New and confused about changing food

Hello everyone, what a fantastic site this is!

I’d really like some further advice please having read all the cold pressed posts under the Markus Mühle thread as well as looking at the top rated extruded foods… now very confused and have changed my mind every day for the past week or so, sometimes more than once!
I’m doing my own head in!

I have a 10 month rescue pup who came to me 6 weeks ago on Wainwrights. She needs to gain some weight and muscle mass, so I want to give her a more nutritious food. No one’s sure of her mix, some think collie cross, some think retriever cross. When old enough she’ll be walked for an hour or two twice a day, more at weekends.

What exercise levels determine whether a dog should be fed a working dog food or pet food? This would help me with an extruded decision, should I go for this option.

I like the suggestions of Gentle, Guru and Markus Mühle, but the formers whack on a delivery charge which bumps the price up further and the latter has no hidden extra costs, but does have the whole maize meal. Should I avoid this?


Hello and welcome to the forum. Traditionally working food was formulated with extra calories from a higher fat/protein content. However, nowadays there is little or no difference between that and ordinary dog food because there are some high quality extruded foods that exceed the protein levels in some of those classed as for working dogs.

Food that has the working label is exempt from VAT so if you go for those it is possible to save money. Sometimes they come in plainer packaging.

There are no cold pressed foods in the working category. They are usually generic ie for all life stage. Of the ones sold by UK companies, Gentle has a protein level of 29.1%, Guru 27.8%. Cobbydog is made in the UK and has 37.1%. Gentle and Guru attract a slightly higher nutritional score. Tribal may be worth looking at too but there are others, as you have seen in the dedicated thread.

As your dog needs to muscle up and will be getting a fair bit of exercise when grown, a higher protein level should help to achieve this. There are plenty of high quality extruded foods that have a high protein content. You need to decide whether you want to feed extruded or cold pressed food and there is information on here which can help you decide. Cold pressed food has the advantage of not being exposed to the high temperatures of extruded kibble. Also, it is said to be easier to digest.

If you go for cold pressed food, Gentle and Guru attract a slightly higher score than Cobbydog but any of those foods would be good. You would need to contact the company re the RDA as your dog is young and needs to gain muscle.

There are some benefits to enhancing dog food by sometimes adding suitable fresh cooked ingredients because it gives variety. Vegetables need to be cooked and mashed to assist with digestion. Fruit such as blueberries can be given, as can chicken, white fish, sardines, scrambled eggs etc. In the past I have found this works well with cold pressed food.

Regarding delivery charges, with Zooplus and Bitiba it is free with a spend of £35. Don’t worry about the maize - I am told that it is only the maize germ that is used and this has nutritional benefits. For Amazon Prime members it would be useful to have a variety of CP foods sold on there as it would save on delivery charges.

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Thanks Dottie for your detailed reply. I’m going to have a look at the working dog options to see what falls in my budget. Ci Mighty Meaty has been recommended to me for its high protein. Also going to consider topping up a cold pressed food for extra protein.

I hadn’t heard of Ci so have just had a quick glance at their website - link. They sell several products so I just looked at Mighty Meaty. The Dog Food Directory gives it a respectable nutritional score of 89% with no red ingredients. I would think that it is an appropriate choice for a young dog who needs to muscle up and will get a lot of exercise when grown.

Sensibly, the company acknowledges that high protein does not suit all dogs and advises this:

If you are trying an 80% formula for the first time we highly recommend buying it in smaller quantities and introducing it very gradually.
Note that with these high quality foods, the amount required might need to be less than you are used to with the Wainwrights.

Thanks for checking it out and highlighting the points made.

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