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I'm a new puppy owner and I've learned a lot in the last few months.

I've been reading that baked kibble is actually not much better than extruded kibble and that basically red meats raw/Freeze Dried meals is actually the best food sources.

My puppy was originally on Blue Buffalo Life formula for a bit but he was having loose stools even after months and bad gas, itchiness, etc. and I tried both their chicken and lamb formulas. I then switched to ACANA regional and the new Stella & Chewy baked red meats raw mix. His symptoms dissipated completely and his coat is much better now and without dander. However, my dog is a super picky eater and he only eats the food with raw toppers shredded or low sodium broth mixed in.

I'm thinking about completely stopping with any dry kibble and moving him to dry freeze mixes. The one I like is Grandma Lucy Pure formulas. The price per serving, calorie per cup, protein content, consistency, re-hydrate time seems to be good compared to Sojo or Honest Kitchen (slightly better).

I contacted Stella And Chewy about their process for their new kibble and they stated its baked at 200 F for 7 minutes. To me that doesn't make sense for numerous reasons.....My dog likes the food more so than any other kibble he has tried though probably due to the raw coating on the kibble.

So in general, no matter the rating of the dry kibble, its best to just go raw? I've read that the high temp process etc. makes even the best dry kibble far inferior to a raw diet in terms of nutrition and the long term benefits. Best being Orijen/Acana, etc.

And is Red meats typically much more nutritious for a dog over fish and poultry. I read that fish alone is not that good for dogs and can promote loose stool and that poultry is not as good as red meats and that wolves diet mainly consist of red meats. I've read that 1 in 5 dogs are actually allergic to chicken to some degree...

The freeze dried or dehydrated avenue seems super expensive.. kCal per cup for freeze dried over highest end dry kibble is probably 2X price difference at least. Luckily my dog max size will be 20 lb to 23 lbs.
 

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I wouldn't worry about the differences in nutrition between red meats, fish and poultry as commercial foods are fortified with any missing minerals and vitamins. Be more concerned with what your puppy does best on. If Acana and S&C work well then that's great. It's not wrong to add some wet stuff to dry foods so the dog likes it better - it's a good thing! The dehydrated mixes have a huge amount of veggies which doesn't agree with all dogs so there's that. My dogs definitely do better with lower rather than higher fiber.
 

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This is a good book about food and feeding. http://www.dogwise.com/itemdetails.cfm?ID=DN332

The "best" food is one that your dog likes, does well on, and you can afford to feed. What is best for my dog might not be best for your dog.

If you want to go raw, then you need to do your homework, to ensure that you are feeding the proper ratios of muscle meat, bone, and organs (aka byproducts). Also, you need to consider storage. I used to feed part raw, but quit because, while I do have a 15 cubic foot freezer, my family insisted that I keep people food in it as well as dog food. With a smaller dog, you could probably get away with a smaller freezer.
 
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