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The breeder will have the puppies on Life’s Abundance. I believe this is something I order online.  Are any of your doodles on this or stay on this type of food.  And if you made a switch what type of dog food do you use and when was the gradual switch made.


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Comment by Paige and Leo on May 16, 2014 at 9:31am

Thanks for the all the info! Very helpful.  There are so many choices (good and not so good)  I did look at the breeder food and compared it to others and it looks good.  I guess it is just a matter of seeing how puppy does on it and the cost factor.  I will stay with it for awhile before making any switches, so I don't upset his/her stomach or routine.   

Comment by DonMarie & Picco on May 16, 2014 at 8:46am

Thanks for the info Jan! Choosing dog foods is sooo overwhelming. I've checked those ratings sites and lots of the foods seem to bounce around between ratings.  I don't care to try the Science Diet but I'm looking for something different because Picco doesn't care for the Nature Domain Grain free. And I want to check out that calculator. btw......I don't think corn, wheat & soy is for any living being to consume!

Comment by Jan, Lily & Nessy on May 16, 2014 at 4:09am

Always start with what the breeder was feeding, then, if you find it difficult to get, or your pup isn't doing that great on it, then venture into the confusing and overwhelming task of searching for something that suits better. ;)

Btw - all Vets seem to carry Science Diet - it's not that great, it is what they know (thanks to aggressive marketing).  And watch out for foods that are primarily grain (the order of the ingredients list tells a great deal - the first 3 ingredients are of most concern, but in any case, know that the order of the ingredients is based on pre-processed weight - the first ingredient being the greatest weight prior to processing, in other words, before the water content is removed).  I avoid corn in the food (even when I was feeding food that contained grain), the only grain I was remotely willing to feed is rice or brown rice... Corn is for cows & chickens, not dogs! Ditto for wheat.  Spoiled corn is has been the source of many a dog food recall...  Finally, if you can buy the food at your local grocery store, it probably isn't the best choice - they tend to carry only the crapola foods (cheap, lots of fillers)....  Yes, I guess I'm a dog-food snob, lol ;)

Comment by Paige and Leo on May 15, 2014 at 3:33pm

Thank you!  I may stay with it?  I will compare overall prices with other grain free products and see. The auto ship might be a good thing to have come to the house. 

Comment by Jan, Lily & Nessy on May 15, 2014 at 3:10pm

By the way - Life's Abundance seems to be a good food. ;)

Comment by Jan, Lily & Nessy on May 15, 2014 at 2:24pm

Warning - long (lol ;)

I personally prefer grain free food for my dogs. They have done very well on them.  And the added benefit is that without the grain fillers, they produce less poo.  lol ;)   My dogs have done well on Acana Pacifica as well as Earthborn Holistic Coastal Catch (not all their products are grain free - be careful if looking at that manufacturer's product line).  Both are a fish based food (protein source), and grain free (although the earthborn product uses potatoes as a filler, hence the food is lower KCal / cup and cheaper / bag).  I have found that to the dogs, the two products are similar enough I can serve them either one and there is no tummy upset switching back and forth (Acana can sometimes be hard to get, I'm in the USA and it comes from Canada).

When changing foods, unless the puppy/dog is having problems, it is less stressful to choose a new food that contains similar ingredients (protein source(s) and other ingredients).  It is also advisable to transition slowly to the new food.  Slowly (over a period of a week or so) adding more of the new food, reducing the quantity of old food, until the dog/puppy is eating nothing but the new food.  If both are kibble - a good trick is to pre-measure the two foods into zipper bags - 1/4 new & 3/4 old, 1/2 new & 1/2 old, and 3/4 new & 1/4 old.  It makes it much easier to keep track of how much of each is given and when to transition to the next ratio of foods.  The slower this change is done, the less likely the puppy will get an upset tummy (and the runs).

To calculate how much of a food to feed, or to compare volumes & costs of two different foods -try the dog food calculator at:

It is set up to allow you to enter as much or as little information as you want (the more information you provide, the more information you will get back).  It only accepts whole numbers (no decimals, sorry), but it can help you determine how much to feed your puppy/dog in terms of calories / day (KCal / day). It can help you figure out how much of a particular food that would be (if you tell it how many KCal / cup there is in the food from the bag or website of the manufacturer).  It can even help you compare costs of various foods if you include the KCal /kg, bag size, and price per bag.

Some of the "more expensive" foods turn out to be competitive when you find out that you don't need to feed as much food per day as the ones that appear cheaper (per pound / kg).  If your dog only needs 2 cups / day on one food, but 3 cups / day on another, comparing price per pound/kg is not helpful, as you'll go through a similarly sized bag much more slowly with the higher calorie food than the lower calorie food.  Sometimes the difference in how much to feed can be even more drastic (2 Cups of one food vs. 4 Cups of another).

If you do use the calculator - be sure to use the MER (Maintenance Energy Requirements) when determining how much to feed your puppy.  The other number, RER, would not be a healthy amount, but is included because it can be useful if someone has an adult dog that is overweight - the RER would be a diet plan amount...  The MER number the calculator will give you should come very close to what the manufacturer recommends on the bag's feeding chart.

Finally, with young puppies, it is helpful to weigh them often (every week or two), and adjust their meals accordingly.  They grow so fast! ;)

Hope this helps.

Comment by Paige and Leo on May 15, 2014 at 11:07am

Thank you for the Costco recommendation.  I spoke with a neighbor and there yellow lab is on Nature Domain Grain free as well.  I will have to check that out. 

Comment by Laura , Marley and Oliver on May 14, 2014 at 9:05pm
Marley eats Kirklands nature Domain Grain Free by Costco we also only give him grain free treats by Natural Balance.
Comment by DonMarie & Picco on May 14, 2014 at 10:27am

Just a funny story first - I have tried feeding Picco Nature's Domain Grain Free. He had a vet visit with a stool sample and the doc found lots of grain in it. I did remember catching Picco eating grass (which is rare) so we figured he wanted some grain in his diet again!I have switched foods several times in hope of cutting down Picco's itching but found that it isn't the food causing it but switching to oatmeal shampoos helps.

Getting to my point now just some "food for thought" ha ha! - My vet said that these small specialized food companies count on the bigger companies such as Science Diet, Iams, etc (the big brands that have been around and we all know about) and count on them for research, then make there own feed based on that. He said possibly that they actually lag behind on the latest nutritional findings because of this. My vet distributes Science Diet and recommends it.

Comment by Beverly and Eli on May 13, 2014 at 8:09pm

That sounds good Lorie.

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