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Hello from the UK!

I have been lurking for some time, soaking information up and generally watching the Golden world go by. I've learned so much just by reading!

I think I know the answer to the question I'm about to ask, I guess I'm looking for an 'expert' second opinion.

In just under one week my wife and I will bring home Theo, a eight week old Golden Retriever boy puppy. He is our first ever Dog and as such I am possibly over-compensating by worrying about everthing. But in particular I'm currently worrying about food.

Our breeder has had the pups on this food: https://www.petsathome.com/shop/en/pets/dry-dog-food/step-up-to-naturals-puppy-food-chicken-with-turkey-2kg and is telling me that I should keep Theo on it for five to six months before changing over to anything else. I have a few concerns about it - it is a grain free food with a high Pea protein content which if I understand it right is bang in the risk zone for the recent DCM warnings. It's also not specifically a large breed puppy food which gives me worries about future joint health.

My instinct is to go for either the ProPlan Large Breed Puppy food or the Royal Canin breed specific Golden Retriever Puppy food. But I'm also highly aware that I'm new to dogs, have no practical experience and am wary of picking a fight with the breeder on this. My plan was to feed him on whatever he gets sent home with for a week or two and then slowly transition him over to my choice of food over a week or so. But the, quite firm, recommendation from the breeder to keep him on this for six months has me doubting that.

Am I overthinking this?
 

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Kate
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I would keep the puppy on the same food the breeder had the litter eating for at least a month or two. The reason why is your puppy is more likely to develop coccidia or similar issues due to the combined stress of being taken away from his litter and also eating a food that's very different than what he had been eating.

Early weeks and 1-2 months after bringing a pup home - you want to tiptoe gently in the direction you want to go long term. It won't cause DCM in that short period of time.

Their delicate systems are very easy to mess up - and this is why a lot of people who switch food very quickly and play those games deal with very sick puppies or chronic loose stool problems.

Speaking personally - my breeder had my pup on Natural Balance (grain free food, limited ingredient, beef). I did begin to transition him onto a PP puppy food after a couple weeks and took the next month to transition to PP puppy food. And then by the time he was 5-6 months old, I switched him to adult food (what my other dogs eat).
 

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I had planned on keeping Piper on the food that the breeder was using but she wouldn't eat it unless I spiked it with Fortiflora, so once I was down to about half a 35lb bag of her original food, I started slowly introducing Purina Pro Plan until the bag of Fromm was gone. I started with maybe substituting 1/4th of the Fromm, then after a few days 1/3, then 1/2, then 3/4 and finally fully switched. She never had any issues and her stools have been nice and firm and her coat is super soft.
 
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