Hi all. We've finally chosen our baby from our breeder and she'll be coming home at the end of May. The breeder has been really wonderful and very forthcoming with questions and suggestions. We trust her a lot. She offers a very generous 5 year health guarantee, which we're excited about, but one of the provisions in the contract is that we feed Flint River Ranch and Life's Abundance for the full five years. I'm not sure if feeding requirements are common in contracts, but I'm not surprised to see it in there. I was just curious if anyone has had experience with these brands and can offer some insight? Is it worth committing too? (We have the option of a one year guarantee without the food provision). She also recommends free-feeding the Life's Abundance all day, which isn't going to really work for crate training, right? Can we just do structured meals with it?
Both of those foods are excellent. I have to give kudos to your breeder if that is what they are encouraging/requiring you to feed.
The thing is - you knew before signing the contract and agreeing to take the dog what the breeder was asking of you. That's part of the "terms of sale/adoption". As long as she made this clear before you gave her money and signed the contract, then really, you shouldn't complain or have an issue with it. As a breeder, she doesn't HAVE to sell the puppy to anyone she doesn't want to. For her, good nutrition is obviously a priority and something she uses to measure whether you and she will be compatiable as a breeder/buyer relationship. As a breeder myself, I know I use a lot of the "terms" in my contract as an additional screening method for my homes. There are certain things that I feel are very important to maintaining a healthy dog, and if someone will sign my contract and agree to those same things then I know that we're on the same page concerning what is important for the well being of the dog. It's also great that you feel you've found a great breeder.
Buying a dog from a breeder should be like any relationship in your life - and should be more about the breeder than the buyer. If you don't get along or see eye to eye on things, you're not going to have a good experience with one another.
I do know on both of those foods, though they are a bit higher priced, that you feed less. I also know from friends who feed one of those diets that their dogs really do stay in good health (pretty coats, nice weight, clean teeth, no tummy upsets).
Whether or not free feeding is ideal depends on the breed and on the line the dog is from. I would assume that your breeder's recommendation is based on her knowledge of her dogs and what works best for the breed and her line.
Domen, after the initial crate training is done, are you going to keep the dog in a crate all day? What the breeder means is that when the dog is older and allowed access to the whole house, that food be made available at all times. Many breeds like to pick a few kibbles, and then run away and come back later for some more. It depends a lot on the breed you're getting, as Abbylynne said.
I have no problem with the terms of the contract, I just had never heard of these brands and unfortunately I can get neither locally or in any store, any where. I have to order them both online, which is fine, but I wanted to hear from someone who had used them to make sure they were as good as the breeder said.
Flint River is very good food. Maybe the breeder means to free-feed while in the puppy stage. Personally I feel adult dogs do better on a feeding schedule. But pups need the calorie intake. Also, the 5yr guarantee is a great stipulation. That's when a lot of problems become apparent.
Those foods are ok, they are not good or great. I would ask the breeder if you could possibly feed something of much higher quality and still be ok with the contract. Maybe Wellness, Natures Variety, Innova...
I have always heard these are good foods. Personally we feed Welliness and Inovia and have had excellant results from them. I had one with allergies that we battled for years with trying different foods and shots and Welliness turned her completely around. Sounds like she is a caring breeder though. Hurray for her that she is that concerned.