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In two weeks I am picking up my new pup, a Boerboel(South African Mastiff). I have been doing a lot of reading and am thoroughly overwhelmed, I never imagined dog food was so complicated. My town is not exactly overwhelmed with shopping options, Tractor Supply and Walmart is about the extent.

For food I was looking at Diamond Naturals Large Breed Puppy. I know Diamond gets a lot of hate but they also make Taste of the Wild that is raved on. TOTW is a little on the pricey side for the amount this guy eats. So I was thinking Diamond Naturals for food and TOTW for training treats.

Now onto to treats. It seems almost everything is made in China. What are some decent treats? Also what are good for chew toys/bones these days? I want him to have something to chew on other than the couch!

My wife does go by a Petsmart on her way to work so that is an option as well. For the main food I am looking to stay south of $40 a bag.

Thanks for the help!
 

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Welcome. :)

You'll probably get 1,000,000 opinions--so I'll give you the first. :)

I have used some Diamond products in the past with good results. However, there is a recent recall of Diamond Naturals Lamb and Rice out of the SC plant. If you are located in an area where your product will come out of SC, I would personally be very cautious. Many are still feeding Diamond products out of the SC plant and doing fine, but it's something to keep in mind.

What is he currently being fed at his breeders?

This won't be the popular opinion--but Eukanuba and Pro Plan would be in that price range--and many dogs do wonderful on them. After riding the dog food roller coaster for a very long time (and feeding many of the "high end brands"), I have just recently gone back to Eukanuba and am very pleased with the results so far.

Fromm Gold would also be in that price range as well, maybe a little higher. Excellent food, but didn't agree with one of my dogs.

As for treats. Avoid any jerky treats at all costs--and you are right on in avoiding any treats from China. Read the fine print on all treats, they can be misleading and are killing dogs (but not recalled). Mine love good ole' milkbones (again, probably not the popular answer). A lot give baby carrots as treats, but my dogs look at me like I've lost my mind if I expect them to eat them.

Good chews are deer antlers and bully sticks. Antlers are expensive, but last quite a long time. They are also safe for their teeth. If you can find a hunter that doesn't need them, just be sure you saw off the pointy edges. Otherwise, stores that have them should already be that way. Bully sticks don't last my guys anytime, but they do love them. \

IMO, a Kong is a necessity for any dog. :) You can stuff them with peanut butter, kibble, yogurt (and freeze), banana, canned food, etc etc. Mine love them and they cannot destroy them. For a mastiff, you may want to consider the black one as I hear they are even tougher than the red ones. :)

Good luck to you and your new pup! :)
 

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This won't be the popular opinion--but Eukanuba and Pro Plan would be in that price range--and many dogs do wonderful on them. After riding the dog food roller coaster for a very long time (and feeding many of the "high end brands"), I have just recently gone back to Eukanuba and am very pleased with the results so far.

Fromm Gold would also be in that price range as well, maybe a little higher. Excellent food, but didn't agree with one of my dogs.
Funny thing, I was going to suggest more or less the same. As long as we are talking Diamond level products might as well look into Pro Plan or Royal Canin. One step up just north of $40 would be Fromm Gold or NutriSource
 

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I'll second (or third?) that many dogs do well on ProPlan.

As for treats, you could just use hot dogs, cheese, or make some of your own. There are some great recipes online.
 

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Thanks for the responses so far. Seems I was more or less on the right track. Does Pro Plan seem expensive for what it is or is it just me? DN seems to be the bang for your buck with the 40lb bag compared to most others being smaller for the same or more money.

Black Kong is on the buy list. What other chew toys? Is old fashioned rawhide/bones not good? Nylabones?
 

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Thanks for the responses so far. Seems I was more or less on the right track. Does Pro Planem expensive for what it is or is it just me? DN seems to be the bang for your buck with the 40lb bag compared to most others being smaller for the same or more money.

Black Kong is on the buy list. What other chew toys? Is old fashioned rawhide/bones not good? Nylabones?
I never give old fashioned rawhides. They can either choke on them--or not digest them, which could lead to blockages, which you surely don't want. Nylabones are fine--mine don't care for them, but did chew on them a little when they were babies, so maybe worth a shot.

Diamond Naturals. I would've personally enthusiastically recommended a month ago. Definitely one of the better for the price with no corn/soy/wheat. But with the recent recall, I'm iffy on it. Sure, all companies can have recalls, but Diamond has one now--and it makes me leary. Like I said, many are feeding Diamond products now, with no complaints. and then others are feeding products and their dogs are sick. I wasn't feeding Diamond when the issues arose, so it's easy for me to say I'm not feeding it any time soon. It all depends on what you are comfortable with.

As for the Pro Plan--I would personally either go with the ALS Chicken & Rice--or the Selects options, if I was going to use this. The Shredded is full of soy, so I would avoid that one. Expensive for what it is? Ehhhh.....not to me, but I was paying $53 for a 30 lb bag that just wasn't working for my dogs (at minimum). I'd rather pay $40 for 34 lbs (give or take a few $'s) if it's going to give me excellent results. I'm personally not a fan of foods like Dog Chow-- so IMO, Pro Plan is a good middle of the road food. :)
 

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Thanks for the responses so far. Seems I was more or less on the right track. Does Pro Plan seem expensive for what it is or is it just me? DN seems to be the bang for your buck with the 40lb bag compared to most others being smaller for the same or more money.

Black Kong is on the buy list. What other chew toys? Is old fashioned rawhide/bones not good? Nylabones?
Generally, the less you pay for dog food the more you pay in vet bills.
I don't think that ProPlan is pricey but I'm also paying about $60/bag of food. Some people think I'm crazy for it but my dogs are GORGEOUS, their coats are shiny and soft, they keep weight on well, I've yet to have any major health issues (knock on wood), and their stools are nice and small.
For comparison, my roommate's dog is on Eukanuba. She has to feed this dog 4x as much as I feed my dog of the same breed to keep his weight on. His coat is dull, his stools are HUGE and he goes multiple times a day, and he just doens't have the same energy that my boy has.

I love my dogs and I'm educated about what makes a food good or bad so I feed them the best that I can afford (not the best that I want to afford).
Dogs are family and I don't understand why other people don't feel the same way.

I'm with Goldens when it comes to rawhide - I don't touch it. It's far too dangerous.
I like kongs either with a little frozen peanut butter or yogurt in it. Sometimes for meals I mix up a 45/65 mix of dry food/wet food and stuff it in the kongs for the dogs to eat out of. It takes up time and mentally tires them out so it's a win on multiple fronts.
For other chew toys I like bullysticks, Himalayan bars, and antlers. They're pricey but they're much healthier and safer and generally they take a while (especially the antlers, my 1yr old doberman has an antler chew, that he still plays with, from the day that I got him.
 
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