Orijen Puppy vs. Nature's Variety Instinct?
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  • Which is better in your opinion?? When I pick up my puppy I will be transitioning the food over to a higher quality food… any suggestions on the two listed? Good and bad experiences welcome, Thanks

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    @Chealsie508:

    Which is better in your opinion?? When I pick up my puppy I will be transitioning the food over to a higher quality food… any suggestions on the two listed? Good and bad experiences welcome, Thanks

    We stopped feeding Roxy and Rocky dry kibble after a seminar on raw food diets at our local independent pet store. We learned that the 'Grain Free' food that we were feeding them was indeed free of grains, but in their place were other carbohydrates in the form of potato starches - there was no wonder Roxy wasn't losing weight, even though I was giving her less and less food. The Orijen Puppy food is the same thing. According to http://www.orijen.ca/orijen/products/puppyIngredients.aspx, the sixth ingredient is potatoes!

    Potato starch is also a double-hitter. Not only does the dog's digestion system treat it the same way as grain, potato starch isn't washed away from the teeth as quickly as sugars (http://www.livescience.com/health/071106-bad-teeth.html) so will encourage tooth decay.

    That's not to say the raw food diet is is going to be perfect. It can get messy (Rocky has a habit of picking up some of the food and wandering off with it, so he is supervised closely when eating), and we were treated to a mildly amusing story at the seminar of one dog burying a chicken back down the side of a sofa and leaving it for a few days. On the plus side, you can feed puppies, adults and senior cats and dogs the same food, you just vary the number or nuggets you feed them (they're all pre-weighed chunks of food that are flash-frozen and then bagged.)

    All of that being said, I've never fed my two Orijen puppy food before, so it could be perfectly healthy for them, but we have a new puppy arriving in the new year, he'll be on the Nature's Variety Instinct as soon as he arrives.

    Another raw food manufacturer, Primal, has variety sample packs (which is how we started out). If you're thinking of raw food, try one of those to see if there's a particular flavor your puppy likes - our dogs like beef, one of the cats likes chicken.

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  • This website talks about all of the premium brand dog foods right down to the grocery store ones. You might find it helpful. I'm going to be feeding Kipawa Taste of the Wild Bison with a little Taste of the Wild Salmon mixed in to keep his coat looking good.

    As far as raw food, we do buy organic chicken and meats for ourselves and our cats, so Kipawa will get some as well.

    http://www.dogfoodanalysis.com/dog_food_reviews/

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  • Origen is a very good brand of food and probably considered better than most, but you pay for it in the price. The important thing is that it has a high protein content and made from quality ingredients. It has a lot of calories so be careful how much you feed so the puppy doesn't get overly chubby. Nature's Variety Instinct overall looks good, wasn't sure which one you were referring to.

    And as long as you brush their teeth the starch issue shouldn't be a problem. In addition to it being sixth on the list, it's listed as russet potato which means it has all of the water along with it (potato is about 80% water) and the overall "starch" content is probably pretty low.

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    @Nemo:

    And as long as you brush their teeth the starch issue shouldn't be a problem. In addition to it being fourth on the list, it's listed as russet potato which means it has all of the water along with it (potato is about 80% water) and the overall "starch" content is probably pretty low.

    Russet Potatoes have the highest starch content of any potato available, plus the starch content of potatoes can actually increase after cooking.

    I'm not saying that potato starch is 'bad'. As scavengers I'm sure that dogs and their ancestors have survived by having potatoes as part of their diet every now and again, I just find it convenient that potatoes are fairly inexpensive to purchase on a food commodities market and it would be an easy way to turn any regular pet food into a 'grain-free' premium food. With that, given that potato starch promotes tooth decay (Roxy spent some of her early years in a puppy mill, the poor nutrition there has left her with few teeth and I want to keep her as healthy as I can), I'd rather feed mine the raw food.

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  • I feed raw but I also feed kibble. If someone wants to feed kibble this is a pretty good choice. I imagine they need something to bind the kibble together into the pellet form and process it.

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  • I do not feed puppy food. While I will start a litter on puppy food when weaning from Mom, after 8 wks, they are on the same food as adults, once I run out of the puppy food. I don't nor have I ever found an advantage to feeding puppy food. As long as you are feed a good quality food (be it raw, kibble, wet, etc) that is the main thing.

    Honestly, not even sure why I bother with puppy food even during weaning…

    I have been doing this with my litters since my first in 1994.... Never had had a problem

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  • Pat, that's interesting that you mention not feeding puppy food. I was watching Pat Hastings puppy puzzle recently and in the video she recommended against it and to feed adult food (she didn't recommend raw at that age either for the same reasoning). I can't remember the exact quote, but essentially her observations were that puppy foods (I believe because of the high fat) were more likely to lead to high growth rate-dependent conformational issues than less "rich" foods. It was food for thought (sorry about the pun) when I get my next puppy. :)

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    puppy food is specially formulated with different levels of protein/fat and nutrients that a puppy needs to grow, however kibble that are advertised as "all life stages" are generally puppy food so those are ok to feed.
    Puppies just like human babies have different requirements to feed their growing bodies.

    I really like both of the kibbles posted, however some dogs dont do well on that high of a protein content, but it's really trial and error on what works for your dog. I used Fromm puppy in the past and really liked the results.

    Pat, that's interesting that you mention not feeding puppy food. I was watching Pat Hastings puppy puzzle recently and in the video she recommended against it and to feed adult food (she didn't recommend raw at that age either for the same reasoning). I can't remember the exact quote, but essentially her observations were that puppy foods (I believe because of the high fat) were more likely to lead to high growth rate-dependent conformational issues than less "rich" foods. It was food for thought (sorry about the pun) when I get my next puppy.

    Im not familiar with Pat Hastings but puppy food is supposed to be higher in fat! What you are looking for in relation to growth rate and conformation issues is the phosphorus/calcium ratio and not the fat content. Generally you really only have to worrk about phos/cal content if you are raising a large breed dog.

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  • I don't believe that puppies need higher fat… none of mine have seemed to suffer...ggg
    And all have grown normally.....

    That said, what we all choose to feed is pretty much a personal choice, so as they say to each their own... just feed the best of what you choose.

    I use Fromm's Surf and Turf. My girls have been on this since 9 and 11wks. I really like their kibble. I use that as a base and mix a different food with it with each new bag... that way I almost never have to worry about changing foods. Also I use fruits, veggies, and raw

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    your pups wont neccessarily do badly on a food that doesnt meet the requirements but that doesnt mean it is optimal either, I do agree that food is very personal however!

    http://www.dognutrition.com/puppy-vs-adult-dogfood.html

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  • Everyone's input is food for thought-especially regarding the "need" for puppy food-I will surely keep that in mind. Funny enough, I was reading alot of your postings Tanza; about how you mix foods- I like that idea a lot- do you make sure the ingredients are similar?? What I mean is if I want to use venison as the main ingredient in one kibble can I use fish in another?? Lastly, I have been researching ingredients and funny enough, I am thinking of changing my mind to mixing Taste of the Wild with Canidae… Lots to think about and cram with ony a few weeks til the puppy comes home!!!!:D

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    @Chealsie508:

    Everyone's input is food for thought-especially regarding the "need" for puppy food-I will surely keep that in mind. Funny enough, I was reading alot of your postings Tanza; about how you mix foods- I like that idea a lot- do you make sure the ingredients are similar?? What I mean is if I want to use venison as the main ingredient in one kibble can I use fish in another?? Lastly, I have been researching ingredients and funny enough, I am thinking of changing my mind to mixing Taste of the Wild with Canidae… Lots to think about and cram with ony a few weeks til the puppy comes home!!!!:D

    There is no nutrional reason to mix foods, kibble is formulated to contain the nutrients needed by dogs (unfortunately they can contain alot of crap too), we used to mix my dogs food mostly because he liked a variety lol, my other dog couldnt care less about what the food is, she will eat anything.
    Fruits and veggies are not a required part of a dog's diet, and they arent worth adding unless you take the time to blended them well, as dogs cannot digest cellulose and need it to be pre-digested/mixed up, they also do not have the jaw structure to chew them properly to break down the cellulose themselves.

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  • @Chealsie508:

    Everyone's input is food for thought-especially regarding the "need" for puppy food-I will surely keep that in mind. Funny enough, I was reading alot of your postings Tanza; about how you mix foods- I like that idea a lot- do you make sure the ingredients are similar?? What I mean is if I want to use venison as the main ingredient in one kibble can I use fish in another?? Lastly, I have been researching ingredients and funny enough, I am thinking of changing my mind to mixing Taste of the Wild with Canidae… Lots to think about and cram with ony a few weeks til the puppy comes home!!!!:D

    The meat source is the important one… and yes, I have mixed meat like venison with fish...

    And I do not do it so that I never have to worry about changing to different foods... so I also use freeze dried mixes along with many other things. While some may not think that fruits and/or veggies are important, I feel that they are... but again, feeding is a personal choice... just use a high quality food.

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    @tanza:

    The meat source is the important one… and yes, I have mixed meat like venison with fish...

    And I do not do it so that I never have to worry about changing to different foods... so I also use freeze dried mixes along with many other things. While some may not think that fruits and/or veggies are important, I feel that they are... but again, feeding is a personal choice... just use a high quality food.

    to each their own, but as I posted above, fruits and veggies are not beneficial unless they are served blended, as dogs cannot properly digest them whole, or chew them enough to break up the cellulose.

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  • Thanks so much- can't wait to get all the kinks worked out and have my baby here with me- I am sure I will pick everyone's brains a lot more.

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  • @starrlamia:

    your pups wont neccessarily do badly on a food that doesnt meet the requirements but that doesnt mean it is optimal either, I do agree that food is very personal however!

    http://www.dognutrition.com/puppy-vs-adult-dogfood.html

    Based on this table then I would feed adult food to a puppy and not puppy food. If that "growth and reproduction" composition is the determination of what would provide the optimal health of a puppy then most if not all high quality grain-free adult pet foods would meet the minimum requirements noted in the table (no maximum stated).

    But as said before, to each their own.

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  • I agree- I'm not going to end up feeding puppy food, I don't think it's necessary and probably not the best thing for me to be feeding the puppy- I also plan on doing meals every one in a while from scratch as I get more comfortable with all the "rules" lol

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    @Nemo:

    Based on this table then I would feed adult food to a puppy and not puppy food. If that "growth and reproduction" composition is the determination of what would provide the optimal health of a puppy then most if not all high quality grain-free adult pet foods would meet the minimum requirements noted in the table (no maximum stated).

    But as said before, to each their own.

    Yes some will cross over for sure esp grain free foods as all of the energy your dog would get would be from the high fat and protein contents and not from carbs and grains. However lower quality foods need to be scrutinized to ensure that the puppy is actually getting the higher requirements listed.

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  • @starrlamia:

    Im not familiar with Pat Hastings but puppy food is supposed to be higher in fat! What you are looking for in relation to growth rate and conformation issues is the phosphorus/calcium ratio and not the fat content. Generally you really only have to worrk about phos/cal content if you are raising a large breed dog.

    Pat Hastings has a method for evaluating puppies that I find really interesting and I believe several breeders on this forum may use at least some version of her methods or have at least referenced her. Her "Puppy Puzzle" DVD is interesting to watch if you find conformation evaluation interesting, lol. I'd have to rewatch the video to catch her exact comments around food, but they were more observational on her part I believe not nutritional studies.

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  • Nemo- I am interested in ANYTHING Basenji- lol! I have heard a lot lately about that video so I am going to have to watch it. I don't know why but as I get closer to the "pick up" date I keep getting more and more nervous I'm not going to have my ducks in a row :rolleyes: I feel like my b puppy is going to start quizzing me and I won't be prepared!!

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