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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

My 8 week old Golden Retriever X puppy came home a few days ago (so I'm trying to relearn all things "puppy" - it's been a while lol). Anyways, I picked up a small bag of the Purina Puppy Chow that she was being fed in her original home, and have been mixing in the new food (Petcurean Go! Turkey formula http://www.petcurean.com/product/go-sensitivity-shine-grain-free-potato-free-turkey-recipe/) slowly so her tummy has time to adjust. I've also been free-feeding like they were, and it seems to be working for Kally since she's not a big eater, and only takes a little at a time.

That being said, I'm starting to question if it's okay to feed an all life stages food to her at this age. I received the bag of food for free, and the pet store said it would be fine for a puppy, but the question comes down to, is it right for a (mostly) Golden Retriever puppy? And does anyone have opinions on this particular brand and formula? ( I did feed Go! to my previous senior dog for years - although a different formula).

I've come across all kinds of articles with different feeding opinions - high nutrition for strong growth, lower nutrition for slow growth, puppy food, adult food, all life stages. Whew, there's almost too much information out there.

My last dog did eat all life stages food as a puppy, but it was more because of an issue with food sensitivities and not being able to get puppy food that worked for her.

I just wanted to ask some of you your opinions and what has worked for your pups - since this is my first Golden.
 

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Sorry, that last post was a bit long winded. Since I can't go back and edit, I wanted to say that I called Petcurean, and the nutritionist suggested NOW Fresh (large breed puppy food) instead of the turkey Go! formula.

Has anyone used this with good results, or is there any other food that you would all suggest?
 

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Kristy
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#1 - stop free feeding the puppy. Feed her twice a day or you will have serious problems with potty training, she needs to be on a consistent schedule and should not be fed a good 5 hours before bedtime.

Either a large breed puppy formula or an all stages seems to be the best because you want SLOW, steady growth for the optimal outcome for your puppies joints. Start tracking her weight on the calendar. Puppies are much better off a little too lean rather than a little too pudgy. I will attach some reading for you:

Slow Grow

Since your puppy is maybe not 100% Golden Retriever, this is good 'rule of thumb' information, not set in stone as far as weights. No matter what breed though, for larger breed puppies, slow growth is extremely important for joint health. Do not try to have your puppy lose weight, just start with the weight she is currently and use the formula for her age (approx 1.5 pounds per week) you will have to keep an eye on her and adjust the amount she is fed a bit either up or down to keep her on track. Training treats will also figure in to the calorie count so don't forget about that.

Here is the 'go to' website on dog food info. As with anything, take it with a grain of salt but they did give your food a thumbs up:

Now Fresh Grain Free Dog Food | Review | Rating | Recalls

Good luck, your puppy will be fine I"m sure, just keep her at a healthy weight and try not to worry :)
 

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Thanks for the information Nolefan,

I picked up a bag of the Now fresh puppy food, and we're getting close to being completely switched over. Still not having luck with planned meal times - turns out she just won't eat if the food isn't left down. She has lost a little weight, and she just can't seem to eat the amount suggested. I took her to the vet, and it turns out she has a bladder infection, so that may have something to do with it. To top it off, she's going through a strange "bowl fear" now - she doesn't want to eat unless I put the food on the floor (not even a plate will work). Oh the brains of puppies... if only I knew what was going on in her little head.

Oh, and no, she's isn't 100% Golden - she's only half. But great info none the less.
 

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How much are you feeding her at a time? It may just be too much. Try a half cup - put it down, leave it for 20 minutes, pick it up. Chances are, she'll be hungry a few hours later if she doesn't eat it, so do the same again. At this age, she can be eating 3, even 4 times a day if necessary. Smaller meals, more often.

What kind of dish are you using? I used ceramic bowls when Shala first came home, and when I switched to larger stainless steel bowls a couple of months later, she was like, what are THOSE? Not impressed. They looked different and they made noise. But... they held her food, so she got over it. I didn't give her a choice. :)
 

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Part of it might be the bowl. You could try a different type of bowl or see if she gets used to it.

For her not eating well at planned meal times, you may want to try splitting it up to 3 meals a day if possible instead of 2. When Ella was that age I started with 2 but she wasn't eating all of what was in the bowl. I added a third meal in the afternoon and then she started eating it all.

I'm not sure since she is not gaining weight, but my vet suggested putting the bowl down for 15 minutes. If she doesn't eat then pick it up to the next meal. The theory is when they get hungry enough they'll eat because it won't hurt them to miss one meal and it will teach them that the food won't be available whenever they want it. But again, I don't know if I would do that if she is losing weight. I would definitely still find a way to get away from free feeding though because it can be very hard to control their weight.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks everyone for the advice!

She's actually using ceramic bowls. I remember from years ago (with family dogs) they hated the shiny metal bowls and used to flip them over. So I've never used them myself.

As it turns out, the bowl fear was short-lived. I'm not even sure it was the bowls now that I look at it - I figure she wasn't drinking the water because she wasn't feeling well (she's doing much better and has a little more energy), and as it turned out, she hated both the old food, and the NOW Fresh.

I've switched her to Acana Large Breed Puppy, and she is now happily eating it up - at set times. Her food is broken up into three meals, but I'm considering switching it to two, as she's finishing her food pretty quickly now.
 
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