Our pup has been eating Pedigree puppy food since she was at the breeder. We haven't changed brands since we got her.
We tried the Nutro brands (Natural Choice) with our first boxer and she got huge. We backed her down to the diet food and she still didn't lose weight. I think we went back to Iams and she was back to her normal size in a few months.
We feed Purina Pro Plan Puppy to the little ones ... We had tried BARF - but I did not get results I considered worthy of the time and cost. We do supplement with Dream Coat, and constantly get compliments and questions on our dogs diets.
BARF is the raw diet.... I had many breeders going on about better coats and smaller stools, but I can honestly say I saw no noticable difference from what I was using. (In coats... stools were only slightly smaller)
The big problem is that the dogs were just acting hungry when they were done... we were preparing the food with the help of a longtime BARF advocate, and my guys being chow-hounds, were just not happy with portions! LOL
And yes diet does make a difference - a cheap food often is made from cheap ingredients. A premium food offers a better 'foundation' for growth and development. (All premium foods are not alike however - there are several I dont like. I wouldnt feed the Science Diet Boxer Formula myself)
As I said.. some people love the raw - I didnt. LMAO But I do know some people don't like Purina foods, and in boxers - I can absolutely tell you that while one food may suit a certain dog, it may NOT suit another.
I just personally didn't find the results worth it... I do have a favored coat supplement however!
We were feeding Pro Plan as well and for loki, it just wasn't keeping his coat up to par...and as some of you know, I AM VERY picky about his coat. So i put him on Wellness Super5Mix Adult...and BAM he looks spectacular (when he is bathed) and even though harry does well on any puppy food at this point, we get a discount on Wellness Super5mix Puppy at our local place, so he is now also on wellness. But we still keep stock of ProPlan for Ella!!! She does well on it and looks fantastic! LOL Though i am sure she could use a bath like harry as well....
For some oils i do give loki Ol Roy soft food, but only twice a week.
I would recommend Pro Plan and or Purina One (some places do not carry Pro Plan) and so far I am THRILLED with the Wellness food!
At one point, I had created a document to help a friend switch his boxer boy over to a raw diet (I don't feed "the BARF diet, per Dr. Billinghurst, per se). While this isn't the *entire* document, it is a small sampling of what my girls may eat in a given week.
It should be said that if you are planning on switching your dog to a raw diet, you need to do the research first prior to jumping in, and go slowly to avoid digestive upset. I have two girls who thrive on raw and one girl who just could not tolerate it at all. Having said that, my sick girl doesn't tolerate regular kibble either and has to be maintained on a prescription kibble from the vet.
Benefits that I have noted in my girls are smaller stools that have little odor (and I had previously been feeding the higher end, human grade kibbles), gorgeous red coats, sparkly eyes, clean teeth, no doggie breath, and a renewed vigor for mealtimes. I've never had a dog (or pup) skip a meal, and I enjoy making their food as well. Oh, and it is, by far, cheaper to feed this way than it was when I was feeding kibble. Kibble was costing approx. $40/bag, while it costs me approx. $25/month per dog to feed raw.
Drawbacks are that it takes time to learn how to do things correctly, there is a bit of added preparation time, and that you need to make good friends with your butcher to get great prices on meats. Having said that, I noticed that you are in Cleveland, and I can share info for my vendors with anyone interested.
Hope this helps!
(*Please note: The image above is intended for reference only, not as instruction on how you should feed your dog. It is simply an example of what my dogs eat in a given week.)
I feed my boxer, Science Diet Prescription Brand, because she has a very senstive stomach, and this food has a lot of fiber in it. I give her this food together with an all natural organic food pill that is endorsed by the SPCA called, Green Miracle For Pets, you can find this product at this website, www.ultimateliving.com, I highly recommend it for older dogs, that may have arthritis, bone problems, low energy levels, overweight problems, etc. It makes my boxer's hair shiny and she shedds less hair too
I have a question for the forum regarding feeding. A rescue home visit I need to do this afternoon needs to be convinced that they need to discontinue free feeding. Any help you can give me ie. anecdotal evidednce etc. would be greatly appreciated.
I would think just explaining the reason (its hingering potty training, its making the dog fat) would be enough. Give them a chance to explain why it is that they free feed (convenience perhaps?) and then go into more detail on how getting this dog on a schedule will help it adjust to its forever home. I hope this helps. Best of luck!
I have also looked into the raw diet and have researched a little. Looks interesting but a bit on the expensive. I currently have Daisy on Nutro Ultra puppy food and she really likes it. I also tried Eukanuba but her poops were runny and i switched back to Nutro. I think that works best for her and me.