Is this a suitable brand for Lab pups? A friend of ours is an advocate for 100% natural dog food, and I just wanted to hear some other opinions. Riley seems to LOVE her Purina, and turns her nose up to the natural stuff. Is it good enough that she knows what she likes and doesnt?
She probably likes it because of all the sugar and artificial flavorings - kinda like most kids would prefer a nice bag of Doritos over a healthier snack. I would try to find a better food. These days, there are lots of good foods out there, it really just depends on what's available.
A few to think about:
Innova LB Puppy
Diamond LB Puppy
Eagle Pack LB Puppy
Diamond Naturals Chicken and Rice
Purina ONE LB Puppy/regular puppy
Purina Pro Plan LB Puppy/regular puppy
Iams LB Puppy/Iams Puppy
The list goes on...I think any of the aforementioned foods (plus more than I can't think of off the top of my head) are much better than Purina Puppy Chow.
For adult (>12 mos) dogs, in general choose a diet without corn, corn products, or wheat, wheat products.
For Lab puppies (<12 mos) seriously consider a Large Breed formula. From a previous post:
There is no unanimous agreement on this but the majority (maybe a slim majority) of people recommend feeding a LARGE BREED PUPPY formulation for the first year (or some would say the first 6 - 11 months).
That's because the amounts of calcium, phosphorus, and kcals are adjusted in LBP food formulations so that the joints don't close too soon.
Premature joint closure is one of the three major interacting causes of later joint problems -- the other two are early stress (as from jumping, early injury) as well as hereditary/genetic factors.
I belong to the group that favors LBP food, figuring that anything I can do to reduce the risk of joint problems -- to which Labs are very susceptible -- is worth it. (For that reason I've also fed my Lab a Glucosamine and Chondroitin tablet since she's been one year old.) And my vet, a diplomate in internal medicine at Kansas State's CollVetMed, strongly recommended feeding a good LBP food for Puff's first year.
Among the commonly available better quality LBP foods are (alphabetically) the newly introduced "Diamond Naturals" (commonly available in feed stores or you can go to their website and find a store locator -- they do NOT advertise so they depend on word of mouth to build sales; their straight "Diamond" is now of slightly lower quality with fillers; all Diamond prices are much lower than other comparable quality products); Eukanuba (the better quality, higher cost version of Iams); Nutro Natural Choice (Nutro Ultra may be better quality, it's a new line and I haven't compared its ingredients with their NC; their Nutro Max is of lower quality -- more fillers); and ProPlan (their Purina One is a lower grade, more fillers, by the same company). Science Diet also has a LBP food but typically SD uses a lot of grain fillers and a LOT of promotional incentives to vets to push their sales.
Disclosure: I fed my Puff [YF, AKC field line (competitive breeder), 65 lbs., DOB: 8-'01] Nutro Natural Choice LBP food for her first 11 months and then switched her to Diamond Lamb & Rice ("Diamond Naturals" did not exist at that time -- the brand had not yet then split into a lower and higher quality line).
Soon I switched her to Kirkland's L&R; "Kirkland" is a house brand sold only in Costco's (a warehouse club like Sam's but with -- IMO -- usually much higher quality products and slightly higher prices). I now feed her Kirkland C&R because it now has fewer fillers than their L&R.
Kirkland's dog food is made by the same comapny that makes Diamond and the Kirkland dog food formulations are VERY similar to that of the "Diamond Naturals".
It used to be that Kirkland was very similar to equivalent Diamond formulas but about 9 months ago the Kirkland formulas diverged to become very similar to that of the later arriving, new "Diamond Naturals".
Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]
Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
Gotta ditto Bob Pr.
Since you are looking for opinions, I'll agree w/ the others. The ingredients in PPC are awful. Meat is the 4th ingredient when it should be the first:
Whole grain corn, corn gluten meal, whole grain wheat, chicken by-product meal, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E), soybean meal, brewers rice, meat and bone meal, beef, pearled barley, sugar, sorbitol, fish oil, calcium phosphate, animal digest, salt, phosphoric acid, potassium chloride, sorbic acid (a preservative), dried peas, dried carrots, L-Lysine monohydrochloride, calcium propionate (a preservative), added color (Red 40, Yellow 5, Blue 2), Vitamin E supplement, choline chloride, brewers dried yeast, zinc sulfate, zinc proteinate, ferrous sulfate, niacin, manganese sulfate, manganese proteinate, Vitamin A supplement, calcium carbonate, DL-Methionine, Vitamin B-12 supplement, calcium pantothenate, copper sulfate, copper proteinate, thiamine mononitrate, garlic oil, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, Vitamin D-3 supplement, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), calcium iodate, folic acid, biotin, sodium selenite.
There are plenty of other options that would be healthier but won't break the bank.
If you are interested in learning more about ingredients to look for, and ones to avoid, check out www.dogfoodproject.com. Look under the section called "Commercial Dry Foods" on the left for these topics. Hope that helps.
Oh thank you! I hate that Ive given her something so awful! Ive heard of most of the brands you've mentioned, so David and I will do some investigating and choose a better brand.
No...if you have a typical glutton Lab there is very little they DON'T like. As Nick said, dogs like foods such as Puppy Chow because of the artificial colourings and flavourings. They can actually become addicted to 'junk' (ie; refuse to eat other natural foods made from proper ingredients) so I would get her off the Chow and on to something healthier. While I very much believe in feeding what works, I can't justify feeding junk to any dog. The dried dog food market has improved vastly -- take a look at the link ThatsMyGirl provided you with.Is it good enough that she knows what she likes and doesnt?
Good luck finding something else. There are alot of good quality foods out there, not one is the absolute best. You just need to learn to read labels and decide what you will avoid when you are comparing foods. We stay away from corn and wheat in food. I prefer no by-products and animal digest when I can. I feed Nutro Natural Choice Lamb & Rice. I like some others better but this one is good for our dogs and their stools, so we have been keeping them on it.
Just a quick note in case you didn't know (just ignore if you did). If you do decide to switch, do it gradually. I think someone suggested on here 25% new food, 75% old food for 3 days, then 50-50 for 3 days and 75% new to 25% old for the next 3, then you are good to go with new food.
I had some friends with a very old dog who switched his food outright. He ended up getting constipated which caused some other complications. It ended up causing alot of problems. I don't think it be that bad with a puppy, but there would be problems.
Good luck with the food hunt, I have been driving myself crazy trying to find a good food. We aren't near a big city so our selection is very limited.
Chatham ~ chocolate Labrador Retriever
Kaper ~ German Shepherd
Hary ~ German Shepherd
Gosh, do we know how you feel. Where we live the market is so dry where pup's are concerned. The only places we have are of course the grocery store, a locally owned pet shop, and wal mart. The pet shop has the good brands but there mark-up is like 300%. Its rediculous. Im thinking of ordering online from now on. Theres a brand called Hollisitic Selects (I think) that seems much better than the Purina..Poor Riley for a few days will have to endure that sugary, brightly coloured cr*p. Thank you all for the support.