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This group is dedicated to sharing tips for making it through the puppy stage. This can include: crate... View more
This group is dedicated to sharing tips for making it through the puppy stage. This can include: crate training, house breaking, chewing, teething, biting, integrating your puppy with other dogs and more.
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Grain free for puppies?
Grain free for puppies?Posted by HugosMama on August 14, 2021 at 5:48 AM
Good morning. I recently transitioned my basset puppy (5 months) from purina vet pro chicken kibble to some really good quality food called nutrience (made in Canada). It is Keto grain-free food that is fish based (bunch of different whole fish) with very little additives/fillers. It has freeze dried chunks of fish in there as well. So it’s as close to “raw” as you can get but kibble, with the added benefits of glucosamine and omega 3s. My issue is, my vet says grain free isn’t good for puppy development, so I’ve been adding steamed white rice to every meal.. Has anyone else received the same advice? at what age can I stop the rice? I’ve tried to do independent research online but there is so much conflicting information.
MemberAugust 14, 2021 at 8:33 AM
I’m going through a similar transition. From kibble to raw frozen. The concern I had was that if the new food was balanced, and I mix it with something (50% frozen + 50% chicken necks). The diet could no longer be balanced. Meaning the frozen may have 100% of the needed vitamins and minerals, but mixing it with the chicken necks he is only getting half of that <font face=”inherit”>from the frozen and I have to </font>perhaps<font face=”inherit”> supplement the chicken necks with something, for that to add back to 100% </font>of vitamins and minerals.
<font face=”inherit”>I ended up </font>transitioning<font face=”inherit”> to 100% raw frozen. When I budgeted I went off the </font>manufacturer’s<font face=”inherit”> guidelines. Turns out that was a lot more than the number of calories they were used to getting from kibble. So I portioned the meals based on the calories they were used to, and that made it within reach.</font>
MemberAugust 14, 2021 at 8:47 AM
Specifically on puppy’s needs. Robert referenced puppy food in a recent AMA or chat. He said the puppy food was different from adult food in that it had more calories, but otherwise that food is food. I asked the manufacturer of mine if I had to supplement it for the new pup and they said the food was good to go as is, which is inline with the above.
There is no grain in it. Ingredient List:
– Muscle Meat (Chicken & Beef )
– Organ Meat (Beef Heart & Liver)
– Ground Chicken Bone
– Fresh, Low-Carb Vegetables: Broccoli, Carrots, Sweet Potato
– Essential Vitamins, Minerals and Trace Minerals (includes Egg Powder)
MemberAugust 14, 2021 at 10:26 AM
I feed my cat nutrience grain free (Canadian here too!) , I looked at their dog food but after analyzing went with Wellness Complete large breed (not grain free). I also received similar advice, while cats are carnivores dogs are not, I was told unless there is a specific reason (allergy\intolerance) no need to go grain free. Also my breeder was not feeding grain free and did 1 meal raw and 1 kibble for adults. I did try switching to raw but had terrible experience (runs for a couple weeks) so gave up and went back to kibble and she does just fine on it. Also on advice from breeder I’ve been feeding adult food from beginning, no puppy formula.
MemberAugust 14, 2021 at 10:38 AM
I should mention the raw food I tried was “back2raw” which is prepackaged frozen that apparently has recommended ratios etc. I tried the ” complete” version that also had a bit of veg\fruit , they also have a basic with just meat, I tried 1 meal raw and I kibble then all raw , and it was not good ! But I do know people who had no issue with it so not sure where I went wrong.
MemberAugust 14, 2021 at 1:06 PM
I think Visionary, the food Robert recommends, is grain-free. Perhaps you could call them up and see what they have to say about puppy diets.
There are possibly many non-dog driven reasons for grain to be pushed. For example, the dogs environmental footprint, raising other animals to be consumed by dogs, economics in that grain is a major component of large establish products, and so forth.
MemberAugust 14, 2021 at 3:44 PM
@ronindog @stella2926 thanks so much for your input! Stella what is the difference with wellness complete large breed? My vet said since rhe had the runs for so long on kibbel, it was probably an intolerance to chicken as opposed to grain. The food is have is from their “sub zero” ie high line of food and is not specifically “puppy food”. I just go by the puppy age portion. I add the rice because I then at least control the grains he is getting snd know there’s no extra crap in there! Just wasn’t sure if or when to phase it out. Sounds like I shouldn’t for a bit.
MemberAugust 15, 2021 at 8:47 AM
The large breed formulas are meant to support growth , bone , joint health etc, having added glucosamine, chondrine (sp?) etc. But I think the nutrience formula you are on has those too.
MemberAugust 16, 2021 at 6:07 PM
Definitely got the same no grain-free advice from both vets we saw and both were quite adamant about it. We wanted to switch him to a better quality kibble but none seems to have grain. I was also going to give him rice or oatmeal maybe twice a week as part of his dinner, which I give him in a kong. I was going to run this by our vet at his 3rd vaccine appt. I’ll let you know the feedback we get!
MemberAugust 18, 2021 at 7:25 AM
Maybe try and find a decent kibble with the grain that your vet can recommend then add in cooked meat/meat organs ! That is always my way to make the diet better 🙂 it’s real food and they love it ! Makes your vet happy and peace of mind for you too that your dog is getting some real nutrition. The kibble does have alot of added nutrients that are needed for heart health and growth. If you have a large breed dog I recommend finding a good joint supplement. My XL bully has been on glucosamine and chondroitin since he was a pup. 2 years now and doing great
MemberAugust 18, 2021 at 7:26 AM
I work for a vet and we have seen some terrifying conditions from unbalanced home cooked meals. You can definitely do it very wrong. The vitamins and minerals are tough to balance
MemberAugust 18, 2021 at 7:21 AM
My dog is on grain free diet recommended by a veterinary dermatologist. Its royal canine rabbit and potatoe. She said because it is a balanced food there is no concern about diet related cardiomyopathy (they add taurine and all other essential micro and macronutrients) I’m not a fan of the potatoe part of the diet, we cook local rabbit meat – includes bone meal and organs grinded up. We add this to his kibble daily just to cut back on the potatoe starch. He loves it and no issue
MemberAugust 18, 2021 at 8:58 PM
When I heard grain-free I immediately assumed that the grain was just removed. So to make up for it you would just have more of the rest of the food, that is protein. But, that is not always the case. Often the grain is replaced with legumes and potatoes. That seems to create complications. See article at https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/nutrition/fda-grain-free-diet-alert-dcm/
When I cooked for my dogs I did not use grain. In one recipe I used baked sweet potato, but that was about 10% by weight. All the rest was meat, vege, and fruit. So when someone says grain-free that is what I envision. The proportions are in pounds. This, plus supplements fed the troops for 6 weeks.
The food I’m feeding now is also grain free, and you can see that the first 4 ingredients are meat and the 5th one is chicken bones. Sweet potato is next, which effectively means it is probably around 10% or less as well
So the challenge is that when we say grain-free, by itself it does not what kind of diet it is.
MemberAugust 18, 2021 at 9:17 PM
Also, when I was “cooking” (it was actually raw other than the baked sweet potatoes) my vet had me obsessed with low-fat — other than fish oils. So I over trimmed the meat, removing absolutely all the fat and skin. They had to eat a tremendous amount of food to get the calories they needed. On the plus side my girl looked like this!
MemberAugust 19, 2021 at 5:57 AM
Hi @hugosmama 🙂 This is my new understanding… if the issue is that legumes and potatoes were added to replace grain, then adding grain would not necessarily solve any issues the food may have. And it would further dilute the protein content. If, on the other hand, legumes and potatoes were not used to replace the grain and instead the food has just more protein, then there is no problem to begin with.
So I think the issue is not grain vs. no grain (which is a way to provide inexpensive calories)… but whether that has been replaced with another way to provide inexpensive calories that may have ill effects.
MemberAugust 20, 2021 at 8:07 AM
I think this makes sense and this is what my vet said. There is nothing wrong with grain free but for some dogs they need the grain in order to process the other acids and fats in meat or whatever else is in the food. He said most allergies are to protein not grain. There is nothing wrong with grain but it’s less valuable calories (same as for a human), especially empty white carbs. For now I’m just using the race as a filler because he keeps having consistent diarrhoea. I also think for that reason I am going to have to switch back to grain food because his stools are not getting any harder…
MemberSeptember 3, 2021 at 4:18 AM
The vet cleared up our understanding of this last week as well. It is not a matter of adding grain to the diet but rather if grain is missing from the dog food, it is typically replaced w legumes and peas, which prohibits the absorption of taurine, which then leads to heart problems in dogs. However, even the research is not conclusive yet.
We already bought two huge bags of grain free dog food…so probably will just switch things up in between with a grain inclusive dog food.
MemberSeptember 4, 2021 at 8:16 AM
Have a similar issue. I switched all dogs to frozen raw and I have a stockpile of regular dog food to deal with. It is a lot, like $400-$500. I may try to sell it on Craigslist
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