Switching from breeders food

Andie's breeder sent him to me eating a combination of

FirstMate Grain Friendly...



Honest Kitchen 


mixed half and half.   I would like to transition him to one food.  I am not happy about the sourcing of FirstMate and the Honest kitchen is quite pricey.  Furthermore,  Honest Kitchen has a large quantity of dust in the bag.

Karen, Can you give me your expert and valued suggestions on a good food for Andie and the feeding amount.  Andie now weighs a whopping 30 pounds and is 16 weeks old.  He is eating a total of 3 1/8 cups of food a day.

Thank you so much in advance.


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  •  I can give you a number of choices, but here's the problem I'm having. He's currently eating fish based food and chicken based food, both with a fair amount of grain. The First Mate food he's eating is very calorie dense, (498 kcal/cup), even the Honest Kitchen food is pretty high in calories, and I can't match that with any similar food, which means that you are probably going to have to feed more of whatever you switch to.  I can't quite figure out how the First Mate food is so calorie dense, with all that grain, and it's pretty low in fat, too. 

    This might work for you. 
    Fish based with healthy grains, 419 kcal/cup.
    The protein is a little bit lower than I'd like.

    If you're okay with a grain free food, I'd suggest Fromm's Surf and Turf from their Four Star line. Fish & poultry based. 402 kcal/cup 
    Nice protein content, and most dogs love it. Jasper came home from his breeder on this.

    I can look for some more options, too.

    Protein packed, nutrient-rich food with bites of freeze-dried raw meat, Instinct Raw Boost Whole Grain Real Salmon & Brown Rice Recipe is a better wa…
    • Thanks. Karen.  I will look at this tomorrow.  Right now I'm on my phone and it's  hard to look at details on web.

  • Here's another option that might work well.It's a poultry based, healthy grain recipe that has a good protein content and 448 kcal/cup.

    I'm not sure about the pricing, though. S & C is an excellent brand, but it's relatively pricey.



  • Karen, I am leaning toward https://www.chewy.com/instinct-raw-boost-puppy-whole-grain/dp/24597... Did you look at the chicken.   It has higher calories per cup. 

    Also, I am not opposed to grain-free.  Haley ate grain-free.

    • Sorry. Link does not work.  Instinct Raw Boost Puppy Whole Grain Real Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Freeze-Dried Raw Coated Dry Dog Food


      • That's the puppy version of the first one I mentioned above. 
        I just didn't look at puppy formulas because the foods you're currently feeding are not "puppy" formulas. Some of us just feed ALS formulas their whole lives. 

        But the puppy version is fine. You can just switch him over to the adult formula later.

  • I am wondering about the FirstMate that Andie is eating.  I got this reply from FirstMate to my inquiry as to sourcing.  What do you think of the reply and of the food?

    "Thank you for your interest in our FirstMate pet food for your dog.  As a privately owned and operated manufacturer we take a great deal of pride in the quality, safety and performance of our products, and are happy to address your question for you.

    We produce our products in our privately owned facilities.  Our dry products, including our Grain Friendly Wild Pacific Caught Fish and Oats formula, are manufactured in our Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) inspected and organically certified facility located in Chilliwack, British Columbia. 

    Pet health and safety is our top priority when sourcing ingredients for our formulas. 

    In our dry formulas we use concentrated protein meals in which most of the moisture and some of the fat has been removed.  Our fish formulas use a combination of wild caught Herring, Anchovies and Sardines primarily caught in the Pacific Ocean off our own shores.  On occasion, due to the seasonal nature of the fisheries and product availability, we do source some of our fish meal from Peruvian and Mexican shores. 

    The chicken fat in our formulas is sourced locally from a company based in Vancouver, BC.

    Our oats are sourced from the Canadian Prairies, and our rice comes from California.

    Our vitamins and minerals are sourced primarily from North America, Germany, and France."

    • I had looked at it years ago. It's a Canadian company and it wasn't widely available here in the U.S., so I never added it to our recommended brands list. 
      I like the transparency of the reply. Without going deeper into it, I'd say you're fine staying with it. 

      • Should I transition Andie slowly off the Honest Kitchen since right now he is eating a mixture of FirstMate and Honest Kitchen?


        • If you're going to stay with the First Mate, there's really no need for a slow transition just to eliminate the H.K. 
          You can go ahead and try just feeding the First Mate alone. 

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