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Old 12-08-2009, 05:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Good, yet inexpensive food

2 questions:

1. Is it really necessary for my 8 month old to eat puppy food? I know it's got a bit more nutrients/fat as I understand it, but I didn't know if it was really crucial for them to grow to their top potential. Are there any risks of not feeding them puppy food?

2. Right now I am feeding Nature's Recipe. On dog-food analysis it has a 3/4 star rating (top rating is 6). While I have looked at the ingredients and know it's MUCH better than most foods, I would love to feed my dog a higher quality food. I pay about 42-45 for a 40 lb bag for Nature's Recipe. I would love to feed Blue Buffalo Wilderness, but it's about 50 bucks for a 25 lb bag.
So basically, what's the best food I can get for at least under $50-60 for a 40 lb bag? Or should I just stick with Nature's Recipe? My pup has been eating much lately that's why I'm starting to think maybe she just doesn't like it? I'm not sure what to do.
And here are the ingredients for Nature's Recipe:

Lamb meal, cracked pearled barley, oatmeal, ground rice, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), lamb digest, tomato pomace, sodium tripolyphosphate, flax seed, potassium chloride, taurine, minerals (zinc proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, iron proteinate, copper sulfate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), vitamins (vitamin E supplement, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), inositol, niacin supplement, vitamin A supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, beta-carotene, riboflavin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, menadione sodium bisulfite complex, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement), choline chloride, yucca schidigera extract, rosemary extract.

Guaranteed Analysis
Crude Protein 20.0%
Crude Fat 12.0%
Crude Fiber 4.0%
Moisture 10.0%
Iron 200 mg/kg
Copper 10 mg/kg
Zinc 150 mg/kg
Selenium 0.4 mg/kg
Vitamin E 125 IU/kg
Omega-3 Fatty Acids* 0.19%
Omega-6 Fatty Acids* 1.50%
Beta Carotene* 5 mg/kg

I've also heard some people like to mix in some higher quality food with the regular food. Is it worth it to do this? How much would I mix in/how often?

Thanks so much!

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Old 12-08-2009, 05:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Good, yet inexpensive food

Wow, I'm not sure what to recommend, but that protein level looked really low for a puppy. Hopefully someone will chime in...
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Old 12-08-2009, 05:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Good, yet inexpensive food

You do not have to feed your pup puppy food. You can switch at around 6 months to an adult food, or not even use puppy food but an "all life stages" food. Have you checked out Chicken Soup for the Dog Lovers Soul"? My mother uses that for her three Shelties and really likes it. It is very reasonably priced too. Just one suggestion. Your pup is really cute too!

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Old 12-08-2009, 05:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Good, yet inexpensive food

I am currently feeding the same food but the adult formula I am switching to Chicken Soup as soon as this bag gets finished off. I hear Chicken Soup is a pretty good food to feed and has a lot of good ingredients the pet store across from my work sells it and I will be paying about $40 for a 30 or 35lb. bag.

If Chicken Soup doesn't work out then I am going to try TOTW and or Blue Buffalo.
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Old 12-08-2009, 05:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Good, yet inexpensive food

We fed Nature's Recipe Lamb & Rice to Daisy for a couple months, then she stopped eating it. Switched to Blue Buffalo Chicken & Brown Rice for a couple months, then she stopped eating it. Right now we're on TOTW. Hopefully she doesn't stop eating it.

I've heard great things about Chicken Soup, too. You don't need "puppy" food, just keep the protein under 28%.
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Old 12-10-2009, 12:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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So I went out today and bought Chicken Soup. All yesterday she didn't eat a thing. I tried hand feeding it to her and she would put it in her mouth then spit it out.
I brought home Chicken Soup and mixed it with her old food and at first she was just picking out the Chicken Soup and spitting out the Nature's Recipe on the floor, but now she's just chowing down, almost finished with the bowl and it's been 5 minutes!

I know all dogs will do this with new food, so I hope she just doesn't get sick of it. This is her 3rd food now, siigh.

I got the puppy formula since there was no price difference, and it says the protein is 28%. Is this too much?

Also - are there any tips to make your pup not get sick of the food so fast? I am tempted to start adding in some bananas, apples, etc once in awhile, but I don't want that to make her not eat her food when there isn't anything added in.

Thanks for your help!

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Old 12-10-2009, 01:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
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well i know taste of the wild pacific stream is for all life stages.. (that's what we have hailey on)
but like everyone else said ..puppy food can be changed around 6 months.
i still highly suggest TOTW....
it cut down hailey's gas ALOT.

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Old 12-10-2009, 02:43 PM   #8 (permalink)
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We have had our pup on Chicken Soup since she was about 6 months old. We recently switched her from the puppy to the adult formula and she has been doing really well on it. The price is also very affordable and we have been able to find it at most local feed stores in our area.
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Old 12-10-2009, 05:21 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I know it's not absolutely the BEST food out there, but I have always had wonderful results with Canidae ALS. (the only canidae aside from their grain free line that I would feed)
I've seen it as low as $44 and as high as $53 for a 44lb bag, and even the highest is still in your price range.
I tried TOTW, and I know it gets good reviews here, but I must admit it was the biggest disaster of all time for two of my dogs.
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Old 12-10-2009, 08:12 PM   #10 (permalink)
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we used canidae all life stages for years, with wonderful results. we recently switched to acana, also an all life stages food, but much higher quality (and much more expensive). river actually doesn't like it, and i haven't noticed any improvement, so we will be switching back
canidae after this bag of acana. i like all life stages foods, because i can feed the same food to three dogs.
nikki, mama to:
ariana- one critter loving baby girl
river- the most patient boxer/bully on the face of the planet
soju- the dum scottish terrier (we love her anyways)
watson- the ferocious boxer boy
vash, rem, wolfwood- the elderly weasel bunch
jack, lock, shock, and barrel- the girly rat pack
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