My Review of Dog Food for German Shepherd Puppies... Should anyone need help in choos
My Review of Dog Food for German Shepherd Puppies... Should anyone need help in choosing.
I've had my share in finding the best food for my GSD puppy. I'm gonna write here my review of each of them, with the hope that anyone who's looking for which brand to feed their GSD puppy may use this as a reference. Keep in mind that every dog is different. My review is based on my 11 months-old male GSD pup, currently 80lb (Got him when he was 7 1/2 weeks, around 13lb then,) from September 2017 - Now. I'm going to list it from the 1st food he got 'till his current food. It's a long post, but it's the ultimate reviews.
1. CANIDAE ALL LIFE STAGES MULTI PROTEIN
I bought Canidae ALS because I was going to get a corgi at first, but a GSD fell into my lap instead (I thank God every dang day, can't imagine my life without my boy now).
468cal /cup, turkey and chicken meal protein, no corn no wheat no soy, $56 /44lb on Chewy.com.
He liked it, but then again he was a tiny puppy, would've eaten anything. Coat was fine, stools were fine. But the vet said to change to a specific Large Breed Puppy diet.
Bottom line: Good product. Canidae is a premium brand. If you have multiple dogs at home, can come in handy. A tad expensive compared to the others.
2. DIAMOND NATURALS LARGE BREED PUPPY
Changed the diet from Canidae over 7 days, had diarrhea for 3 days after that.
342cal /cup. Lamb meal protein. No corn no wheat no soy. $45 /40lb on Amazon.com.
He wasn't crazy about it, liked Canidae better, but then again he was still little so he ate it anyways. Never a solid stool; always soft and mushy (but not watery). Coat was fine.
Bottom line: Not the best, based on our experience. I mean, we went through 40lb quite a while and there was seldomly any solid stools. Or perhaps my pup just didn't like lamb. Or probably it wasn't a 'good bag' since I ordered it from Amazon and rumour has it, their pet food department has minimum quality control! (Read some customer reviews of several food on Amazon, some people posted photos of the 'real' ones vs 'amazon' ones are DIFFERENT.) Even so, won't be going back to this. Great promising ingredients, really wanted my pup to agree with it, but he didn't. Quite economical though, you know, cost-wise.
3. IAMS LARGE BREED PUPPY
Ok I kind of gambled a little bit here because this product is literally beneath both Canidae and Diamond Naturals (ingredients-wise). It has chicken BY-PRODUCTS ANDDDD CORN in the 1sr 5 ingredients. But it seemed passable and it's so cheappppo... So I tried it...
399cal /cup. Chicken protein. No soy no wheat (lots of corn though...) $28 /30lb (!) on Amazon.com.
Transitioned for 7 days, watery/mushy stools for the first 4 days or so. He liked it! Stools were solid! Hooray! Had a growth spurt of 13lb in a month! HOWEVER......... His coat was SO flaky. He SHED like some kind of SHED GODZILLA I swear. Coat wasn't shiny anymore. Kind of like... Dry. And unshiny. Like, where did his shiny coat go?! Went to a different vet that month for check up (why different vet? Because I got a free coupon. Whatever.) Asked her if the coat had gone flaky because of the corn. She said no, it must've been the chicken protein. Respect for the vet, of course. But I didn't quite click with her. I asked a couple of questions and 50% of them she answered, 'I'm not at liberty to answer that question.' I mean............ What........... The......??
Eh, better than expected to be honest. Would've stayed with it if only he didn't turn into a shedding Godzilla. I can handle a GSD but not a Godzilla of Shedding. Super economical. I'd recommend it for someone who is extra cost-effective. Product doesn't hurt, price doesn't either.
4. AMERICAN JOURNEY SALMON ALL LIFE STAGES LARGE BREED
I came across this brand on Chewy.com, apparently is their own brand. Not many people have heard about this brand. Decided to give it a go anyways. Ingredients look great.
330cal /cup. SALMON and MENHADEN FISH are the main protein, which is GREAT. No corn no wheat no soy. It was $29 /28lb when I bought it, now it's $35.
My dog liked it. No problem at all. Easy transition, no diarrhea. His coat was shiny, stools are good and solid. It's just that it's not a specific puppy food
Bottom line: That being said, I would completely recommend it. It's not a lifestage-specific formula. But salmon for $29? **** yeah.
After we finished the American Journey bag, we went back to Canidae (I just remembered I had an extra bag because when the 1st one was delivered, the bag was already open, so Chewy.com sent me another one. My dog won't eat it AT ALL. Like, AT ALL. For 2 weeks I had to handfeed him, even then, he still refused. Don't know what happened there. The expiration date was due in August 2018 (This was April 2018). Maybe he didn't like chicken anymore. Maybe something went wrong with it being stored for 6 months. Don't know. But no Canidae for my boy now. (Again, not a bad product at all, dog just didn't like it... Anymore.)
6. PRO PAC LARGE BREED PUPPY
Here's another underdog brand. Why did I switch from American Journey or Canidae? Because American Journey went up by $5, and wouldn't eat Canidae. I'd been eyeing this product.
360cal /cup. It has everything I'd been looking for; Large Breed Puppy, Chicken and Whitefish protein, no corn no wheat no soy, 2 proteins, sensational price. $30 /28lb on Chewy.com.
But here's what (I think) went wrong... I had to switch to Pro Pac from Canidae cold turkey, AND just so it happened, that week there was a living situation and my boy had to stay with a sitter (from Rover) for 5 days 4 nights. He really liked it (compared to Canidae), ate it for 3-4 days before I had to drop him at the sitter's. Stools were completely fine. But he wasn't crazy about it, to the point he almost didn't eat it unless he was starving. The sitter said he wasn't eating much, almost always leaving some in the bowl. Probably due to the stress of adapting, and switching back from Salmon to Chicken. Don't know. But when things went back to normal, he just STOPPED eating it all at once. It was very, very conflicting to me (because he liked it at first.) Asked for an advice from our trainer, she said to leave the bowl for 15 mins and just pick it up if he doesn't eat it, 'till the next meal. Stopped giving him treats all at once too. THREE whole days went by... Starting to get worried here because he didn't even SNIFF the food. He was happy as can be albeit he was hungry, but not lethargic at all. So this is a behaviour thing most likely. Plus he hasn't gained ANY weight since switching from American Journey. Crap.
Bottom line: I DO recommend this food, especially for those with a budget. It's literally one of the best bang for your buck. Honestly. I just if you decide to feed your dog this formula, hope he/she likes chicken.
7 AND FINAL. TASTE OF THE WILD PACIFIC STREAM PUPPY
That third day, I went to the dog park and met a lady who just adopted a year old GSD. I mentioned in our conversation that my dog hadn't eaten in 3 days for no apparent reason. She said to go to a certain pet shop and try Taste of the Wild. Her dog eats TOTW High Prairie and gained 28lb in like a month she said. I've heard good things about TOTW. But it wasn't quite within my budget area, so... I didn't pay much attention to it. But it was the 3rd day that my boy hadn't eaten, so on my way home I drove to that pet shop.
360 cal /cup. Salmon and Oceanfish protein. No corn no wheat no soy. GRAIN-FREE (fancy that!). $45.99 /30lb at this petshop. Online or at Petco it's like $49.99. Yeesh.
Went in to the store and I said to the trainer/manager that my dog hadn't eaten in 3 days, and asked for a TOTW fish puppy formula. I said I switched his food from fish to chicken and now I think he likes fish. And then she asked if my dog knew any trick, I said 'Yeah. You can tell him to roll.' so roll did my dog. Then this trainer poured the sample to a carton box and my dog... Ate... Right... Away... And kept... Coming back... For more. I was astounded. I swear I felt like those people on Dog Whisperer after Cesar Millan 'fixed' their dog. I was in awe. The trainer explained to me, for this situation, I'd have to make him 'interested' in the food, making him feel like he MUST earn it thus making it 'special' to him. (I know. So much effort to feed dogs.) I was gonna take home another sample, but I was like, screw it, let's get a bag. (Also, this store does 'Get 1 free after your 10th bag.' Ooooh. How dandy.) Came home. He ate. I never look back.
(Switched to TOTW cold turkey, zero diarrhea whatsoever. Completely clean.)
Bottom line: Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream puppy is the shiz. Hands down. The end. Goodbye.
Alright I'll elaborate. He's been on it for a week now. He eats slowly on breakfast time, sometimes he doesn't finish it or I have to handfeed him. But he gobbles everything down at dinner. Like, empty, clean bowl. Ingredients wise it's top notch. It's stretched my budget a little but honestly for like $50, this is probably the best money can buy. Most importantly my dog LIKES IT A LOT. Similar ingredients, different brands, can go up to $95 for like 24lb. Like, no. I'mma be staying with TOTW for the long haul. No more changing madness.
I'd like to admit it's probably my fault he's become picky. But hey, I make mistakes. Now that I found the ONE for my dog, I'll keep him there.
Bottom, bottom line:
1. I would first and foremost recommend TASTE OF THE WILD PACIFIC STREAM PUPPY, because... it's Taste of the Wild. Enough said.
2. For those with puppies and budget, PRO PAC LARGE BREED PUPPY definitely one of the best that money can buy. One of the most underrated products one can find in my honest opinion.
3. For All Life Stages formula, can't go wrong with AMERICAN JOURNEY SALMON LARGE BREED (only available on Chewy.com).
4. For those on tight budget, you could do a lot worse than IAMS LARGE BREED PUPPY.
Peace out. All love.