. I am looking for recommendations WITHIN the 4Health options as to which one- grain free, untamed, puppy, large breed puppy... I realize everyone has their favorites and opinions, and I respect that, so please comment only on the 4Health options. I appreciate it.
First, it may be useful to know 4Health is privately labeled for TSC by Diamond (which also makes Kirkland and Nature's Domain food for Costco). So I would encourage you to think of 4Health and Diamond Naturals as analog foods and extensions of each other -- dogs can generally switch between DN, TSC's 4health, and Costco's Kirkland seamlessly once you figure out the analog foods within the families.
I think that grain-free kibble is basically a scam -- you need a set amount of starch to get kibble to extrude from a machine, and so grain-free foods just substitute different (often less digestible) starches for rice and oats. You are paying a lot more for beans, lentils, potatoes, and tapioca, but NOT more meat! The substitutes are often LESS nutritious and digestible than rice or oats, so you may actually be downgrading despite paying more. Unless you're adopting an allergy dog, save your money and buy the 4Health/Diamond Naturals grain-in foods.
For adult dogs, 4Health's chicken and rice is almost identical to Diamond Naturals and Kirkland (Costco) chicken and rice -- they're all sister foods from the same plant, with nearly identical ingredients. It's decent quality, mid-grade food. You can spend a lot more to get better quality, but I don't think you can get it at this price point. I don't know any food that offers more bang for the buck -- when anyone wants a budget-conscious food that you don't have to feel guilty about, this is the one!
I've bought a lot of the Costco version for a breed rescue -- most of our fosters feed it, and many also buy the same food for their own dogs as it feeds out very well at a very reasonable price. Unless a dog has an allergy to something in it, they tend to do really well on it -- we get solid poop very quickly, and their coats quickly look a lot better. It also doesn't require as much food as some cheaper brands.
I've also used the Costco/Kirkland "regular" puppy food with some puppies, but I prefer buying the Diamond Naturals Large Breed Puppy to support slow, steady growth (and lessen the risk of pano). All the rescue pups we have had on it have done great. I don't think 4Health has a large breed puppy forumula analog, but TSC does sell the Diamond Naturals LBP forumula, so it should be as convenient as buying 4Health:
I would recommend that you consider the Diamond Naturals LB puppy formula until the pup transitions to adult 4Health food. You'll be feeding the same family of food, and can purchase in the same place.
Diamond had a bad series of recalls quite a few years ago (2012?), but they seem to have fixed the problems as there hasn't been any major recalls from their plants for a long time (and other companies have had much more recent problems). Nevertheless, I do save bag lot codes until the bag is completely gone just in case there's a recall -- that's frankly a good practice with any food in this era of contamination.