Corgi puppy food advice - grain free freeze dried vs mid range grain kibble

I’ve had my Corgi pup for 5 weeks now, he is now 15 weeks old.
The breeder had him on Redwitch Puppy Complete: (Poultry meal (30%), brown rice, whole maize, chicken fat, sugar beet pulp, yeast, poultry digest, fish oil, minerals, linseed, yucca)
And said Royal Canin was the closest to it: (Dehydrated Poultry Meat, Rice, Animal Fats, Vegetable Protein Isolate, Maize, Beet Pulp, Maize Flour, Hydrolysed Animal Proteins, Maize Gluten, Soya Oil, Fish Oil, Minerals, Fructo-Oligo-Saccharides, Hydrolysed Yeast, Marigold Extract, Pentasodium Triphosphate, Antioxidants).

He was fine on Redwitch - regular poops nice and solid and dark of colour, but it isn’t here on the site so can’t tell how good it was.
As we slowly introduced Royal Canin it became obvious it wasn’t good - stinky farts, orangey poops that were less solid. I was coming up needing a replacement from Redwitch as it was running out and no local stockist, pet store recommended **Arden Grange ** after showing them the label for Redwitch.
(Fresh Chicken 18%, Chicken Meat Meal 18%, Rice, Maize, Beet Pulp, Chicken Oil, Whole Dried Egg, Yeast, Fish Meal, Chicken Digest, Linseed, Fish Oil, Prebiotic FOS, Prebiotic MOS, Cranberries, Yucca Extract, Glucosamine, MSM, Chondroitin, Nucleotides.)
He is mostly ok on this but I’m not happy with the quality of it. So upon going back they suggested grain free freeze dried foods such as Acana, Canagen and the like. I picked up Canagen and tried to introduce it slowly but he ended up having really watery diarrhea so we took him off it. (Freshly Prepared Chicken(26%), Dried Chicken (25%), Sweet Potato, Peas, Potato, Pea Protein, Alfalfa, Chicken Fat(3.1%), Dried Egg(3.1%), Chicken Gravy (1.6%), Salmon Oil (1.2%), Minerals, Vitamins, Glucosamine (1000 mg/kg), MSM(1000 mg/kg), Apple, Carrot, Spinach, Psyllium, Seaweed, Fructooligosaccharides, Chondroitin(700 mg/kg), Camomile, Peppermint, Marigold, Cranberry, Aniseed & Fenugreek.

I didn’t know pea protein was bad as I discovered this site trying to find out why he was having such a bad go on Canagen.

So here I am seeking advice. Is grain free high meat content good for a pup or was it just too much too soon? What would you recommend for a good quality puppy food? Should I try Acana maybe?

Many thanks, Freijya

Hello and welcome to the forum,
It is hard to recommend a specific food as all dogs are different and opinions vary as to what is the best thing to feed. Sometimes overfeeding may cause loose stools. A food which is too rich for some dogs may suit others.

I think you can only go by your dogs reaction to a food. Often it is a lot of trial and error and sometimes having to look at portion size. You may need to feed less of the higher protein foods. It may be helpful to try and get some samples of the foods you want to try to see if they suit. Acana do puppy variety too. Good luck.

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Hello and welcome to the forum. I have never heard of Redwitch dog food so I cannot comment on that or any food that might be similar. You can put the ingredient list into the Instant Review Generator to determine a score. It will also tell which of the ingredients is controversial i.e. red ones.

You have chosen two good products in Canagan and Acana but it is absolutely essential that you weigh them before feeding your dog. Many owners find that their dog needs smaller amounts when feeding these types of food. I don’t know what caused your dog to have a bad reaction to the Canagan, unless it was because you gave too much. It is always worthwhile contacting the company helpline to discuss matters like this. It is difficult to determine whether you are right about your dog being sensitive to pea protein but at this point it might be worth looking for a product that doesn’t contain it. This can be easily done by use of the Filters on the Dog Food Directory of this website (ask if you need help in using it).

As your pup was alright with Redwitch (which contains grain), it would seem that he does not have problems with it so I don’t think you need to limit your search to grain free products. Grain tends to get a bad press these days and I don’t really know why because grains such as brown rice and oats have nutritional value for the dog. Acana contains pea and if you are right about a sensitivity then it might be best to avoid it.

As your dog seems to have a sensitive digestive system I would advise a good quality wet diet as it contains fewer ingredients or cold pressed dry food. You might not find the latter in your pet food store but if you contact the companies they will probably send you a sample. The two UK companies that sell cold pressed food are Gentle and Guru Pet Foods. Both have Facebook pages. These products are for all life stages so you will not have to change as pup grows. They can be softened with warm water. If you decide to try one it would be alright to top up with a bit of extra good quality protein such as cooked chicken, fish, egg etc. Don’t be afraid to supplement your puppy’s diet with suitable home cooked food (no salt and make sure it is OK for dogs).

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Thank you both for your comments.
Redwitch is a dutch brand I believe that she has imported.
I’ll have a look again through the food directory taking on board the advice here.

I measure his foods and did give 10g less of the Canagen per meal (he’s currently on 3 feeds a day of 50g on Canagen) it’s 60g for Arden based on the guide on the packet he should be getting between 150 and 220g for his weight and age.

I’ve started putting in bits of chicken and rice to keep his stomach settled as part of his dry food diet.

I read that pups until 6 months should stay on dry food (soaked) - I can’t remember the reason for it.
Was hoping to eventually switch to Nutriment raw food once he’s older but since he knows dry at the moment we wanted to use that. But do put wet food in his kong and he seems alright on it - picked one with brown rice and veg :slight_smile:
Will check out the cold pressed foods.

Thank you for all the advice again!

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I believe that puppies can have raw food and in fact Nutriment do a puppy version - link. There is no need to wait until he is six months old unless it suits you better to do so. I wonder if the article you read about not giving raw to puppies is something to do with higher protein and protection of the joints. If so, it is something that you could discuss with Nutriment.

It sounds like you were doing the right thing with the Canagan and I am at a loss to know what the problem is. I used this product quite some time ago with my adult dogs and found that I had to give considerably less than the RDA. As I mentioned before, it may be worth having a talk to the company staff.

If you want to consider cold pressed, it is worth mentioning that it softens beautifully with warm water - takes about 10/15 minutes and you can get it to the consistency you desire with a bit of practise. There is a video on the websites which explains about the differences between cold pressed and extruded dog food. It also works well with raw food so when the time comes to transition, it should be straightforward.

The chicken and rice will be fine for your Corgi - brown rice is thought to be more nutritious. It’s no bad thing to get pup used to a bit of suitable home cooked food - it adds variety.

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