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Do all five of those wsava approved brands sell large breed puppy food? If not, which of them do? If more than one does, why not pick the most economical of the large puppy version of the approved brands? Am I missing something? (No puppy yet, just trying to get informed in advance.)
Here are links to the large breed puppy food from the 5 brands on Chewy (I also included the RC GR puppy that I'm going to feed in addition to Fromms large breed puppy gold):

Purina Pro Plan Focus Puppy Large Breed - https://www.chewy.com/purina-pro-plan-focus-puppy-large/dp/52425
Hills Science Diet Puppy Large Breed - https://www.chewy.com/hills-science-diet-puppy-large-breed/dp/34115
Iams ProActive Health Smart Puppy Large Breed - https://www.chewy.com/iams-proactive-health-smart-puppy/dp/48910
Eukanuba Large Breed Puppy - https://www.chewy.com/eukanuba-large-breed-puppy-dry-dog/dp/118433
Royal Canin Large Puppy - https://www.chewy.com/royal-canin-large-puppy-dry-dog-food/dp/48263
Royal Canin Golden Retriever Puppy - https://www.chewy.com/royal-canin-golden-retriever-puppy/dp/48335
 

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I'm not sure what qualifies as "extensive experience." We brought home a golden retriever pup in February, and I've been feeding our puppy the Farmina Ancestral Grain (i.e., low grain) puppy kibbles ever since we brought her home. When we went to the vet to give our pup her last round of shots, in an overabundance of caution, we had a bunch of blood tests done, including the ridiculously expensive taurine test. The test came back great; taurine levels were right in the middle of the range. Does that mean anything? Who knows. But, the results at least provided some temporary peace of mind, even if it's perhaps misplaced peace of mind. The pup seems to like the Farmina kibble (the chicken more than the lamb). My only gripe about the Ancestral Grain kibble is that the maxi-breed kibble is unavailable locally and can be difficult to find online.

I too spent a ton of time researching dog foods. There's a ton of information, very little *scientific* information, and the scientific information isn't concretely helpful. (There's way too much wiggle room in the analysis and conclusions to glean any concrete takeaways, and because of that, you have dog food companies quibbling about whether the percentages of peas and potatoes that they use in their food could potentially cause problems.) I'm hoping that someday a benevolent billionaire who loves this breed will donate millions of dollars to fund research to help clarify this stuff. If I hit the MegaMillions jackpot, I hereby commit to do that.... :)

If you have any specific questions, just let me know.
 

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I just re-read my reply from April. Wow! What I didn’t know then.
Golden’s run low taurine levels, you want them to be at the high end of normal and beyond.
Join the Facebook Taurine Deficiency in Golden Retrievers group. Read Dr Stern’s study of Golden’s with DCM here at UC Davis. It’s eye opening and heartbreaking. Dogs of all breeds dying from this every day.
I was feeding a grain food but lots of legumes. Had an echo done which fortunately was normal. Switched him to Royal Canin Golden Retriever food.
Read the FDA announcement about nutritional Dilated CardioMyopathy. Switch to one of the 5 brands of food that are tested and nutritionally balanced.
We know nothing about dog food nutrition- and neither does Dog Food Advisor. Corn is good if formulated correctly. By products are wonderful if formulated correctly b
If your dog gets DCM the guilt you will carry will be horrendous. Our dogs deserve better.
 

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Debbie624
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Earlier this year I posted on this website as I was dealing with a puppy that had a HORRIBLE reaction to Royal Canin GR puppy food. After almost 2 months I successfully switched him to Zignature at the advice of a pet food store owner. I now have just found out about DCM and it appears Zignature fed dogs have a very high percentage of dogs with DCM. Joined the Facebook group and have read about which foods meet the WSAVA guidelines. Rotal Canin, ProPlan and Eukanuba.

Royal Canin is out for me due to the previous experience and I've read some dogs have had a hard time transitioning to ProPlan. I feel better about the ingredients in the Farmina Cod, but I may be letting my past view of Purina foods cloud my judgement to be honest.

With the horrendous time we had trying to switch him to a new food I want to make sure I'm not just switching him to a food that made sense to me as a human, but may not be in the best interest of my dog, as I have found out with Zignature.

For what it's worth, his vet is not up on he DCM issue (I had to send them the link to the UC Davis website in order to send sample in for taurine testing.) As a matter of fact, when I brought my puppy in for his first exam I was told make sure he gets large breed puppy food- any large breed puppy food is fine. Just this week I overhead the receptionist telling a customer on the phone "any dog food you can get at PetSmart is good- they only carry really good food."

Does anyone have extensive experience with feeding Farmina to their Golden's? I'd love to hear the good and the bad as well so I can make an informed decision. Also, does anyone know exactly why it is NOT approved by WSAVA? Any red flags?
I have been following this thread for a couple of months and wondering if you decided if you will be feeding Farmina. I continue to vacillate between PPP and Farmina or Open Farm. I am still totally confused as to what to feed and who is "right" when it comes to all the info out there on DCM. The studies that are being done appear to be anecdotal and not true double-blind studies which is the gold standard in doing research. However, I don't know if there really is any other way of conducting this research other than anecdotal where people are reporting to the FDA on cases of DCM and the dog's diet. And the FDA is still saying there is nothing definitive on cause and effect here. They still don't know. They recommend not feeding high legume foods and not boutique foods. Some dogs are having DCM and normal taurine levels. It isn't just an issue of legumes, there could be something with an unknown factor inherent to boutique foods. It just is so confusing. I currently am feeding Coco PPP Focus large breed puppy. I wanted to switch to Farmina. The owner of the health food pet store that I go to and trust contacted her Farmina rep for me to find out if they do feeding trials and if they employ a vet nutritionist and the answer was "yes" to both. Yet I read elsewhere that they do not do trials. Do these companies or others including the big 5 have their food tested to say that what is on the label is truly what's in the bag? Like independent laboratories does for human supplements for instance? So frustrating.
 

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I have been following this thread for a couple of months and wondering if you decided if you will be feeding Farmina. I continue to vacillate between PPP and Farmina or Open Farm. I am still totally confused as to what to feed and who is "right" when it comes to all the info out there on DCM. The studies that are being done appear to be anecdotal and not true double-blind studies which is the gold standard in doing research. However, I don't know if there really is any other way of conducting this research other than anecdotal where people are reporting to the FDA on cases of DCM and the dog's diet. And the FDA is still saying there is nothing definitive on cause and effect here. They still don't know. They recommend not feeding high legume foods and not boutique foods. Some dogs are having DCM and normal taurine levels. It isn't just an issue of legumes, there could be something with an unknown factor inherent to boutique foods. It just is so confusing. I currently am feeding Coco PPP Focus large breed puppy. I wanted to switch to Farmina. The owner of the health food pet store that I go to and trust contacted her Farmina rep for me to find out if they do feeding trials and if they employ a vet nutritionist and the answer was "yes" to both. Yet I read elsewhere that they do not do trials. Do these companies or others including the big 5 have their food tested to say that what is on the label is truly what's in the bag? Like independent laboratories does for human supplements for instance? So frustrating.
So, no Feed trial has to be more then more than 6 months from start to finish unless it's a prescription diet then I believe that is a 5 year feed trial.

They also do not have to feed trial every formula. Companies are allowed to feed the adult and assume the results for the weight management or a different meat protein in the same will have the same results allowing a company to save money on multiple feed trials. I suspect this may change in time off the DCM issue.

There are 2 AAFCO statements. One will say "animal feed tests substantiate" making it went through a minimum 6 month free trial. The other will say "formulated to meet the requirements from AAFCO" meaning they formulated a food from the AAFCO guidelines and just went to market with it. The difference is "Animal Feed tests substantiate" and "formulated". A company that makes a formula change call still leave the "Animal feed tests substantiate" label on the bag while a new feed test is being done but after 6 months they have to have completed the form test or change the label to "Formulated"

Lots of trickiness that goes on based on the label laws of these bags which are governed by the FTC (Fair Trade Commission).

Also AAFCO, who is the ones that put forth the min and max nutrient profiles does not police these food companies, the food companies police themselves. For example Hills back in 2010 had done over 300 dog food analysis to make sure other companies food in The bag is what the guaranteed analysis for that food matches and if it doesn't, they contact that company and let them know. If a company ignores this, they will report that company to the FTC. They are the ones with the power by fining those companies until it is corrected.

This exact thing happened back then. Hills found that formulas of a certain company had way too high levels of vitamin D3 which the risk is damaging dogs livers. Hold contacted company, company ignored them and the FTC got involved and it wasn't until the FTC threatened a million dollar a day fine did they make the correction. 6 months later company had the recall of excessive vitamin D3 in that line from evidence of damaged livers in dogs eating it.
 

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Well,,,,my dog had the critically low taurine, after 6 1/2 years on Orijen and Acana. Echo was fine but cardiologist put him on taurine supplement and I switched to Fromm. This was last summer. After three months, his taurine was over 300.
I have been feeding him Farmina Ancestral Grain chicken. I know all about the wasva approval but the Farmina ingredients seems far superior in my eyes. More meat instead of mostly grain!
The difference in his coat is miraculous, from coarse and wiry to soft with magnificent shine. All blood work is perfect. Energy, weight and poop are perfect.
I've read all the information on the recommended foods, none of which I care for and I'll stick with Farmina. It's tough to find but if you call their 800 phone number, it will be shipped to you in a few days.
 

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Debbie624
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Good to read you have had positive results with Farmina. Their ingredients as listed are far superior to what the big 4 companies are using. The only thing at this point with Farmina is that the ancestral grain does not have a puppy specific formula and I am concerned about feeding Coco an all stages food yet as she is only 20 weeks old. Is your dog an adults? Thanks for your feedback.
 

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Good to read you have had positive results with Farmina. Their ingredients as listed are far superior to what the big 4 companies are using. The only thing at this point with Farmina is that the ancestral grain does not have a puppy specific formula and I am concerned about feeding Coco an all stages food yet as she is only 20 weeks old. Is your dog an adults? Thanks for your feedback.
Farmina Ancestral Grain has a puppy food in that line.

https://www.farmina.com/us/dog-food/n&d-ancestral-grain-canine/593-chicken-&-pomegranate-puppy-medium-&-maxi.html
 

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I don't think that puppy food is one I would choose for my pups. The bag reads well ingredient wise but some things concern me. That is a lot of protein and fat in that Farmina puppy food. Max protein and fat for even a small breed puppy food is supposed to be 30/16. Large breed puppies ideal levels are between 24/12 and 26/14 and phosphorous is above the higher end of the range of .4% to .8% at .91% which is what leads to kidney disease (excess phosphorus, not the protein but the phos in the protein). Ash is high too above 6% (7.3%). This means lesser quality meats and ash is what leads to stones/crystals in the urine.
 

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Debbie624
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I don't think that puppy food is one I would choose for my pups. The bag reads well ingredient wise but some things concern me. That is a lot of protein and fat in that Farmina puppy food. Max protein and fat for even a small breed puppy food is supposed to be 30/16. Large breed puppies ideal levels are between 24/12 and 26/14 and phosphorous is above the higher end of the range of .4% to .8% at .91% which is what leads to kidney disease (excess phosphorus, not the protein but the phos in the protein). Ash is high too above 6% (7.3%). This means lesser quality meats and ash is what leads to stones/crystals in the urine.
thanks Eric. Good to know. Coco is still eating PPP large breed puppy. She weighs in at 21 pounds now at 20 weeks. Do you like the regular Farmina Ancestral Grain formula once a pup becomes an adult? I don't remember at what age did you transition Maggie to adult food? Also, how much did she weigh at Coco's age? I worry Coco doesn't weigh enough but our vet seems fine with her weight. I am feeding 3 cups of food a day divided into 3 meals.
 

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thanks Eric. Good to know. Coco is still eating PPP large breed puppy. She weighs in at 21 pounds now at 20 weeks. Do you like the regular Farmina Ancestral Grain formula once a pup becomes an adult? I don't remember at what age did you transition Maggie to adult food? Also, how much did she weigh at Coco's age? I worry Coco doesn't weigh enough but our vet seems fine with her weight. I am feeding 3 cups of food a day divided into 3 meals.

Maggie was about the same weight as Coco at 20 weeks I think about 19 pounds (she topped out at 58 pounds). I transitioned her to adult food about 9-10 months old. That is also all I fed was 3 cups until I moved her to adult and then it was about 2-3 depending on how active she was and if she lost a pound I would bump it up. I only use the bag as a guideline. feed whatever amount maintains her weight. Don't worry about her weight overall, watch her body condition. Keep her lean while still growing keeps stress off their joints as they develop. It's usually easier to put a pound or 2 on then to take if off. and a study Purina did about 10-15 years ago shows that a dog just 5 pounds overweight can reduce their life by 2.5 years and being under by 5 pounds can extend their life by 2.5 years.


As far as Farmina goes I did look at back in December here (5th post)

https://www.goldenretrieverforum.com/golden-retriever-nutrition-feeding-recipes/504526-wolfsblut-farmina-dcm.html


That food was the puppy food so the difference I would point out to the adult is the Phosphorus is better in the adult at .8% which is in the range of .4 to .8% but at the high end of that range. The Ash content is better at 6.8% in the adult food, and I mistyped saying "I'm just a big fan of companies that try to be smarter then they are and try to add ingredients that others don't have to say they have unique ingredients" That obviously was meant to say I am NOT an big fan. Companies that try to use odd or unique ingredients when they don't have too (like the fructooligosaccharide) to try and differentiate themselves I see as trying to reinvent the wheel, they just end up outsmarting themselves. and this is how we got into the situation we're in with the DCM issue.



I'm just looking around some more and on Farmina's site it shows the adult Chicken and Pomegranate Maxi has a min 8.0% phosphorus and on chewy's site it is showing new formulation and a MIN of 9.5% phosphorus which is way to high to start with as it's a min and can be even more. I would take what Farmina's site as to be correct.
 

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Debbie624
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Thanks Eric. Yes, I question the addition of fructooligosaccharides as well worried about it producing excess gas and then risk of bloat. fructooligosaccharides are added as a prebiotic for the probiotic which is not uncommon in the probiotic world for humans or animals. But it crossed my mind in terms of possibly causing gas. I think I will look further into the Precise Holistic that you are feeding. I think I will also likely keep Coco on PPP as a rotational food with the more holistic brands just because I am afraid not to in terms of DCM.
 

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Thanks Eric. Yes, I question the addition of fructooligosaccharides as well worried about it producing excess gas and then risk of bloat. fructooligosaccharides are added as a prebiotic for the probiotic which is not uncommon in the probiotic world for humans or animals. But it crossed my mind in terms of possibly causing gas. I think I will look further into the Precise Holistic that you are feeding. I think I will also likely keep Coco on PPP as a rotational food with the more holistic brands just because I am afraid not to in terms of DCM.
I've started feeding Nature's Variety Be Natural line (not the instinct line which in grain free) about 2 weeks ago. I was buying the Precise holistic 4-6 bags at a time (saved $8 a bag this way) and wasn't able to find it in stock anywhere). I have a few friends on the Nature's variety with their goldens and they've had no issues with DCM. Both have 4 goldens each and have had their dogs taurine tested and echos done as well. All clear.

I'm going with that food for my friends success with it and the fact I also feed their frozen raw food as well. This food also allows to freely rotate the formulas in the same line without any skin/cost changes or digestive upsets.
 

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I’ve read all the posts so far. I’m a new to golden’s And I had no clue about all their specific nutritional needs! I still don’t, but am trying to learn. Right now I’m feeding my 22week old PPP large breed puppy food. He eats 3 3/4 cups a day and is around 45lbs. I’m trying to figure out the best adult food to give him...very confusing! Maggie’s voice, you definitely know a lot about this stuff! So happy to have knowledgeable people like you on the site. I still have a few months to learn and will be following this thread for info. So far I’ve only been giving him his dog food and the occasional frozen banana, carrot or watermelon. I’m not opposed to giving him healthy human food/raw food... I just haven’t looked into that! I don’t know enough on how to incorporate that and balance calories/nutrients with PPP.
 

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I'm not sure what qualifies as "extensive experience." We brought home a golden retriever pup in February, and I've been feeding our puppy the Farmina Ancestral Grain (i.e., low grain) puppy kibbles ever since we brought her home. When we went to the vet to give our pup her last round of shots, in an overabundance of caution, we had a bunch of blood tests done, including the ridiculously expensive taurine test. The test came back great; taurine levels were right in the middle of the range. Does that mean anything? Who knows. But, the results at least provided some temporary peace of mind, even if it's perhaps misplaced peace of mind. The pup seems to like the Farmina kibble (the chicken more than the lamb). My only gripe about the Ancestral Grain kibble is that the maxi-breed kibble is unavailable locally and can be difficult to find online.

I too spent a ton of time researching dog foods. There's a ton of information, very little *scientific* information, and the scientific information isn't concretely helpful. (There's way too much wiggle room in the analysis and conclusions to glean any concrete takeaways, and because of that, you have dog food companies quibbling about whether the percentages of peas and potatoes that they use in their food could potentially cause problems.) I'm hoping that someday a benevolent billionaire who loves this breed will donate millions of dollars to fund research to help clarify this stuff. If I hit the MegaMillions jackpot, I hereby commit to do that.... :)

If you have any specific questions, just let me know.
My husband and I have been researching foods for the last 4 months. Our puppy is now 4 mos old and seems to be allergic to ProPlan which is wha the breeder was feeding him. After extensive research (more like a part time job), we've come across Farmina. Hopefully our pup will like the new food. Thank you for your valuable information.
 
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