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Hi there, I am trying to figure out the best food for my boy Dax. He is 14 weeks and 5 days old European Dobermann. He is still currently eating Purina ONE SmartBlend Lamb & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food (What The Breeder Was Feeding Him) , Any recommendations or insights on the brands listed below would be very helpful.
What i have been able to research there shouldn't be peas and/or lentils and potatoes/sweet potatoes in the top 5 ingredients. Going off that, removes the Wellness and Nutro brands which have peas and split peas. Is there any other ingredients I should be cautious about being in his food. I just want the best food possible for my boy. Also what are the recommended protein, fat, and fiber percentages for puppy food, I have seen 30% protein 9% fat listed as the minimum is that correct for a Doberman.

One last question about bones, is it safe for my boy to start chewing on pizzles or things of that nature like duck feet duck hearts. and also curious about antlers and if/when Dobermans can start chewing on them.

Sorry for the huge post Thank you very much for any help in choosing the best food for the Goodest Boy Dax.
Dog Dog breed Carnivore Working animal Fawn


Royal Canin - Giant Puppy Dry Dog Food

Ingredients:
Chicken by-product meal, brewers rice, wheat gluten, brewers rice flour, corn, corn gluten meal, chicken fat, natural flavors, dried plain beet pulp, sodium silico aluminate, monocalcium phosphate, vegetable oil, fish oil, potassium chloride, salt, psyllium seed husk, calcium carbonate, fructooligosaccharides, L-lysine, hydrolyzed yeast (source of betaglucans), Yucca schidigera extract, vitamins [DL-alpha tocopherol acetate (source of vitamin E), L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), biotin, D-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A acetate, niacin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid], choline chloride, taurine, trace minerals [zinc proteinate, manganese proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, manganous oxide, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite, copper proteinate], DL-methionine, glucosamine hydrochloride, marigold extract (Tagetes erecta L.), L-carnitine, carotene, chondroitin sulfate, rosemary extract, preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid.
Guaranteed Analysis:
Crude Protein (min) 32.0%
Crude Fat (min) 12.0%
Crude Fiber (max) 3.4%
Moisture (max) 10.0%
Calcium (min) 1.1%
Phosphorus (min) 0.92%
Vitamin E (min) 350 IU/kg
Glucosamine* (min) 371 mg/kg
Chondroitin sulfate* (min) 3.75 mg/kg.

Hill's® Science Diet® Large Breed Puppy Dry Dog Food - Lamb Meal & Brown Rice

Ingredients:
Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Wheat, Whole Grain Oats, Whole Grain Sorghum, Corn Gluten Meal, Chicken Fat, Whole Grain Corn, Chicken Liver Flavor, Flaxseed, Dried Beet Pulp, Pork Liver Flavor, Fish Oil, Lactic Acid, Iodized Salt, Dicalcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), Niacin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), Choline Chloride, minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Taurine, Oat Fiber, L-Carnitine, Mixed Tocopherols for freshness, Natural Flavors, Beta-Carotene, Apples, Broccoli, Carrots, Cranberries, Green Peas.
Guaranteed Analysis:
Moisture: Max. 10.0 %
Protein: Min. 24.5 %
Fat: Min. 12.0 %
Crude Fiber: Max. 3.0 %
Calcium: Min. 0.70 %
Vitamin C: Min. 85 ppm
Vitamin E: Min. 400 IU/kg
DHA: Min. 0.100 %

Wellness® Complete Health Large Breed Puppy Food - Natural

Ingredients:
Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Peas, Ground Brown Rice, Salmon Meal, Oatmeal, Barley, Oats, Tomato Pomace, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Ground Flaxseed, Tomatoes, Salmon Oil, Carrots, Natural Chicken Flavor, Salt, Choline Chloride, Spinach, Vitamin E Supplement, Chicory Root Extract, Yucca Shidigera Extract, Taurine, Zinc Proteinate, Mixed Tocopherols added to preserve freshness, Sweet Potatoes, Apples, Blueberries, Zinc Sulfate, Calcium Carbonate, Niacin, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Vitamin A Supplement, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Copper Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Garlic Powder, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Calcium Iodate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Dried Lactobacillus plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Rosemary Extract, Green Tea Extract, Spearmint Extract.
Guaranteed Analysis:
Crude Protein Not Less Than 29.00%
Crude Fat Not Less Than 13.00%
Crude Fiber Not More Than 5.00%
Moisture Not More Than 10.00%
Calcium Not Less Than 1.30%
Phosphorus Not Less Than 0.90%
Vitamin A Not Less Than 25,000 IU/kg
Vitamin E Not Less Than 200 IU/kg
Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) Not Less Than 0.10%
Omega-6 Fatty Acids* Not Less Than 3.50%
Omega-3 Fatty Acids* Not Less Than 0.75%
Taurine* Not Less Than 0.09%
Total Lactic Acid Microorganisms * Not Less Than 20,000,000 CFU/lb

NUTRO NATURAL CHOICE Large Breed Dry Dog Food, Puppy Lamb & Rice Recipe

Ingredients:
Deboned Lamb, Chicken Meal (source of Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate), Brewers Rice, Split Peas, Rice Bran, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Potato Protein, Natural Flavour, Lamb Meal, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Fish Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Salt, Choline Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Citric Acid (preservative), Mixed Tocopherols (preservative), Chia Seed, Dried Coconut, Dried Tomato Pomace, Dried Egg Product, Dried Pumpkin, Dried Kale, Dried Spinach, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Vitamin E Supplement, Sodium Selenite, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), D-Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Manganous Oxide, Potassium Iodide, Folic Acid, Rosemary Extract
Guaranteed Analysis:
Crude Protein (min.) 26.00%
Crude Fat (min.) 14.00%
Crude Fibre (max.) 3.00%
Moisture (max.) 10.00%
Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) (min.) 0.05 %
Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) (min.) 0.05 %
Calcium (min.) 1.20%
Calcium (max.) 1.70%
Selenium (min.) 0.35 mg/kg
Vitamin E (min.) 60 IU/kg
Chondroitin Sulfate (min.) 850 mg/kg
Glucosamine (min.)* 250 mg/kg
Omega-3 Fatty Acids (min.)* 0.2%
Omega-6 Fatty Acids (min.)* 2.0%
*Not recognized as an essential nutrient by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles.

Purina ONE® SmartBlend® Lamb & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food ( This is what breeder was feeding him )

Ingredients:
Lamb (source of glucosamine), rice flour, whole grain corn, whole grain wheat, chicken by-product meal (source of glucosamine), corn gluten meal, soybean meal, beef fat naturally preserved with mixed-tocopherols, mono and dicalcium phosphate, glycerin, calcium carbonate, liver flavour, salt, caramel colour, potassium chloride, dried carrots, dried peas, Vitamins [Vitamin E supplement, niacin (Vitamin B-3), Vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate (Vitamin B-5), thiamine mononitrate (Vitamin B-1), Vitamin B-12 supplement, riboflavin supplement (Vitamin B-2), pyridoxine hydrochloride (Vitamin B-6), folic acid (Vitamin B-9), menadione sodium bisulfite complex (Vitamin K), Vitamin D-3 supplement, biotin (Vitamin B-7)], Minerals [zinc sulphate, ferrous sulphate, manganese sulphate, copper sulphate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite], choline chloride, L-lysine monohydrochloride, sulphur. V-4162-C
Guaranteed Analysis:
Crude Protein (Min)* 26.0%
Crude Fat (Min) 16.0%
Crude Fibre (Max) 3.0%
Moisture (Max) 12.0%
Linoleic Acid (Min) 1.4%
Calcium (Ca) (Min) 1.0%
Phosphorus (P) (Min) 0.8%
Zinc (Zn) (Min) 150 mg/kg
Selenium (Se) (Min) 0.35 mg/kg
Vitamin A (Min) 13,000 IU/kg
Vitamin E (Min) 250 IU/kg
Glucosamine (Min)* 350 ppm
Omega-6 Fatty Acids (Min)* 1.5%
*Not recognized as an essential nutrient by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles.

1st Choice Medium & Large Breed Puppy Formula

Ingredients:
Chicken meal, oat groats, brewer’s rice, pearled barley, chicken fat naturally preserved with mixed tocopherols (a source of vitamin E), dried beet pulp, dried tomato pomace, dried egg product, lecithin, powdered cellulose, whole flaxseed, chicken liver hydrolysate, monosodium phosphate, herring oil, potassium chloride, choline chloride, salt, calcium propionate (as a preservative), yeast extract, calcium carbonate, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), taurine, chicory extract (a source of inulin), ferrous sulfate, glucosamine sulfate, zinc oxide, alphatocopherol acetate (a source of vitamin E), chondroitin sulfate, yucca schidigera extract, collagen peptide, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, sodium selenite, thiamine mononitrate, dried seaweed meal, green tea extract, dried spearmint, dried parsley, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, manganous oxide, manganese proteinate, ginger extract, nicotinic acid, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, copper proteinate, cholecalciferol (a source of vitamin D3), folic acid, riboflavin, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, cobalt carbonate.
Guaranteed Analysis:
Crude protein 26 % (Min)
Crude fat 16 % (Min)
Crude fiber 4.5 % (Max)
Moisture 10 % (Max)
Ash 9.5 % (Max)
Calcium 1.5 % (Min)
Phosphorus 1 % (Min)
Vitamin A 23 000 IU/kg (Min)
Vitamin D3 2000 IU/kg (Min)
Vitamin E 140 IU/kg (Min)
Glucosamine sulfate 500 mg/kg (Min)
Chondroitin sulfate 250 mg/kg (Min)

Dog Dog breed Comfort Carnivore Ear
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Brown Dog Comfort Carnivore Dog breed
 

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I’m in the same position I’m just gradually switching a 17 week old from lifetime puppy that previous owner had him on to purina just because I don’t think he’s doing weight wise as well as he should

He’s soft
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I’m in the same position I’m just gradually switching a 17 week old from lifetime puppy that previous owner had him on to purina just because I don’t think he’s doing weight wise as well as he should

He’s soft
How much does your 17 week old puppy weight my boy is around 35 pounds at 14 weeks 5 days
 

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How much does your 17 week old puppy weight my boy is around 35 pounds at 14 weeks 5 days
38# but soft I’m use to large dogs but this guy is zero muscle tone
but I don’t know what his first 17 weeks where like he came from a subdivision

It’s been 4 years since I was in puppy land but I don’t know seems soft to me
Dad was suppose to be 140 mom 120

Might add on trip home he puked in my truck guy was full of cucumbers who feeds a pup cucumbers they give me heart burn
 

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Having dobies for 35 yrs I found high protein is not the best, giving loose poo so I have always stuck with protein around 24% no more than 26%. Many dogs on this site do great and it is highly recommended Purina Sensitive Skin and Stomach. I have been feeding Fromm for many years and currently feed Fromm Pork and Applesauce. I do give Salmon Oil daily in their AM meal only. My girl also gets half a can of sardines 2x weekly. My boy is highly intolerant of white fish so he never gets Menhaden, sardines, white fish, herring, only the Salmon Oil and the Fromm Pork and Applesauce BTW my girl is named Dax
 

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38# but soft I’m use to large dogs but this guy is zero muscle tone
but I don’t know what his first 17 weeks where like he came from a subdivision

It’s been 4 years since I was in puppy land but I don’t know seems soft to me
Dad was suppose to be 140 mom 120

Might add on trip home he puked in my truck guy was full of cucumbers who feeds a pup cucumbers they give me heart burn
Well, my Dobermans like cucumbers and I do give them a piece or two or if I'm peeling a cuke I might give them the peals but it's a small quantity.

If his sire and dam were 140 and 120 pounds they were either grossly overweight or hugely oversized.

And realistically 17 week old puppies (that's roughly 4 months) aren't very muscular--and he might be overweight--and that will make a puppy seem pretty soft even if there is muscle under the fat. A puppy who weight mid 30 pounds seems pretty normal to me. The very rough rule of them is that in male puppies generally they will add about 10 pound for every month over 2 months.

I feed whaever the breeder fed for a month (if it's really bad quality I add things like yogurt or cottage cheese and eggs and maybe meat to the food) and then I change them to whatever it is I feed. Mostly my go to kibbles are Purina ProPlan and I don't even feed puppy foods--I feed either adult or all age types. And my experience with lamb as the meat protein has been entirely bad so I feed either fish based or poultry based kibbles.

And very high protein for large breed puppies is not recommended--encourages vast growth and you really want moderate growth rates for bigger dogs. And I would not feed anything that labeled itself for "giant" breeds.

dobebug
 

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Well, my Dobermans like cucumbers and I do give them a piece or two or if I'm peeling a cuke I might give them the peals but it's a small quantity.

If his sire and dam were 140 and 120 pounds they were either grossly overweight or hugely oversized.

And realistically 17 week old puppies (that's roughly 4 months) aren't very muscular--and he might be overweight--and that will make a puppy seem pretty soft even if there is muscle under the fat. A puppy who weight mid 30 pounds seems pretty normal to me. The very rough rule of them is that in male puppies generally they will add about 10 pound for every month over 2 months.

I feed whaever the breeder fed for a month (if it's really bad quality I add things like yogurt or cottage cheese and eggs and maybe meat to the food) and then I change them to whatever it is I feed. Mostly my go to kibbles are Purina ProPlan and I don't even feed puppy foods--I feed either adult or all age types. And my experience with lamb as the meat protein has been entirely bad so I feed either fish based or poultry based kibbles.

And very high protein for large breed puppies is not recommended--encourages vast growth and you really want moderate growth rates for bigger dogs. And I would not feed anything that labeled itself for "giant" breeds.

dobebug
THIS!!!!!
Nothing else to add, except my boy also enjoys cucumbers and get a slice or two when I am making a salad.
 

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I'm feeding purina pro plan and it's working out pretty well. I was told by my breeder that when it comes to large breed puppies, it's most important to ensure the calcium to phosphorous ratio is close to 1:1, and not more than 1:3. And to find a food that's relatively low calories per cup, around 400cals/cup is good so they don't grow too fast or become overweight.

It's definitely okay for your puppy to eat raw small bones and chew on bully sticks, but I would not do antlers. I'm not a fan of hard tough chews in general because they wear down teeth and can even chip and crack teeth. My puppy is not really a chewer, but he's been playing with soft squeaky or crinkle toys and they've all been holding up well so far.

About those ingredients you're avoiding, I know some people say to they're linked to DCM in dogs. But what's now suspected is they don't directly cause DCM, but they are replacing the meat protein with plant protein from peas, lentils, etc. And too little meat protein is leading to DCM in the other breeds, not really the DCM dobermans are known for. So it should be fine to feed foods with those ingredients if you're giving meat as well. More research into this is definitely needed, so don't take this as fact, just current speculations.

And my puppy was 35lbs at 15 weeks, so your puppy sounds like he's growing fine. Mine is not euro though.
 

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I personally feed Proplan my dogs thrive on it. My vet supports feeding is, as does my dogs' cardiologist, and the veterinary nutritionist she works with. As far as nutritional DCM goes, I just had a conversation with our cardiologist during our annual echo clinic last month. Research is ongoing and it's likely going to be a complex answer. They do not actually yet have the answers of what mechanism is causing dietary DCM in dogs, although there have been some signs that point to legumes as a potential link, as you stated (peas, lentils, etc). It's not so simple as adding something else to your meals, though, as any nutritionist will tell you - you can't "offset" one ingredient with the addition of another. Dobermans have been diagnosed with dietary DCM, and had it improve with diet change. Certainly the vast majority of DCM in Dobermans is genetic.

My personal choice is to continue feeding a food that has low to no reports of issues, that my dogs do well on, and that my cardiologist likes. YMMV.
 
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Purina Pro is what many feed their Dobies with success, mine is Euro but it took some doing to get his tummy happy. Breeder fed Eukanuba puppy which wasn't doing that great... so went chicken & rice with some probiotic to Orijen puppy to Halo holistic puppy. On Halo he was digesting better but then finally did Acana Healthy Grains puppy which seems to be working well... that or his ability to digest just got better. I also give First Mate chicken & rice can. Had him try raw for a bit but same story... so little later I'll revisit. Good place by me actually specializes and delivers raw to your door.

He does get the raw bone now & then but mostly what I do due to still eating too quick is use the juices from can & water to soak some of his kibble, mix in the canned meat, allow it to absorb and stuff into some kongs topped off with more can meat and then into the freezer. Makes him think some & eat slower along his other puzzle feeder.

Also give things on the side now & again, carrot, cucumber, plain probiotic yogurt. With many unknowns he doesn't eat any peas, lentils, etc. and wears a harness for leash and collar just for tags in case of a link to wobblers.
 

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Having dobies for 35 yrs I found high protein is not the best, giving loose poo so I have always stuck with protein around 24% no more than 26%. Many dogs on this site do great and it is highly recommended Purina Sensitive Skin and Stomach. I have been feeding Fromm for many years and currently feed Fromm Pork and Applesauce. I do give Salmon Oil daily in their AM meal only. My girl also gets half a can of sardines 2x weekly. My boy is highly intolerant of white fish so he never gets Menhaden, sardines, white fish, herring, only the Salmon Oil and the Fromm Pork and Applesauce BTW my girl is named Dax
I agree with this statement.
Watch the protein and also the phosphorus-calcium ratio for the first year or so.
 

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I have been feeding adult Fromm Kibble to my pups... I have never seen Fromm have a recall so that alone makes me feel the food is high quality.. i also add sardines or boiled chicken or boiled beef liver to one of their 3 meals per day..Also i cut up and boil sweet potatoes or open a can of pumpkin and add a couple of tablespoons.. and sometimes add a spoonful of plain yogurt...I did notice lately that one of my female seems to have exceptionally long legs.. i do not add calcium to her food but i do give them all an egg in one of their meals for the day.. how do you know that bones are growing normal..they seem very healthy and their poops are just perfect.. Here is her photo... let me know what you think, She is 4 months .. I don't want her growing too fast
Dog Liver Carnivore Collar Dog breed
 

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Watch the protein intake and the calcium to phosphorus ratio. Note that too much or too little protein or wrong calcium/phosphorus ratio maybe not be good for a large breed puppy. Nutrient imbalances may lead to developmental abnormalities. When you feed regular food or you mix food sources, it's hard to keep a count on the amount of protein and the calcium/phosphorus ratio the puppy is getting.

These are just general recommendations. It's hard to tell from your description whether he or she is getting too much or too little. You will find tons of articles on this topic in the internet. Look under "large breed, protein, and calcium and phosphorus ratio". Here is a site I highly recommend since you seem to have some doubts:


This link shows some abnormalities and remedies. Dobermans can and do have these growth problems due to diet imbalances during their first year of growth. Take it from me who has had experience. Lucky, I caught it on time with the help of my breeder. The breeder recommended this website. The diet recommended in this site corrected my dog within a week or two. Not that you needed, but it's good to know these things.

I think the lady is a consultant to pet food makers. She has been at the forefront of puppy food development. You can read all about her background under the "About us" link on the left pane of the website.

Browse through the links in that site to get more information on large breed puppy diet. It's really good stuff all Doberman owners should be aware of.
 
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