So August is 12 weeks now, he came to us 10 weeks old and malnourished, you could easily feel his bones. He's looking a lot better now, shiny coat, gained weight, hyper, and totally flea free! We have had him on Costco dry all ages turkey sweet potato food because that's what my mil feeds her dog and it's a good deal. But what's the best affordable dog/puppy food? Dry? Should I make it? I know people that do and am kind of leaning towards that, but am scared. Lol and what is raw? Also any opinions on nupro supplements? Any good recipes for making my own?
We feed our 10.5 week old lab Purina Pro Plan Large Breed Puppy Chicken and Rice, on the advice of our breeder. I am not sure how it compares to others in terms of affordability, but we are very happy with it. She eats a heaping cup three times a day. In the morning, I mix it with a chopped baby carrot, one fish oil gel capsule (opened), and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast; in the evening, it is mixed w/ a spoonful of plain yoghurt and a little plainly cooked chicken, if I have some.
She was 18.2 lbs at 7.5 weeks; I would estimate that she is about 25 lbs now (will know next week at her second vaccination visit).
For a growing puppy, I would recommend a good dry *puppy* kibble along the lines of Purina Pro Plan, Royal Canin, or Precise. But I also think it's important not to switch foods all over the place. If you have something that is working for your dog, and he's growing and gaining weight, I'd stick with it.
I made dry food for our cats for about seven years (until the one who loved it died, the other one slowly went off it, and the new one really preferred kibble), and I think that if you are committed to do it properly, it can be a great thing. However, if you can't really be committed to do it well, and consistently so, it may not be the way to go. Basically, if you cook yourself a lot, don't mind handling, e.g., raw meat and eggs, have access to all the supplements required, and don't mind making large amounts of raw food once a week (or more), then go for it. Our cats thrived on raw food—but it's a commitment.
If you want to investigate good raw food recipes for your dog, I recommend Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats. The main thing is that you need to use a real recipe formulated by someone who fully understands nutritional requirements of dogs at different stages.
I may introduce occasional raw food to my dog in the future—after checking w/ our breeder—but right now the Purina Pro Plan is doing well for us, so I am not itching to try something new.
"But what's the best affordable dog/puppy food? "
This may be one of the times in life where you get what you pay for, but whatever brand you choose, stick with a puppy food.
I buy Orijen for Rocky.