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Hello. I'm new to the forums and I'm just looking for some advice and or input on food.

I'm picking up an Australian Cattle Dog pup in 2 weeks. He will be 8 weeks old. He's from AKC registered parents.

The nearest place to get feed is the next town over and they supply five different brands of feed... The options are:

Blue buffalo

Merricks

Taste of the Wild

Nutro

Science Diet

The only other pet in the house is a domestic long haired cat. We've been feeding her Taste of the Wild successfully for the past six years. The only problems we've had is with over feeding. Sometimes she'll eat it too quickly or too much and will get sick. We also have to be careful about her weight. So naturally I picked up a bag of Taste of the Wild.

Price isn't really a concern here. Blue is the more expensive of the brands. Followed by Merricks and Taste of the Wild. Which are very closely priced around $30 for the large bag.

I've heard with higher quality feed you do not need a "puppy formula" as the feed is well balanced for all stages. I didn't see a puppy formula for Taste of the Wild, so I picked up the High Prairie blend as it seemed higher in protein. Some of the other brands did have a puppy formula.

So any insight on this would be helpful. Considering the breed and activity level what would some of the more seasoned feed professionals recommend?

P.S.

Currently the breeder is feeding Purina Pro. So he will be weened off of that within the following weeks. I attached an image of the puppy.

Thank you.
 

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I've heard with higher quality feed you do not need a "puppy formula" as the feed is well balanced for all stages. I didn't see a puppy formula for Taste of the Wild, so I picked up the High Prairie blend as it seemed higher in protein. Some of the other brands did have a puppy formula.
This isn't strictly true. AAFCO has different requirements for puppy versus adult dog foods. Puppy foods must meet their "growth" guidelines. Adult food must meet their "maintenance" guidelines. "All life stages" foods meet both. I'd recommend a puppy or all life stages formula for an 8 week old pup. Which category the bag of food you bought will fit into should be on the back of the bag.

Personally, I wouldn't feed most of those brands. Blue Buffalo has had issues with recalls and lawsuits (and many dogs won't eat it), Science Diet is not great quality, Taste of the Wild is owned by Diamond and I personally won't feed any food manufactured by Diamond because of their history of recalls and lies to customers.

Nutro's grain free line looks okay. And Merrick is decent kibble.

If you check out Chewy.com, you will find a wide selection of kibble and it gets shipped right to your door. High quality kibbles include Acana, Fromm and Orijen.
 

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Another vote for Chewy here. I have three dogs, six cats, and a bird. I love the wide variety of choices and not having to lug stuff home from the store. Of course, the FedEx guy might not like me so much....

I like to start comparing foods at the Dog Food Advisor website. http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/ I don't take their reviews as "gospel" but it does give me an idea about whether or not I'd feed something.

I also recommend reading this book. http://www.dogwise.com/itemdetails.cfm?ID=DN332
 

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I also buy from Chewy but word of caution - do not buy large bags of any food until you know your pup likes and does well on it. I personally feed Annamaet, was feeding Farmina as well but Zoey just stopped eating it. I see a lot of people here feed Taste of the Wild and I've seen Merrick tossed around as well. I fed our last dog Nutro but find I can get better quality food for about the same price. Speaking of quality, if your dog does well on Purina, there may be no reason to change; sometimes there's a lot of hype in what we feed to dogs and may have no bearing on the actual benefit (or lack there of) of the food.
 

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I agree if you can order online that would be a good way to go. I order all of my dog food online simply because there are no good pet food stores close to me. A few brands I really like and have good results on are Farmina, Annamaet, Acana, and Purina Beyond (this one is for adults only I believe). All available on Chewy and other online pet stores.

Out of your five options, I would choose Merrick or Taste of the Wild. My problem with Merrick though is that most of their foods have very high ash, calcium, and phosphorus levels. A bit high for my comfort, I don't like feeding excessive amounts of anything if it isn't necessary. Some TOTW formulas are also a bit high in ash IMO, but it's an all around decent food that many sensitive dogs do great on, if you don't have a problem with the manufacturer.

I probably wouldn't touch Blue Buffalo, too many problems and for the high price it costs I can get a better quality food. I'm not a fan of Science Diet unless a dog needs one of their prescription foods.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you for the input so far.

I guess I should have considered the above advice before buying a large bag of feed. Something that didn't even cross my mind is that it may not agree with him.

We do have additional feed/pet stores around, but they're all very far away. Does Chewy offer any kind of rewards program? Often time the local feed store will offer coupons of rewards points for loyal customers. It's not a big box store, just a mom and pop store.

I'll have to go check out Chewy.com to see what it's about.
 

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Chewy is great. I do try to support local business (just got back from buying some shampoo and fetch toys at the pet shop) but the prices and convenience of Chewy are really hard to beat. I ordered before at 7 or 8 pm on a Monday night and the food was waiting for me when I got home from work on Wednesday. I'm on my third large bag of Dr. Tim's which isn't available locally, so its nice to have that option.

$49 to get to free shipping is easy to meet when buying large bags of food but if you want to try a smaller bag first, plan ahead and combine the order with something pricier that you are going to need anyway. Such as flea/tick medication.

Out of the brands at your local shop, I would go with ToTW.
 

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I order from chewy. My closest pet store is 50 miles one way. I've considered just driving and buying 2-3 bags at a time because chewy has raised their prices on the victor I am feeding.


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Thank you for all the replies thus far.

Granted I mentioned price isn't really an issue here, however I went back to the feed store to put some more feelers out on price/quality and good grief... The 30lb bag of Taste of the Wild I paid $32.00 for. On Chewy.com it's retailing $48.99... Merricks in store was $36.00, online it's almost $54. Is this typical? I'm all for quality, I'd buy Orijen if it were sold locally and at the manufacturers suggested retail price. I'm not entirely sure if prices for dog feed are just cheaper where I live, or chewy is jacking up the price point? I just don't feel as if I'd be getting the best "bang for my buck" ordering from chewy.com.
 

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I feed Taste of the Wild (usually the High Prairie or Southwest Canyon, because my dogs like those and one of my dogs is allergic to some fish). No complaints. I've fed Nutro too, but where I live TotW is a better value per calorie.

Nutro has some good limited ingredient foods for dogs with allergies or food sensitivities.
 

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Thank you for all the replies thus far.

Granted I mentioned price isn't really an issue here, however I went back to the feed store to put some more feelers out on price/quality and good grief... The 30lb bag of Taste of the Wild I paid $32.00 for. On Chewy.com it's retailing $48.99... Merricks in store was $36.00, online it's almost $54. Is this typical? I'm all for quality, I'd buy Orijen if it were sold locally and at the manufacturers suggested retail price. I'm not entirely sure if prices for dog feed are just cheaper where I live, or chewy is jacking up the price point? I just don't feel as if I'd be getting the best "bang for my buck" ordering from chewy.com.
The difference in price .. you are paying for a service, the convenience of having product
delivered to your door. Also the option of many more choices of dog food as opposed to
only 5.
When calculating "bang for buck", factor in your time to go get food and also the fuel it
takes. :)
 

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I checked the price of ToTW at the Tractor Supply in my general area and the website shows $47.

Chewy does vary a fair bit on how good of a deal a specific food is. My Dr. Tim's is $65 for 44 lbs and I consider ~$1.50/lb to be right in the middle of the "mid-range" for prices.
 

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I actually buy all of my dog supplies through Amazon and my Prime account. With Prime....Amazon's pricing is the same as Chewy and I get free shipping on almost everything I buy. I actually feed Nature's Variety Salmon kibble, with Salmon Oil, and use Red Barn Food Rolls for training treats which all comes from Amazon. I also get my flea and tick preventive and my dog's other supplements on Amazon too. (At this point...there isn't much I don't buy from Amazon now. LOL)
 

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Yeah, those prices are really cheap compared to my area. I think your feed store somehow does okay selling them at that low price, but I don't think it's normal. Chewys prices have always been right on par or lower compared to the local stores around me - in most cases, lower. I'd say I wish I live where you live, but I wouldn't feed any of those brands to my dogs so I guess it's irrelevant lol. Merrick I would consider as part of a rotation, but not as the only food they get.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
There are just too many options!!!

I do have a Prime account with Amazon, I'll do a price comparison.
 

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Just my two cents but I've fed both Merrick and Taste of the Wild and had better results with Pro Plan Sport Performance, which is All Life Stages and can be fed to puppies. I fed it to my dog starting at nine months. By "better results" I mean maintaining weight with muscle on very little food, always enjoyed at meal time, high energy and most significantly, consistently tight and tiny poops. Another good thing about PP is that Purina is very careful about mineral balance, which is important to healthy growth, and their formulas are monitored and tweaked in their own factories often.

Usually feed stores have brands that are not necessarily trendy but affordable and very popular with people who hunt multiple dogs in rural settings. Victor, Pro Pac and PMI Exclusive come to mind.

Congratulations on your new family member!
 

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Just my two cents but I've fed both Merrick and Taste of the Wild and had better results with Pro Plan Sport Performance, which is All Life Stages and can be fed to puppies. I fed it to my dog starting at nine months. By "better results" I mean maintaining weight with muscle on very little food, always enjoyed at meal time, high energy and most significantly, consistently tight and tiny poops. Another good thing about PP is that Purina is very careful about mineral balance, which is important to healthy growth, and their formulas are monitored and tweaked in their own factories often.

Usually feed stores have brands that are not necessarily trendy but affordable and very popular with people who hunt multiple dogs in rural settings. Victor, Pro Pac and PMI Exclusive come to mind.

Congratulations on your new family member!
Pro Pac is one of my main go-to foods. Reputable manufacturer, good price point, dogs do well on all their grain inclusive formulas. At just over $1/lb at my local pet store, its a good deal. Sportmix Wholesomes is good too and even cheaper at about $28 for 40 lbs at my local Tractor Supply, also from the same maker but I don't know if its All Life Stages.

They didn't do so well on or much like the ToTW beef formula I tried but I do know lots of dogs do well on it and if its priced at $30 for 30 lbs, its probably worth trying.
 

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Pro Pac is one of my main go-to foods. Reputable manufacturer, good price point, dogs do well on all their grain inclusive formulas. At just over $1/lb at my local pet store, its a good deal. Sportmix Wholesomes is good too and even cheaper at about $28 for 40 lbs at my local Tractor Supply, also from the same maker but I don't know if its All Life Stages.

They didn't do so well on or much like the ToTW beef formula I tried but I do know lots of dogs do well on it and if its priced at $30 for 30 lbs, its probably worth trying.
On the hunting dog forums in which I lurk, Sportmix is very popular with people who can't afford Pro Plan or Pro Pac, along with Diamond Naturals. These folks almost never feed "boutique" brands, although Canidae and TOTW have a minority following. I think maybe because they like to shop at feed stores which don't feature brands like Orijen.

Sportmix has several lines: the "Wholesomes" are very similar to Diamond Naturals, while the "Premium" and "Original" formulas are closer to Dog Chow, with a higher reliance on by-product and "meat" meals. You get what you pay for.

I wouldn't hesitate to feed the Wholesomes line because I think Pro Pac's quality control is pretty good but with only one small dog, Pro Plan is pretty affordable compared to Wellness, Merrick, Orijen, etc. which Emma doesn't do as well on anyway.
 

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Chewy is awesome! If you buy a food & your dog can't eat it, they will refund. I buy all sorts of dog supplies on Chewy, not dog food because I feed raw but most everything else.
 

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Out of your five options, I would choose Merrick or Taste of the Wild. My problem with Merrick though is that most of their foods have very high ash, calcium, and phosphorus levels. A bit high for my comfort, I don't like feeding excessive amounts of anything if it isn't necessary.
Interesting. I didn't know that, but years ago, I had a bitch dry up on Merrick shortly after whelping a litter, and her teeth got so bad I always suspected the food had done a number on her kidneys.

To the OP: I never had luck with Nutro, but their Ultra formula was all right. Nothing special, and I wasn't happy with how they looked on it as opposed to the price I was paying, but I can't remember it causing any problems. If your store had that, I might try it, or just go with Blue Buffalo (by-products don't bother me - dogs should be eating offal and food companies are under so much pressure to make the label more appealing to humans).

Be careful with the SD, though. They seem to have some decent formulas now, but about 3 yrs ago, they were having some major issues that may or may not have been resolved. I hear they acquired a patent to use polyethelene in their feed (I haven't been able to determine if this is an internet myth or not) perhaps 2-3 months before my dogs went to pot on that food. I racked up a nice body count from feeding it :rain:
 
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