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I will be getting a puppy in the Spring or Summer and want to get him off to a good start nutritionally. I'm not sure what food the breeder uses and I plan on keeping him on whatever she is feeding him for the first few weeks home, but then would like to wean him off that and onto a high quality food. I have been doing research and am wondering about grain-free vs. low-grain. Does it matter? I really like Orijen and Fromm's (based on ingredients) and both offer a grain-free and a food that contains grain. Should I just ask the vet? If it matters, it is a Cockapoo. Thanks!
 

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I will be getting a puppy in the Spring or Summer and want to get him off to a good start nutritionally. I'm not sure what food the breeder uses and I plan on keeping him on whatever she is feeding him for the first few weeks home, but then would like to wean him off that and onto a high quality food. I have been doing research and am wondering about grain-free vs. low-grain. Does it matter? I really like Orijen and Fromm's (based on ingredients) and both offer a grain-free and a food that contains grain. Should I just ask the vet? If it matters, it is a Cockapoo. Thanks!
Hi,

Fromm, acana, orijen, zignature, and there are others i cant think of right off top of my head are high quality foods. I am glad you have been doing homework on what dogs need nutrionally. Majority of vets will reccomend hills, royal canin, eukanuba etc which are way too full of grains, corn and other not needed ingredients.

Some dogs do well on grain inclusive and some dont, same for grain free.
 

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I am currently feeding my cocker spaniel puppy natural balance puppy formula and it is great. Try to avoid by-product ingredients because they are eyes, skin, beaks, and feet leftover from chicken. You should also check in with your vet just to make sure.
 

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Orijen is an excellent choice for dry dog food. You may also want to consider raw frozen or freeze-dried options, in this space I would recommend Primal.

If you want to take an extra step and prepare food yourself (raw or cooked), i'd recommend buying Dr. Karen Becker's book, you can find it on amazon. But only take this route if you are 100% committed to doing it right, because an unbalance diet is the worst possible diet you can provide.
 

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The only way to know for sure about a food is to try it out and see how your dog responds to it. My dog went through three brands before we settled on Fromm. Orijen and Fromm are both really good; but chances are your dog will do better on one or the other. Just see what works best for your dog.

Same for grain vs. no grain. Some dogs can't handle grains and others do better with grain inclusive food.
 

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I ordered some Nutro Ultra Small Breed Puppy food. We had good luck with Nutro with our other dog. Anyone else use this food? We will slowly wean the pup over from what the breeder was using.
 

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Here's a great site that rates food. Also, you might see what your pup's dietary needs are before settling on one. We've tried half a dozen brands over the past year with Stella and Tyrion, and now they eat canned i/d we get at the vet for easy digestion and Nature's something (I should remember this!) kibble from a specialty store. Sounds like you're off to a great start!

Dog Food Reviews and Ratings | Dog Food Advisor
 

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My sister is a Vet tech and manages a pet store she recommends Orijin and Acana if you dont mind spending a bit more. Fromm's is great as is Natural Balance.

Were deciding between Fromm's and Natural balance.
 

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I don't feed anything except raw with excellent results. For puppies I usually will mix up some meat, eggs, and goat milk. The meat can be anything but I usually use turkey, chicken, or rabbit for ours as soon as they are old enough to eat anything solid. I use a food processor at first and then start leaving it chunkier and chunkier until they are big enough to crunch bones on their own.

A dog that will grow into the size of yours should have no issue crunching on some chicken backs as an adult. This is also cheaper than feeding kibble in the long run, and often you end up with a healthier dog.

Starting Your Puppy On A Raw Diet | Dogs Naturally Magazine

BARF & Pups - Pet Nutrition Products, Healthy & Natural Raw Food Diet for Dogs & Cats

Practical Answers to Practical Questions About Raw
 
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