Is the optimal Calcium/Phosphorus ratio the same for adult large breed dogs as it is for puppies?
No, once mature and fully grown, adult large breeds are able to regulate their calcium uptake. The same rules that apply during growth do not apply during adulthood.
Thank you for your reply pitluv. I have read that some consider Labradors to be puppies until 18-24 months old, my pup is 14 months. If that is the case, I am wondering if the calcium issue should still be a concern for me?
This is correct. Depending on the breed, some are considered puppies for up to 24 months. I know some extra cautious folks who will even feed a large breed puppy food up to 3 years of age. I don’t feel that is necessary though.
For your Lab, I would recommend keeping him on an appropriate LBP formula until 18 moths at minimum.
Pitluv that is my plan. My Problem is finding appropriate formulations of kibble. Many so-called kibble for Large Breed dogs seem to have too much calcium. The ratio is within the guidelines but the grams of calcium per kilogram of food can be quite high. Example – Wellness Complete Health Large Breed Puppy has 3.7 grams calcium MINIMUM.
Yx, you are absolutely correct and it is so frustrating. I have contacted several companies asking for their typical values of calcium and phosphorus and got absolutely outrageous numbers, no where near appropriate for a growing LBP.
This is why I prefer companies like Purina and Hill’s. They spend millions of dollars on their own independent research on large breed puppy growth and nutrition, not to mention staff a team of veterinary nutritionists that are aware of the current needs based on research of large breed puppies. I have never had to worry that one of their formulas would be inappropriate for a large breed, while with smaller supposedly “better” companies I have been disappointed to find formulas labeled for large breed puppies that were wildly inappropriate for them.
If it were my dog, I would be using Pro Plan Large Breed Puppy. Thats just my opinion.
pitluv – I concur, it is frustrating. I have found quality formulations that fall withing the accepted parameters, but they aren’t specifically marketed for Large Breed Puppies. Fromm’s Surf and Turf and Beef Frittata Veg (both rated for all life stages) have 2.9 grams of Calcium per kilogram with a Calcium Phosphorus ratio of 1.1-1
Is this the formulation you are referring to? – https://www.proplan.com/dogs/products/focus-puppy-large-breed-chicken-rice-formula#ingredientsandguaranteedanalysis –
Within the first 11 ingredients there are 4 grains and 3 generic meat ingredients (4 if you count fish meal) which, as we know are very low quality. -https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/choosing-dog-food/dog-food-meat-content The Pro Plan seems to be Purina’s top tier food as the formulations go down hill from there. This formulation for Purina’s Dog Chow Large Dog is even worse and includes artificial colors – https://dogchow.com/en/dog-food/large-breed
It certainly makes me wonder if the reason for conducting those feeding trials is to ascertain how low they can go in quality while not creating immediate health problems for the unfortunate animals in the trials?
We actually do not know the quality of those ingredients just by reading the ingredient list. Often times by-products such as organ meats offer a better quality amino acid profile than muscle meat. An ingredient list that reads chicken, chicken meal, and then turkey as the top 3 ingredients might appeal more to the human eye, but we have no clue the quality of the chicken, chicken meal or turkey used to make the food. For these and other reasons, I no longer assume the quality of a food by the ingredient list alone. I find that Purina especially is more than happy to reveal what the “generic” meat is when asked. In fact I was told that the “animal fat” in the diet I was using was from beef origin when I asked them. They are not trying to hide anything as some will have you believe.
I use Pro Plan for all of my animals and I find them to be in much better health than on other “higher rated” foods from this site. Stools are smaller and firmer, coat is better, energy is great, no skin issues, and blood work always comes back excellent.
Hello pitluv – While it it true that we cannot tell the quality of the meats used by simply reading an ingredient label, we do know that there are companies that never use generic by-products, animal digests, meat and bone meals, artificial coloring, artificial flavoring, ingredients sourced from China, menadione sodium bisulfite complex, toxic preservatives such as BHA, BHT, TBHQ and Ethoxyquin,, and those that do.
For example, these are the ingredients in Purina’s Alpo brand Prime Cuts Savory Beef Flavor – Ground Yellow Corn, Meat and Bone Meal, Soybean Meal, Beef Tallow Preserved with Mixed-Tocopherols, Corn Gluten Meal, Egg and Chicken Flavor, Poultry and Pork Digest, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Red 40, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, L-Lysine Monohydrochloride, Yellow 5, Manganese Sulfate, Blue 2, Niacin, Vitamin A Supplement, Copper Sulfate, Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B-1), Garlic Oil, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B-6), Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B-2), Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Calcium Iodate, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Source of Vitamin K Activity), Folic Acid, Biotin, Sodium Selenite. I-5020.
It would stand to reason that a company that avoids the above low-quality ingredients would likely be using higher quality meats in their formulations, in fact, there are brands such as ORIJEN that use “human grade ingredients” – “The fresh meats, meat meals and fat ingredients we use are produced exclusively from animals that have been deemed as fit for human consumption, and are produced in category 3 facilities (human grade facilities, no flushing, and no 4-D animal parts permitted on premises). All fruits and vegetables used in ORIJEN foods are also passed as fit for human consumption.” -https://www.orijen.ca/faq/#fresh_regional_ingredients
In any case, I am glad to read that all your animals are doing well.Sharon BMember
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