Merrick.. safe for puppies? - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 01-10-2013, 12:23 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Merrick.. safe for puppies?

So I was feeding my almost 2 year old GSD Innova Red Meat, and he enjoyed it. Well, my job stopped selling it so I decided to look elsewhere. He does not like poultry and will tolerate fish but doesn't get excited about it. So I went with Merrick. I ordered it from Petco online and the bag was just mailed to me.

Well, upon opening it I found it really didn't have a cal/phos level on it, but my guy is older and I know it's a good brand so I didn't mind. However, I emailed Merrick asking them what the levels were (it was pretty funny, they responded back with the calories and phosphorus levels at first lol, I had to clarify what "cal" meant but I understand the confusion, shoulda put Ca). I bought the grain free Pork & Sweet Potato formula. I asked them the levels because I am getting an 8 week old puppy in 9 days and I would LOVE if both dogs could be on the same bag. Well, I finally got my response and the levels were like 2.3% calcium and 1.6% phosphorus .

The kicker is that the bag also says "ALL LIFE STAGES ALL BREEDS".... I thought all life stages meant that it was fine for puppies, especially because it says all breeds as well! Is it safe to feed (I read something on here about SOME brands being safe even at these high levels). Or should I look elsewhere. I am not made of money so if I must look elsewhere, I was thinking of trying 4Health for the pup and hoping he doesn't have an aversion to poultry as well. Any thoughts on that food if I must switch? I'd really like to stay with Merrick for both dogs.
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Old 01-15-2013, 02:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I've fed Merrick before to puppies tha we were fostering,and they did well on it.
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Old 01-15-2013, 04:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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how old and which "flavor"?
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Old 01-15-2013, 04:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I had an email exchange with Merrick's customer support about the nutritional values of their new grain-free line a while back. At the time they didn't have a full nutritional breakdown of the foods since the formulas were new. I just emailed them again about the info, so hopefully they'll rely quickly. They provided me with values for the Before Grain foods that the new grain-free line replaced and in the Before Grain foods, the pork formula was the highest in calcium at 2.32% and the salmon formula was the lowest at 1.94%.

Suffice it to say, all four of the Before Grain formulas were higher in calcium than I'd be comfortable feeding a large breed puppy.
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Just to update - I heard back from Merrick, by e-mail and also by phone (Merrick has great customer service!). Unfortunately, the new grain-free line is all a bit higher in calcium that what I would feed, at least until the puppy is a year to year and a half old. The pork formula is the lowest in calcium at 2.32%. They are all a bit farther from the 1:1 calcium to phosphorus ratio that is recommended as well, with the pork probably being the closest with 1.45% phosphorus. The numbers they sent are on an 'as fed' basis, so it is a better representation of the actual values than what you see on the back of bags that list calcium and phosphorus numbers (not many do), but they still are higher than what I would feed.

Merrick is a very good company and they make some very good foods, but if I was to feed a Merrick product to a GSD puppy I would probably go with the 'Classic Puppy Real Chicken with Brown Rice & Green Pea' formula.
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Old 01-18-2013, 03:39 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Yeah, I instead wound up buying Holistic Select Large Breed Puppy. I just don't understand why the Merrick food would say "ALL LIFE STAGES; ALL BREEDS" if it's so far off with the calcium level? I will just switch him when he is older.
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Old 01-20-2013, 04:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
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i use merrick, the classic blend. its good for pups and adults and seniors.. the grain free merrick is not good for pups due to the cal/phos levels, but the regular merrick is fine
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Old 01-21-2013, 11:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Blue Buffalo Freedom Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Puppy Dry Dog Food

I personally think Blue Bufalo Freedom is great for pups.
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