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Puppy food

May 25th, 2005, 11:22 AM
I hope this is the right place to post this.. I have some questions about dog food. I have a 6 week old retrevier lab cross, I am wondering what suggestions people could give me for puppy food. I have had alot of people tell me the Maxim is a good dog food, others have told me to stick with a higher end puppy food, someone told me to buy Foundations for large breed. I never dreamed that there would be so many different brands of food for her. I am not worried about flax content, as I have a bottle of Flax to give her seperately. Any comments or suggestions are appreciated.

Lucky Rescue
May 25th, 2005, 01:07 PM
Get the best quality you can. Remember - higher quality = feeding less(more digestible) = less poop! An example is that you would have to feed at least twice as much of Pedigree as you would of, say, Wellness so the cost difference is not much.

I know you didn't ask this, but 6 weeks is way too young for a puppy to leave mom and littermates. As soon as your puppy has all his shots, I suggest taking him everywhere and introducing him to all kinds of people and other (gentle) dogs so he won't develop fear/aggression issues.

May 25th, 2005, 01:17 PM
It is alarming that you were able to adopt your pup at such a young age. 6 weeks is much too young--most pups are adopted after 8 weeks because they will then learn how to be good pups from their moms--bite inhibition and the such. Golden Retrievers tend to be quite mouthy!

As for puppy food, I would stick to the one the breeder gave you and start changing gradually by adding more and more new food to the old food.

The best foods for your pup are ones that feel right to you. Quality ingredients and good price so that you can feel comfortable about taking good care of your puppy.

Foundations is a good brand, so is Natura (makers of Innova), Nature's Variety makes a ready prepared BARF diet (although Raw diets are controversial many people swear by it). Solid Gold is also another favorite.

You may like Timberwolf Organics since it has the highest amount of protein.

Merrick is a good brand and very accessible.

Thats just a few of the approved pet foods that Whole Dog Journal advocates.

They are a great resource on doggy nutrition and I highly recommend their journal.

May 25th, 2005, 01:18 PM
Go here: I have posted a couple threads with ingredient lists, good dog food company website lists, and comparisons. (Post #6). You just have to learn what the different ingredients are and why corn and byproducts are bad, why chicken meal is better then just chicken, etc.

It's hard to find a puppy food without corn as the companies like to boost the calorie numbers by adding corn. I know Solid Gold Wolf Cub doesn't have corn, but it's pricey...

May 25th, 2005, 01:42 PM
You know, your the second one to say that 6 weeks was to young, I will tell you how we got her. We were up visiting family last weekend near pefferlaw, I mentioned to a friend that I had been researching dogs lately and wanted a lab retreiver. He told me that he new a lady whose Retreiver had puppies and the father was a Lab. I went and seen the lady, we talked for a bit, and she told me I could take one of the pups for $350. I wasn't really looking to spend that much on a puppy, but me, my girlfriend, and my son fell in love with her so I agreed. I asked her when the puppy would be ready to leave the mother, (I didn't have a chance to research this information) she told me that the puppy could leave the mother at 6 weeks. It was exactly 6 weeks to the day. I asked her three more times to make sure it was ok that the puppy would be leaving the mother, every time she said it was fine.

I am worried now that I have done something wrong, or I should have researched it more.

Anyways, I appreciate all of your helpful responses to my question and I will be sure to research all of the links you have provided me.


May 25th, 2005, 02:05 PM
6 weeks is too young to leave mom dog, but I got my golden/lab mix Diego when he was only 7 weeks at a shelter. You'll have to do a whole lot more to house-train/solialize your pup.

Be prepared for some long sleepless nights. Other than that, enjoy your new pup, they grow up before you even know it. Congrats!

May 25th, 2005, 02:10 PM
By the way, $350 for a puppy is a very small amount. Reputable breeders rarely sell below $800.

8 Weeks is the best time to leave the mother.

May 25th, 2005, 03:03 PM
You might want to do a search on the dog food issue - there are alot of threads on here about food. I saw that someone had recommended Innova - but I've seen a couple of threads about potential problems with that brand. Also, if you google dog nutrition, you can come up with all sorts of sites that tell you what a dog needs and also sites that actually teach you how to read dog food labels and compare the different brands - both el cheapo and high end. Good luck with your new pup!

May 25th, 2005, 03:44 PM
I am mostly hoping for some personal experience. I met a lady the other day with a chocolate lab, she said she fed her dog Maxim from day one, and added a teaspoon of flax oil in her food once daily, someone else told me that I had to use foundations, because it was the best, someone else told me that foundations isn't the best, it's just expensive......I tried to google puppy food, but all I seemed to come by are sites that only suggest dog food from one of the site sponsors.

May 25th, 2005, 04:01 PM
The food brands listed so far seem to be the best. I will be switching my dog's food soon as well. Will most likely be Solid Gold or Wellness. Many people on this board have said only good things about these. I would buy the best quality food that you can afford. Look at the label and the first few ingredients should be good quality ones and not fillers or by-products.

When you do switch your puppy's food, please do it gradually otherwise your puppy's tummy might get upset.

About your puppy being 6 weeks old. I have had a couple of puppies that were at about that age. Not by choice though. The key is to socialize your puppy extensively. Find out about puppy socialization classes in your area and I would seriously look into enrolling her in them once she is allowed to join. Your puppy will also miss her littermates for the first little while and she will probably whine when left alone at night. This will pass. If you can, have her bed where she can see you, this might help.

Enjoy your puppy. They are a joy to have!

May 25th, 2005, 04:33 PM
Welcome to the board. I just recently switched my dogs food because I was feeding Iams (very bad). I'm now giving my dog Wellness, she seems to like it a lot better than the Iams. I don't really know anything about their puppy food though. Hope you can find a good food. My breeder actully wouldn't let his pups go until they were 10 weeks. 6 weeks is much too young, they absolutly shouldn't go until 8 weeks and some breeders like mine even think that is too soon. But I think as long as you spend a lot of time socializing the pup it should be ok. Just more work (as if pups weren't enough work already lol :p ). Good luck.

May 25th, 2005, 07:10 PM
I feed Solid Gold, Wolf King dog food and I am very happy with the results. There is a puppy formula which I believe is called Cub king or something similar. I can't say I have heard of the foods you mentioned.
I have heard of a few problems with Innova when switching so if you decide to go with switch very slowly. Wellness, Dick Van patten;s Natural Balance and Nutro are good foods. There are many others that have not been mentioned but these are popular and have good ingredients.
Stay away from food with corn, corn gluten, wheat, by products and non specific animal fats. A (meat) meal should be one of the first ingredients. Foods are listed by weight by the way.
I would cut out the flaxseed oil while doing your switch. Some dogs get the itchies from flaxseed including one of mine. You won't be able to tell if the food or flaxseed is causing the problem. You can use Omega fish oils instead. If you feed a food like Solid Gold you will may not need to add anything.

May 25th, 2005, 08:29 PM
Also,is it just the dry you are feeding her?I have always given my dogs both dry and canned food...Also,how many times a day are you feeding her?She should be fed at least 3x's a day at this age.

Rule of thumb.The first 5 ingredients should NOT contain corn.

Do some research.Go to the pet food supply store and check the ingredients on the back.I go to Pet Value and the staff there are great.The owner there has 20 years of pet nutrition behind him.He also goes to seminars on pet nutrition.

May 25th, 2005, 08:35 PM
You don't need to add anything to any food really, but as I have done before, I do recommend the Solid Gold Sea Meal. It's a supplement you mix into the food.

I also feed Wolf King. The puppy one is Wolf Cub, it's 26% protein (from good sources) and 12% fat. There are 375 calories per cup. Here are the ingredients:
Bison | Salmon Meal | Brown Rice | Millet | Cracked Pearled Barley | Rice Bran | Canola Oil | Flaxseed Oil | Garlic | Amaranth | Blueberries | Yucca Schidigera Extract | Taurine | Carotene | Choline Chloride | Vitamin E Supplement | Iron Proteinate | Zinc Proteinate | Copper Proteinate | Manganese Proteinate | Potassium Iodide | Thiamine Mononitrate | Ascorbic Acid | Vitamin A Supplement | Biotin | Calcium Panthothenate | Selenomethionine | Pyridoxine Hydrochloride | Vitamin B12 Supplement | Riboflavin | Vitamin D Supplement | Folic Acid
The salmon does incredible things to the coat. My doggies were shiny before but now they're crazy shiny.

Also stay away from foods that say "Meat" anywhere. If they don't say the animal the meat is from, you can't imagine which it is. And Brewer's Rice. The leftovers of rice after making alhoholic beverages.. Disgusting...

Please consider Wellness or Solid Gold. If you give Merricks, wow. That food is crazy. I give Merrick canned food as a treat sometimes, but I'd never afford it for every day use...

Here's solid gold wolf cub:

Coppperbelle-- We should be sponsored. But then Marko might kick us out... :)

May 26th, 2005, 06:31 AM
My dogs would be good poster dogs for Solid Gold as I am sure yours would be also. The food is amazing. Last week again a fellow rescue member came to my house and admired their coats.
I would avoid canned food unless giving it as a treat occasionally. Now my dogs come running whenever I open a can of food with the electric can opener. :D
It is an added expense and you may find your pup licking the canned food off the kibble. I had one dog that would do that.
It also sticks to teeth easier.
Prin is right and I forgot to mention the Brewers rice and mystery meat.
Corn is not necessary in a food and is just used as a filler.

May 26th, 2005, 08:00 AM
I switched my Saint puppy a few weeks back to Solid Gold Wolfcub. He absolutely loves this kibble. He finishes each meal instead of picking at it all day. He still has his soft puppy coat, so I'm not seeing any differences in that yet. But my vet did comment on how healthy he looks.

It is a pricey food (cost me $83 and change with tax for a 33lb bag) but it's worth it. I've never heard anything bad about the Solid Gold line of food.

May 26th, 2005, 11:04 AM
Here's a few of the sites I found while doing my research:

And one that compares dog foods:

Hope these help!

May 26th, 2005, 11:41 AM
As far as I know, nobody ever regrets switching to solid gold... A lot of people I know are switching because of me, so we'll know the long term effects pretty soon... ;)

Keep in mind though, my doggies took a long time to adjust. Boo was on it almost 4 months before he FINALLY had a firm stool. Of course part of that was us feeding him too much...

May 26th, 2005, 07:34 PM
Thanks you to everyone that posted, I appreciate all of your time. Hey Prin, is that dog food brand available in Canada, and if so is there a specific retailer that sells it? I think I want to try Tasha out on that one. I am guessing I will have migrate her onto it slowly. Are you saying that maybe I shouldn't give her the flax? I am more than prepared to deal with loose stool, as long as the end justifies the means. I want her to live as long and healthy as possible, if this means her food will cost a little more, and she will need some vitamins, then so be it.

May 26th, 2005, 08:26 PM
Go to to try to find a retailer in your area who sells it. If you can't find one, you can call them too. Basically any dog food store that has the higher end foods, like Wellness, Merrick, Innova, etc, would have it. It shouldn't be terribly hard to find. :) I don't think you have to stop the flax if you don't want to. If your doggy is doing ok with flax, there should be no reason to discontinue it.

May 26th, 2005, 08:41 PM
I checked out retailers in the Richmond Hill area and found these two:

Global 1070

1070*Major Mackenzie, Dr E*.
L4S 1P3
(p) 905-508-8895**(f) 905-508-2480

Pet Express

100*Red Oak Drive*
L4B 1V7
(p) 905-707-2007**

I was the one that mentioned that flaxseed oil may give your pup the itchies. Try Omega fish oil instead although if you decide to go with the Solid Gold you may not need to add anything. Although more expensive initially it pays for itself as your dog will probably have less skin problems, ear problems, and you will feed less as the quality is better than grocery store brands. If I buy it in the U.S. I pay $45.00 a bag U.S. Converted to canadian it comes to approximately $60.00. If I buy it here in Canada the cost is $72.00 + tax for the 33lb bag. I save about $20.00 per bag in the U.S. I make special trips and buy two bags at a time. :D

May 26th, 2005, 08:44 PM
Plus if you add the Sea Meal too, you definitely won't need any added stuff. I don't really add things to my doggies' food (like flax) so I'm not to educated on it... Call me naive but I believe feeding a great food encompasses all the needs of a doggy. :)

May 27th, 2005, 11:29 AM
You can also order Solid Gold online.

May 27th, 2005, 06:10 PM
Ordering online is very expensive. I checked. The shipping and handling is a killer. I found a place in the U.S. where I can buy the food for $38.00 for the 33 lb bag. With exchange etc... I will be saving about $25-$30.00 a bag over the canadian price. I travel frequently to the U.S. so I will buy a couple of bags at a time.

May 28th, 2005, 01:11 AM
I've got a puppy golden, we feed her "Medi-Cal". Recommended by our vet and breeder. :)

May 28th, 2005, 01:17 AM
Just be careful of what food vets recommend as they tend to sell the foods they are telling you to choose...

Medi-cal may be balanced or somthing, but the ingredients are far from great. Remember, here we don't like corn, and definitely not by-products... My doggies will never touch by-products as long as I can help it...

here are the ingredients in the puppy medi-cal:
Water Sufficient for Processing, Chicken Liver, Beef, Chicken By-Products, Whole Egg, Cornmeal, Rice Flour, Mackerel, Brown Rice, Plasma Protein, Oat Bran, Flax Meal, Minerals (Calcium Carbonate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Potassium Citrate, Salt, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Iron Bioplex, Zinc Bioplex, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Copper Bioplex, Calcium Iodate and Organic Selenium,) Whey Powder, Dextrose, Fructo-Oligosaccharides, Carrageenan, Brewers Yeast, High Chromium Yeast, Vitamins (Vitamin E, Choline Chloride, Inositol, Thiamine Mononitrate, Niacin, Biotin, Vitamin A, Beta-Carotene, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex, Vitamin D3, and Folic Acid), L-Carnitine, Docosahexaenoic Acid, Alpha-Lipoic Acid and L-Glutamine.

The Solid Gold Wolf Cub's ingredients are above in post 14 to compare. Of course there is probably a big difference in price but which would you rather eat?

May 28th, 2005, 10:51 AM
I just ordered 3 - 33lb bags of Solid Gold Wolfcub online and they are only charging me $16 (US) in shipping. I too thought that the shipping would make the food twice as expensive, so I was really excited when I found this company. They are out of New Jersey. I don't know how much the shipping would be to Canada, but for me ordering online seems the only way to go since no one within a 3 hour drive carries the Solid Gold and the one local outfit who says they carry the Nutro doesn't ever actually have any, at least not the large breed puppy formula.

heeler's rock!
May 28th, 2005, 02:01 PM
My border collie is on a raw diet, and my 2 heeler's are on Innova Evo. evo is like raw food in kibble form. There is no corn, and the kibble is actually held together by potatoes. See below for ingredient list. :)

Turkey, Chicken Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Potatoes, Herring Meal, Chicken Fat, Natural Flavors, Egg, Garlic, Apples, Carrots, Tomatoes, Cottage Cheese, Alfalfa Sprouts, Dried Chicory Root, Taurine, Lecithin, Rosemary Extract,
Vitamins/Minerals, Viable Naturally Occurring Microorganisms.

Here's nutritional info:
Protein 42.2 %
Fat 22.153 %
Fiber 2.50 %
Moisture 10.00 %
Calories 4243 Kcal/Kg
Calories 1929 Kcal/lb
Calories 537 KCals/Cup

I swear by this food. It's been amazing health wise, and our dogs only poop 2 times a day. Both times are compact and hard, so we scoop up less! It's really great food. A bit pricy, but because of the high amount of protein, we feed less so we can feed 2 heeler crosses one bag per month. Not bad if I do say so myself! :D

Good luck on your puppy food search! :)

May 29th, 2005, 07:13 PM
I've got a puppy golden, we feed her "Medi-Cal". Recommended by our vet and breeder. :)

Why is your puppy eating Medi-Cal? Does it have health problems?

Shipping is only $16.00. That is fabulous. When I checked it was outrageous. It is well worth the price considering what gas costs lately.