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View Full Version : Does anybody here feed Merricks, or Wellness?



arasara
20th January 2007, 03:22 AM
I'm just wondering what current reviews on Merricks vs Wellness vs Innova Puppy are?

I know the reviews for puppy food vs. adult food but in my personal honest opinion I prefer to feed at least 1/2 and 1/2 puppy food during a puppy's phenomonally fast growing stage (up to 5-6 months.) I LOVE Evo, don't get me wrong.. I am looking into either Innova Puppy, Wellness, or Merricks.. I REALLY like the ingredients of merricks ~ it sounds like good food to me plus now they are using organic chicken.

Open to suggestions ! :flwr:

Kodee
20th January 2007, 03:55 AM
Well as my many questions over the last few mths show... irrating I know i can be.... I have looked quite into this from many angles. My personal thought is Innova Evo is too high in protein for a puppy - it just makes me nervous (I realize it is approved to be fine for smaller breed puppies)

I finally narrowed my choice yesterday to 3 and today to 2! Whoot progress! I like Innova Puppy the best for a puppy because it has alot of good but wholesome ingredients. If my puppy should start off appearing to have allergies I will switch to Solid Gold Hundchen Flocken as it offers just as good protein but with a limited ingredients list. Plus if I do well on Innova I may add the Solid Gold later if all goes well occassionally.

I almost went half Canidae Life Allstages 50% and Innova Evo 50% but decided to wait out for 5 or 6 mths. It will most likely be my 5mthold start plan.

As well I guess individual tolerance and taste will sway me on any of these once Kody is home (whoot 6 days and counting - had to add that).
I did have Merricks down as my 3rd puppy choice - and for the life of me I forget why I ranked it 3 instead of 1 or 2! It is definately a good quality food, so if for taste or allergy the other 2 dont work - its my next choice.

As for Wellness I noticed now and then someone here would post about loose stools on it. So I searched and found consumer reviews where (certainly not all!) but some appear to develop this problem. But from a nutritional view, I liked it. So for now I am holding off.

You most likely have these links but they are some I used while investigating:

http://www.dogfoodanalysis.com/dog_food_reviews/index.php/cat/1

http://www.api4animals.org/facts?p=359&more=1

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/pic/article.cfm?dept_id=0&siteid=12&acatid=284&aid=459

http://www.dogaware.com/dogfeeding.html#TopCanned

http://animalark.eapps.com/animal/PetFoods.nsf/$$PetFoodsByRating?OpenForm

Zippy
20th January 2007, 04:10 AM
We were feeding Mary Alice just Evo but I've changed to 1/2 Evo, 1/2 Wellness Super Mix (I think that's what it's called, purple bag).

For a puppy, I'd probably go with Innova Puppy food....I've read all the articles but we fed Charley puppy food and he was fine.

That was in the 90s though, so maybe it's outdated....now, I'd go with Innova.

Bet you can hardly wait for the 30th!!!! :D :D

Zippy
20th January 2007, 04:10 AM
:oops:

Coco's mom
20th January 2007, 04:24 AM
Sara,
I fed Coco Innova puppy until she was 6 months old. I highly recommend it! She's super healthy, active, and has lovely shiny soft coat. I'm a real worrywart and I have to do research for myself before making any decision for Coco. It took me a while to settle with this food. The ingredients looked really good. It was the only food that I was happy with every ingredient. She had no problems with Innova puppy. :)

I do wonder about Merricks though just because the flavors of dog food sound tempting to ME! :lol: (chicken pot pie, thanksgiving dinner, etc.)


Kody- I was also concerned about the high protein content of EVO for small puppies, although they say it's fine for them. My personal preference is a more balanced kibble.

Moviedust
20th January 2007, 04:36 AM
I fed Cedar Wellness for about a year (rotating varieties), and then just recently I changed both girls to Merrick's Wilderness. They are doing well on both; I really only changed because I was needing to buy food and thought I'd try the Merrick's out.

The only significant difference I've noticed is the fact that the Merrick's kibble is much smaller than the pyramid-type shape of Wellness. I actually prefer the Wellness shape. On morning, Cedar came in from outside all excited and she started eating like crazy. She actually started to choke on the Merrick's! Wellness kibble requires more chewing, so it has that benefit (plus it's probably better for teeth). The girls eat both without any sign of dislike.

My husband says he likes giving the Merrick because you can see the bits of peas and carrots. He says it is like a lottery; you never know what will show up in a bowl!

Coco's mom
20th January 2007, 05:14 AM
Oh, that's a good point to note, Moviedust. The Innova puppy kibble are small, incase you are wondering. They are triangle shaped with a hole in the center (and easy to break incase you want to use it for training).

judy
20th January 2007, 08:22 AM
those are all great foods.
Sara, WDJ has ratings criteria and use of organic ingredients earns their approval. That's a good strong point.

JeanKC
20th January 2007, 08:33 AM
We give ours a mix of Merrick Grammy's Pot Pie or TurDucken kibble, mixed with Merrick canned...usually Grammy's Pot Pie, but also Wingaling and Puppy Plate.

KC

laurenlyn1
21st January 2007, 01:17 AM
i had brady on wellness (regular super mix) and it was too rich for his system and it gave him the runs. i wish he could eat it because he liked it and i knew it was good for him. oh well. trying royal canin now...

WoodHaven
21st January 2007, 01:21 AM
i had brady on wellness (regular super mix) and it was too rich for his system and it gave him the runs. i wish he could eat it because he liked it and i knew it was good for him. oh well. trying royal canin now...

Sometimes the premium foods are richer in calories and nutrients-- a rep for Innova said that feeding only 10% too much could cause the runs. His suggestion was to lower the amount of food fed and see if that firmed up the stool.

Karlin
21st January 2007, 02:00 AM
I know they say a lot of premium foods should be fed in smaller amounts too for those reasons. And that dogs switched to them also gain weight because people are still feeding amounts they did for foods that have higher ratios of 'filler'.

On puppy food -- I haven't come across many with a background in animal nutrition who feel puppy and kitten foods are anything but a waste of (usually a bit extra) money and many breeders and long time rescue people who have raised many litters feel they do run risks of accelerating growth rather than allowing pups and kittens to grow at a natural pace. A lot of people base adult feeding decisions on what they feel would be the most 'natural' canid diet -- yet, we blast puppies with these 'unnatural' extra-rich, fortified foods -- no puppy is going to ever get extra fortified food during its first year of life from its mother or its pack. It eats what all the other canids in its group eats.

I don't know if feeding puppy or kitten food ever really 'hurts' a kitten or puppy but I wonder whether puppy food helps contribute to puppy reactions to a lot of foods -- too rich, too much 'stuff' in them. At best I feel puppy and kitten foods are just marketing hype. But I suspect there's a lot of unnecessary over-fortifying in those foods that -- unless a puppy has some sort of deficiency to start with -- is not necessarily beneficial.

Consider that another way puppy food is sold is as extra-fortified food for lactating mothers (dogs or cats). Now lactating mothers I can see needing all that extra boost as feeding a litter is very demanding on their bodies -- but it is a bit scary to me to think that a small puppy would need all that extra stuff in order to grow *normally*. Consider too that rescue folks wanting to rebuild poorly dogs will often feed puppy food because it is so heavy in nutrients.

I stuck with adult kibble, some raw, some homecooked, and got nice healthy adults that never ever had (and never have had as adults) a single digestive issue other than the normal occasional soft or runny stool, usually with a direct cause like a rich treat. It would be interesting to see how many puppy food-fed puppies have had digestive problems that take some time to resolve? I just suspect there could well be a connection. On the other hand -- maybe not! :lol:

judy
21st January 2007, 02:50 AM
...Kody- I was also concerned about the high protein content of EVO for small puppies, although they say it's fine for them. My personal preference is a more balanced kibble.

By more balanced, what do you have in mind? In what way does EVO seem less balanced for a puppy? or in what way do puppy kibbles seem more balanced? i'd be interested in peoples' thinking of this--it seems at least a few think of EVO as less balanced, at least for a puppy. i'm wondering in what way.

Innova claims that EVO is balanced for a dog (at all life stages), by the same rationale that raw feeders use, the "no grain" philosophy assumes that what dogs in the wild eat is more healthy for them, more digestable, and grains are not a significant part of their natural diet.

While Innova says that EVO is for all life stages, they also sell a regular puppy kibble and a regular adult kibble. Is that all about diversifying in order to grow market share? Or is there a health rationale?

Innova emphatically recommends EVO NOT be fed to large breed puppies, based on known health problems that have happened--i think the reason was that it's too rich or it promotes too rapid skeletal growth, and is known to have caused skeletal problems in those breeds. But that's also been the criticism I've read of puppy kibble, yet regular puppy kibble with grain and low protein ratios is very different from EVO--so what does that mean?

The problem i've heard raised with puppy kibble isn't one that happens in the short run but rather later in the dog's life--puppy kibble has said to cause the risk that the long bones will grow too fast in relation to the rest of the body, possibly causing skeletal problems. I don't know if this is true, i don't know if it's been studied. But it would cause me not to use a puppy kibble unless i could find out more about whether this is true or not.

i suppose if i got a puppy, i would mix EVO with another healthy adult dog kibble, or just give EVO, adjusting based on whether there are any digestive issues. But like everyone else, i would want to research it a lot first and get different peoples' opinions.

Kodee
21st January 2007, 06:01 AM
="Coco's mom" Innova emphatically recommends EVO NOT be fed to large breed puppies, based on known health problems that have happened--i think the reason was that it's too rich or it promotes too rapid skeletal growth, and is known to have caused skeletal problems in those breeds. But that's also been the criticism I've read of puppy kibble, yet regular puppy kibble with grain and low protein ratios is very different from EVO--so what does that mean?

I am just trying to figure this all out myself - all so confusing and crossed information like you noted! So no one shoot me if I am off but please inform me if I am making an assumption.

Taken directly from the Solid Gold booklet I got at the pet store it says:
" high energy diets (like most puppy foods), can promote rapid growth in large and giant breed puppies, which can play a role in the development of orthopedic diseases."

High energy diets are usually heavy protein (or I think that's it) based diets. Puppy food generally run around the 26-30 mark in protein - Evo runs approx at 42%. That is my worry right there - if puppy food is not good for a puppy at the higher level of 28% like Innova puppy how is Evo at 42% better? See my confusion over this all stages part.

Using Solid Gold as an example when I look at their regular puppy food its 28% protein and 410 calories. The large breed puppy food is 26% and 375 calories. I dont see anything else that differs in their ingredient list.

Dont know how I missed this update - hey my email must have failed at notifying me - sorry for bringing it to the top so late again. Because of this confusion I am either more inclined to use Innova puppy or Canidae Life All Stages which look about the same nutritionally or mix both - 50/50

Cathy Moon
21st January 2007, 02:34 PM
I would focus on foods that meet AAFCO standards for all life stages and that have quality ingredients. Keeping in mind that some puppies are sensitive to certain grains or meats, then you have to find the right food that agrees with them. For example, you may want to feed her Merrick's with organic chicken, but if it gives her soft stools you may need to switch to Wellness fish and potato. So maybe choose a list of foods ahead of time, then you may have to experiment to find the right one. The foods that meet AAFCO all life stages usually instruct you to feed an increased amount to puppies and lactating bitches.

One food that is really good for the sensitive pups is California Natural, either Chicken & Rice or Lamb & Rice. This food has the fewest ingredients, so it may be less likely to cause an upset. Our breeder recommended this when our pups had diarrhea.

Kodee
21st January 2007, 08:23 PM
California Natural, either Chicken & Rice or Lamb & Rice. This food has the fewest ingredients, so it may be less likely to cause an upset.

You know, I just cracked myself up. :fool: I dont remember fussing this much over choosing baby formula when I switched my girls! Really, I didnt!

It is the curse of the internet - sometimes we just have too much information for our own good. :cffee:

I like your suggestion; keep it simple with good quality and a lower ingredient list till the puppy and their digestive system have settled in. :flwr: