In the past (1989-2004) I have had great success feeding my Golden Retrievers 2 premium brands of food (Innova and Candade). Back then it was simple. There were very inexpensive foods with lots of by-products and fillers and then there were more expensive premium foods that had higher quality proteins and higher quality grains. During that time there was also some debate around RAW food and finally dogs with allergies were fed grain free foods like California Natural.
Having just added a beautiful yellow puppy to the family I started to do some research to determine what I would feed her. The breeder had all of her dogs on the Diamond Lamb and Rice Large Breed Formula. After hearing about some unfortunate expereinces people had with Diamond in the past I decided that I wanted to slowly put Bess on a different food. I felt that there was some room for improvement. I agreed to keep her on a large breed puppy formula and also agreed to switch slowly over time.
After reading rave reviews about Orijens Large Puppy Formula I was planning on giving it a try. The points that Orijen raises in their white papers seem to make sense regarding the advantages of a grain free food for dogs. When I went to buy some locally, a sales woman and a friend of her complelled me to stick with Innova since I had success with it years ago and they warned me that Orijen could cause her to have very loose stools and potentially cause other health problems due to the high protein. So I purchased the Innova Large Puppy. Now I am receiving some messages from some people that swear by the Orijen and actually claim that by using the Innova I am giving into silly fears and emotions at the expense of my puppys health.
This should not be so complicated. I know about the dogfoodanlysis website, They actually give the Origan large puppy six stars but go on to say they would not feed it to a puppy.
Problem is there are too many so called experts on this very opinionated topic. Any shared simular expereinces in determining what to feed your young LAB would be most welcome.
What really matters to me is whichever food will help her develop and provide the most healthy quality of life at the lowest risk. Cost is not an issue at all.
Bess is almost 13 weeks. Thanks so much...Howell
if she is doing well on the diamond; i would not switch her at this age. breeders know what works for their puppies. you can switch her to innova or something else down the road. i made that mistake early on and went on a food rollercoaster and the detriment to my puppies health was having loose stools....can't be good for a developing puppy. everyone thinks they are a food expert...listen to your puppy and what works for her. premium foods do not work for every dog...especially labradors.
Thanks for your reply. I do not plan on taking her off the Diamond anytime soon. Amazing how this is such am very emotional issue for many people. Not only because they want to be recognized as 'dog food experts', but some people tie this to ones love for their dog.
Years ago at a business dinner someone mentioned there is no better measurement for ones love of their dog than the quality of the food they would provide. I know this person was not trying to offend anyone, but 2 people at the dinner where very offended. Then to my amazement, the dog food comment impacted the friendship between 2 of the people both inside and outside of the office.
I really like this breeder. We had a very frank discussion about dog food and other areas that impact a dog health. She indicated that since she has numerous dogs that she finds Diamond to be a great food from a cost/quality perspective. She did agree that there were some better foods out there, that also have a better track record. I agreed that I would transition slowly and stick with a large breed puppy formula. I would never judge anyones love for their dog based on the food they choose. But as I have continued to research this matter I ultimately would feel better having Bess on a different formula. The fact that my male golden lived 16 mostly healthy years on Innova carries some weight.
But I try to be open minded and consider that a 'grain free' diet might benefit Bess.' I did not expect so much 'doom and gloom' regarding extreme views and predictions of 'loose stools', 'bad joints', 'kidney failure' and 'liver problems', if I made the wrong choice between these 2 well regarded foods.
Someone asked me why this was not such a complicated issue with my 3 children. That's and ez answer. WIth children you alternate their diets across days and meals. So there is much more diversity. With dogs we seem to put all of our faith into a single product.
Just like parenting, everyone has an opinion on raising/training/feeding/caring for pets. Listen to the advice, consider the source, do your own research and make an informed decision.
FWIW, I think a lot of the premium foods have too high a protein level for a house pet.
I'm a fan of Diamond...always have been. There hasn't been a dog food company that wasn't subject to recalls in recent times. My boys do well on Diamond...and to your breeder's credit, she must know what her dogs do well on too. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. We feed all of our rescue dogs in our rescue Diamond as well.
I'd not feed a large breed formula...but you'll get lots of differing opinions on that as well.
Dani, Rider & Rookie
SHR Watson's Safari Rider, JH, WC, CL1-R, RA, CGC, TDI
SHR Endeavor Put Me In Coach, RN, WC, CGC
Member Since 6/2003
This issue is closed for now. I have decided to go with Innova for the following reasons: I just spoke to one of their REPS who indicated that they also have a high protein food called EVO, but they would not recommend it for puppies. They would only recommend it for larger grown dogs. Another major reason is I had tremendous success with Innova in the past and my male golden lived to be 16 without hardly any health issues. I am tired of going back and forth on this. Personal experience to me is a very significant factor. Even the breeder endorses Innova.
My five month old pup is on Innova large breed puppy and is doing awesome on it. Is just at the perfect weight and has loads of energy. We're happy with the food and Dio seems to like it too.
If I were to feed kibble I would do so on a rotational diet with a few select brands chosen for quality, as anyone savvy in dog nutrition will tell you, it's not ideal for them to eat one food for their whole lives. Sure, some dogs do it and do OK, but anecdotal evidence is majorly flawed when you want to find the most scientifically sound information.
Baloo - 5 year old black lab
Peanut - 7 year old minpin
Monster - 3-ish year old frenchie/jack, rescue