Large and Giant Breed Puppy Nutrition

Dog Food Advisor Forums Diet and Health Large and Giant Breed Puppy Nutrition

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  • #16736 Report Abuse

    theBCnut
    Member

    Wallyworld
    Swanson’s is good. Trippett has a calcium/phosphorus ratio of 1:1 so will actually help keep your calcium where you want it to be.

    Saireah
    I’m glad to hear everyone is doing so well. Grains are definitely a problem for some dogs, but they are definitely not a problem for others. You will know if it’s working or not for your dogs.

    #16737 Report Abuse

    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    Hi wallyworld –

    If you’re referring to Swanson’s Soil-Based Organisms probiotic supplement, there is such a small amount of the trace nutrient (225 mg.) that I wouldn’t be concerned – there’s maybe 2 – 3 mg. of each of the trace nutrients. If you’re referring to Dr. STephen Langer’s Ultimate 15 Strain Probiotic with FOS – that contains even less (only 12.5 mg.) which would amount to almost nothing. If you want more detail on the trace nutrient component it’s sold as a separate supplement called “ConcenTrace” – it’s naturally derived from sea water and contains minerals such as lithium, boron, sulfate, etc. (all in very trace amounts).

    #16738 Report Abuse

    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    Hi Swissy Mix –

    All dogs are different so no one can really say how much your pup should eat. Feed whatever amount keeps him in optimal body condition – lean, with a visible stomach tuck, ribs easily felt but not protruding.

    #16739 Report Abuse

    theBCnut
    Member

    Hi Swissy Mix

    Ignore your husband or slap his hand away from the food and dog treats, whichever applies. It is vital to keep giant breeds on the light side while they are still growing. You absolutely do not want him growing fast or having big growth spurts. I wish I could tell you a particular number of calories, but it varies breed to breed and dog to dog. Feed him enough that he is keeping muscle tone on the backs of his thighs, but so that he stays thin, thin enough that you can easily feel his ribs with your finger tips, until he is two years old.

    #16740 Report Abuse

    wallyworld
    Member

    Thanks HDM and Pattyvaughn!

    Saireah,
    I am currently feeding Fromms gold large breed puppy. Love the company and quality. My pup has been having some gastro issues though and I am probably going to switch brands (unfortunately).

    #16742 Report Abuse

    InkedMarie
    Member

    I use the Swansons probiotic. Nice product, nice price. I also use their joint supplement, thanks to HDM

    #16786 Report Abuse

    wallyworld
    Member

    Sorry for all the questions…
    I just bought the Swanson’s Ultra Soil Based Organisms. Yay! So excited. I just don’t know the correct dose to give to my puppy. The human suggested dose is 1 capsule per day. My puppy is 25 lb. 13 weeks old… On the bigger side. I think I’ll be able to break the capsules open and feed half doses if necessary.
    My second question is about treats. We will be starting puppy classes soon and he will be getting lots of treats. We’ve been using Zukes but not sure how he does on them with all of his stomach issues lately. Is there a treat that can be fed often for training but don’t have to worry about giving too much, adding too many nutrients to overall diet etc.?
    Thanks for all of the advice. It is a blessing to have somewhere to turn for questions like these.

    #16788 Report Abuse

    theBCnut
    Member

    I would give a half dose daily or a full dose every other day.

    And for training, I bake chicken breasts and chop them up into bite size pieces and freeze in ziplock bags. You can bake them just like you would for people minus the spices or you can put them on low heat and bake longer so they are dryer or even until they are completely dry. Mine like them best cooked the people way, so I just ignore the mess my fingers end up with and bring wipes for when we’re done. You can do this with any low fat meat.

    #16800 Report Abuse

    pugmomsandy
    Participant

    Wallyworld,

    Vital Essentials has freeze dried nibblets. They are small from pea to macadamia nut size. And they would count as food so no wasted calories on snacks.

    #17573 Report Abuse

    Magnus Campbell
    Participant

    New to the forum.

    Just got a 3 and half month old german shepherd/rotti mix from a local animal rescue.

    I’ve been reading this forum the past few days trying to find the best food to buy our little guy (trying out some Wellness Core Puppy and Avoderm Rotating Menu – Trout and Peas), but for the past two days he won’t eat any kibble.

    I also got him a few cans to top of the kibble and he will eat that. It looks like he doesn’t chew his kibble when eats it and then he ends up throwing it up (I assume because its upsetting his digestive system). He seems totally normal and not sick at all, just won’t eat the kibble and when he does he doesn’t chew and usually yacks later.

    So, since he eats the wet and has no problem with it, what would be the best wet food to give him while we slowly ween him onto kibble again?

    I want a wet food that would meet Hound Dog Mom’s recommendations for the dry food (i.e. a good calcium/phosphorus ratio). He’s going to be a big boy, so I want to make sure he’s getting what he needs to avoid joint/growing issues.

    Thanks!!!

    Nick

    #17575 Report Abuse

    theBCnut
    Member

    I can’t advise you on a canned food, but consider soaking the kibble so that you can mash it with a fork or throwing it in a blender. That way his digestive enzymes can get to more surfaces to work on it. And for a few weeks, you might want to get a digestive supplement from the healthfood store, you want one that has enzymes and probiotics. Some dogs just need the extra help when their system is upset, some dogs need it for life. If it turns out yours needs it longer, order from Swansons, they have good ones at a good price.

    #17658 Report Abuse

    mrsGHT
    Member

    Can you explain how you arrive at the number of calcium grams per 1000 kcal? Also, what is your opinion of Taste of the Pacific Stream Puppy food for a 4 month old Bouvier des Flandres? Somewhere (not on this forum) I read it was good for large breed puppies, but can’t find that info now. Thank you

    #17659 Report Abuse

    mrsGHT
    Member

    Sorry – I meant to say “Taste of the Wild” Pacific Stream Puppy food.

    #17661 Report Abuse

    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    Hi mrsGHT –

    To calculate grams of calcium per 1,000 kcal. do the following:

    1) Calculate grams of calcium per kilogram – Multiply the actual percent calcium by 1,000 grams (it’s very important that you obtain the actual level of calcium from the company, don’t use the minimum stated on the bag as foods often contain much more than the stated minimum).

    2) Divide grams of calcium per kilogram by calories per kilogram (calories per kilogram can generally be found on the product packaging or website).

    3) Multiply the grams of calcium per calorie (obtained in step 2) by 1,000 calories.

    For example, if a food states that the actual level of calcium is 1.2% and there are 3,500 calories per kilogram: 1,000 grams X 0.012 = 12 grams of calcium per kilogram. 12 grams of calcium per kilogram/3,500 calories per kilogram = 0.00343 grams of calcium per calorie. 0.00343 grams of calcium per calorie X 1,000 calories = 3.43 grams of calcium per 1,000 calories.

    I evaluated the Taste of the Wild Formulas when I created the list and none had appropriate calcium levels for large or giant breed growth.

    #17717 Report Abuse

    theBCnut
    Member

    Spambot

    #17725 Report Abuse

    lovemylab
    Participant

    Thank you HDM for this great list of foods. I’ve been feeding my 6 month old lab earthborn costal catch, which he did really well on. We just started transitioning to Natures variety with a merrick or wellness core can for a topper. Was just wondering how long would I have to watch out for calcium levels in his food?

    #17727 Report Abuse

    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    I would say until he’s at least 8 months old, pups should be through their most rapid phase of growth and better able to regular calcium absorption by this time.

    #17840 Report Abuse

    Dustin-R
    Participant

    Hello All,
    I just found this site. It has a great wealth if information. I still am wondering about food for my 12 week Rottweiler. The breeder was feeding Blue Buffalo Wilderness Puppy , and I have continued feeding this since I picked him up at 8 weeks. I was wondering what would be recommended as a better food for him? It is stated as 36% protein, 16% fat, 6% max crude fiber, 10% moisture max, 1% calcium max , .9% phosphorus, .1% DHA, .9% omega 3 fatty acids. 3% omega 6 fatty acids. I have a TSC, PETCO, and Petsmart that are local. I would prefer local as to online. I would buy online if that was my only means to get what I needed for Him. I would also like to know what would be recommended when he is older.
    Thanks
    Dustin R

    Ingredients:
    Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Tapioca Starch,Peas,Tomato Pomace (source of Lycopene),Dried Egg, Natural Chicken Flavor, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid), Fish Oil (source of DHA-Docosahexaenoic Acid), Potatoes, Flaxseed (source of Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids),Alfalfa Meal, Potato Starch, Whole Carrots,Whole Sweet Potatoes, Blueberries, Cranberries, Barley Grass,Dried Parsley,Dried Kelp,Taurine,Yucca Schidigera Extract,L-Carnitine, L-Lysine,Turmeric,Oil of Rosemary, Beta Carotene,Vitamin A Supplement,Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1),Riboflavin (Vitamin B2),Niacin (Vitamin B3),d-Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6),Biotin (Vitamin B7),Folic Acid (Vitamin B9),Vitamin B12 Supplement,Calcium Ascorbate (source of Vitamin C),Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement,Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate,Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate,Choline Chloride,Sodium Selenite,Calcium Iodate,Salt,Caramel,Potassium Chloride,Dried Yeast (source of Saccharomyces cerevisiae), Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product,Dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation product,Dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product

    #17846 Report Abuse

    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    Hi Dustin –

    Blue Wilderness isn’t a bad food. If I recall correctly however, someone posted that Blue refused to disclose the maximum level of calcium in their puppy foods so I wouldn’t recommend feeding any of their formulas to a large or giant breed puppy.

    Here’s a list of 4 and 5 star grain-free foods with appropriate calcium levels for large breed growth. Pick a few that are available to you and rotate, mix in canned foods and fresh foods when possible.

    https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BwApI_dhlbnFQXNYZW01VzRVV00/edit

    #17847 Report Abuse

    Dustin-R
    Participant

    Thank you Hound Dog Mom.

    #17893 Report Abuse

    Dustin-R
    Participant

    I just ordered some Wellness Core Puppy for Zane being it was on the list and Wilderness puppy was not. They are priced fairly close. I did email Blue to ask, and their reply did not answer my question on the maximum calcium.
    Thank You Hound Dog Mom.

    #18215 Report Abuse

    wallyworld
    Member

    After switching to Zignature dog food I thought I’d found the end to my dogs digestion problems. No more issues except for the frequent larger poops which I assume is credited t the higher fiber content. I then fed my doodle treats and we realized he is probably intolerant to potatoes, he then had another diarrhea and throw up episode. He was also having urinary issues. So off to the vet we went. Vet said the tests came back showing WAY too much protein in his diet. She said I was doing more harm than good. She said high calories and protein will cause issues. And denoted my argument about calcium levels. I debated with her back and forth on food and nutrition issues. She said I could rely on what I read online or go by a vet’s advice. Our vet has always been kind and honest about everything else. But she stood by Science Diet. She said she had visited many pet food manufacturers. She admitted the ingredients aren’t considered the best, but their research was top notch. She also has raised all 4 Mastiffs on Science Diet large breed puppy without issues. We debated for quite awhile on this. There are no other vets in my area that DON’T push SD so I’m not sure what my options are. If I go against the vets advice than any problems will be on me. I don’t know what to do. I can’t fight with my vet, I want my pup to be well taken care of. Any advice on how to deal with this situation? How do you tell the trained professional you don’t want to do what they say? Especially when the other vets you can go to would say the same? Ahhhhh help!

    #18218 Report Abuse

    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    Hi wallyworld –

    It sounds like you’re in a very tough situation, sorry to hear this. 🙁

    I’ve been in a similar situation with my vet. She knows next to nothing and is a Science Diet/Purina pusher, however my family has brought animals to her for nearly 20 years and she’s never steered us wrong in any non-nutritional area. You just need to stick to your guns and go in armed with information from veterinarians and nutritionists that are actually knowledgeable out nutrition. Let her know you’ve done your research and that you respect her opinion but you don’t appreciate her pushing low quality foods on you. The majority of vets typically don’t know a whole lot about nutrition. I’m not saying that no vets are knowledgeable about nutrition, however a vet trying to tell you what you should feed your dog would be the equivalent of your general practitioner trying to give you specialized nutritional advice. Your general practitioner may know a few things about nutrition but if you really need advice you you go to a nutritionist or dietician. Bring in copies of the articles I’ve linked to – Jennifer Larsen wrote one of the articles and she is a diplomat of the American College of Veterinary Nutrition (I highly doubt your vet has any such qualifications to counter the claim of a veterinary nutritionist). It may not change anything and ultimately you have to do what you’re comfortable with and what you think is in the best interest of your dog. If you don’t believe Science Diet is in your dog’s best interest and you don’t feel comfortable feeding it let your vet know. If you’d rather follow your vet’s advice, then by all means feed Science Diet. Another option would be seeking out a nutritional consultant online – some will give phone consultations and customized menus.

    Also – were the issues due to the treats or to the food?

    #18242 Report Abuse

    InkedMarie
    Member

    Good post HDM. Thats what I do. I go in armed with my information and pretty much ignore anything about nutrition. A couple prior vets we had would push what they sold; I never bought it. One recommended a Purina vet diet, dental one, after dentals. When I asked what was about the food that was so good for teeth, she had no answer.

    #18517 Report Abuse

    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    Dr. Becker posted a new article on large and giant breed puppy nutrition today:

    http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2013/05/31/large-dog-feeding-mistakes.aspx

    #18539 Report Abuse

    harpersmom
    Participant

    WW, i’m NOT an expert, but a friend had a St. Bernard with diet /digestion…. I told her about Probiotics & Enzymes and it helped a TON. Along with a few other changes, the dog is VERY healthy , now. I’m NOT a science diet fan, BTB. I think you can do better. I’m sure there’s a brand that meets your vet’s recommended nutrient ratios that is higher Quality. I like Wellness kibble a LOT, but i supplement it – meaning, i get the bagged kibble to make sure she gets all her vit/mins and basics, but not a huge amount. I give her homemade proteins( chicken, red meats, sometimes canned salmon)) and some whole grains/veg/fruits/cultured dairy, rotating the type of each as i go. Not a restrictive diet, fun to feed her, and she loves it. I don’t mix all the ingredients together, she chooses to eat raw egg first, then yoghurt, then meats ….

    My friend fed a chicken/grain diet for a week with the probiotics and enzymes. She then added one ingredient a week, and stopped if the dog reacted poorly. This way, she knew just what causing the trouble… the probiotics/enzymes should be full spectrum…. Good luck…

    #18650 Report Abuse

    Saireah
    Member

    I was compelled to post in this thread again after I read Hound Dog Mom’s post on the grain-free Four Star Nutritionals page by Fromm: “I think Fromm is a good company but their food is way overpriced for what it is. A 26 lb. bag of the grain free is (depending on the variety) $65 – $70 at my feed store. No way would I pay $65 – $70 for 26 lbs.of food that only has 28% – 30% protein. IMO – there are much better options where you can actually get some meat for your money.”

    Can you clarify what other options you personally find suitable? I value your opinion from this thread and have been considering switching my puppy/adult to Fromm’s 4 Star Nutritionals — but am dismayed by the downgraded rating save the salmon recipe which was due to was “due to a change in our minimum protein requirements to qualify for the 5-star category.” (Thanks Dr. Mike!)

    Updated stats: I have one 8 month old lab/mastiff mix (64 pounds) and a 2 year old lab/viszla mix (43 pounds). Currently, they are on Fromm’s Large Breed Puppy Gold and Large Breed Adult Gold. I’d love to switch them to something that’s:

    * Grain-free
    * Suitable for all life stages
    * Has not had recalls

    I’ve been intrigued by BOGO Bowl as it’s an Iowa company, but it’s simply too much money despite it being for a wonderful cause. What I absolutely loved about the idea of Fromm’s grain-free line is that there’s tons of flavors to choose from and I could mix it up a bit, but the price tag is just not wonderful for a bag of food that’s less than 30lbs when you have TWO big dogs.

    I was considering Dr. Tim’s (grain-free Kinesis), but I noticed that they’re not on your list likely due to the calcium (1.51%)? I’d love to find something that’s a 30lb+ bag of food for $50 – $55. I as intrigued by Dr. Tim’s because both the grain inclusive and grain-free are 5 stars on DFA. Now that he’s passed 8 months, do you think I could switch him to Dr. Tim’s?

    Would you mind sharing what you personally feed?

    Also, as I’ve recently subscribed to Pawalla, they include wet foods in their boxes. Do you suggest adding wet foods to add some variety as a topping to dry every once in a while?

    Thanks for your suggestions! 🙂

    #18654 Report Abuse

    InkedMarie
    Member

    I’m not HDM but I will suggest a few choices that fit your criteria: Dr Tim’s, Brothers Complete, Annamaet are the first that come to mind. Mind you, I know nothing about large breed puppies or calcium but those foods have had no recalls, they all have grain free and I believe all are all life stages. Dr Tim’s will be the cheapest of those three and do keep in mind, you get what you pay for. Not all of the time but when you have a company that has had no recalls and has a good amount of meat in it, that’s going to cost you.
    If you have two big dogs and have to keep at a lower priced food, you may not get the higher quality.

    #18656 Report Abuse

    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    Hi saireah –

    Now that your pup is 8 months old I think it would be safe to be a bit more lenient on calcium levels – dogs can usually start regulating calcium absorption around this age. I think Dr. Tim’s would be a great choice – it’s a very high quality food and made by a reputable company. I have also found Dr. Tim’s to have excellent customer service. Although, I feel I should add that I personally feel “recall history” isn’t a very helpful metric when trying to determine the quality of a food or the risk of a future recall. Some of the most reputable companies in the industry (i.e. The Honest Kitchen) have had recalls, often times these recalls are precautionary. On the other hand, just because a company has never had a recall doesn’t mean they can’t have one tomorrow and some companies downplay and/or ignore issues with their foods just to avoid having a recall or remove products from shelves using terms such as “withdrawal” rather than recall (examples: the Chinese chicken jerky issue – there was obviously something wrong with these products however companies avoided recalling the products in spite of numerous deaths and illnesses, the current issues with Blue Buffalo and Nutro foods that are being ignored by the companies and Great Life’s product “withholding”). You need to know the company and know whether they can be trusted – if they’ve had a recall find out what the recall was for, whether it was precautionary (proactive) or whether the company waited until animals got sick before they recalled the product and whether or not the company is a repeat offender (i.e. Diamond – numerous recalls). With that said, some other “recall free” brands I’d feel comfortable recommending in addition to Dr. Tim’s are: Earthborn, Annamaet (as Marie suggested), Victor, Nature’s Logic, Artemis and NutriSource.

    #18663 Report Abuse

    Saireah
    Member

    Thank you SO much, HDM and Marie.

    I actually contacted Dr. Tim’s last night through e-mail and already have a response. We briefly talked around Christmas, too. I agree — fantastic (and, more importantly, personable) customer service. What appeals to me the most is the price, too. He mentioned that Kinesis Grain Free would be fine for both of my dogs, as well. He’s sending me a 5lb sample of the grain-free at half price (which was very kind of him to offer to cut the price in half).

    Earthborn grain-free is really intriguing, too! A better price than Fromm’s and it looks like there’s different grain-free flavors that I could switch between every other bag to spice up their meal a bit. Side-note: I LOVE that Earthborn plants a tree if you send in the UPC.

    EARTHBORN GRAIN-FREE:
    Primitive Naturals: 38% protein / Calcium: not listed on GA on official site? I sent them an e-mail.
    Great Plains: 34% protein / Calcium: 1.50%
    Coastal Catch: 32% protein / Calcium: 1.30%
    Meadow Feast: 26% protein / Calcium: 1.20%
    * Would likely not feed Meadow Feast due to protein level and rotate between Primitive Naturals, Great Plains, and Coastal Catch.

    DR. TIM’S KINESIS GRAIN-FREE:
    32% protein / Calcium: 1.51%
    * If I were to feed Dr. Tim’s, I’d probably feel better about use wet food every now and again from my Pawalla box on top of it to add a bit of extra flavors whereas, with Earthborn, they’d be getting a different flavor rotation to keep things interesting.

    Thanks for putting my mind at ease. You’re right about recalls, too — a primary factor is whether or not they were precautionary or if they sat on it until they had reports of dogs being ill. Big difference.

    I’m so happy I posted here. The cost per feeding for us makes these two brands at the top of the list for me. My babies are worth all the money in the world to me, but it’s nice to use part of that money to pamper them with my subscription boxes and still feed a great quality food at a reasonable price. I like that brands such as these recognize that $65+ for a bag of food that’s less than 30lb is just… unreasonable for people with multiple pets in the household. I’d certainly be OK with that if I just had one dog… and not a dog that’s practically a horse. 😉

    #18676 Report Abuse

    Saireah
    Member

    Calcium for Primitive Natural is 1.5% per Earthborn representative.

    I have samples coming from Dr. Tim’s (Kinesis grain-free) and from Earthborn (their grain-free line). Really excited to see which my dog’s prefer.

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 5 months ago by  Saireah.
    #18826 Report Abuse

    hmurray
    Participant

    HDM – What are your thoughts on Eagle Pack’s Large/Giant breed dry puppy food? Are the calcium and phosphorus levels appropriate for an english mastiff puppy or any other giant breed?

    #18837 Report Abuse

    Anonymous

    Wow, lots of info to sort through here. After some debate I had decided on the Wellness Core Puppy which is on the list floating around here. But when I was looking at the Wellness website I noticed the Super 5 Mix Large Breed Puppy which lists the calcium differently than the Core – not less than 1% as opposed to not more than 1.5%. Does anyone know the actual calcium level for their Large Breed Puppy? It seems odd to me that they would list the levels this way for a food specifically for large breed puppies if they really were on board with the whole controlled calcium?

    #18863 Report Abuse

    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    Call them. That’s how I got the actual calcium level for the CORE formula.

    #19361 Report Abuse

    Sully’sMom
    Member

    Any thoughts on Taste of the Wild? All grain-free and DFA rates 4 and 5 star. Also recommended to me by a vet. I was surprised to not find it on your list.

    #19395 Report Abuse

    hmurray
    Participant

    Hound Dog Mom – What are your thoughts on Eagle Pack’s Large/Giant breed dry puppy food
    for an english mastiff puppy or any other giant breed?

    #19443 Report Abuse

    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    Hi hmurray – The calcium levels are much too high in Eagle Pack Large/Giant Breed Puppy formula dry dog food for me to feel comfortable recommending it. Based on their stated minimum the calcium level is 4.3 grams per 1,000 kcal. and the actual level is likely a bit higher than that. You should be looking for a food with no more than 3.5 grams of calcium per 1,000 kcal. In the past I have used the Power Adult formula for my adult dog and I thought it was a great quality food for the price, I still frequently recommend Eagle Pack. I just wouldn’t feed it to a large or giant breed puppy.

    #19445 Report Abuse

    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    Hi arlenem –

    Based on the actual calcium levels TOTW provided me with, all of the formulas were too high in calcium for a large or giant breed puppy.

    #19452 Report Abuse

    Sully’sMom
    Member

    Hi again, the more I read the more I’m confused! I went to the TOTW web site and just to use one variety as an example the Southwest Canyon Canine Formula says the calcium is “1.9%, as fed”

    Isn’t that the number to look for? Or is it something else? I’m looking to transition my Large Breed lab puppy to a grain free adult food. Currently, he’s on Fromm, which I know is excellent, but their grain-free is much more expensive that either TOTW or Merrick.

    #19453 Report Abuse

    Sully’sMom
    Member

    Still me – when I’m looking at food am I supposed to look at BOTH calcium g per 1,000 kcal AND protein ?

    #19460 Report Abuse

    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    You don’t need to consider protein – protein has no effect on developmental orthopedic disease. What you want to look at is calcium per 1,000 kcal. You can use calcium percentages as a guideline but they aren’t super accurate because they don’t account for differences in caloric density – for example if Brand X is 1.3% calcium and contains 500 kcal. per cup and Brand Y is 1.3% calcium as well but contains only 350 kcal. per cup your dog will be consuming much more calcium eating brand Y to fulfill it’s energy needs than it would be eating on brand X. 1.9% calcium is very high – you can rule out a food this high in calcium without even calculating the calcium on a kcal. basis. Generally foods with over 1.2% calcium are going to be too high although I’ve seen a few very calorie-dense foods in the 1.3%-1.4% range that are okay. To calculate grams of calcium per 1,000 kcal. you would multiply 1,000 grams by the percent calcium to obtain grams of calcium per kilogram. You would then divide grams of calcium per kilogram by calories per kilogram to obtain grams of calcium per calorie. You then multiply grams of calcium per calorie by 1,000 to obtain grams of calcium per 1,000 calories – aim for no more than 3.5 g.

    I’ll use TOTW’s Southwest Canyon as an example:

    1.9% calcium as fed/3,600 kcal./kg.

    (1,000 g.)(0.019) = 19 grams calcium per kg.
    (19 g. calcium/kg.)/(3,600 kcal./kg.) = 0.00528 g. calcium per kcal.
    (0.00528 g. calcium per kcal.)(1,000 kcal.) = 5.28 g. calcium per 1,000 kcal.

    This food has over 1 1/2 times as much calcium as a large/giant breed puppy should have.

    #19463 Report Abuse

    Sully’sMom
    Member

    Wow, that’s a lot to digest (no pun intended). Do you thoughts/info on Merrick Grain Free foods? I know they’re an excellent company, but I don’t know about their numbers…

    #19472 Report Abuse

    Anonymous

    Hi HDM,
    I am new to the site (been reading through everything over the past few days) and had a couple of questions if you don’t mind. I have a 15 week old golden retriever/australian shepherd mix puppy who was 20 lbs as of Monday 6/15. I have been treating her as a large breed dog because I think she will be pretty close to 60 lbs. I too did not know any better and was feeding her Science Diet for Large Breed Puppies based on vet’s recommendation. After reading some things, I am in the process of switching her over to Innova for LBP. I did the math that you mentioned above and the Ca is 2.46. But, I didn’t see it on your list (I just found it today), and wanted to know what you thought of Innova. If you don’t think Innova will be a good choice for her, out of the ones on your list, what do you think may be best? She seems fine on both food shes had so far. She had a little bit of runny stool when I first introduced Innova, but is back to normal now. Thank you so much for your time!

    #19486 Report Abuse

    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    Hi Idarlin –

    Innova’s Large Breed Puppy formula has appropriate calcium levels for large and giant breed puppies and would make a good choice for your pup. The reason why it’s not included on this list is because this list is grain-free foods only – when I get some spare time I would like to compile a list of grain-inclusive foods as well.

    #19493 Report Abuse

    DogFoodie
    Member

    I would definitely be curious to see what grain inclusive foods you’d recommend, HDM. I still remember being surprised that the Great Dane Lady was strongly opposed to grain free foods for large breed puppies until about 80% of their adult size, due to lack of feeding trials.

    Here’s a quote I took from her site:

    “I do not recommend as a complete diet for your puppy, any grain free or raw diets, regardless of brand, for large breed growth. Not until they are 8-10 months old or 3/4 of their normal size, just to be on the safe side. No feed trials have been done on large/giant breeds on the grain free or raw diets to date, so I will not recommend them.

    We KNOW we can raise them on a quality holistic kibble with a 10% raw component, if you wish, and have no problems, but not a totally raw or grain free diet, please!!”

    #19497 Report Abuse

    Anonymous

    HDM, thanks for the response. Is there anything wrong with feeding her a grain dog food like Innova?

    Also she is very itchy a lot of the time. She scratches and gnaws on her fur/ skin retry often. Her skin does look a little dry but I’m worried it has something to do with a food allergy. She doesn’t strip her fur or anything but there is a spot on her head where she scratches that she is starting to lose spots of fur. It’s not too bad yet but worries me. Any advice?

    #19500 Report Abuse

    DogFoodie
    Member

    And, I should’ve added to my post that I’m NOT in any way meaning to sound as though I’m advocating grains for any dogs.

    I was just surprised when I was reading the Great Dane Lady’s website and saw that she had written the quote in my previous post.

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 5 months ago by  DogFoodie.
    #19502 Report Abuse

    DogFoodie
    Member

    Hi ldarlin,

    If you like Innova, it looks as though the Prime Grain Free Salmon & Herring may have an acceptable (but bordering on high) Calcium level at 1.49%. That number is from the nutrient analysis on their website.

    #19503 Report Abuse

    Sully’sMom
    Member

    I’m confused about something; is the large breed formula only important during the 1st two years of puppy’s life? Since the point of it is controlled growth, wouldn’t it cease to be important after that, meaning ‘do you need large breed adult’?

    #19504 Report Abuse

    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    Hi Idarlin –

    I feel that the ideal diet is grain-free/starch free, high in animal-based protein and low in carbohydrates. This is why I personally feed my dogs a raw diet with free of grains and starches (potatoes, legumes, etc.). When it comes to kibble, a starch in some form or another (be it grains, potato, legumes, tapioca, etc.) is necessary to act as a binder. There are many that feel grain-free foods are superior to grain-inclusive foods because grains aren’t a natural part of the canine diet. However, neither are the starches used in grain-free foods – potato, legumes, tapioca, etc. Due to the fact that starch is a necessary evil when it comes to kibble I think the most important thing is to look for a food high in protein with a relatively large percentage of the protein being derived from animal sources. I think people get too caught up in grain-inclusive vs. grain-free and the industry is really playing into this – there are many new grain-free foods hitting the market that are horrible (low protein, loaded with vegetable based protein, etc. etc.) and people are paying big bucks for these foods just because the bag has the new buzzword “grain-free”. There are great grain-free foods and horrible grain-free foods and there are great grain-inclusive foods and horrible grain-inclusive foods. Concerning Innova Large Breed Puppy, it’s not a bad food by any means but it’s lower in protein than anything I’d use or recommend. It has only 24% protein, I wouldn’t use or recommend a kibble with less than 30% protein. I personally feed my crew protein levels in the 45% – 55% range.

    If she’s chewing herself it could definitely be a food intolerance, but it could also be something environmental. Grains and common proteins such as chicken and beef are common causes of intolerances so you could certainly try a grain-free food with a more novel protein and see if things clear up.

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