Hi! I've been lurking around the forum for a while but just registered. I orginially posted this in Lab Chat but it was suggested that I should post it here too.
I have an 8 month old YM named Dakota. When I switch him to adult food I'd also like to change the brand of food we feed. We now feed Premium Edge LB Puppy (Lamb, 27% protein) on the breeder's recommendation. I've kept him on PE because he seems to be doing well on it. But, when we switch at a year I'd like to switch him to something higher quality. I think PE is a good, but not great food.
I was thinking of switching to either Timberwolf Organics Lamb Barley and Apples formula (28% protein) or TO Wild and Natural (36% protein) or Innova EVO (42% protein). Does the amount of protein matter? Is more better? If not, how do I figure out what food to feed? There are just SO many foods out there...
In terms of his activity level - Dakota is a city dog who attends day care 5x/week from 10-6. On the weekends we try to take him out hiking or swimming. He goes almost every weekend in the summer, but it will probably be more like 1 out of 2 or 1 out of 3 weekends in the fall and winter.
I say if it ain't broke, don't fix it. He can be switched off of puppy food now. Premium Edge is not a bad food. He's doing well, I say leave it be.
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
No, the protein won't matter (all the foods you listed provide enough). However, some of those foods wouldn't be appropriate for Lab puppies because of the calcium levels (most notably Innova EVO). However, since you're planning on waiting, by 1-year of age that won't be as important.
Dogs have evolved to use protein as an energy source. Because of this, they can utilize high protein and low carbohydrate diets. Are they required, no. There are some instances when high protein is not advantageous...dogs with kidney troubles, for example.
Like Dani said, Premium Edge is good, and if it's working, I'm not sure I'd worry about changing.
If you want to, however, it really doesn't matter which one you switch to, they're all good foods. Most of the time, the ingredients are geared more towards impressing the owners as opposed to having any substantial health difference from other labels/foods. Reading the labels isn't totally useless, it gives you an idea about the quality, but the real tests comes when you feed it. From your list, I'd start with the cheapest and most readily available product and try it...if it works, feed it, if not, move on to the next food.
I'd check with the breeder. Most breeders know what works for their dogs and can get a bit pissy when well meaning puppy buyers want to switch to a different brand.
I'm with the others, if its not broke, don't try to fix it.
♣ Laura ♣