Nature's Variety Instinct for Puppies? - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
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Nature's Variety Instinct for Puppies?

Hi all- Griffin is 10 weeks today, and I had read great things online about Nature's Variety Instinct grain-free dry food so that is what I have had him on. It said that it's high quality, so good for both puppies and older dogs. However, we just had a vet visit and the Dr. told me he'd never heard of it and that he feeds his dog a Hill's Science Diet blend specifically formulated for puppies. So I've been doing more research and now I'm even more confused - canned, dry, home-cooked, all-raw, so many different options and I'm not sure how to choose one. I'd love to hear what others recommend/are feeding their pups! Thanks!
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 04:30 PM
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There are a lot of dog food products out there. We fed Max Eukanuba Large Breed Puppy Food until he was about 16 months. He did well on it.

When we got Max, our vet recommended Science Diet Puppy, we bought a small bag, but it did not agree with Max. It gave him large, soft stools. He did much better on the Eukanuba.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 04:38 PM
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I personally do not like this food. It has an ash content of 10-12% thats extremely high it shouldnt be more then 8-9% max some prefer lower.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 06:13 PM
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I have used the Natures Variety Instinct for my adult rescues and I use the Natures Variety Prairie for puppies. All my dogs do well on both.
I don't like the Science Diet. I was told that the only classes that vets take on nutrition in vet school is an elective and it is taught by the major pet food companies like SD. They are given an incentive to sell it before they even become vets.
Do your own research on pet foods. There is no "one size fits all". Different dogs do well on different foods and everyone has an opinion.
Here is one place that you can check out that may help you sift through some of the foods.
Dog Food Reviews and Ratings | Dog Food Advisor

Good luck in your search.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 06:54 PM Thread Starter
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Oh wow, thanks, I didn't know to look for that when buying a food. I see that the ash content in eukanuba is way lower than in nature's variety!
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 07:42 PM
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My 2 goldens are on Nutro Ultra LB puppy. I tried Acana and it did not agree with them. The best food for your puppy is the one that agrees with him, has ingredients that you are comfortable with and fits your budget. Please keep in mind that dog food reviews are not always unbiased.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-30-2012, 10:17 AM
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Nature's Variety Instinct is not intended for puppies. It is critical that growing puppies, imparticular, get the proper nutrients in the correct amounts, so you probably want to veer away from homecooked and raw diets in the formative years if you're new to them. As pups' digestive systems are very sensitive, you might be best to just simply continue with what the breeder fed and wait until the pup is ready for adult food before making any switches.

If that food does not agree with your pup, brands that I commonly see fed here having suitable puppy/large breed puppy/all life stages foods include (in no particular order of recommendation) Wellness, California Natural, Innova, Healthwise, Eagle Pack, Holistic Select, Fromm Gold, Nutrisource, Purina Pro Plan, Royal Canin and Eukanuba. Hills would be fine too, but is rather pricey.

Last edited by Garfield; 11-30-2012 at 10:26 AM.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-30-2012, 10:33 AM
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I would use Dr. Tim's or Annamaet.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-30-2012, 11:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WasChampionFan View Post
I would use Dr. Tim's or Annamaet.
Are those ALS formulas?
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-02-2012, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garfield View Post
Are those ALS formulas?

All the Annamaet formulas are I believe with the exception of "Adult". Annamaet recommends some of the mid-protein foods for large breed puppies but the Annamaet foods are so low in ash that all the calcium levels fall into the large breed bucket.

All of the Dr. Tim's are as well. Kinesis and Kinesis GF state it. Pursuit and Momentum are whether stated or not. I have checked with a PHD in clinical nutrition and he said Pursuit & Momentum could even be fed to giant breed puppies because the calcium is so well controlled.

Many times performance foods are not rated ALS because the company prefers that the higher calorie foods not be fed to some puppies due to the potential for excessive weight gain.

Momentum has 1.16% calcium and .80% phosphorous so even a 35/25 can be used with pups if the owner careful. I would recommend Kinesis for most owners though.

Any of the Annamaet formulas except Adult and Ultra are good for larger puppies. Ultra has too many calories.

Your comment on Instinct is spot on. I would not feed such a high ash food to a puppy. The phosphorous levels are way to high.
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