Purina Puppy Chow has long been a popular food – for several years it was THE puppy food. It was common for puppy food and Puppy Chow to be interchanged. Pedigree brand has become a popular brand and also offers a puppy diet. While some brands have specific puppy diets for large breeds or small breeds – these two base comparison on similar uses.
Puppies need careful management – attention to condition and keeping them the proper weight. Both companies offer a great deal of information about raising puppies on their websites. This is worth a visit to the sites even if you don’t buy the products.
With Purina dominating the puppy food market many litters have been raised on Purina Puppy Chow. With 27% protein, 12% crude fat and 5% crude fiber the small pieces are easy for puppies to get in their mouths and chew. When softened with water, milk or wet food puppies eagerly take the kibble and learn how to navigate harder foods. The first ten ingredients are whole grain corn, chicken by-product meal, corn gluten meal, brewers rice, soybean meal, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E), pearled barley, calcium phosphate, fish oil, calcium caronate – and several trace ingredients. Unliked by many owners – the artificial colors. It’s unnecessary except to change OUR perception of the food. Using a standard 8 ounce cup it’s recommended to feed according to size. For my most fed breed, the border collie, puppies are offered 1-1/4 to 3-2/3 cups per pup per day, increasing to 2-1/4 to 4-1/3 at 3 months of age until 5 months. A bag of food is right at $20.
Pedigree offers a dry food for puppies also. Not directly affecting the food but a nice thing is the use of a bag with a zip closure – allowing food to stay fresher, without bugs and other things getting in the bag. It also is a 27% protein food – with the first ten ingredients listed being ground whole corn, chicken by-product meal, rice, corn gluten meal (source of Lutein), animal fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols, source of Vitamin #), Natural poultry flavor, wheat, potassium chloride, wheat flour and DiCalcium phosphate. It also includes added coloring although it is listed as last on the ingredient list. The recommended amount to feed for the same sized dog up to three months of age is 5 to 6-1/4 cups increasing to up to 6-3/4 at 3-6 months of age. There’s easiliy identified supplements and the kibble is a different shape while being small and easy for puppies to eat. The nutrient list shows 11% crude fat and 3% crude fiber. The Pedigree is less expensive than the Purina brand.
Of course for many that alone is not the big factor. Perceptions of dog food companies as a whole with the recalls and “anything for a profit” affect consumer’s choices. I have been quite upset at Purina representatives’ insistance after the early recalls that no other of their products could be affected – then nearly two weeks later they instituted recalls. Many are equally upset with Pedigree’s giving of money to a humane organization that is in support of breed specific banning of dogs. These are issues each consumer can – and should – investigate for themselves. The politics aside, puppy food is made to feed puppies – safely and healthy. Many consumers are coming to question the use of grains for a canine (naturally meat based) diet.
It’s been several years since I’ve had a need for puppy food and when I did shortly after the Purina recall of another item was issued I passed on Puppy Chow for that reason and thus it led to testing of Pedigree’s puppy formula. This was with a German Shepherd older pup who just needed a little boost. Bella LOVED it – eagerly eating every morsel in a way my pups didn’t ever do with Purina’s Puppy Chow. It stayed fresh and made a big difference in her condition.
Each person must decide for themselves which food is best for their pet. Both of these are solid foods. Purina’s recommends feeding slightly less but is more expensive than Pedigree’s. Pedigree’s puppy food is a smaller kibble but is highly sought by pups. In this case I don’t believe a higher price alone warrants a higher quality food.