Will a little grain free harm my pup? - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 12-19-2012, 05:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Will a little grain free harm my pup?

My puppy eats Natural Balance LID but she also sneaks some of my other dog's Blue Buffalo Grain Free whenever she gets a chance. Out of three meals a day, probably she eats enough BB to account for one of those meals. Is a little grain free ok, or should I make sure she doesn't eat any at all?

Thanks for your thoughts.
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Old 12-19-2012, 05:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Well the Natural Balance LID is also a grain free kibble so no it won't hurt her.
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Old 12-19-2012, 05:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
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What are your concerns about giving grain free food to your puppy? Depending on the type and formula of Blue Buffalo that you are feeding you may be able to switch over to that and not have to buy two different foods. Is there a specific reason your puppy is on a LID food? If the Blue Buffalo is an ALS formula, doesn't contain any ingredients that the puppy is sensitive to, and has acceptable levels of calcium then I would just feed that to both dogs.

Some grain free foods are not appropriate for large breed puppies due to high levels of calcium, but not all. I know there are at least a few Blue Buffalo ALS grain free formulas that would be perfectly fine for a GSD puppy.

My girl, who is currently about 13 and a half months old, has been on grain free foods almost as long as she has been with us. She came home at 10 weeks old and has been on grain free since she was about 13 or 14 weeks old (if I remember correctly). First on Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Puppy, and then Orijen Six Fish, which is what she still is eating.
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Old 12-19-2012, 05:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I had heard grain free was not good for puppies? Our older dog eats blue baffalo grain free chicken or blue buffalo turkey and potatoe ( grain free ). Would these foods be ok for a 4.5 month old pup? She likes them a lot better than the LID duck and potatoe. We put her on Lid because she is very itchy and we thought she might have an allergy.
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Old 12-19-2012, 06:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Which Blue Buffalo formulas are you feeding specifically? Blue makes a number of different grain free formulas in a few different lines. There is Blue Freedom, Blue Wilderness, and Blue Basics all of which are grain free or have formulas which are grain free.
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Old 12-19-2012, 06:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Which NB LID are you feeding regularly? The reason I ask is that some (e.g., fish and sweet potato) are very low in fat, and I was told the fat is not sufficient to support puppy growth.
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Old 12-19-2012, 08:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The Natural Balance is duck and potato. The Blue Buffalo he eats is the freedom chicken and we just bought a bag of turkey in the basic blue buffalo line. Is the duck food ok on fat? It says "from puppy to adulthood" and his vet didn't say anything about it not being a good food for pups. I have thought about trying her on California Naturals though because she is still itchy. Is that a decent food? It is supposedly good for dogs with allergies.
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Old 12-19-2012, 09:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Well, the Blue Buffalo formulas are AAFCO certified as 'Maintenance' formulas, but for the life of me I can't see why ... From the nutritional information listed on the Blue Buffalo website it looks as if either of them could easily be labeled as 'All Life Stages' foods, and the calcium and phosphorus levels look perfectly fine for a GSD puppy.

The Natural Balance formula is quite low in fat at just 10%, but the AAFCO certification for a growth and development food (that is to say, safe for puppies) puts the minimum fat content at a mere 8%, so technically it is fine for puppies.

California Naturals is a very good food, and they make quite a few different formulas with some unique protein sources (kangaroo for example). Some of their formulas are more suitable for a large breed puppy than others though so check the nutritional info before choosing one ... Their website has a huge amount of nutrion info about each formula, as do all of the foods made by Natura.

If the itching is your only concern though you may want to try simply supplementing with some fish oil first and see if that helps before switching foods too much and too often. Puppies tend to be pretty sensitive to diet changes and too much switching may result in upsetting the digestive system.
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Old 12-20-2012, 07:11 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Ok, thanks for the good information, Ken. I'm not going to worry if she eats some of the adult dog's food, and perhaps I can now find something they both can eat. I really don't like feeding separate foods.
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