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Switching Foods for Saint Bernard Puppy

This is a forum for bonding with your fellow Dogsters about the traits, quirks and idiosyncrasies of your favorite breed. Please remember that there are absolutely no animal sales or requests for studding or breeding allowed on our sites. All posts and interactions should be in the spirit of Dogster's Community Guidelines and should be fun, friendly and informational. Enjoy!

  
Vidalia

1178562
 
 
Barked: Tue Feb 22, '11 6:01pm PST 
Hi Everyone! My name is Megan and I am new to the boards. My husband and I rescued our Saint Bernard puppy, Vidalia, in July 2010. When we first brought her home the rescue was feeding her Professional Puppy. We switched her to Science Diet Large Breed Puppy shortly after. She was spayed in September 2010. Our Vet recommended taking her off of puppy food and starting her on adult food at that time. We started her on Science Diet Large Breed. After some recent research we've decided we would like to switch her food to a premium food. We've done research and we are more confused than when we first started! LOL

We've received recommendations for Evo, Innvoa, Orijen, Taste of the Wild, and Blue Buffalo. Several of these foods are very high in protein which goes against many things we've read and been told about large breeds and protein. Our vet recommended Evo, but when my husband called them today they said NOT to feed her Evo and she should be on Innova Large Breed Puppy. We looked into Orijen, but the protein is VERY high and people commented a Saint should not be on a high protein diet. We looked into Blue Buffalo, but our Vet indicated that there has been salmonella recalls recently (we couldn't find anything regarding this).

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Because she is a large breed should we feed her "large breed" food only? Should we switch back to puppy food after she's been on adult for 4 months? Should we keep the protein levels low? She's been consistent in her weight gain since we adopted her. She's healthy and as far as we know she does not have any allergies. She's a good eater. I didn't realize how difficult deciding on a dog food would be!
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Nixon

1002432
 
 
Barked: Wed Feb 23, '11 9:14pm PST 
I feel your pain. We ran into the same issues when raising our pup. I spent time on Flickr talking to other giant breed owners and found out that many of them are feeding an all stages food like Canidae. http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=canidae&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mo zilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&cid=775754381703 1091143&sa=X&ei=cudlTfHkGcO2tgf0_OngDA&ved=0CEUQ8gIwBA#
I fed this to Nixon for awhile and he did well but then started having bowel issues and dry flaky skin. Saints and bowel issues = no fun. We tried raw and he did REALLY well but it was very expensive to feed him the premade raw ($75 a week) and I wasn't sure I was feeding everything he needed by mixing it myself.

After some trial and error we ended up with Pro Nature Holistic Turkey and Cranberry. He's been on that for quite a while now (we sometimes mix in some all meat canned food or canned tripe)and he's doing really really well on it.
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Nixon

1002432
 
 
Barked: Wed Feb 23, '11 9:21pm PST 
Here's a site, altho not updated in a long time, which will give you some good info on different dog foods. http://www.dogfoodanalysis.com/dog_food_reviews/showproduct.php/prod uct/2359

I would take her off of puppy food if only because it's higher in calories and she'll be gaining weight fast enough without having help from her food. An all stages is a better way to go, IMO. Nixon still gained about 4 or 5 lbs a week when we took him off puppy food and we did that when he was 3 months old.

Oh...and when you switch...do it gradually, especially if you're switching to a different meat base. It'll give your pup's digestive tract time to adjust.

Edited by author Wed Feb 23, '11 9:22pm PST

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Dolly

I'm spoiled but- not rotten!
 
 
Barked: Thu Feb 24, '11 9:01am PST 
Dolly eats Solid Gold Wolf King. When we got Tessie she was 11 mos old, since Saints are not fully grown until 18 mos-2 yrs of age I had her on Solid Gold Wolf Cub. I switched her to the Wolf King when she was about 18 mos of age. I don't understand why your vet is saying to take her off of puppy food at the age of 10 mos shrug but I would definitely get her off of the SD! My vet won't even sell it. Says its got way too much corn for his taste (his wife is a K9 nutritionist)
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Vidalia

1178562
 
 
Barked: Thu Feb 24, '11 11:23am PST 
Thank you Nixon. I will check the links out!

Dolly, we took her off of puppy food at 6 months old. Several people with large breeds have suggested not using puppy food at all. We did. Our vet recommended it because she said it's been her experience with large breeds by keeping them on a puppy food they gain lots of weight and become over weight. Some other have now suggested keeping her on puppy food until she is 18 months. I worried that we did something wrong, but she's consistently gained 10lbs per month and is a healthy 100lbs now. Hopefully feeding her Science Diet didn't harm her too muchfrown
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Chase

1172009
 
 
Barked: Fri Apr 1, '11 5:09pm PST 
Yes it is very daunting, food selection. My pup Chase, just received a vet visit yesterday, he is 6 months at 102 lbs. and the vet advised he was ready to come off "Puppy food."

When I received him as a small pup, he was being fed Iams Smart Puppy for large breed dogs; I realized this probably wasn't the best for him but figured I would change to a more premium brand once he was ready to transition from "Puppy food" as I didn't want to put him through multiple transitions if not necessary.

Knowing I was about to transition to another food last night, I did hours of research and was amazed at what I found; apparently nutritional content out weighs formulas targeted to specifics breeds or types (I was originally only evaluating formulas targeted to large breeds.) In retrospect that should have seemed obvious; to make a long story short I decided I wanted to go with a a dry food that was more in line with what a dog what eat naturally, so I went with the "grain free" type (most of which are rated 5 stars, and pricey.) The choices you were considering are actually very good foods and you probably can't go wrong with them, however in my search I decided on an "all stages, grain free" food that didn't break the bank as badly as some other high quality brands of the same type. I decided on "Taste of the Wild," and since he is coming off of Iam's (which is mostly chicken based" I selected their "Wetlands" formula was is based on duck as a primary meat content. If price was no concern I probably would have selected Solid Gold's, "Barking at the Moon" or Blue Buffalo's Wilderness formula (both which are grain free.)

In a nutshell, I learned a lot; there's no need to use a specific "puppy blend" or "breed/type" targeted blend as long as the nutritional content is there and it's a rated for all stages. You can't go wrong with most of the premium brand grain free foods if you want to feed your dog the best of the best (outside of a raw diet.) It's also pretty healthy to switch foods (as long as you do it at a very slow pace, %20 new type to start gradually getting to %100 over 7 days) as it is good to expose your dog to different types of healthy nutritional content (as humans, eating the same meal everyday for our entire lives would be a drag, and seriously cause us problems if randomly we ate something new after decades of the same diet.)

I am not a vet, or a canine nutritionist so please take this post for what it was worth. Hope this is helpful to others considering foods for our loveable Saints smile
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Chase

1172009
 
 
Barked: Fri Apr 1, '11 5:30pm PST 
Oh one last thing, regarding the "protein" concern; a dog's natural diet in the wild is mostly comprised of protein and fats (they are mostly carnivores by choice.) A high protein food, if unregulated can contribute to unnecessary weight gain which causes stress on the hips. Many link high protein on large breed dogs as the leading cause of hip dysplasia however this is more likely caused by excess calorie consumption. A high amount of carbs (grains, veggies, etc) is not a normal part of a dog's natural diet. You should be more concerned with regulating your dogs calorie intake based on his daily activity levels, and weight. There are some very good dog food calculators online which you can use as a base guide on how much your dog should be eating daily. Most dog food brands provide information on how many calories are in a "cup" of dog food (if not on the back of the packages, the manufacturer's website usually provides this information.) In my opinion, high amounts of protein are a good thing as long as you are concious on your dog's calorie intake. One such calculator can be found here: http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-feeding-tips/dog-food-calculator/
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Member Since
01/06/2012
 
 
Barked: Fri Jan 6, '12 10:22am PST 
i have a 6 1/2 month old sb, i am currently feeding him iams large puppy breed, he stopped running over to the food and devouring it as he did 1-2 months ago. i have read some postings on here and it has been very helpfull, however i am having a hard time to decide which food toswitch him to. this is my 1st dog ever so if i could get some tips from the knowlegeble people on this site it would help me take care of my boy better. thank you.
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Remy

1195846
 
 
Barked: Tue Jan 10, '12 6:35am PST 
I wish we could give you a definitive answer but there is none...Everyone you ask will have a different preference and approach to food for their dogs. I believe there are a few basics though, the more natural food the better (any of the premium brands like TAste of teh Wild, Blue Buffalo, Solid Gold, etc.etc.etc.) would be better than the cheap stuff at the market.

Look at the ingredients...real meat should be #1 and not a meat by product.....not a lot of preservatives or stuff you can't pronounce. Because dogs tend to eat the same thing all of the time, the higher the quality food the better...Limit the grains (personally I believe in a grain free diet for dogs--I can't imagine a pack of wolves raiding a wheat field--okay okay someone will come on and call me out on that one...just my personal opinion and what makes sense to me).

My breeder also told me to skip the puppy stage food as saints grow so fast and Remy has done just great...(FYI I feed him Taste of the Wild kibble w/ a bit of canned for a or a bit of organic raw meat and eggs 3x week plus some veggies thrown in)...I can find the stuff easily etc. and I wouldn't hesitate to switch to another premium brand if I saw a problem.

I applaud you in wanting the best for your dog...I'd say just go ahead and pick one and see how he does..add the new food slowly and evaluate his energy, like/dislike of the food, skin and coat issues, etc.etc. if something comes up,try another...

Good luck!!!!
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Maggie

If it moves, I- will chase it!
 
 
Barked: Sat Feb 4, '12 4:23pm PST 
My pup was fed Science Diet at the shelter where I got her and I started her on Purina dog chow. My trainer told me purina is horrible food while my vet said there is nothing wrong with Purina. Do you guys have any opinions on Purina, my trainer recommended Chicken Soup for the dog soul food?
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