to get him on a high quality kibble for now (you said he may need to gain a few lbs?). I am a raw food mom for almost two years. It gave my oldest boy a quality last months (got rid of his sturvite crystals in lieu of that food Vets recommend that has corn as the first ingredient and cost $$$$) My 9month puppy is on her last bag of Orijin . I have only used the prepared raw food from pet stores in an emergency (forgot to thaw something or hubby had to feed the dogs...)
 

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I feed a varied diet to my pups. Always have and as long as possible always will, but I don't stay "within" a specific brand or company. I feed whatever food, I feel like/have available. Very seldomly do they go more than a couple of days with the same foods, I'll either feed a different kibble, add a topper/broth, different food (raw, premade, home cooked, etc). I feel this way is the best for preventing tummy upsets, and "boredom". I've also learned that some foods have "too much" of specific minerals/vitamins/ingredients or the reverse of "too little", so by switching up companies, brands, etc I feel can avoid "overloading" or an "insufficiency" of any particular item. Feeding this way allows me to switch up the "amount"/"type" of protein, grain free or not, fat levels, "quality" of the food (don't really believe/follow what most think makes up a food's "quality"), etc. without having to "worry" about tummy issues.
As far as if a food will work, Look to your dog. If he looks shiny, "soft" coat, good weight (without feeding "massive" amounts), good energy level, small and firm poops, and is "physically fit" then I'd say that that food was a great/good food for him. Try not to get "trapped" by this food is horrible because __insert reason here__ (has grain, high/low protein, meat isn't the first ingredient, etc) "popularity contest". If "high quality" foods aren't giving you good results, don't be afraid/feel guilty of using "poor quality" foods.
 
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