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Dog food induced insanity . . .

1896 Views 8 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  k9nerds
After reading the various posts on this website I need to switch Pepper’s food, but to what? She is eating Science Diet Large Breed Puppy (that was what the breeder was using). She is healthy, energetic, etc. but based on what I’ve read I need to change. For various reasons, I do not want to do raw or home-cooked foods, so I want to find the best brand of dry dog food for her. I went through tons of posts on this site, and also many dog food review sites (and there are a lot of them!). I also put a call into my vet, and she’ll be calling me back, but I have a couple of questions for you all as I’d be curious to hear your experience:

Do you consider your standard-sized Doodle a large dog? What is the break point for large? I’ve seen 40, 50, and 60 lbs. I think Pepper will end up around 50 - 55. Is there anything particularly important about a label that says “Large Breed”, or is that just marketing fluff?

Do you feed your Doodle a “high protein” food? I was looking at Innova Large Breed Puppy vs. Innova EVO (24% vs. 40% protein). Is high protein appropriate for a puppy (7 ½ months)? Dog food analysis says: “The only caution we would make on this food (EVO) is that the high protein and calcium content may make it suitable for adult dogs only, particularly in the case of large breeds.” I wasn’t aware of this puppy / dog difference – should I avoid any high protein foods?

I had been leaning towards Chicken Soup brand, but then saw that Dog Food Analysis first said it contained Ethoxyquin and then that the manufacturer certified that it didn’t. I’m wondering if I should just avoid Diamond-manufactured foods altogether but I think both Chicken Soup and Solid Gold are manufactured in Diamond plants.

Finally, the woman at the pet food store said she didn’t like to recommend mult-protien foods for puppies because it was too difficult on their digestive system. Have you ever heard of that?

Wow – so confusing. So many brands and so many opinions! When I was a kid we just fed our dog Dog Chow or Top Choice Burgers. They don’t even make that anymore. I’d be scared to know what was in it. Our dogs were healthy and lived to old ages. I wonder if I’m just making myself crazy over this! :?

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I feed both my dog's 'taste of the wild' I switch varieties every time I buy a new bag to keep them . Beck was scratching himself a great deal when I had him on Chicken Soup, so the vet suggested trying a limited ingredient, grain free food. One nice thing about TOTW is that the dog's poop is firm & small :) It can be expensive at the boutique pet stores, but I get it at a feed & grain store where it is a little over $40 for 30 pounds
You can drive yourself insane with that comparison Pepper doing fine on Science Diet? If so, why do you feel you need to change? I remember my Mom always telling me not to believe everything you read...and another famous quote from her was..'If it ain't broke, don't fix it!' So in essence what I'm saying is that if Pepper is healthy, energetic and has good firm movements, then I would leave her with that food..
Last week I just switched my two to a food that is made here in New England..not sure where you're from, but it's the 'Blue Seal' brand...Pork and Barley ... Barley.php

My chocolate lab Molly has 'ear' issues, and I've been trying to find a grain free food without going broke...I paid $36 for a 40 lb. bag..both she and Raleigh our Doodle seem to be doing quite well on it..time will tell with Molly's ears...
Good luck with whatever you decide! :D
Hi! I've done a lot of research on dog foods and used to manage a pet store, so I have a good knowledge of pet foods. The high protein warnings for large breed dogs are legit. I would recommend feeding a low (less than 24%) protein for large breeds. The reasoning is that the higher protein content causes rapid growth. In a large breed dog you want to slow their growth down so that their joints and bones have a chance to form properly and with strength. High protein won't make your dog bigger than it needs to be, it just makes them reach their mature size too fast. In a large breed that can already be prone to hip or joint problems this can cause too many problems.

Large breed puppy formulas usually have vitamins and minerals specifically tailored to support healthy bone, tendon, and muscle growth. DHA and chondritin are two of the more common things you will see in large breed formulas.

What I personally look for in a dry dog food are the ingredients. Some of the cheaper dog foods use corn, beet pulp, soy, and other fillers. None of those things are good for dogs. Look for a food that has protein sources as the first two or three ingredients. Corn shouldn't be in there at all. If you find corn gluten meal then that at least has some nutritional value, but whole ground corn does not. Protein sources should be in meal form as that has no water content. For example, a dog food that has chicken listed as the first ingredient is counting water weight and so the chicken might really be the fourth or fifth main ingredient by weight. A food that has chicken meal listed as the first or second ingredient is better since they are counting meat weight only.

All that being said the food I'm currently feeding is Innova large breed puppy formula. There are better dog foods out there, but for the quality I want and the price I can afford to pay that is what I chose. I do also add the occasional brown rice, cooked chicken or beef, and veggies to his bowl as well. I think feeding kibble exclusively is boring and not so good for my Tucker. If I had more time and money I would most likely feed a raw diet, but I am confident that the diet I chose is healthy and the best I can offer my dog.

My advice is to take what you've learned thru your research and then find a food that fits what you want it to do. If your dog is doing well on Science Diet, you like their ingredients, the price fits your budget, then stick with it. :}

Good luck! And I know exactly what you mean about dog food induced insanity. :lol:
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ok we went thru healthy Dog food insanity with MAX ....for a very long time
HOMEMADE diet tailored to be nutritional via cornell univerity nutritionists, pathologist and my own research at one time did
wonders for Max

we found out things like Lamb , fish and high protein fillers caused him severe diarheora
I am NOT going to say what brand he eats cause most of you would cringe and he still gets some homemade w/supplements

if it aint' broke , don't fix it!! I say whatever dog food your dog tolerates, is healthy on and doing well is the one to feed.

peanut is on a special tuna fish and potato diet for the time being and doing great
in passt thought she had cast iron tummy tolerating most any food EXCEPT lamb and high protein fillers.
Well, with this new "additive" scare with Ethoxyquin, I have been doing research...seems the latest toxic additive used most in, get this, Science Diet and Eukunuba! Both sold by vets...because they get $$ from the sales.

According to the research I have read today, there are only 3 brands of kibble that do not contain Ethoxyquin is Pet Guard (never heard of it), Nature's Recipe and Wysong. I have been trying to buy Wysong is hard to find...but the company sent me some samples and my dogs loved it!

Ethoxyquin has been used since the 1950's! And the FDA THEN said that they would not feed this to their pets!

So, back to home cooking or one of the three mentioned...the article that I studied today said that the only 2 perservitives for oil based products that you should use is Vitamin E and Vitamin C.
The Natura website (they make Innova, EVO, California Natural, Healthwise, and Karma Organic) states:

"Natura will not add anything to the food unless it is nutritious and healthful for a cat or dog. All our foods are free from chemical additives of any kind, including preservatives such as ethoxyquin and BHA/BHT, which are frequently found in pet foods but are banned from human use in many countries."

Yay! Another reason to <3 Innova. :mrgreen:
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