Labradoodle & Goldendoodle Forum

Has anyone has any experience with the following puppy foods?

Nulo  Freestyle

Earthborn Holistic primitive natural or puppy vantage

Wellness Complete Health

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Replies to This Discussion

Hi Rosalyn,
Earthborn and Wellness are both on our recommended brands list. Nulo is not. Our recommended brands list can be found on the main page of the food group here, there's a link.
I think we talked before about the fact that you absolutely must not change a single thing about the puppy's diet for the first two weeks after he comes home. You must feed the same food the breeder was using, even if it's crap, and the same treats. If the breeder wasn't giving treats, use tiny pieces of plain boiled white meat chicken for training treats. There are several reasons for this, which have been discussed extensively here in FG discussions. I will try to find you a link.
After two weeks, IF his stool is good and there are no digestive issues, you can switch to a food of your choice. However, you really want to try to stick with the same proteins and basic nutritonal profile as the breeder food, so choosing something now won;t work unless you know what that is. And of course, if he isn;t doing well on the breeder food, you will want to try something different.
Many puppies (including mine) never eat "puppy food"; they are started on an ALS (all life stages) formula and stay with that. This does give you a lot more options than the puppy formulas, which are usually limited in choice of proteins. 
I prefer Wellness CORE Puppy to the Complete Health line. Most pups do better with it. 

Hi Karen,

We have no intention of changing the pup's food until after two weeks and then gradually transitioning her.  I knew you should never just up and switch a dog's food suddenly.  I am just a little concerned since the Wellness line was involved in recalls in 2012 and 2017.  .  I prefer all life stages as well.  However I see the recalls were limited the canned and also the Complete Health line.  So we place Wellness Core on the list to consider.  Thanks.

I fed Wellness for many years, including 2017, (although not canned and not Complete Health), and I keep track of all recalls, and I do not remember any recalls of their food. I'll have to look that up in our files. Do you have a link to information about that? 
However, there are certainly many other brands to consider. Fromm, for one. An excellent brand and a wide variety of formulas. No recalls ever.

I found the recalls. There was one voluntary recall of their canned beef topper  in 2017 for possible high thyroid levels. There was a voluntary recall in Oct 2012 of one formula of small breed kibble from a line they no longer make for possible high moisture content. And there was a recall in May 2012 of one complete health formula for possible salmonella. At that time, they were still using Diamond Pet Food's manufacturing fecility and that's when they stopped using that facility. And that's also when I started feeling okay about recommending the brand, lol. 

Thanks for looking into it.  Yes,I can recall all those issues with the Diamond facility.  The bottom line is we never know.  It's just like with our food. There are issues even with human organic food sometimes. We can only strive to provide the best nutrition  for our families including our pets.


Recommended Brands:

Why you do not change a pup's food for at least two weeks:

It's critical that you not change anything about his diet for at least two weeks after he comes home. That means you keep him on the food and treats the breeder is feeding, even if they aren't so great.

Do not introduce any new treats or chews either. Keep his diet exactly the same as it was at the breeder's. 

Many, many doodle puppies come home with giardia and other parasites. Giardia has a 10-14 day incubation period, so it won;t show up in a fecal test right away. The excitement and stress of leaving the mother, the litter, and the only home the puppy has ever known can contribute to tummy troubles, too. And an 8 week old puppy has only been eating solid food of any kind for about 4 weeks, so the digestive system is very immature.

We have even had members whose brand new puppies had serious health issues resulting in digestive symptoms.

If you change the food before the dog has had a chance to settle in, and before any parasite issues have time to show up in a fecal test, and the dog has diarrhea, you will not know if it's caused by the food change, stress, parasites, or a digestive illness, and the breeder will blame it on the food change. Thus begins a journey of frustration trying to figure it out and an endless round of food changes. You also don't want to do anything to upset that delicate digestive system, as diarrhea can cause a young puppy to dehydrate very quickly, and is going to make housebreaking a whole lot tougher.

So you wait. If you leave the dog's diet exactly as is, and diarrhea develops, you have just eliminated any connection to food as the cause, and saved yourself a lot of aggravation. And of course, if the puppy comes home with diarrhea that doesn't resolve in a day, you know your breeder sent you a puppy with an intestinal parasite and you can probably recoup the cost of the fecal testing and the treatment, lol. (I personally would have fecal done on any new puppy I got, along with a general once-over at the vet's office, but parasites may not show up right away.)

So wait at least two weeks. If, after two weeks, the stool is firm and regular and everything seems fine with the pup's digestion, you can start changing him over. Make only one change at a time. 

We are not purchasing any food immediately.  I am just doing some research while I  have some down time. Its Spring break here so I am making notes and researching things we need to remember. My daughter is doing the same so when we get together we can discuss.  Sorry but I am a planner that's why I have all of this down time now. (lol).

Nothing wrong with planning ahead. It's just kind of hard with food unless you know what the pup will come home on.

For example, Jasper came home on Fromm's Four Star Surf & Turf, which is duck and salmon based. Had I wanted to switch (I didn't; I was thrilled with his breeder's choice), I would have needed to find a food with those proteins as well as a similar macronutrient profile. Since his breeder didn't start that particular food until the pups were about 7 weeks old (she originally started them on different food with different proteins), it would have been impossible for me to plan very far ahead if he'd been coming home at 8 weeks old. And I would have wanted to switch if she'd stayed with the original food, lol. 

We used Earthborn Holistic for our pup and he loved it. He's 4.5 yrs now and we still rotate between the grain-free fish and bison formulas. We saw a significant improvement in tummy issues once we started using Earthborn (and we got rid of chicken from his diet, but that's a whole other thing). I'd definitely recommend Earthborn! It's nice the have so many different protein options, so you can switch between the different ones to keep your pup interested.

Earthborn is a very good brand and their foods seem to have worked well for many people here. 

Yes I see that Earthborn Holistic is recommended.  We don't plan to feed her anything at first but what the breeder feeds and  later transition her gradually.  So nope we aren't buying any food.   We aren't going shopping yet  with the exception of a few things .  Like  there was a great sale locally on paper towels so I loaded up and I got some extras for my daughter (lol). Already found out the cost for dog registration and her apartment fee. She has already selected her groomer and her vet.  By the way , she has friend that's a dog trainer and he highly recommends Wellness Core and Earthborn.  We were also looking at brands there are more accessible in our surrounding areas. I had my bichon on a food that I had to travel out of town to purchase until I found it online.  I also know about food transitions, we tried 5 different brands before we found one my yorkie could tolerate. And I was transitioning her slowly per my vet's recommendation.



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