Hi! I’m new to this forum, but reading these pages of information has been tremendously helpful for me in choosing a proper food for my puppy. Reading the Google doc that Hound Dog Mom posted helped me choose Earthborn Holistic’s Primitive Naturals kibble and my 42 lb 5 month old chocolate lab puppy loves it! But I have a question: How much do I feed her? Meaning, based on the bag/chart, do I feed her based on her current weight or based on her ideal weight? For her current weight, it says she should be getting around 2 cups per day. But is that enough? Or should I feed to her ideal weight which I think is closer to 70 lbs? This is my first dog and I’m trying to figure this out. Their offices are currently closed for the weekend, but I left a post for Earthborn’s Facebook page as well.anonymouslyMember
I would go with the current weight recommendations on the dog food bag or a little less, divided up, 3 meals per day, around 6-7 months go to 2 meals per day.
I have a 20 pound adult dog that eats about 1 to 1 1/2 cups per day (kibble mixed with a little cooked chicken, meat, scrambled egg or whatever) and a splash of water.
Funny thing, my 10 pound poodle mix eats the same amount! She has no weight issues.
Metabolisms, activity levels, etc ….
You will find what works.
Until you figure it out, I would weigh once a week. Stand on the scale, weigh yourself, then pick up the dog and get on the scale (I recommend one of those cheap digital scales from CVS, battery lasts about a year). Deduct your weight, note fluctuations….adjust diet accordingly.
PS: Also, see what your vet advises, they go to school for the same amount of time as a medical doctor, maybe they know something.
Some dog food bags have feed recommendations that are based on expected adult weight, some have instructions for different ages of puppies. If the bag doesn’t mention age, just weight, it’s based on expected adult weight. Use that, but feed on the low side to keep your dog lean until fully grown, and divide that amount between all meals for the day. So, if it says to feed a 70 lbs. adult dog 3-4 cups, feed 3 per day. If you feed twice a day, feed 1 1/2 cups each meal. After a few days, evaluate your pup’s condition. If your pup is starting to get too thin, increase the food a little then re-evaluate again in a few days. If your pup is looking chubby, decrease food, re-evaluate. You should be monitoring your dog’s weight and adjusting food as needed all throughout it’s life to keep it in good shape. Carrying too much weight is a MAJOR factor in hip and elbow dysplasia. Never feed a Lab as much as they want. They frequently don’t have the feedback mechanism that tells them they are full, so will over eat by huge amounts.
Thank you both! The bag of food doesn’t specify based on age/weight, and from what I can tell it is based on adult weight. So I will feed based on her ideal adult weight, but at the bottom end of the range. For her current weight at this moment, the range (35-50 lbs) is about 1.75-2.25 cups/day. However, for the weight range 65-80 lbs which I believe is her ideal *adult* body weight, the feeding range is 2.75-3.25 cups/day. I just fully switched her over today and was thinking I would feed 2 cups, but I think instead I’ll start with 2.75 cups/day and watch that she continues her weight gain. My vet hasn’t been very helpful when I’ve asked about weight gain per week; does anyone have a good resource/rule of thumb for weight gain? She’s been gaining about 2-2.5 lbs per week thus far, but I would assume that is going to slow down at some point? When should her weekly weight gain slow down?anonymouslyMember
I am more familiar with small/medium breeds, I find at 4-6 months they are about at the halfway mark. At 9 months they are full grown but continue to fill out a little more.
Some large breeds continue to grow/fill out till 1-2 years of age. But, I would guess that at 9 months they are about 75% done.
I would definitely feed less. That’s fast weight gain which can affect joint formation. As far as safe weight gain, there is no rule of thumb. Just keep your dog on the thin side until completely grown. Never ever let her get chubby, nevermind fat. Slow growth is ideal for joint formation.
I just went through this link (http://www.petmd.com/sites/default/files/bcs-dog.jpg) and she’s at about a 5. She has great waist definition, I can feel her ribs and spine running my hand along her. She has a very thin layer of fat. No saggy belly. She just got spayed about 2.5 weeks ago, so I’m guessing that will slow her metabolism. I just calculated her age in weeks and she’s 22 weeks, weighing about 42 lbs. For some reason I was thinking 2 lbs per week was good growth for puppies until about 6 months or so. I appreciate your help figuring out what to feed her. It can feel overwhelming trying to find the right fit; we’ve already tried a couple other foods until I stumbled across the Hound Dog Mom Google document outlining appropriate foods for large breed puppies. Neither of the ones we were using made the list. And as I was writing this, I just went back and checked the list and Primitive Naturals doesn’t make the cut either. 🙁 According to my calculations, the calcium content is 1.5:1 with phosphorus, so it’s definitely at the higher end of acceptable for large breed puppies. I can’t believe I goofed that – but I was reading so many different things the day I decided on Earthborn Holistics. Grrrrr….. I can’t waste the expensive bag I just bought, so we’ll finish it and then switch. Earthborn makes a Puppy Vantage, but it includes grains and a few more controversial ingredients. Oh the decisions. :/
Earthborn Coastal Catch and Meadow Feast made the list. You could seal up the bag and hang on to it to feed when she’s older. After around 10 month old they are supposed to be able to regulate their calcium uptake.PitloveMember
Just something I wanted to point out to you. If your dog at 5 months old weighed 70 pounds she would be highly overweight or have grown way too fast and would probably have a DOD. Use the Purina Body Condition Score to determine ideal weight visually. You can find it on google. If you can feel a thin layer of fat over her ribs and from an above view she has a waist line she is at a good weight.
Thank you so much for your help! I’ve decided to start tracking her weight weekly on the calendar and visually determine health on the 9-point scale weekly as well, so hopefully we’ll find a good groove.
I ended up buying the Coastal Catch variety and setting the Primitive Naturals variety aside. On their website, Earthborn Holistics states that PN is not suitable for growth of large breed puppies but they haven’t placed that statement on the bag; that’s disappointing. I know I read the back of the bag in the store and would have appreciated that statement.
For anyone who may read this later, I ended up using this calculator which is based on research from Ohio State University. It calculates number of calories needed based on life stage of the dog. Then I took that daily caloric need value and divided by the number of calories in a cup of her food….which gave me a number of cups to feed per day. I’m going to start there because it makes the most sense to me. But every week we will re-evaluate her weight and visual condition and adjust as needed. That link is:
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