There have been many discussions surrounding what food to feed your dog and I am a firm believer in feeding high quality food. We are going to be swithching from Canidae All Life Stages to Innova EVO grain free starting today. My question is about pregnant females and their puppies. The EVO is certified by the Association of American Feed Control Officials(AAFCO) for All Life Stages, but the continuing argument over high protein levels continues still concerns me. I am a label reader and I am convinced that "puppy food" is more a marketing tool than an actual difference in the food so I don't feel compelled to find a puppy only food, just a high quality food that is appropriate. What are the breeders out there feeding their puppies and nursing/pregnant mommas. Is EVO too high protein? 42% Crude protein.

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I fed my Bella the Salmon Premium Edge (25%) protein and supplemented more with an egg or yogurt every other day. She was fine and had 8 very healthy pups. The last 2 weeks I gave her Advance milk replacer as a supplement which I also had on hand "just in case" we had a pup problem.I gave her this in warm water 1-2 times a day. and also used this to soften the puppy food when they started eating (I used premium Edge puppy...sorry I didn't have a bag to check protein but the pup food was chicken) and gave the mlik replacer when we were weaning the pups too. I have also used Taste of the Wild which is a grain free food and this is for all life stages. All my dogs do great on this food so I left it alone as Bella had times she didn't want to eat due to an upset stomach or full feeling(???). Bella also had Eclampsia a few days after birth (we caught it very early) but so I am going to talk to the vet next time and see if we should give her a calcium supplement as well.
Thanks for the input Jane.I think Taste of the Wild is similar to EVO. The guy who runs the store where I buy food has a standard poodle puppy on Taste of the Wild. Our vet did suggest a calcium supplement to help prevent Eclamsia and we have started her on that.
Thanks HR,

I will check with my vet as to what they say!
NO CALCIUM SUPPLEMENTS for pregnant bitches. A ton of vets are still giving them and it's crazy. If the bitch is given too much calcium, her body forgets how to liberate it from her bones. When the need is far greater than any supplement could supply (during labor and the first days of lactation) she won't be able to get it from her own bones and she'll go into eclampsia. You supplement calcium AFTER the birth, even during the birth, but not before.

EVO's calcium levels are way too high for pregnant bitches. You want to have the calcium be around 1%. EVO's is 2.55%. If you want to feed raw, feed raw. You have to make sure you're doing it carefully without too many bones, though; prey model (whole prey animals) is fine, as is a diet that keeps the bone to around 25% of the total amount of meat and bone fed. That means chicken breast, thigh quarters at the most. Not necks or backs or wings.

If you want to feed kibble, you need to keep the calcium reasonable. I wouldn't go over 1.5% at the absolute highest. Orijen is around that level, but I'd still cut it with some ground beef to make sure you're keeping it low enough. Most of the conventional (with grain) kibbles are OK in terms of calcium too.

I feed raw on a regular basis, and I feed raw to mom dogs, but all bets are off if she's asking for something else. Most of us will feed whatever we can get the mom to eat well. You want her to have a good covering of flesh and muscle; her stomach is going to make her look big but if you haven't kept her weight up she'll look like a skeleton once she whelps and she'll have trouble giving enough nutrition to her milk. You'll probably find that the last couple of weeks you're feeding her roast beef sandwiches and poached eggs, while the rest of your family eats cold cereal :).
This has nothing to do with corgis but it's my personal experience with cats that the one of mine with a sensitive stomach and throws up most foods can eat the Taste of the Wild...Did you get a people supplement or dog supplement for the calcium? Is this her 1st litter?
I have no experience breeding, but have had several experienced breeders of more than one breed say that too much protein can make pups grow too fast, too soon and cause joint problems down the road. That is why "large-breed" puppy foods tend to have lower protein levels than either regular puppy foods or adult foods.

I realize that several people here place little stock in Iam's, but there have been studies done across several species that indicate DHA in babies (human) and puppies is critical for early brain development. Here is a non-petfood source:
"Just how important is DHA for brain development? Consider these research findings:

Infants who have low amounts of DHA in their diet have reduced brain development and diminished visual acuity.
The increased intelligence and academic performance of breastfed compared with formula- fed infants has been attributed in part to the increased DHA content of human milk.

Cultures whose diet is high in omega 3 fatty acids (such as the Eskimos who eat a lot of fish) have a lower incidence of degenerative diseases of the central nervous system, such as multiple sclerosis.

Experimental animals whose diets are low in DHA have been found to have smaller brains and delayed central nervous system development.

Some children with poor school performance because of ADD, have been shown to have insufficient essential fatty acids in their diet."

So I would make sure a puppy food had plenty of this. There is a huge difference between providing nutrition to a puppy, whose brain is still growing, and an adult, whose brain is not. So subtle differences you see in ingredients between puppy foods and adult foods might be more important than they appear at first glance.
Premium Edge salmon has the omega 3 fatty acids BUT is for 1 and over. Taste of the wild salmon is for all stages and may provide the needed fatty acids. Again and Kristen you said you were a label could check but also your vet could recommend BUT my vet carries only 2 kinds and 1 is Science diet...yuck!
Yeah, after I typed that out I figured the salmon formulas probably all have the fatty acids needed.

However, not all the dog foods are adding fish oil to their non-fish foods. Many are, not all, which is why I thought I'd mention what I'd heard. :-)
Very true Beth! Good thought.
Love my vet , but nutrtion is not his strong point. He also sells Science Diet. So many do because the company is a major supporter of veterinary colleges.I think I need to do a little more research on the calcium issue. I think Fish meal and oil are important ingredients, but you should confirm that they are not using a human banned preservative ( can't remember the name rightnow) so complicated, but I want to do what is best for Fergie and her babies.
Hi Kristen,
I think if you go to the web sites such as Premium edge you might find the ingredient list other wise the whole dog journal 2/9 has the ingredients listed on there & comparisons for descent dog food.I really like it! Go to and look up back issues. For me it's easier than doing this at a store. You do have to pay for the download. If you find the name of the preservative please let me know...yes those babies and mommies(and others too) are so precious...and we want to do the best for them!
Jane, evauates for the inclusion of the preservative in their reviews and ratings of dog food. I just have my blackberry right now so I'll look it up when I get home.It starts with an "e" and I would butcherit if I tried to spell it from memory! They do a more thorough breakdown of ingredients as well on ther website.I appreciate all of your sharing your experience with me.


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