Really nothing you can find in a grocery store is worth feeding. Big box stores have a couple ok brands. You usually have to do a specialty store or feed stores often have some good selections.
Eta if switching to grainfree most people just switch cold turkey.
Nicole - )0( unschooling mama to Lilah (12/21/05) and Cian (9/21/07) as well as 3 2 , 4 rats, and ducks
When feeding dry I try to fed at least one can of wet a week, or pick up some cheap meat and add it to the food.
Purina dog food is total and utter crap. Even the stuff like 'Beneful'
I feed Kirkland dry dog food for one meal and Honest Kitchen dehydrated raw for the other and have been very happy with the results.
Every hour of the light and dark is a miracle. Every cubic inch of space is a miracle. (Whitman)
I'm assuming by your description that the website you are using is dogfoodanalysis.com? I like the site but don't always agree with them. In my opinion, anything that merits 3 stars or better on that site is a good food. I don't think you should feel guilty for choosing a 3 star over a 6 star. Get what you can find firstly, a food is no good to you if its not available! The difference in quality above 3 stars really starts getting picky. And, in many cases, there are other considerations, like the company and its past history, ingredient preferences, price etc that should go into the decision.
Some common, economical foods are-
Chicken Soup For the Dog Lovers Soul (hokey name, good food)
Kirklands (Costco's house brand)
Canidae (this is an all life stages food)
A bit more expensive is stuff like-
Taste of the Wild
Thats by no means an exhaustive list, or even a list of the best. But all are quality foods that seem to be commonly available. In my experience, Innova and California Natural has been reported to be a little rich for puppies. Those seem to work better for adult dogs, although I also know folks who raise pups on it and love it.
To switch, you'll want to start gradually. I'd let your pups digestive system guide you. Some dogs need to switch VERY slowly, others do fine with a faster switch. The plan listed above is a good way to start- 1/4 new food and 3/4 old food. If his stomach seems upset, you can start with an even smaller amount, say, 1/8 new food and 7/8 old food, and then gradually work up.
A few days or weeks of proplan won't kill him, and a sudden food switch in addition to moving to a new home could be a shock for his little system, so don't feel too bad about taking your time to make a food choice.
I was told to avoid chicken blends and stay grain free
good grains are oats and barley in moderation
You need to purchase this type of dog food at a 'doggie boutique' type store and its much better for the dog IMO. a 15lb bag is $35 and lasts me 6wks for a 15lb dog....
If you give cookies or treats you want to make sure you switch to healthy snacks too.
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The ingredients are good and it has a 4 out of 5 star rating on a site I found.
For snacks he has pure dehydrated chicken.