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We have continued Pepper on Iams because that’s what the breeder was feeding. She has started showing less and less interest in it, but when she gets a shot at the other dog’s food, she gulps it down like a starving person. I don’t know if she genuinely dislikes the Iams or just prefers the other food because it’s off-limits. She’s been vet checked three times already...parasite free and healthy even though she is a little smaller than normal. I ordered some pour-overs and bone broth from THK today thinking I would add those in as an occasional supplement. Should I wait and see how that works out or go ahead and make a switch to a different brand?
 

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I'd say wait until you finish the bag, why waste food? I tried Iams LBP once for my dog, at that time I was on a tight budget. It was fine, stools were okay, energy levels too. The only downside is that I noticed an increase on his shedding. It was probably the corn. But other than that, it's an 'alright' product. If your dog doesn't really like it, then try switching to another brand to determine if she just doesn't like Iams or if she's being picky. I recommend fish formula to induce their palate.
 

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Regarding Fromm's Large Breed Puppy food, I would buy the version of that food WITH grain (turquoise bag) -- it's not only cheaper, but it has the same amount of protein as the grain-free, without peas and such. Your pup is already doing okay on grains, so there's no reason to avoid them (like a grain allergy).

Here it is:
https://www.petflow.com/product/fromm/fromm-gold-holistic-large-breed-puppy-dry-dog-food?trk_search_product=1#

It's a great company, with a reputation for integrity. Their foods are only sold at mom-and-pop independent food stores that emphasize quality, and one or two online outlets (like Petflow). You won't find Fromm at "big box" stores or Chewy. The independent stores have a buy 12-get 1 free company offer that brings the price down over time.

If that price is too steep, the "value" food I would consider is Diamond Naturals Large Breed Puppy. Fromm likely has better ingredient sourcing, but the Diamond food works very well for many, many dogs at a pretty reasonable price for a 40# bag, and you can nearly always find it at Tractor Supply Stores or many places online:
https://www.chewy.com/diamond-naturals-large-breed-puppy/dp/34917

We've fed lots and lots of the Diamond Naturals LBP in the rescue, and it feeds out very well. My own dogs are on Fromm, and have been for years (the adult Four Star line) -- every interaction I've had with the company has been excellent (if you call them, a nice person in Wisconsin will answer your questions, or even research them if she doesn't know the answer).


Another lower cost option would be an all-life stages food from Victor. It's another one that feeds out very well for most dogs. Its cost is in between Diamond Naturals and Fromm.
 

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Im going to recommend Victor and Farmina. Recently with the Dilated Cardiomyopathy issue, certain foods are proving to be safer than others, and company responses to fix issues with their food are coming out. Im going to go against the responses below me and suggest you dont feed Fromm as it has not been testing well in regards to this heart disease. There have been multiple dogs that developed DCM while on this food. Since GSD's are prone to DCM I think this is something to consider. Unfortunately a nice family owned company that doesn't use controversial ingredients doesn't always equate to a balanced food in all areas. Nothing against Fromm.
 

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mmags, the Fromm Gold LBP with grain has no peas in it and has taurine, and I don't see any dogs fed it on the list of low taurine results. In fact, if you look closely, the dogs with problems on Fromm mostly were fed a grain-free option (with just a few exceptions). With the exception of Duck & Sweet Potato (which seems to have something going on), the Fromm grain-in options (e.g., Four Star Chicken) aren't the ones that seem to be generating the handful of low taurine results on the spreadsheet. I feed Fromm Four Star (with grain) rotationally and have been monitoring this very, very closely -- we stopped buying their grain-free options until this shakes out.

If you want to avoid foods with any low taurine results on the spreadsheet, you don't have many high-end options left. Victor has a case or two now too (in Golden Retrievers that are especially sensitive). Diamond Naturals chicken and rice-based foods seem to be doing okay....but that might be because most people who can afford taurine testing ($300-400 incl. shipping) and cardio work-up (hundreds more) are probably not feeding it. Honestly, that also could be at issue with Victor, as it moves a lot of product through feed stores nationally (as does Diamond) too. Not that there's anything wrong with either one -- it's just how they've both positioned their distribution for a long time, and farm dogs who see a country vet may not set them up to produce as robust a data set as a food like Zignature (commonly fed to allergy dogs who are already heavily vetted and monitored, and thus likely to have issues noticed). Same goes for the bottom-of-the-barrel cheap foods -- they're not represented on the spreadsheet, but that could easily be because the dogs aren't being monitored or tested to the same extent as dogs fed expensive holistic foods. We have to be VERY cautious about making assumptions about this useful-but-incomplete data as this is still very much unfolding.


I think it's reasonable to conclude foods producing a lot of low results ought to be viewed with caution. I'm less comfortable concluding foods not represented on the list are necessarily fine -- as the data collection methodology just doesn't support that kind of confidence. As time has gone by, more brands that we thought would never be there are showing up. Be sure you are reading the spreadsheet correctly too -- most of the entries are for normal taurine results, but there are outliers with low results. They're tracking both.

OP, here's the thread with the discussion we're referring to:
https://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/diet-nutrition/748011-fda-dog-foods-canine-dilated-cardiomyopathy-5.html
Right now it's pure speculation as to what's happening -- tons of dogs do just fine, and randomly a few are throwing up low taurine tests and cardiac issues with a wide range of (mostly grain-free) foods...mostly ones with a lot of peas/beans and potatoes high up on the ingredient list. Lots of people are posting speculation about cause, but the research paper hasn't been published yet explaining it so nobody but the people at UC Davis with the embargoed paper really know yet. We're all waiting to find out what's going on.
 

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mmags, the Fromm Gold LBP with grain has no peas in it and has taurine, and I don't see any dogs fed it on the list of low taurine results. In fact, if you look closely, the dogs with problems on Fromm mostly were fed a grain-free option (with just a few exceptions). With the exception of Duck & Sweet Potato (which seems to have something going on), the Fromm grain-in options (e.g., Four Star Chicken) aren't the ones that seem to be generating the handful of low taurine results on the spreadsheet. I feed Fromm Four Star (with grain) rotationally and have been monitoring this very, very closely -- we stopped buying their grain-free options until this shakes out.

If you want to avoid foods with any low taurine results on the spreadsheet, you don't have many high-end options left. Victor has a case or two now too (in Golden Retrievers that are especially sensitive). Diamond Naturals chicken and rice-based foods seem to be doing okay....but that might be because most people who can afford taurine testing ($300-400 incl. shipping) and cardio work-up (hundreds more) are probably not feeding it. Honestly, that also could be at issue with Victor, as it moves a lot of product through feed stores nationally (as does Diamond) too. Not that there's anything wrong with either one -- it's just how they've both positioned their distribution for a long time, and farm dogs who see a country vet may not set them up to produce as robust a data set as a food like Zignature (commonly fed to allergy dogs who are already heavily vetted and monitored, and thus likely to have issues noticed). Same goes for the bottom-of-the-barrel cheap foods -- they're not represented on the spreadsheet, but that could easily be because the dogs aren't being monitored or tested to the same extent as dogs fed expensive holistic foods. We have to be VERY cautious about making assumptions about this useful-but-incomplete data as this is still very much unfolding.


I think it's reasonable to conclude foods producing a lot of low results ought to be viewed with caution. I'm less comfortable concluding foods not represented on the list are necessarily fine -- as the data collection methodology just doesn't support that kind of confidence. As time has gone by, more brands that we thought would never be there are showing up. Be sure you are reading the spreadsheet correctly too -- most of the entries are for normal taurine results, but there are outliers with low results. They're tracking both.

OP, here's the thread with the discussion we're referring to:
https://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/diet-nutrition/748011-fda-dog-foods-canine-dilated-cardiomyopathy-5.html
Right now it's pure speculation as to what's happening -- tons of dogs do just fine, and randomly a few are throwing up low taurine tests and cardiac issues with a wide range of (mostly grain-free) foods...mostly ones with a lot of peas/beans and potatoes high up on the ingredient list. Lots of people are posting speculation about cause, but the research paper hasn't been published yet explaining it so nobody but the people at UC Davis with the embargoed paper really know yet. We're all waiting to find out what's going on.
That is not true. Also, adding taurine is not a solution to this problem as cardiologists have made clear. Please show where you're seeing Victor fed dogs come up with DCM because the only data I see shows none, while Fromm has a few. I have attached screenshots of the table as proof.
 

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What I said was a couple of Victor-fed Goldens were coming up with low taurine results -- they're highlighted in Orange (= marginal for a golden) in the Victor section of the big spreadsheet of raw data (there's actually a third that was fed a mix of Victor and Bravo):


https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1TNru_WWKf0TbZ8aYBgOJjsh4cziKZwdA6GEbXTUFJ_M/edit#gid=582733736


You're only looking at confirmed cases of DCM. The data set I'm showing you is the collection of actual taurine test results (which may lead to DCM, or not -- even that's not clear yet).
 

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Some dogs on Victor tested whole blood under 250 but not below 200. All breeds besides Goldens for safety are suggested to have a whole blood level over 200. 250 is for Goldens. I cant access the google doc from work so I will later at home. Multiple confirmed cases of DCM on a Fromm food would scare me. Just to be safe I wouldn't feed. See attached images, I didnt even include all of the Fromm results.
 

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Like I said, a small number of Goldens fed Victor came up in a low (marginal) range for that breed -- that means it's no longer true that Victor is completely clear of all this. These were test results IN Goldens. Most of the data is from Goldens, as they're the breed that the study focused on -- we simply don't have a similar data set for GSDs or other breeds. As we get more data, more brands seem to pop up with more wonky results... complicated problem. I'm just suggesting these test results may signal for less certainty in statements claiming that a brand is not potentially involved, when there are a few wonky taurine results on record -- but you do you, and it's up to you whether those results matter.
 

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I fed Fromm grain free game bird and stopped due to all these studies but honestly I don’t think it would do any harm feeding my dogs this food. They don’t need grainfree so why take risk even if minimal if they had severe allergies it would be different. So I switched to Fromm gold with grain and switch it up with victor because of higher protein. With these studies I know one thing I would not want to get a golden retriever with all their heart issues. King Charles also have lots of heart issues and a breed I may not wAnt to get again even though are such a great family dog.
 

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My dogs seem to be doing well on Fromm. I fed a grain-free variety until the information on DCM started to come out, then I switched to a variety with grain. The doggos don't seem to notice the difference, it's a bigger bag and cheaper -- win/win.

I am still slightly concerned but will wait for more information to come out before I consider switching brands. If you go with Fromm, I would choose a variety without peas and with potatoes far down on the ingredient list. Right now, Victor would be on the top of my list if I switched.

Raw feeding is looking better and better every day -- if I had the time/know-how, finances, and storage space to switch the dogs to a raw diet, I would!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thank you all for the information. It's been a while since I had a puppy (I have two 10+ year olds and a younger rescue that I didn't have as a puppy). I don't remember having this many choices when Maggie and Maycie were puppies. I did decide to go with the Fromms Gold with grains...along with some Cheeseplosions, Lamb & Cranberry treats, and some Turkey, Duck and Sweet Potato Pate I thought my older dogs would enjoy as a treat (don't want them to be left out). Should be delivered tomorrow. I have been mixing in some of the adult food in with the Iams and even after two days, I can tell she has filled out some. She even walks past their bowls without stopping now, so I think she was staying hungry with the Iams. I appreciate all of you taking the time to share information with me!
 
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