Is a specific puppy food really necessary?

(24 Posts)

Really struggling to get new pup to eat his puppy food, yet he scoffs big dogs food at the first chance he gets! I've been feeding him in his crate, but he seems very uninterested and is barely touching it. He was on Royal Canin puppy food when I got him, and he's been having a bit of this mixed in with Collards puppy, but seems a bit non-fussed about either of them. However, he goes absolutely mad for my other dogs food (Fish 4 Dogs) but I'm not sure how much of this he's ok to eat?

I'm taking him off the Royal Canin one because it's the one you can only buy from the vets and I don't think it's a good enough quality food to justify the price! I asked advice at my vets on Monday and they just tried to flog me some Hills, which is their answer to everything!

I know puppies need a high protein food, but what classes as high protein? Fish 4 Dogs is a pretty decent food, and, I would imagine, is far superior to a lot of the cheap puppy foods that people feed, so would it be sufficient? I'm going to get F4D puppy food at some point, but need to order that for delivery, hence buying Collards as they had that in stock at the pet shop and I know that's a pretty decent food.

I'm confused! Would be much easier if both dogs were eating the same thing!

Needadvice5 Wed 25-Jun-14 17:28:59

This is something that has confused me lately!

Had similar problems with our Dalmatian pup trying to eat the older one's food but kennelgate insisted I buy separate expensive puppy food.....

After a couple of months they now both happily eat the same and life is much easier, my dally is now a whopping 26kg bouncy 11 month old.

I'm sure someone will probably come along and tell you different but I do wonder if it's a financial scam!

WeAllHaveWings Wed 25-Jun-14 17:38:35

Think puppy foods have more and better quality protein in them for growth. If you are feeding a good quality food like millies wolfheart it is suitable for pups too.

Lower quality foods will not be suitable for puppies so they do puppy versions.

CastilianHhhhidalgo Wed 25-Jun-14 17:40:46

I don't bother with using separate puppy food for mine. If you look at the nutritional information for puppy and adult foods of the same brand there's often only a very minimal difference, if any at all. For the most part I think life stage and breed specific foods are a bit of a marketing gimmick.

I feed a good quality dry food (Millies Wolfheart) mixed with a good quality wet (until recently it's been Wainwrights trays but I'm now trying out some of the European brands like Rocco which I'm very impressed with) regardless of age. I've had dogs ranging from 8 weeks to 14 years on the same diet and they've all thrived.

We'll the vet said puppy food has higher levels of protein and fat, but looking at the nutritional analysis on different food, this varies from 18% to 30% ish for protein depending on brand. A cheaper puppy food can be lower in protein and fat than a "premium" adult food, so is the puppy food still better just because it says puppy on the bag? My older dog has to have grain free and is not good on chicken, so I find that a fish based food is better for her. She has either Fish 4 Dogs or Purizon (from Zooplus) and both of these are better nutritionally than some of the cheaper puppy foods! The first ingredient listed on the Royal Canin that came with pup is Maize, and I really resent paying £££ for something that isn't grain free as I just don't think grain is a necessary part of a dogs diet.

I'm fairly sure our dog when I was a kid was raised on scraps and bones and was the healthiest dog you ever saw grin

STOPwiththehahaheheloling Wed 25-Jun-14 17:46:53

Fish 4 dogs do a puppy food too. smile

STOPwiththehahaheheloling Wed 25-Jun-14 17:47:29

And also if you join their puppy club you get discount for the first year (i think its a year)

Just checked the bag of. Purizon that I have a little left of, and the protein levels are 38% and fat 17% which is higher than most puppy foods that I can find. Fish 4 Dogs is surprisingly low actually, so might just switch completely to Purizon for both dogs, as my older girl doesn't seem to have a preference and I just tend to buy whichever is on the best offer at the time!

WeAllHaveWings Wed 25-Jun-14 18:11:16

Millies wolfheart has about 10 recipes and they are all grain and chicken free, not 100% sure but think they are all suitable for puppies too.

I'm going to order a bag of that to see if they like it smile Looks a really good food.

GobblersKnob Wed 25-Jun-14 18:18:30

38% are you sure? That seems very high. Too much protein is bad for their kidneys and will also have them bouncing off the walls.

ggirl Wed 25-Jun-14 18:23:19

My 4 month old pup is on fish 4 dogs, puppy version , as from breeder but she's not that interested in it either. Even with their salmon bloody mousse on it!
my dad is always amazed as his do to was raised on scraps from the leftovers and was fine!

WeAllHaveWings Wed 25-Jun-14 18:35:22

If you have any questions about millies, or feeding, join their facebook group, its very active and helpful.

It says 38% on the bag so it must be right I guess. I'm going to try the Millie's Wolfheart stuff smile

WeAllHaveWings Wed 25-Jun-14 19:28:14

Our lab is on countryside mix which we alternate with riverside. We also get salmon and veg and mix it in about 30% as he can't handle it 100% as its quite rich for him (he doesn't tolerate a lot of fish) but makes his coat really shines. Lots of millies dogs get mix of the salmon too, if you join the FB group you will see this.

They are changing their salmon and veg recipe soon, small adjustments to make it more usable for all dogs. If your dogs do handle fish ok you can phone them and get a bag of salmon old recipe delivered for £35. (Details on FB group, last I heard they had about 30 bags left). I've ordered two bags!

GobblersKnob Wed 25-Jun-14 20:45:37

Millie's is a fantastic food in terms of ingredients, but it is marketed as a working dog food and has the protein content to support the needs of a high performance dog. I thought a diet of around 17/18% was recommended for pets?

WeAllHaveWings Wed 25-Jun-14 21:05:29

Millies FAQ is good for information, says fresh meat protein levels can be up to 34%. Their food varies from 24% to 34% depending on the recipe so not excessive. If a food has slightly higher protein you also feed slightly less.

Breed specific food and puppy specific food are not necessary - dogs have been growing perfectly well for YEARS without them.

Having said that, I feed puppy food for the first six months and then switch to adult because I think puppy specific food is a bit of a benefit to them.

I wouldn't go massive on protein - burns puppy food, fish4dogs puppy food and simpsons are all foods I'd consider. I am currently feeding simpsons.

WeAllHaveWings Wed 25-Jun-14 22:05:30

Oh, meant to say, working dog food = no VAT. They are still suitable for pets. Many brands do this to reduce prices.

GobblersKnob Wed 25-Jun-14 22:36:49

I know about the VAT thing. I have just always been recommended to feed much lower protein. If your dogs are good on it though I'm sure it is great for them.

My older girl has always been fine on high protein foods, although she could do with gaining some weight if I'm honest. Not quite sure what I can do to help with that? She's free fed as in she always has a bowl of food down and she eats when she wants. She's not food motivated at all and has always been on the low side of ideal weight. Because of her issues with certain foods (she vomits, gets diarrhoea and rips out the fur on her stomach if she eats too much grain or chicken), there's only a few that agree with her so I'm limited what I can feed her, but I'd ideally like her to gain a few pounds if anyone has any tips? smile

WeAllHaveWings Thu 26-Jun-14 06:17:19

Go onto Millie FB group and ask to speak to mark (Mr Millies), he knows loads about feeding dogs and will be able to tell you what type of food would be best, a 70/30 or a 50/50 etc type food for weight gain. I have seen Lots of people have phoned for similar problems.

I wouldn't free feed - it makes some dogs lazy or picky about eating. It also makes it difficult to know how much food a dog has actually eaten during any one period. It's also not how dogs are designed to eat, IYSWIM.

Without free feeding, after a few weeks it is possible she will put on a bit of weight anyway as she will be more inclined to eat what's there, when it arrives.

But, this food might suit her www.simpsonspremium.com/80-20/80-20%20dog%20food - free of both chicken and grain and high in protein.

This one might too - I'd be inclined to try it first as it's cheaper! www.simpsonspremium.com/sensitive-dog-food/sensitive-lamb-potato

If I don't leave her food down, she doesn't eat! I've tried before feeding set amounts at set times and she will not eat like that and lost more weight. She's just not food motivated; strange dog!!!

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