Would love to be able to just type in a breed name on this website and find specific brands of food recommended for that breed. I “think” each breed may have specific problems that are common to, and maybe even unique to that breed. Some of the conditions might be: hypothyroidism, hypoglycemia, cancer, eye issues, ear infections, epilepsy, bloat, back problems, kidney problems, heart problems, etc. Or, if not specific brands, then perhaps a description of what would be good….like “higher in this, lower in that, stay away from this”, etc. I am trying to be proactive and figure it out for myself, but there is so much confusing information out there. I do realize this might not be possible because it would be a lot of work, and there are so many mixed breeds, but thought I would just throw the idea out there. But, perhaps there is not so much difference in ingredients in the higher quality brands that this would even be necessary? Thank you!
I don’t think there is really a need for a “breed specific” food as such. I can understand a food for a small or large breed or for puppy food. For example, a pup needs something easier to chew with it’s baby teeth and needs more nutrition in a small amount of food since he has a small tummy. Same for small dogs. Large breed puppies need to grow slowly, so their food needs to be formulated a bit differently. Other than that I think the breed specific foods are just kind of a marketing tool for the dog food companies. Feed a high quality food and maybe a supplement or 2 if you have concerns about a particular problem. I think that would be fine unless you had a dog with allergies or intolerances to certain things.
Hi Linda K- Like Jake’s mom said, most of the breed specific foods out there like Royal Canin’s breed specfic lines are a marketing tool. You pay a premium price for a low quality food full of corn and by-products. It is true that some breeds have disorders that genetically they are prone to that you can combat through diet. Example is large breed puppies needing proper calcium levels between 8 weeks and 8 mos. That being said, most large breed puppy foods are actually NOT formulaed with those proper calcium levels and typically have far TOO much calcium. However when you compare most brands that make breed specific formulas there is nothing breed specific or species appropriate about them at all.
A few questions for you to help you better. What breed of dog do you have? Is the dog healthy as far as you know with no known medical conditions? Does the dog have any known allergies to grains, certain protein sources, anything like that? What genetic disorders does the breed have that you would like to take action against to help lower his/her odds of getting?
Ill be happy to try to help when you write back!
All dogs are different. My pbgv is prone to yeast ear infections. None of his littermates are and I know owners of many other peeb owners; only a couple have this.
IMO, breed specific is a gimmick.
Hi Jake’s Mom, Pitlove and InkedMarie. Thanks for your responses.
Pitlove, thanks so much for your follow-up questions. I have a Rotweiller who is 3.5 yrs old. I am very upset with myself for feeding him Purina Puppy Chow until he was a year old and feel I did not given him the best chance in his formative year to be as healthy as he could be over the course of his lifetime. But he seems to be healthy so far with just a few normal problems….allergies, gas, etc.
The things I am concerned about are bloat (one of the girls from his litter died from it), hip dysplasia, which I know is common to many large breeds, and in particular, I am concerned about cancer. I recently researched brands to change him off of Science Diet, which I moved him to after Purina, but it turns out that Science Diet is not very good either. I read some reviews about Taste of the Wild High Prairie Formula which gets 5 stars from DogFoodAdvisor. I also read some reviews for this brand and within the first 5 or 6, two of the people were Rotweiller owners and they both said it was excellent. One said that his Rotweillers usually die fairly early due to cancer, but this food has kept his new ones healthy. It really scared me because I did not realize that Rotties were genetically predisposed to certain types of cancer. So I got it immediately…..but I wanted to see if there might be anything even better since I apparently have not given him the benefits of great nourishment up to this point. I want to make up for lost time, and I will spare no expense (even though I am retired). So far, he seems to be doing well on the new food but has loose stools. I am doing it very gradually. I am also giving him a supplement for hips and joints that was recommended by his vet.
So, I guess in a nutshell, I wrote because I wanted to be sure I am doing all I can for him and have made a good choice this time.
Sorry this is so long. Thanks!
I personally think a grainfree food would be a good choice. You have a large breed dog that will probably get some arthritis in coming years; grains can be inflammatory. There are a couple good foods that are low grain: Nature’s Logic only has millet and Farmina low grain is obviously low in grains.
Some foods I like are Farmina, Annamaet, Dr Tim’s, Natures Logic….
I’ve read that people think a raw diet is best for cancer dogs; I do feed raw but not because of that.
Linda- Rotties! i love them. we also have a Rottweiler along with our Pitbull a chocolate lab and an English springer spaniel. Sam, our Rottweiler (technically he is my boyfriends parents dog, so I dont get to control what he eats unfortunetly but i still think of him as my dog since I give him the most attention as hes the outside dog) is 2 probably almost 3 years old now. The bf’s parents have had all the dogs on Purina ONE lamb and rice since forever. The family dog has always been Rottweilers and unfortunely all but maybe one passed away at around 8 years old. Cancer, e-coli poisoning, you name it its happened to our Rottweilers. If it were up to me and I got to choose his food I would feed him the way I feed my Pitbull who is also prone to the problems that large breed dogs have as he is 66lbs at a year old. I do what is called a rotational diet with my dog. I certainly have him on Orijen’s Adult Dog and after that bag is through i’ve got EVO lined up next for him to try. I also feed him wet food. Now that your Rottie is far past the point where you have to worry about the calcium levels not being too high or too low to prevent rapid growth thus causing many different skeletal related disorders, you can kinda give him a nice variety of foods. If you are on a budget as someone who is retired and need to stick with kibbles, definitely go for the 5 star rated ones. I know a lot of people on here have issues with Taste of the Wild. I BELIEVE its manufacture by Diamond which has a long recall history and a terrible reputation. You want to make sure that the kibble is as species appropriate as you can get if you, like myself, can’t feed a raw diet, which would be the healthiest way for any dog to eat. Species appropriate for ANY dog of any breed being high in animal protein, at least 30% or more, moderate in fats, and low in carbs. Foods that I like and have and will use in my rotation for my pitbull are Orijen (all of them), Wellness CORE, Nature’s Variety, Merrick (GF only), EVO, Grandma Mae’s GF. I’m still working on my list but that is what I have so far.
As for raw, if it is something you are interested in, PLEASE make sure you do A LOT of research before feeding raw because it is possible to make your dog very unhealthy by not feeding a COMPLETE and BALANCED raw diet.
Also to help with the transitions to the food, you can add probiotics to their diet, like canned pumpkin and kefir. I also use a supplement thats premade in a power form made by a very great company called The Honest Kitchen. They use human grade ingredients and make their food in a human grade factory. Its called Perfect Form. Probiotics help build healthy flora(bacteria) in your dogs gut to make transitioning to a new food pain free for you and your dog. Just like with humans dogs should be able to eat a different food or protein every meal if not every couple months without digestive upset. Dogs whos stomachs are already sick and lacking those bacteria that make their gut strong due to being fed the same food day in and day out are the ones who get loose stool and vomitting when you switch their food. Instantly the owner blames the food and switches them back and never switches the food again under the claim that their dog has whats commonly called a “sensitive stomach”.
The joint supplements are a great idea. Glucosamine is a great supplement for joint and hip problems. Cancer, I feel, and I think others do too can have a lot to do with a poor diet. A lot of poor grade dogs foods do contain ingredients that are carcinogenic even for humans and without variety in their diet they are being fed those toxins for years and eventually is catches up with them. The rotational diet helps prevent that and the build up of allergies as well. If your Rottie is already allergic to a protein source like chicken, you are going to want to be very careful with the food you choose as many have chicken meal or chicken fat hidden in the list of ingredients. Its all about reading ingredients but more importantly HOW to read the ingredients and the GA, which is why this website is so helpful. But like many here including Dr. Mike will tell you, its a jumping off point. Once you find a good food, you want to look further into the company that makes it, the co-packers, the recall history etc and make sure that you’re not being fooled into thinking its a good food based on the ingredients. Also knowing where the company sources from is important, what with all the problems we have been having with China lately. Avoid China. Thailand on the other hand is ok.
I really hope that I’ve helped a little and that others will contribute or correct me if I’m wrong about any of my points. I love Rotties so I’m glad to be able to give you some direction with his health!
Hi Pitlove. You have provided a ton of information and have helped immensely.
I have often thought about a rotational diet and will be more confident in giving that a try with the addition of the pumpkin and probiotic. Do you use canned pumpkin, and just give them a little before each meal? I will try some of the brands suggested by you and by lnkedMarie and see how it goes. I can tell you both have done a lot of research.
ya i just get a can of 100% pure pumpkin at walmart and give him one or two spoon fulls and that is usually enough. I mainly have done it when hes had diaherra and its fixed it within a day. Now I plan to keep up with doing it more so that i can strengthen his stomach to be able to switch foods without blending them. the canned pumpkin is such a cheap great way to get probiotics into their diet and so is the keifer.
Great. Thanks again so much for all of the info Pitlove. It was really kind of you to take so much time to help.
its no problem. everyone here is really nice and helpful and has helped me a ton so its nice to be able to share the information ive learned with people willing to listen
- This reply was modified 4 years, 5 months ago by Pitlove.
Just a quick clarification, pumpkin is a great source of soluable fiber. It doesn’t contain any probiotics that I’m aware of. It helps a lot with diarrhea and loose stools. It tends to slow down GI transit times. It has other health benefits as well.
Okay, thanks crazy4cats.
Can anyone tell me what’s a good dog food to be feeding a 3 month old Great Dane? We have her on pedigree because the people we bought her from has her on it! I’ve read that some people will say yes feed it to her and others will say no! Opinions please
My boyfriends brother has fed Precise Holistic complete large/giant breed formula for their great dane and he is in perfect health, fantastic coat, no skeletal problems what-so-ever. I ordered a bag yesterday for my pitbull. He’s an adult but i think its a very good quality food. it is recommended by TheGreatDaneLady.com as well.
I would absolutely switch from Pedigree. It is not a quality food at all and does not met the strict requirements for large/giant breed puppies.
- This reply was modified 4 years, 4 months ago by Pitlove.
Please go to the Diet & Health issues forum here. On top is a stickie for “Large Breed Puppy Food” or something along that line. That is the thread you need to read. Start from the last page and work back, looking for the list of approved foods for larg breed puppies and no, Pedigree will NOT be on the list.
Hi Traci G-
Large breed puppies have special requirements due mostly to potential joint issues from growing too fast, being too chubby and/or too much/little calcium in their diets. Here is a link that will help you to choose a more healthy food for your pup: https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/best-dog-foods/best-large-breed-puppy-food/
Please try to find a 3,4 or 5 star that fits these guidelines. I wouldn’t feed Pedigree, in my opinion, it has some very questionable ingredients.
Here is a list from Oct. of 2013 that lists foods that are appropriate for large breed pups at that time. I’d make sure they still fit the guidelines before you decide to feed. This is not necessarily a complete list. There may be other brands and recipes at this time that are appropriate: https://docs.google.com/a/dogfoodadvisor.com/file/d/0BwApI_dhlbnFTXhUdi1KazFzSUk/edit?usp=sharing.
There are several articles in the library on the review side of this site that may be very interesting to you on how the food is rated and how to read a food label. I know I never read a guaranteed analysis or ingredient label before coming to this site.
I bet your puppy is adorable. Great Danes make great pets! My co-worker has one and shows me pictures of her trying to sit on her lap! She doesn’t realize how big she is!!
Best of luck to you! Write back if you have anymore questions.
I agree that I don’t think there is one food specific to a breed as every dog’s health needs are different regardless of breed. As I read more posts on this site I see more and more recommendations for foods that have gone through a number of recalls though which causes me a lot of concern. I recently came across what seems to be at least a somewhat well thought out and thoroughly if not scientifically lab tested review of a large number of commercially available foods that started with a list of 2,219 and ended with a final list of 121. It contained a lot of what seemed like good information to me that would at least allow people to research the individual foods and their content for themselves. It gets you to good quality foods at least and eliminates the companies with recall issues with foods that are making dogs sick. I’ve seen many of them listed on this site but that haven’t been called out as having had food recalls. Just an FYI. Here is the link http://www.reviews.com/dog-food/#home
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