Sounds exciting for you! cant help you with the fleas or ticks. Too darn dry and hard out here for fleas and we dont get paralysis ticks. I just give heartworm.
On the the subject of food although I used to give puppy food in the past I no longer give my puppies puppy food and I like to grow them out lean. I usualy use a mix of Adult Wellness, Wellness core or Blackhawk and a commercial BARF. They are working dogs and seem to thrive on this.
In the past my puppies did well on puppy food too.