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· Premium Member
3,358 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since we will be picking up our new beagle puppy on Saturday, I was wondering if anyone can recommend a good dry puppy food.

I think we fed our beloved beagle Molly (R.I.P) Nutro when she was a pup, but started giving her Flint River Ranch when she was about a year old.

Can anyone tell me if there is any type of puppy food out there that is better than any other? Also, any personal favorites/preferences, and why?

Thanks in advance!

· Banned
19,926 Posts
I don't think that you can say that one brand is better than the others (in super premium food), just because it's very individual to each dog.

My personal favorite (and Chloe's) is Wellness. It just works great for us. She started on Canidae (great food as well), we tried Merrick (great food, but I didn't like her stool) and ended up with Wellness. She has been eating it for a little over 2 months now.

She will be a year old soon, and she gets her breakfast in a kong (dry mixed with canned Wellness) and her supper (majority of the daily portion) as only dry food.

Whatever you choose, make it a gradual transition from the breeder food of choice to yours. It's just easier on their stomach.

· Registered
226 Posts
I know there is a post about this somewhere. possible in health and wellfare and it lists a lot of foods and a points system on how to rate them...

but personally i like nutro. i use the oatmeal and the lamb flavors. i switch off cause it seems he gets board of the same flavor.

· Registered
1,155 Posts
If you still have access to Flint River Ranch, I would recommend that. I have taken a tour of their facilities even and have always had great success with their foods.

· Registered
1,053 Posts
Here's the "ratings" - I usually feed my puppies - and nursing moms, "Nutro Natural Choice" - it's the best that is available to me locally. I live in a small rural town without any pet stores - the local Grange carries Nutro products. I feed it and recommend it to buyers of my puppies - and always send a small bag home with new pups. There are some great dog foods out there - but we have to go with the good foods that we can find within a reasonable distance. There aren't many puppy foods listed there - but it tells you how to rate the foods.

Start with a grade of 100:

For every listing of "by-product", subtract 10 points!
For every non-specific animal source ("meat" or "poultry", meat, meal or fat) reference, subtract 10 points!
If the food contains BHA, BHT, or ethoxyquin, subtract 10 points
For every grain "mill run" or non-specific grain source,subtract 5 points!
If the same grain ingredient is used 2 or more times in the first five ingredients (i.e. "ground brown rice", "brewer's rice", "rice flour" are all the same grain), subtract 5 points
If the protein sources are not meat meal and there are less than 2 meats in the top 3 ingredients, subtract 3 points
If it contains any artificial colorants, subtract 3 points
If it contains ground corn or whole grain corn, subtract 3 points
If corn is listed in the top 5 ingredients, subtract 2 more points
If the food contains any animal fat other than fish oil,subtract 2 points
If lamb is the only animal protein source (unless your dog is allergic to other protein sources), subtract 2 points
If it contains soy or soybeans, subtract 2 points
If it contains wheat (unless you know that your dog isn't allergic to wheat), subtract 2 points
If it contains beef (unless you know that your dog isn't allergic to beef), subtract 1 point
If it contains salt, subtract 1 point

Extra Credit:

If any of the meat sources are organic, add 5 points
If the food is endorsed by any major breed group or nutritionist, add 5 points
If the food is baked not extruded, add 5 points
If the food contains probiotics, add 3 points
If the food contains fruit, add 3 points
If the food contains vegetables (NOT corn or other grains), add 3 points
If the animal sources are hormone-free and antibiotic-free, add 2 points
If the food contains barley, add 2 points
If the food contains flax seed oil (not just the seeds), add 2 points
If the food contains oats or oatmeal, add 1 point
If the food contains sunflower oil, add 1 point
For every different specific animal protein source (other than the first one; count "chicken" and "chicken meal" as only one protein source, but "chicken" and "beef" as 2 different sources), add 1 point
If it contains glucosamine and chondroitin, add 1 point
If the vegetables have been tested for pesticides and are pesticide-free, add 1 point


94-100+ = A
86-93 = B
78-85 = C
70-77 = D
69 and below = F
Here are some foods that have already been scored.

Dog Food scores:

Authority Harvest Baked / Score 116 A+
Bil-Jac Select / Score 68 F
Canidae / Score 112 A+
Chicken Soup Senior / Score 115 A+
Diamond Maintenance / Score 64 F
Diamond Lamb Meal & Rice / Score 92 B
Diamond Large Breed 60+ Formula / Score 99 A
Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance Ultra Premium / Score 122 A+
Dick Van Patten's Duck and Potato / Score 106 A+
Foundations / Score 106 A+
Hund-n-Flocken Adult Dog (lamb) by Solid Gold / Score 93 A
Iams Lamb Meal & Rice Formula Premium / Score 73 D
Innova Dog / Score 114 A+
Innova Evo / Score 114 A+
Kirkland/(that would be from Costco/Price Club) Signature Chicken, Rice, and Vegetables / Score 110 A+
Nutrisource Lamb and Rice / Score 87 B
Nutro Natural Choice Chicken, Rice, and Oatmeal/ Score 94 A
Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Puppy / Score 87 B
Ol Roy Premium Dog Food / Score 53 F
Pet Gold Adult with Lamb & Rice / Score 23 F
ProPlan Natural Turkey & Barley / Score 103 A+
Purina Benful / Score 17 F
Purina Dog / Score 62 F
Purina Come-n-Get It / Score 16 F
Royal Canin Bulldog / Score 100 A+
Royal Canin Natural Blend Adult / Score 106 A+
Sensible Choice Chicken and Rice / Score 97 A
Science Diet Advanced Protein Senior 7+ / Score 63 F
Science Diet for Large Breed Puppies / Score 69 F
Wellness Super5 Mix Chicken / Score 110 A+
Wolfking Adult Dog (bison) by Solid Gold / Score 97 A

· Registered
1,053 Posts
Have you noticed that some of the so-called GOOD foods have "F" ratings! I co-manage a beagle group on MSN - and my co-manager has done a LOT of research about canine nutrition. I try to be educated about what I feed my "tenpack" - and try to avoid anything with wheat or corn - both are allergens for many dogs. Then we have those "unidentified" proteins - which can consist of things like "road kill", euthanized animals, "rendered" complete with their flea collars (and of course the agent used to euthanize them), BHT, BHA both known carcinogens, all the fillers, like feathers, feet, beaks - none of those are things I want to feed MY dogs.
Whatever you decide, good luck with little Maggie! We look forward to seeing pictures of her!

· Premium Member
2,500 Posts
Gale...since the pet food recall and becoming more knowledgeable about pet food, I have also become more careful about people food. There are quite a few things I no longer buy, either because of ingredients or where they are produced. When I realized I was researching the food for Maggie and the cats more carefully than what I buy for us, I completely changed our diet.

· Registered
46 Posts
I've had very good luck with Merrick's Puppy Plate. The price of the 5 & 25lb. bags are very reasonable for a food that's such high quality, and though it is pricier than Nutro and similar brands, their product is MUCH more consistant than Nutro ... which switches formulas every several months to keep the price down. Although, what I really like about the Merrick puppy formula is that it's 28% protein, which is normal for most good pup foods, but it has a slightly lowered level of fat and calories, so it does not promote rapid growth & the joint problems that go along with it. I have a bitch in whelp on it and have used it for a litter last year. Was VERY pleased then and now. My adults get the Merrick Puppy Food in winter, and the Wilderness Blend in the warmer months. It's worth every penny!

I also use their canned Working Dog Stew for the green tripe ...

· Registered
1,053 Posts
One of the things I forgot to mention - is whatever YOU decide to feed your new baby, find out what the breeder is feeding, and get a small bag of that (if they don't provide it to you - I always provide a small bag of what my puppies eat), and slowly mix the NEW food with whatever they were feeding - it's less likely to upset their little tummies or cause problems if you don't just "switch" all at once.

I wish I had the luxury of being able to choose from more premium foods - I've never even heard of Merrick's here in the NW - it's certainly not available anyplace close to me.
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