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Two weeks ago we started to make the transition from Royal canin German Shepherd puppy to Fromm large breed puppy formula 4 hour 13 and a half weeks old WL GSD. Since then she has had much looser stools and has been itching like crazy. I know it's only been two weeks but I'm thinking long-term we're going to make the switch to raw.

What I like about the higher-end kibble formulas is it they comply with recommendations 4 daily calorie intake, protein, calcium and phosphorus Etc in order to help minimize the risk of overfeeding and joint problems. How do you make those same determinations with respect to a raw diet?

Would it be better to switch to raw when she's done growing? Or can I do it now and what are the risks of developing joint problems from overfeeding with raw?

Currently looking at Darwin raw but I'm open to other suggestions
 

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I'm comfortable with a complete, commercial raw as a puppy. My worry is that by the time you balance a diet of your own and take the time to switch, add different ingredients, they've missed a lot of what they need. I don't worry much beyond it being an all life stages food, it looks like Darwin's is that and they have a recommendation for how and when to switch.
 

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Now

I fed both of those kibbles to my pup. I won't feed kibble again even to a puppy. I fed Darwin's for a year and my dog did well on it, they just had too many recalls and sanitation violations for my comfort. I currently rotate between Primal and Small Batch. There are many options healthier than extruded kibble.
 

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Quick update... stool analysis at the vet came back positive for coccidia so I guess that explains the diarrhea. Still looking for better nutritional options however so I will continue looking at raw food options while we are treating!
 

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You will probably get tired of feeding raw, as it is a lot of work and there are risks involved. A good kibble with some real cooked meat and veggies like certain greens added is a lot simpler and balanced. Victor makes a large variety of different kibble. You don't want to feed too much protein and fat while they are young.
 

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Quick update... stool analysis at the vet came back positive for coccidia so I guess that explains the diarrhea. Still looking for better nutritional options however so I will continue looking at raw food options while we are treating!
Diet is such an individual thing, for every dog. You're going to find dogs that do well on almost anything, and just the opposite. Can't seem to handle anything. I generally go with one or the other, either all raw, or all kibble. One of mine right now eats raw, one of them is on kibble. Raw can be a lot of work depending on whats local to you.
 

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Oh no Oz, I am so sorry to hear about the coccidia! Best wishes for a speedy recovery. I believe the treatment for coccidia is antibiotics, so be sure to supplement with probiotics after recovery in order to restore all that essential good bacteria to the digestive tract.

It is my personal very non expert opinion that the concerns about Darwins stem from often circulated internet rumors, and not actual fact. I can say that the several people I know who are heavily involved in the raw food world (and extremely discerning about what they feed their own dogs) recommend Darwins without hesitation. I have feed Darwins multiple times on and off for two years and have not had any issues. For the above reasons I personally am comfortable feeding Darwins. Having said that I would never presume to tell someone else to use a food they felt uncomfortable with. There are enough choices out there that everyone should be able to feel confident about the food they feed.
Here’s an article re: concerns about darwins:
https://keepthetailwagging.com/why-i-continue-to-feed-my-dogs-darwins-pet-food/

Primal is High Pressure Pasteurized, and I am not a fan. I tried one bag of it and will not be going back. If concerned about bacteria (which is what drives people to HPP) I would recommend Answers, which uses fermentation as a safety measure, not HPP. As an added bonus, fermentation = lots of natural beneficial bacteria/ probiotics. As an aside I finally found a pet store near me that carries Answers, yay!

I also like Dr. B’s Longevity for pre made raw. I find the quality and variety of ingredients to be quite impressive. Now, after having defended Darwins above, I am going to be somewhat contradictory and say that I do slightly prefer the ingredients list of Dr. B’s Longevity over Darwins. I will still always keep Darwins in my rotation because I think it is a quality food and variety is important. However to my mind Dr B’s gets more of their micronutrients from nutrient dense ingredients instead of adding them in via supplementation. Also, regarding fat, Darwins uses sunflower oil as it is an economical fat source. Dr. B’s uses Atlantic mackerel and wheat germ oil, both of which are omega 3 rich and to my mind superior to sunflower oil.
https://www.drbslongevity.com/collections/active-vitality-bundle/products/active-vitality-bundle
 

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When we first got our pups at 8 weeks old we did raw and we tried and tried until about almost two months ago when we switched fully to taste of the wild. About two months in we started 1/3 kibble and still slowly made adjustments since Odin was not really doing well on raw. We were worried he wasn’t getting a complete diet. His stools were only solid a few times a week and all test had came back negative for any other issues. He has a really sensitive stomach. Now we feed kibble as their base. And some raw and raw supplements and other supplements as well such as fish oil, spirulina, ocean kelp. They still get eggs, fruit, goats milk, and chicken feet or necks. But it was becoming to hard to balance a full raw diet and it was getting expensive. Raw is a lifestyle choice, especially if you are doing DIY. It’s really easily to over do it and under do it. But we still give them some raw every day as apart of their diet. Mainly 90/10 ground beef as their meat choice on top of their kibble. Every other day they get an egg. Goats milk when we get it. And the get apple cider vinegar daily. We feed them a lot of fresh foods to sort of combat some of the negative things from feeding kibble. It works for us and them. And as soon as he started eating kibble as his main source his pooped was solid the next day. It’s not for all dogs or people. If you want to introduce raw I would def start with raw food as a supplement and add it into their daily diet. About 1-2 times a week we will give them all meat & bone meal (based on raw feeding calculators).

I do agree it has its benefits, but even partial raw is good for them. And not all dogs will do well on full raw. You can feed them fruits, certain veggies, low fat meats, real bones as supplements to their kibble and they will still reap some of the benefits.
 

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Does anyone know good brands that are "pre-made raw?" Or super high quality kibble in general? There are so many brands, it can get a bit confusing. Also, if I were to feed raw and then needed to travel so I switched to pre-made raw kibbles, would that be a potential GI upset?
 

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Germans shepherds do have a lot of immune system issues. Many allergies are also environmental. Do you have a big weather change. Luna is a bit itchy I’m not sure if is from the change of seAson- winter the air is a bit drier. This past week they have not gotten eggs I keep forgetting to pick up store but I do add this to their diet especially during winter. I did change her but food but have done that frequently. They eat Fromm and victor. I notice puppies do go through itchy face loosing puppy coats. What works for you and your dog is what is best. I feed kibble but I do add fresh food,dehydrated patties and sometimes raw snacks fed outside if with bone and switch kibbles up. I make a chicken they get raw chicken wings as a snack - well max does Luna just likes raw cutlet. They all like some raw pot roast. I have fed the primal goat milk and the honest kitchen goat milk, kefir ,plain yogurt whatever is in the house.

For prepackaged raw I have fed primal frozen and I like the dehydrated patties to feed with kibble- I like they have little recalls. chewy and Stella’s rAw -I like that they have grass fed, cage free and wild caught which to me is very important.
 
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