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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just dont know what to feed my dog anymore...She is a 4 month old chocolate lab, she is on hills science diet which I read has no nutritional value so I want to change her food. I wanted to change her to 4health but this brand does not have a large breed puppy formula. I heard that large breeds need the large breed puppy food instead of regular puppy food because there bones will grow too fast... So I dont know what to feed her anymore.... I really wanna get her ff of science diet as soon as possible.

I was gonna try canidae but there are good and bad reviews so I dont know how I feel about it anymore... what are yalls thoughts?

Should I have her on canidae until she is old enough to switch onto 4health adult breed?
The only places I have nearby are walmart and a tractor supply to buy dog food.
 

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Are you having any problems with the Hills diet? Poor coat condition, sloppy poops, itchy skin, not maintaining a healthy weight, etc? If not, you don't have to be in a rush to change. There's a lot of debate surrounding the 'best' dog food, and honestly it comes down to what you're able to feed re: cost and availability and what your dog does well on. Hills has nutritional value - it wouldn't be legally able to be sold as a complete food otherwise. I do feel like their commercial, non-veterinary diets are a bit overpriced for what they are, but you're absolutely not going to have nutrient deficiencies feeding it.

If you're still interested in changing that's fine, I just don't want you to feel panicked about it due to some people having more extreme opinions about dog food brands. If you do choose to switch, make sure to do it gradually over a few days so it's easier on her tummy. I've heard good things about both Canidae and 4Health, though haven't used either myself. I don't know enough about large-breed puppy requirements to speak to whether there's any 4Health food appropriate for large breed puppies, since none are marketed specifically as a large breed puppy formula, so I'd lean towards Canidae since they have an all life stages large breed formula. But hopefully someone with larger dogs can chime in.

Have you looked into ordering online through a place like Chewy.com? That'll give you some more options.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Are you having any problems with the Hills diet? Poor coat condition, sloppy poops, itchy skin, not maintaining a healthy weight, etc? If not, you don't have to be in a rush to change. There's a lot of debate surrounding the 'best' dog food, and honestly it comes down to what you're able to feed re: cost and availability and what your dog does well on. Hills has nutritional value - it wouldn't be legally able to be sold as a complete food otherwise. I do feel like their commercial, non-veterinary diets are a bit overpriced for what they are, but you're absolutely not going to have nutrient deficiencies feeding it.

If you're still interested in changing that's fine, I just don't want you to feel panicked about it due to some people having more extreme opinions about dog food brands. If you do choose to switch, make sure to do it gradually over a few days so it's easier on her tummy. I've heard good things about both Canidae and 4Health, though haven't used either myself. I don't know enough about large-breed puppy requirements to speak to whether there's any 4Health food appropriate for large breed puppies, since none are marketed specifically as a large breed puppy formula, so I'd lean towards Canidae since they have an all life stages large breed formula. But hopefully someone with larger dogs can chime in.

Have you looked into ordering online through a place like Chewy.com? That'll give you some more options.
The only problem with science diet is her coat. I might just stick with science diet until she can be weaned into adult food and then go to 4health.
 

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Honestly? I would feed a good "all life stages" food and not worry. I fed Canidae ALS for years (including puppies) until I switched to raw. I have an older dog who decided she did not like Raw first thing in the morning so switched her to 4-Health rice based formula in the morning and raw at night (she will be 11 soon.. she gets whatever she wants).

I have German Shepherds, so a large breed.

The biggest thing is to keep your dog a bit on the thin side, even as a puppy, so as to not overload joints. My vet recommended the thin part.
 

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I don't want to add to the confusion, but my own vet discouraged me from using an all-life-stages kibble. She contends that it not possible to develop a formula that is appropriate for puppies, adults and seniors. This is certainly not a universal opinion and many will point out that a vet is not the best source of nutritional information. Honestly, neither is an Internet forum.

Ultimately, you can gather a variety of opinions and then make a choice - recognizing that you might adjust that choice based on how your dog responds.
 

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Hills Science Diet is a perfectly good food. However, it's not the right food for every dog, and since you say that your pup's coat isn't that great, then I would suggest trying another food. 4Health is a good food for the price. My preference is Purina Pro Plan, though.

I recommend reading this book. The author is a canine nutritionist. Dog Food Logic - Making Smart Decisions for Your Dog In An Age Of Too Many Choices - Kindle edition by Case, Linda. Crafts, Hobbies & Home Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Honestly? I would feed a good "all life stages" food and not worry. I fed Canidae ALS for years (including puppies) until I switched to raw. I have an older dog who decided she did not like Raw first thing in the morning so switched her to 4-Health rice based formula in the morning and raw at night (she will be 11 soon.. she gets whatever she wants).

I have German Shepherds, so a large breed.

The biggest thing is to keep your dog a bit on the thin side, even as a puppy, so as to not overload joints. My vet recommended the thin part.
So then I shouldnt worry about her joints right now?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hills Science Diet is a perfectly good food. However, it's not the right food for every dog, and since you say that your pup's coat isn't that great, then I would suggest trying another food. 4Health is a good food for the price. My preference is Purina Pro Plan, though.

I recommend reading this book. The author is a canine nutritionist. Dog Food Logic - Making Smart Decisions for Your Dog In An Age Of Too Many Choices - Kindle edition by Case, Linda. Crafts, Hobbies & Home Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.
I dont like purina. I would rather do 4health. I just dont know weather to worry about her joint because it doesnt have the ingredients to support her joints.
 

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So then I shouldnt worry about her joints right now?
I did not say that. With a puppy you need to be careful of protein and energy.. too much can lead to panosteitis. What you need to feed is a diet that has sufficient trace minerals and proper calcium/phosphorus ratio for a growing puppy. Puppy foods often are overly rich encouraging overly fast growth.

I will also add, do NOT spay until your dog is two if female and do not neuter until 3.. (I would never neuter at all unless medically necessary). Altering too early allows bones to grow too long snd can impact the entire skeleton development.

I dont like purina. I would rather do 4health. I just dont know weather to worry about her joint because it doesnt have the ingredients to support her joints.
What ingredients are you talking about specifically??
 

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It looks like the 4Health puppy formula is lamb based. I've tried several different lamb-based foods over the years, and not a one of my dogs has done well on them. Other people have mentioned that, as well. Among other things they had poor coats, loose stools, and gas that could peel paint.
 

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Pick a dog food that your dog does well on and that you can afford. I went with a food where the first ingredient was meat meal and had higher protein level (I have a high energy mixed breed that will run until he bleeds just because he can. We live on acreage and do agility), fed a few bags, and if I wasn't completely happy with it I tried out something different.

I settled on a brand that the dog is excited to get (it's kind of stinky...), where his body condition is consistently good with a shiny coat, bright eyes, etc., and his stools are consistently on the smaller side and good. Although it isn't the cheapest dog kibble out there, it amounts to about $8 per week to feed the dog.

I found it helpful to go on a website like Chewy.com (even if you don't want to buy there) and weed out dog foods by selecting filters for price, protein type, dry vs. wet, brand, etc. This usually narrowed it down to around 60 some products that I could go through, even less if you select more filters.

Like others have said, as long as your pup doesn't have explosive diarrhea or is allergic to or absolutely hates her current food, there is no reason to be in a rush to change it. Take your time.
 
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