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Switching puppy to a better brand of dog food

joeysmama
December 18th, 2005, 07:45 PM
My puppy was sent home with a bag of Eukanuba but it's time to buy more food. I've been reading these boards several times a day and I've gathered that this isn't the best food for him. I strongly believe that good nutrition is important to keep us healthy--and of course I want that for Cooper too.

Should I change foods gradually? Maybe mix what I have with the new food to start?

I was reading on another thread that Costco has a good food at a good price but I'm not going to buy a membership at Costco because we wouldn't use it for much else. My kids are at college so buying in bulk doesn't work for two of us, and also, I purchase a lot of our food at the health food store.

What other brands would be a good choice for a 4 month old shih-tzu? There is a pet supply store and a Pet Goods and several vets all within a few miles of my home, so I'm guessing I have a good variety of options available to me, I just want to know how to transition and what to transition to.

I'm sure this information is already here as I know I've read about transitioning the food and also the names of good dog foods. I just want to be very cleare about the breed and age etc. in case that makes a difference. I want to really know what I'm doing before I make the switch.

This is like being a new mommy all over again. I really want to get it right !!

Thanks in advance !!:)

divinecalamity
December 18th, 2005, 10:34 PM
:pawprint: You should transition slowly, mixing the old food with the new food, gradually decreasing the old food. The costco bags would prob be too big for your puppy being a small dog, as food only stays fresh for so long (exactly how long I am not sure :confused: ). I am not sure if you are wanting to transfer to more puppy food or an adult food? there are foods that are good for all stages of life which are suitable for puppies. the recomendation for switching puppy to adult is aprox one year of age however, smaller dogs may be switched earlier and larger dogs may need puppy food longer. If you question the workers at a specialty food store they may have clearer info or you can as your vet. I am pretty sure that Royal Canin makes a shi-tzu specific food, but they tend to be expensive. hope this helps a little.:pawprint:

mafiaprincess
December 18th, 2005, 10:46 PM
Vets often lack nutrition info. And will push hill's and anythign else they sell, so I wouldn't go looking for help from my vet.

I've also found that asking clerks at petvalu or anywhere else I have gone for pet food may be futile. Even when I've gone in knowing exactly what I was going to buy.. I've been told by multiple clerks that 'iams is better than wellness, and eukanuba is way better than solid gold' and other screwed up statements cause they only need to know how to work a cash register to work there. And though they are trying to be helpful, if you haven't spent time trying to read labels, you can get more flustered than you were to begin with.

Many pet food stores offer samples. I'd go and pick up some samples of food that you like the ingredients on and make a compromise with your pet finding one that they also like the taste of.

And as was stated above gradually switch over from all of the eukanuba transitioning into the new food to keep happy poop, lol.

technodoll
December 18th, 2005, 11:05 PM
here are some good, holistic brands you should look into:
http://www.iei.net/~ebreeden/kibble.html

and here is a great informative site on how to choose a good dog food: http://www.mordanna.com/dogfood/index.php?page=identify

although my first choice is always to feed a natural, raw diet - the way nature intended dogs to eat and it's what they are built for.

good luck! :highfive:

Prin
December 19th, 2005, 01:01 AM
I'm not sure if Costco has puppy food though... And I don't think you'd be saving enough money on the dog food to make up for the membership fee.

Keep in mind that the Kirkland food is a good value but it is by no means the best out there. Just better than Euk, Iams and Purina.;)

For a 4 month shih tzu, I'd go with Wellness Super5Mix Puppy...
Super5Mix Puppy (http://www.omhpet.com/dogs/wellness_detail.asp?pCode=dryDogSup5MixPuppy)

Or Hund-n-Flocken (might be less tasty): Hund-n-Flocken (http://www.solidgoldhealth.com/products/showproduct.php?id=1&code=100)

Merrick Puppy Plate is also good.

Honestly, it's hard to find good puppy foods.. Even some of the best brands have corn in their puppy foods. It's weird.

joeysmama
December 19th, 2005, 07:34 AM
Thank you for your replies. I've found that many human doctors don't get much training about nutrition. Doctors themselves have told me that they are only required to take one hour on nutrition. I suspect that it may work that way with vets as well.

I'd much prefer to spend more on his food and less on vet bills. There is such an obvious connection between good nutrition and good health.

I'm going to try the WellnessSuper5. I'm going out later this morning and I'll look for that. I'm thinking that to start I'll mix it with what he loves best--pieces of the L.L. Bean catalogue.;) (He's a little furry paper shredder. I have to "baby proof" the house !)

Prin
December 19th, 2005, 03:06 PM
The super5 is fishy too, so most likely the doggy will like it. My doggies hate everything wellness except that one. I bought a bag for a friend of mine so my doggies got a taste. Jemma usually spits wellness out.:)

joeysmama
December 19th, 2005, 06:13 PM
I mixed a little of the new food in with his dinner tonight. It was so funny. Usually I sit with him and feed him a few bites from my hand when he starts eating. (Joey was so territorial about his food that I wanted this one to be okay if I put my hand in his dish while he's eating--remember I'm new at this puppy stuff:) )

Well I put the food in his dish and he took a bit of the Euk. Ate it. Took a piece of the Wellness and trotted off into the family room to eat it. My husband said he must think it's a treat. After two or three pieces he was ok eating it in the kitchen. I put a piece of the old on the floor and piece of the new and he made straight for the new.

We compared the ingredient list and oh good grief !! What a difference. My husband actually asked if he could have it for dinner tonight. Smart aleck !

Anyway--Cooper loves it and I feel as though I'm being a more responsible mommy. Thank you so much for the recommendation !

Prin
December 19th, 2005, 11:34 PM
LOL You have a funny hubby...:D I hope the rest of the switch goes well. You'll see- his fur will get so nice too.:)