When is it safe to switch puppy food brands? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-01-2017, 06:18 PM Thread Starter
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When is it safe to switch puppy food brands?

We will be picking up our Sheba in 9 more days, and she is being fed "Iams Proactive Health - Smart Puppy - Large Breed", which I understand may not be the best choice. But I recall reading somewhere recently that it is not wise to switch foods when they are young. So I am wondering at what age it is safe to begin weaning her off of the Iams and onto a higher grade food?

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Glen
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-01-2017, 08:30 PM
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That is what my now 12 week old was fed when I brought him home..breeder sent a big zip lock bag home with him. First few days I fed him the original food. Then very very slowly started adding in the grain free food I want to feed. Several time he had mushy stools. Just gave him some straight canned pumpkin several times and it fixed the issue. You might also check about the water. My pup was used to well water and even though we use RO water, brought a big jug to transition that also..good Luke with your new adventure.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-01-2017, 10:07 PM Thread Starter
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That is what my now 12 week old was fed when I brought him home..breeder sent a big zip lock bag home with him. First few days I fed him the original food. Then very very slowly started adding in the grain free food I want to feed. Several time he had mushy stools. Just gave him some straight canned pumpkin several times and it fixed the issue. You might also check about the water. My pup was used to well water and even though we use RO water, brought a big jug to transition that also..good Luke with your new adventure.
Thanks, dogbyte, for your reply. You have given us hope that we can do the same, preferably starting as soon as we get her home at 8.5 weeks, if we wean her off the Iams very slowly. But I'm hoping more members will chime in here, plus of course we will ask our vet what she thinks of the switch at this age. We just want to make sure our Sheba is getting the best grade of food we can get our hands on, here on our remote island in the North Atlantic. (Fogo Island, NL) We recently learned about Elmira Pet Food's premium 100%-natural "Actrium Holistic" line, which contains none of the nasty/useless stuff... no corn, wheat, by-products, colors, fillers, artificial preservatives, etc... and we were quite surprised to discover that it is actually available online through Walmart Canada, of all places, and we can get this shipped to our island at a decent price. Our vet is raving about the stuff, (our Shih Tzu has recently made the switch) and I have read many good reviews, so am confident that this would be a huge step up from the Iams; not sure if Actrium Holistic is sold in the USA.

I wish I could locate that article about how bad it is to switch brands at this age, but have had no luck yet... hopefully more of you will post here with your thoughts and experiences?

Thanks,
Glen
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-02-2017, 12:21 AM
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My breeder had mentioned if I wanted to switch foods, to wait a week. Give them a week to settle in the house and get used to you, and then to slowly transition to the new food. When you feed your pup, it should be in about 3 small meals a day. I would give a very, very small amount in the beginning and go from there. My SIL transitioned her Golden from Purina Focus to Acana with almost zero issue with a slow and steady switch. My girl came to be fed on raw and Acana, so I didn't have to worry about it thankfully.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-02-2017, 12:02 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Femfa View Post
My breeder had mentioned if I wanted to switch foods, to wait a week. Give them a week to settle in the house and get used to you, and then to slowly transition to the new food. When you feed your pup, it should be in about 3 small meals a day. I would give a very, very small amount in the beginning and go from there. My SIL transitioned her Golden from Purina Focus to Acana with almost zero issue with a slow and steady switch. My girl came to be fed on raw and Acana, so I didn't have to worry about it thankfully.
Hi Femfa, happy to hear the switch has worked well for your SIL. Thanks for your input!

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-02-2017, 02:11 PM
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Congrats on the puppy!

Yes, wait at least 2 to 3 weeks before starting a change of food.

Always transition with small amounts of new food mixed with old. If stool get loose, go back to previous amount fed (where stool was solid) and hold at that amount for a few days until his gut gets use to it. Then increase again. This is called "bowel tolerance".

A human grade Digestive Enzyme & Probioitc would also be very good for your puppy. Digestive Enzymes help assimilate food and the Probioitc puts the "good" bacteria in the gut. Since over 75% of the immune system lies in the gut, it is very important to keep it healthy.

Isn't there any other food you can order to your Island? Walmart has this food manufactured for them by, I think, by Elmira in Canada.

If you can order products from Canada....search for Champion Products..... Acana Puppy is made in Canada but it is not available in the US yet. It's sister dog food is Orijen Puppy but be aware that it will give some dogs very loose stools.

These 2 are not the best ingredients.

Actr1um Holistic Puppy: Ingredients:Chicken meal, oatmeal, brown rice, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), rice, potatoes, chicken, beet pulp, whole dried egg, flaxseed, salmon meal, salmon oil (a natural source of dha), calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, dicalcium phosphate, lecithin, sodium chloride, kelp, chicory root extract, cranberries, alfalfa, spinach, broccoli, sweet potatoes, apples, blueberries, pears, bananas, Vitamins and minerals (Vitamin A, Vitamin D3, Vitamin E, niacin, Vitamin C, inositol, d-calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, beta carotene, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, Vitamin K (?), biotin, Vitamin B12 supplement, zinc proteinate, ferrous sulfate, iron proteinate, zinc oxide, copper proteinate, copper sulfate, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), citric acid, probiotics (lactobacillus acidophilus, lactobacillus casei, enterococcus faecium, bifidobacterium thermophilum), digestive enzymes, yucca schidigera extract, l-carnitine, dried rosemary, cinnamon, turmeric, capsicum, chamomile, dandelion, paprika, garlic.

Dicalcium Phosphate (DCP): It adds texture to the kibble, making it dry and hard. This ingredient cannot absorb water, making it nearly insoluble. In turn, it acts as an alkalizer, contributes to soft tissue calcification, and from some studies is proven to lead to kidney stones. (One Green Planet)
Another good term for DCP is cement. Would you eat cement? Then why would you feed your pet cement? (Nature’s Furry Friends)

Vitamin K - Depending if this is used in the form of Vitamin K3 (I would call or email and ask them if it is K3) There are 3 forms of Vitamin K: 1, 2 & 3

Vitamin K3 (menadione) is a potent synthetic (man-made) form of vitamin. K3 is synthetically produced, used by the pet food industry and to inhibit fungal growth. Some cite studies that make some rather disturbing claims. Critics like to point out that menadione…Causes toxic reactions in liver cells, Weakens the immune system, Induces allergic reactions, Causes abnormal break-down of red blood cells.
One company selling menadione warns its human buyers that menadione is “toxic to kidneys, lungs, liver, mucous membranes. Repeated or prolonged exposure to the substance can produce target organ damage.


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Last edited by Momto2GSDs; 10-02-2017 at 02:14 PM.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-02-2017, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
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OK, it seems we're now veering away from my original question... which was "at what age is it safe to begin weaning her off of the Iams and onto a higher grade food?"

Thank-you for your detailed response, but in my post I didn't require, nor ask for, any advice regarding what types of food to buy for my pet. I have already figured this out after very much research, and in speaking directly to veterinarians, and many others in the know. (but for the record, I will add that Elmira's Actrium Holistic line comes very highly recommended, and it does not contain vitamin K3... and "DCP = cement"?... really?) I chose Actrium as it is widely considered to be one of the best, healthiest dog foods available. If it is not available in the USA, this would not be an indication that it is an inferior product. OK, I get that everyone has a preference, and an opinion, but we must understand that this does not mean that someone else's healthy preference does not measure up. (I wonder if one might not be quite so quick to question my brand choice, had I not mentioned it was sold at Walmart?)

Now getting back to the topic of this discussion, I simply wish to hear from those of you who have successfully weaned their young dogs onto another brand with no issues, or whether I should even attempt to do so at such a young age.

Thanks,
Glen
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-02-2017, 03:47 PM
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I would give your puppy at least a week to settle at your home before trying. Age doesn't matter so much so long as the food as an appropriate calcium : phosphorus ratio.

With the Golden, we waited until there was about half of the bag of Purina left, as we had a good sized bag. Then we slowly transitioned onto Acana. It was probably the the time the Golden was about 14-16 weeks old that we started, and we took it slow like Moms said. Fortunately there were no loose stools in that transition.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-02-2017, 05:00 PM
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As others have said, it's best to give them some time to adjust to their new home and family. How much time depends on the dog. Our current puppy, Omen, started a slow transition to new food almost as soon as he came home. I'd planned to wait a couple weeks before starting the switch, but he kept stealing food from our 5 year old, lol, so we did a long, slow switch as we emptied the bag of puppy food we had bought for him.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-02-2017, 05:21 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Ken Clean-Air System View Post
As others have said, it's best to give them some time to adjust to their new home and family. How much time depends on the dog. Our current puppy, Omen, started a slow transition to new food almost as soon as he came home. I'd planned to wait a couple weeks before starting the switch, but he kept stealing food from our 5 year old, lol, so we did a long, slow switch as we emptied the bag of puppy food we had bought for him.
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Originally Posted by Femfa View Post
I would give your puppy at least a week to settle at your home before trying. Age doesn't matter so much so long as the food as an appropriate calcium : phosphorus ratio. With the Golden, we waited until there was about half of the bag of Purina left, as we had a good sized bag. Then we slowly transitioned onto Acana. It was probably the the time the Golden was about 14-16 weeks old that we started, and we took it slow like Moms said. Fortunately there were no loose stools in that transition.
Thanks Femfa and Ken for your replies! OK, so about a week or two for her to get accustomed to her new surroundings, then how slow of a process from starting to wean off the Iams until she is fully onto the new food, do you think?

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