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Discussion Starter #1
Im just trying to plan out my pupy food buying. my 19week old lab eats merrick grain free puppy recipe. her weight and build is great so far. I have just heard mulitble stories on what to do. That labs should never get puppy food, or you must give them puppy food for 1 year then switch. even heard at 4-6 months to even switch to an ALS food for a lab. I will be sticking with Merick as she is doing so great on it. and merick how ever is taking the ALS stamp off and making them all Adult food. But according to the merick rep he states AAFCO still considers it ALS??

Just looking for some insite. thanks folks!
 

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Well, you have to understand that "ALS" food and "Adult" food are not the same thing by a long shot. The reasons are a bit technical - but here goes:

"ALS" stands for All Life Stages. AAFCO officially defines only two nutrient profiles: (1) Growth and reproduction (2) Adult maintenance. A food can be formulated to meet both profiles. That food can officially be labeled as "ALS".

"Adult" foods meets nutrient profile (2) but not profile (1).

"Puppy" foods meet profile (1) but not profile (2).

The problem is that many Profile (1) - Puppy - foods are not so good for large breed puppies - e.g., Labs. The reasoning is quite complex, but basically comes from various nutrients that are not in proper balance for large-breed puppies.

Some manufacturers have addressed this problem by introducing products labeled "Large Breed Puppy Foods". These still only meet profile (1) but have their nutrient levels adjusted to correspond to the needs of larger breeds.

Confusing? Yeah.

Bottom Line: It's best not to feed regular puppy foods to Lab puppies. It's also best to not feed any adult maintenance formula foods to a puppy.

IMHO, a good strategy for a Lab would be to feed a high quality Large Breed Puppy food for the first nine months or so and then switch to a formula (Adult or ALS) that you can keep her on for the long haul.

But there are certainly other ways you can go. For example, multiple dog homes often go with an ALS food from the beginning so that all the dogs are on the same food.

The important thing is to avoid regular puppy food.
 

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All life stages food is basically puppy food. There are two nutrient profiles under AAFCO that set minimums for various components of food. There is for growth and reproduction and for adult maintainence. The growth nutrient profile is a little stricter so an all life stages for simply meets those minimums, same as a food labeled as puppy food.

So you can switch any time between a regular puppy food and a food labeled ALS since they meeting the same minimum standard under AAFCO. Of course, individual formulas and brands will vary a ton but that's true comparing puppy food to other puppy food anyway.
 

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All life stages food is basically puppy food. .
True - but not necessarily vice versa. Generally, puppy foods should not be fed to adults. OTOH, ALS foods can be fed to both adults and puppies.

These nutrient profiles are not specific levels of nutrients , but ranges of levels. So by adjusting the nutrient levels to fall within both ranges, it's possible to have a food that meets both profiles.

Nevertheless, I think there is benefit in feeding large-breed puppies a food targeted to their special needs - assuming that one can conveniently do it. At least for a while.

These dogs are predisposed to developmental orthopedic diseases (DOD) - which the large breed puppy foods may minimize while still providing a good protein-fat profile.
 

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Best explanation of ALS v. adult v. puppy food I've read, Poly! Glad I glanced at this thread.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well Merrick is changine all thier ALS labels to adult labels However the Merrick rep i talked to says it still meets requirements from AAFCO?? anyone else have input on that?
 

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Wow I'm confused and thinking.

I have a lab mixed puppy, now 8 months old. At first she was just getting puppy food. Then it became mixed half puppy, half adult. Basically because of the other adult dogs in the house. It's the same brand, Kirklands and she is doing great. We are not worried about the other adult dog well because she is sick (has been) and I have a feeling is not going to last the next month.

I had never heard this before about not giving labs puppy food and when I read this I'm really wondering things now. My girl is Lab mutt. We think the other is Chow. Curly tail, thick mane (not as much as a full Chow) loves the cold and fur is soft and very think like a Chow or even the undercoat of a husky. I know my old vet had my full husky (he been gone for years) on puppy food because of the fat and other diet requirements. He did great. So I get odd diets.

I'm going to the vet this week to get her weight (was 43 lbs in October) for her flea meds so I'll so have to ask about this.
 

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Wow I'm confused and thinking.....

I had never heard this before about not giving labs puppy food and when I read this I'm really wondering things now. My girl is Lab mutt. We think the other is Chow. ....I'm going to the vet this week to get her weight (was 43 lbs in October) for her flea meds so I'll so have to ask about this.
Sorry I was confusing. I'll try to simplify.

The distinction is between large and giant puppies vs. "regular" puppies. A large/giant puppy needs different nutrient levels than a regular puppy to avoid various development problems as they mature. Most people use commercial dog foods - either dry or wet. So the manufacturers have developed specific puppy foods for large/giant breeds.

With a mixed breed dog it is difficult to know what size they will be as an adult. I have encountered many, many large dogs - pure-bred and mixed breeds - with developmental orthopedic diseases (DOD). Would a different diet as a puppy have prevented these? Hard to say.

But if you think your puppy is going to be a large dog, it wouldn't hurt to start feeding her a large breed puppy food and then transition to an adult food as mentioned above.
 

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All Life Stages foods are safe to feed at any age. My pup was on an ALS food when I brought him home at 9 weeks.

Personally, I think most "puppy food" is a marketing gimmick. I don't want my puppy to grow extra fast anyway, and I can easily feed more calories of any food that I choose to feed.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
thats what i would like to know, Merrick is putting "adult" labeling on all there non puppy food now that used to say ALS. Is it still considered an All Life Stage Food? A merrick rep said it is and still follows AAFCO guide lines. Or is the merrick rep just feeding me wrong info????

How I know that Merrick is doing that, my local Petco Merrick stock half the ALS foods that i thought were had Adult stamped on them and half had ALS on them. noticed the older bags "by expiration date" had the ALS and the newer bags had adult stamped on. Thats when I questioned Merrick via facebook
 

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Okay ... so is it ok to feed a small/medium breed an ALS food? That is what we are feeding our MAS puppy and he seems to be doing well (got a checkup at the vet, he says hes healthy and at a good weight) He is eating like a horse so far and loves the food and is growing everyday.
 

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We fed Gally ALS food from 12 weeks. He did well. A lot of corgi owners suggested switching off puppy food asap because many had experienced pano which their vets felt was caused by excessive nutrients in puppy food.
 

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Thanks for the info.

My girl is up to 50 lbs at almost 9 months old (wouldn't be surprised if some if from her thick fur). And I asked the vet about feeding her. She is at a good weight and the tech said we can keep feeding her the mix until she is a year or so and go full adult. They also said that they don't see her getting really any bigger.

When I take her for her one year I'll sit and have a long talk with the Vet on where to go with her.
 

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My brother David has been diagnosed with ALS for a little more than a year. He showed signs of it for close to three years and no Doctor was able to figure out what was wrong, until my sister whom he had been living with kept trying to bring him to each doctor ---- finally found a doctor who recognised almost immediately that he had ALS. He has been taking medication that was made available to him only through a medical grant funding from those who have donated to the continuing research for a possible cure. He has slowed down in the progression, but without side effects. My hopes and prayers are that, you can also contact the Doctor for possible cure if you have ALS or any relative suffering for same disease here is their email [email protected]
 

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This thread, which is five years old, mentions ALS, which - in this context - refers to All Life Stages, a dog food which is supposed to be appropriate for both puppies and adult dogs.
 
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