Large and Giant Breed Puppy Nutrition

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

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  • #19505 Report Abuse

    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    Hi arlenem –

    Feeding a food with appropriate calcium levels is most crucial during the first 8 months or so. When puppies are young they can’t regulate their calcium absorption which is why high levels of calcium during the rapid growth phase can cause developmental orthopedic disease in large and giant breed puppies. Around 6 – 8 months puppies gain the ability to regulate calcium absorption. Once a large breed puppy is an adult their nutritional needs are no different than any other dog. I actually would avoid most “large breed adult” foods as they tend to be way too low in protein and loaded with fillers.

    #19506 Report Abuse

    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    Hi Betsy –

    I do enjoy the great dane lady’s website and think there is some good information on there, however I don’t agree with her feeding advice for puppies. If her aversion to grain-free and raw foods for large breed puppies was based on some sort of factual research or organized feeding trial I would have more respect for it, but it seems to me it’s solely based on the fact that she’s never tried feeding those foods to her puppies?? I’ve had great lucking feeding high protein grain-free foods to my bloodhound puppies, I’ve just kept calcium levels controlled for the first 8 months.

    #19508 Report Abuse

    Sully’sMom
    Member

    Oh, so if my pup is 12+ months, the calcium guidelines of under 3.5 per 1000 kcal are less important? That’s helpful!

    #19559 Report Abuse

    cinner00
    Member

    Any suggestions on nutrition for my Bernese Mt./Lab/Shepherd mix pup? I just brought home a new pup. I would love to hear recommendations on a high quality large breed puppy food for this little guy to help keep him as healthy as possible. I know there are various health issues with all the breeds and I am looking for advice on food to help nutritionally as much as possible. He has been checked out and is very healthy.

    #19579 Report Abuse

    EHubbman
    Participant

    What are your thoughts RE Phosphorus x Calcium Levels (as phosphorous is used in Calcium absorption, right?)?

    I was looking into foods for my Presa (spanish mastiff, essentially), and a good friend (some vet training, very into the raw diet) noted that while protein isn’t so much of a concern aside from the fact that too much might cause loose stools, said that the Cal/Phos Ratio is what was really important. From my lookings, it seems like 1:1.2-1.4 Cal/Phos is what people aim for in larger breeds.

    Your thoughts?

    #19588 Report Abuse

    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    Hi EHubbman –

    Yes the calcium to phosphorus ratio is very important for all dogs and should be no less than 1:1 and no more than 2:1, with around 1.2:1 being considered ideal. However when it comes to large and giant breed puppies, the overall amount of calcium consumed is still very important. Even if a food had an appropriate ratio but the calcium levels were very high – say 2.2% calcium and 2% phosphorus (1.1:1) – I wouldn’t feel comfortable feeding the food to a large or giant breed puppy. All three of my dogs eat a raw diet and my most recent pup (now 11 months old) was weaned onto raw at 8 weeks old. To keep the calcium levels controlled while still keeping the calcium to phosphorus ratio balanced, fed her green tripe for around 25% of her diet. Green tripe has a naturally balanced calcium to phosphorus ratio (roughly 1:1) but has very low levels of each mineral (only about 0.3%).

    #19592 Report Abuse

    cinner00
    Member

    I have narrowed down the food to 3 based on availability and pricing for our needs. The following are the ones I’m looking at. The appear on the 4 star food list and also a top 10 list. I was wondering if anyone has a strong opinion or experience to help me narrow done my list for my large breed pup.

    Innova Large Breed Puppy Dry Dog Food
    Wellness Super5Mix Large Breed Puppy Health Puppy Food
    Solid Gold Wolf Cub Large Breed Puppy Dog Food

    #19597 Report Abuse

    starbright26
    Participant

    Hi, I am new to this site but am loving all the information I have found so far! However, I believe I’m overloading myself with info and its all running together, confusing the heck out of me! So I would love to just give a little information and get a little in return if possible.. We recently adopted a young feral pup and have been working to socialize/rehabilitate her. She is a “lethal white” (I despise that term) Catahoula mix- who is deaf and partially blind as well… We were this sweet girl’s last chance at adoption and I am so grateful we found her because she is blossoming in our household! Anyway, at about ten months of age, when we adopted her, she tore her ACL and was recovering from that when we noticed her limping getting worse despite strict confinement. We took her for X-rays and the vet diagnosed her with severe hip dysplasia in one of her hips. Sigh.. I could not make this up if I tried.. Luckily the other hip joint looks amazingly healthy! We have no idea about her past and as she seems to be somewhat of a genetic anomaly, we just want to do whatever we can to help her have a healthy, happy, hopefully long life! This girl deserves it. She is a healthy 70lbs, but we are trying to slim her down slightly. She is curently on Blue Buffalo now, but my question is if there is a better quality food that would be better suited to her joint needs or if supplimentation would suffice. I just read the calcium levels are most important earlier on and now that she is about 15 months old am I correct to assume that it is not the main concern anymore? Should we go grain-free to help with inflamation? Suppliments? What is my ideal path here? Please advise anyway you can.. I should mention we have several other animals and actual children, with another on the way, and will hopefully send them to college one day so we are certainly on a limited budget 🙂 THANK YOU!!!
    Rebecca

    #19598 Report Abuse

    EHubbman
    Participant

    Thank you so much, HDM! Great info. 🙂
    He’s on TOTW puppy currently but not liking it, so I think I’ll be switching him to Fromm 4 Star soon. 🙂

    #19600 Report Abuse

    InkedMarie
    Member

    Starbright,
    Thank you for adopting your girl. I hope she continues to blossom. My go-to food when a dog needs to lose weight is Wellness Core reduced fat, feeding her the amount of food for what she *should* weigh. A good joint supplement is needed; I use Joint Mobility plus from Swanson Vitamins. It’s human, fine for dogs. Also, salmon oil. I prefer just salmon oil, nothing else; I get mine from Vital Choice,

    Good luck!

    #19641 Report Abuse

    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    Hi cinner00 –

    Innova Large Breed Puppy formula would be appropriate, however in light of today’s recall I don’t think that will be an option for awhile. Solid Gold WolfCub is too high in calcium and it is also one of the Solid Gold formulas manufactured by Diamond (If you aren’t familiar – Diamond is a very untrustworthy manufacturer with frequent recalls. WolfCub, WolfKing, Just A Wee Bit and Hund-n-Flocken are manufactured by Diamond.) The Wellness Super5Mix Large Breed formula is a bit high in calcium as well (~4 g./1,000 kcal.) for me to feed comfortable recommending however it’s probably the best choice out of the three you listed. Wellness’ CORE Puppy formula does have appropriate calcium levels, I believe, if you would be able to feed that.

    #19642 Report Abuse

    Pickles Mom
    Participant

    Hi Hound Dog Mom,
    I am very happy to discover this thread! I have a 13 month basset hound puppy who is currently 50 lbs. His breeder was feeding him Canidae Life Stages when we brought home our puppy at 8 weeks and stayed on the same food until he was about 8 months old. We switched to a grain free Canidae brand, and then to Taste of the Wild grain-free “Pacific Stream” because of his itchiness.
    After reading many of the posts I am concerned that 1) he was never eating puppy food; 2) the calcium level is too high in the foods we have been giving him; and 3) he was switched to adult food too early. I would really appreciate hearing your thoughts about what do to. I am considering changing his food to one of the brands on your list; however, I do not know if he should be eating large breed puppy food or large breed adult food (and the food needs to be grain-free and chicken free). We love our hound and want what is best for him. Thank you in advance for your advice 🙂

    #19643 Report Abuse

    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    Hi dhayes –

    An “all life stages” food is essentially the same thing as a “puppy” food. The AAFCO only recognizes 2 nutrient profiles: growth and adult maintenance. If a food meets the more stringent requirements for growth the company can choose to label the food as “all life stages” or “growth.” Canidae ALS and all of the Taste of the Wild foods are appropriate for all life stages. I wouldn’t really consider a Basset to be a large breed (the concern is generally for dogs that will be over 60 lbs. at maturity, although Bassets are somewhat prone to hip dysplasia so it may have been a good idea to have controlled calcium levels) and at 8 months of age the critical growth phase has passed regardless so calcium levels shouldn’t be a concern at this point. I’m not sure about the calcium levels in Canidae ALS but I do know the calcium levels are high in all of the TOTW formulas. I would say any quality all life stages formula would make a good choice at this point.

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 5 months ago by  Hound Dog Mom.
    • This reply was modified 6 years, 5 months ago by  Hound Dog Mom.
    #19649 Report Abuse

    starbright26
    Participant

    Thanks for the reply.. I appreciate the advice on suppliments but I really dont thing her losing weight is my main concern.. I’m looking more for giudance on a longterm food to feed her that would benefit her joints and help cease the progression of the hip dysplasia if possible. Has anyone else been down this road before? Are suppliments more important or does the food made a larger impact.. Is grain free best for this situation? Being that she is over a year now, do the calcium levels still play a role? Sorry, Ive just been researching and reading all these posts which is only confusing me further.. Please help if you can… Thanks 🙂

    #19653 Report Abuse

    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    Hi starbright –

    Unfortunately if your dog has hip dysplasia she has hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia is a chronic degenerative condition and is not reversible. The condition will progress as she ages, although its difficult to predict the extend to which it will affect her as many factors are at play (degree of pain tolerance, size and weight of the dog, etc.). For some dogs hip dysplasia is crippling and for others it may never cause more than a mild stiffness with age. Anti-inflammatory supplements (tart cherry, omega 3’s, boswellia, turmeric, etc.) will certainly help manage pain and supplements such as glucosamine/chondroitin/MSM/hylaluronic acid (or whole foods containing these items) may help slow the joint deterioration to a certain degree – but they certainly won’t stop it. It will also be critical to keep her lean and active (low impact activities). Being that she’s over a year old calcium levels won’t affect anything at this point.

    #19657 Report Abuse

    starbright26
    Participant

    Thanks for clarifying that for me.. It looks like we’re in for a long road, but thankfully she isnt showing major symptoms yet.. Perhaps we’ll consider surgery. Until then basically any of the recommended 4star foods would work well in conjunction with the suppliments, correct? Any personal favorites I should check into?

    #19666 Report Abuse

    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    Definitely – a quality 4 or 5 star food with supplements would be the way to go. I’d personally go grain-free if possible as grains are inflammatory. I don’t really have any particular favorites – when I fed kibble I switched brands after every bag. Good luck!

    #19670 Report Abuse

    yevincent
    Participant

    I want to point out that in the list you posted before, you said the Fromm Four Star Nutritionals grain-free is 5 star food. I read the review today, it said Fromm Four Star Nutritionals just earns 4 star (except one). Maybe you made a mistake in the list.
    And the Wellness Core: Puppy has over 3.5g/1000 kcal calcium based on my calculation:
    Calcium is 1.50%, 3,792 kcal per kilogram,
    so I got 3.95g/1000 kcal.
    You may want to double check them…

    #19672 Report Abuse

    Saireah
    Member

    Starbright:

    My Quinn (lab/vizsla) was diagnosed with hip dysplasia at 1 year old. I switched her food to grain-free after discovering that, along with a higher protein. She needed to build muscle as she was favoring one side. She has hip dysplasia in both hips.

    In terms of supplements, I can tell you what we’ve done that has made a phenomenal difference. She just turned two and there’s no way in the world I’d have thought she would be at this point. We were pretty certain she was going to need surgery (her range of motion was OK — but we just thought surgery would be more immediate than in the distant future).

    As HDM suggests, a great diet with anti-inflammatory supplements was suggested to us by Iowa State University. Since being recommended, we’ve had her on Nutramax Cosequin DS Double-Strength Chewable Tablets. According to Iowa State, this is the only brand to be clinically proven. You will give her two a day for a month and one a day from then on (directions are on the bottle). Coupled with this, we also immediately started her on one tablet of fish oil per day — 1,000MG (but you may have to feed less/more — consult vet).

    The diet change and supplements helped, but targeted exercise has made the difference, as well. Take your dog swimming. If she doesn’t like to swim, teach her to love it by way of rewards/playing. Swimming is the best for joint issues. Other options provided to us were walking in tall grass (makes her lift her legs all the way as opposed to close together/hopping), walking on a blown up air mattress (good for winter exercise), and frequent walks (as opposed to a long walk — more frequent is better).

    Also — obviously weight. She’s a slim 43 pounds at the moment, but she did get to 50 pounds in the winter and my vet noticed it. Slim is always, always better — and I’ve had people say she’s too thin (mostly because I don’t think most people are accustomed to seeing healthy dogs — harsh, but true… I think a lot of dogs are overweight).

    If you have any questions, let me know. I really enjoy talking about this subject because I couldn’t find enough information when this happened to us. It’s our personal experience, but Quinn is now running full-speed and playing for hours and hours daily. A definite turnaround.

    Good luck. 🙂

    #19674 Report Abuse

    InkedMarie
    Member

    Star right, since your dog had HD, getting any extra weight off her is very important. Help her lose the weight and get her a joint supplement (the one I mentioned wa recommended by HDM)

    #19676 Report Abuse

    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    Hi yevincent –

    I realize Fromm is rated 4 stars. Fromm was just recently downgraded to 4 stars (thank god – I could never understand why that food was rated 5 stars!) but at the time I made the list the entire line was rated 5 stars. I have not yet had a chance to go in and change it. Within the next month I plan on updating this list and also making a list of grain-inclusive foods. I’m just strapped for time at the moment.

    The calculation for the Wellness CORE was based on the actual calcium level sent to me by the company. I emailed them and asked for the average calcium level in the Wellness CORE Puppy Food based on their product analysis results.

    I have the email saved and this was their response to me:

    Dear Lydia,

    Thank you for taking the time to write about Wellness CORE Puppy dry dog food.

    This formula contains approximately 1.23% calcium.

    Thanks again for contacting us.

    Alyssa Martin
    Representative
    Consumer Affairs

    000299852A

    You’re basing your calculation on the max listed on their website. Companies will often list minimums and maximums that are quite a bit higher or lower than the actual amount in the food to allow for a margin of error. I chose to make the list based on average levels rather than maximums or minimums.

    #19677 Report Abuse

    Sully’sMom
    Member

    May I ask why you’re so down on Fromm? It’s family owned, produced in its’ own facility, hasn’t had and recent recalls that I could find, quality ingredients….
    I’ve been feeding my puppy Gold Star Large Breed so am quite curious if there’s something you don’t like about it…?

    Appreciate any additional info..

    #19678 Report Abuse

    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    I wouldn’t say I’m down on Fromm exactly. I think Fromm is a very reputable company and they make decent food. I just don’t think they produce a product that is worthy of 5 stars. It’s mainly their grain-free line I take issue with. Most of their grain-free foods have less than 30% protein and are loaded with plant-based protein boosters and they cost nearly $70 for a 26 lb. bag. Never would I pay that kind of money for a food that low in protein and with a good chunk of the protein coming from peas.

    #19680 Report Abuse

    Sully’sMom
    Member

    Thank you for clarifying! As I said, we’ve been feeding him the Gold Lrg Breed but, as he turns 1 soon, and I’ve been wanting to get him off grains (mainly due to the rice/arsenic issue), I was thinking about turning to the Fromm Grain – Free, however I’ve found two that seem more wallet-friendly. Do you have an opinion on the Merrick grain-free lines and/or Taste of the Wild? Or any other suggestions?

    #19681 Report Abuse

    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    I wouldn’t feed Taste of the Wild due to the fact that it’s manufactured by Diamond. I think Merrick is a good food. Two other grain-free foods that are really high quality and wallet friendly (under $50 for the large bag) are Earthborn and Victor. These are two foods that don’t sacrifice meat content for price. NutriSource Grain-Free and 4Health Grain-Free are two other reasonably priced options although their protein content (and thus) is a little lower – these two are similar in quality to the Fromm Grain-Free line but they are priced accordingly (I believe the 4Health is around $36 for a 30 lb. bag and NutriSource is around $50 for a 30 lb. bag).

    #19682 Report Abuse

    Sully’sMom
    Member

    Thank you! I’ve been thinking about Merrick for awhile. I’ve never heard of the other two, but will look into them. TOTW, I’d had the same thinking just today….

    #19683 Report Abuse

    Sully’sMom
    Member

    Wow, just looked up Earthborn and it looks darn near perfect! 5 stars on DFA, good ingredients and, as you said, a good price. And, I assume since my large breed puppy will be over 12 mos when I transition, no need to even ask about the calcium?

    Thanks for pointing me in a direction I’d not have known about! We have a coupon for a free bag of Fromm, so we’ll get that and then transition…

    #19685 Report Abuse

    Saireah
    Member

    Each grain-free Earthborn “flavor” has a different protein level. I had originally thought they were similar to the Fromm line — where you could swap them around with no problems. I went with Dr. Tim’s Kinesis grain-free over Earthborn after receiving samples from both brands because Earthborn favors pea protein and I’ve been really impressed with Dr. Tim answering my e-mails and his office assistant when she spoke to me over the phone to get my shipping address. My dog’s really liked Earthborn’s Coastal Catch sample, but they went crazy for Dr. Tim’s.

    Dr. Tim’s is “meatier” than Earthborn. Earthborn has flat little rounded triangles, so easier to eat for smaller breeds. Dr. Tim’s are round nuggets.

    Since you have another Fromm’s bag to go, I’d suggest requesting and/or purchasing samples if they’re available. 🙂

    Just remember that there’s no “PERFECT” dog food. I have to keep telling myself that constantly. 😉

    #19686 Report Abuse

    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    Sully’s Mom –

    If you can get Earthborn locally most pet food stores have a frequent buyer program – buy 10 bags get the 11th free.

    Saireah –

    I agree – Dr. Tim’s has AMAZING customer service and he’s very knowledgeable. I also agree that no food is perfect, this is why it’s important to rotate brands. Earthborn is a little heavy on the peas with some of their formulas but their price reflects that – it’s about $45 for a 28 lb. bag versus the $70+ you’d pay for an equal amount of many of the foods with a higher meat content. I do have to say though, their Primitive Natural doesn’t appear to use many vegetable protein boosters and it’s got a very high protein level (38%).

    #19687 Report Abuse

    Saireah
    Member

    I’m definitely going to try rotating brands — it’s intriguing to me. 🙂 Do you personally transition between rotations? I know that you feed raw sometimes, but when you’re doing kibble — do you ever switch over cold turkey? My apologies if you’ve acknowledged this question in this thread before. Dr. Tim mentioned 50/50 for three days and then you’re free to swap over.

    #19688 Report Abuse

    Sully’sMom
    Member

    Is the high protein level a good thing?

    #19689 Report Abuse

    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    Saireah – I actually haven’t fed kibble (as a meal) in nearly three years. However, when I did feed kibble I switched to a new brand with a new protein source at the end of every bag and I rotated canned and fresh food toppers daily. Once your dog gets used to switching foods you shouldn’t need to transition gradually, you can just do it cold turkey.

    Sully’s Mom – Yes – high levels of protein (preferably animal-based protein) is a very good things as dogs have a strong carnivorous bias and are designed to eat a primarily meat-based diet. When I fed kibble I never fed foods with less than 30% protein. My dogs now eat a raw diet with protein levels ranging between 45% and 55% at each meal.

    #19695 Report Abuse

    InkedMarie
    Member

    Saireah: glad you had the same experience with Dr. Tim’s as most people seem to! Btw, aren’t you the one I know from either Puppy & Dog Forums and/or Dog Food Chat? I post on both with the same name

    #19696 Report Abuse

    Sully’sMom
    Member

    Thank you, Hound Dog Mom, very helpful!

    Saireah, you too! I never thought about samples…will look into that. I’m now targeting 3 foods, all grain-free: Dr Tim’s, Merrick, and Earthborn. All seem to be at a reasonable price point for a quality food.

    Hound Dog Mom, you seem extremely knowledgeable (are you a vet?) – is there another discussion thread on the forum somewhere about the arsenic/rice issue? Very interested…

    #19697 Report Abuse

    Sully’sMom
    Member

    Hope you’re not tired of these questions, but I’m enjoying “talking” with you about dog food. The mention of samples intrigued me: PetFlow often offers “trials” at great prices. I never considered them before because I never considered rotating foods before, but they are currently offering trial sizes of both Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost Grain Free and/or Nutrisca Chicken and Chickpea. Are you familiar with either/both? I noticed DFA has them both at 5 stars.

    Secondly, if you were getting small sample sizes as above (this is for you too Saireah since you’re the one who mentioned samples!), how would you fit them into your feeding?

    #19699 Report Abuse

    Sully’sMom
    Member

    Hah, here I am again! Now I know why they say ignorance is bliss! I contacted Dr Tims and boy you were right…they are responsive! However, I was inquiring about the GF product and when I mentioned I had a 1 yr old lab they said they recommend the Pursuit instead. My main reason for looking to go grain free is the arsenic issue (thoughts?); are there other good reasons? Dr Tim said they test their rice several times a year and that it has always tested negative for arsenic…

    #19700 Report Abuse

    cinner00
    Member

    HDM,

    Thank you for your advice. I ended up ordering a small bag of VICTOR GRAIN-FREE ACTIVE DOG & PUPPY 33/16 to try instead of the Wellness brand. You show a 5 star rating. I was wondering about the calcium level. It appears there is no calcium on their website or yours in the reviews. Will this be a good food for my Bernese Mt. mix.

    Cinner00

    #19702 Report Abuse

    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    Good Morning Sully’s Mom –

    No, I’m not a vet – but I’m back in school working towards it so hopefully in a few years!

    Dr. Mike has an article about the arsenic issue with rice: dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-news/arsenic-discovered-in-rice/ . Feel free to start your own thread if you would like to get others’ opinions. I really haven’t researched the issue too much as I don’t eat much rice myself and my dogs rarely get rice (or any grains) aside from germinated rice a few times a month.

    I’m a big Nature’s Variety Instinct fan. When I used to feed kibble to my oldest dog it was frequently in rotation. I’ve used Nutrisca as well and feel it’s a good food. My dogs eat raw as their main diet (as mentioned) however I do frequently order samples and trial-sized bags of kibble. Even though I don’t feed kibble for meals I like to keep in the know about the best brands so I can make good recommendations. For my dogs, they usually get kibble in a kong for an after dinner treat (I layer kibble and canned pumpkin and pop it in the freezer). Naturalk9supplies.com and k9cuisine.com usually offer a wide variety of free samples and sell small trial-sized bags. Also, most companies will send you samples if you call or email them and ask.

    It’s possible that Dr. Tim could be recommending Pursuit over the Grain-Free Kinesis due to calcium levels. The calcium levels in the Grain-Free Kinesis formula are a bit high for a large breed puppy. Honestly, if you’re rotating through a variety of foods that do and do not contain rice I wouldn’t be overly concerned about the arsenic. I just wouldn’t feed a food with rice long term. I also feel Dr. Tim’s is a very trustworthy company so if they’re saying that their rice tests negative for high levels of arsenic I would tend to believe them (although I would still rotate brands).

    #19703 Report Abuse

    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    Hi cinner00 –

    How old is your pup? The Victor GF formulas are all high in calcium.

    #19706 Report Abuse

    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    Hi Sully’s Mom –

    No, I’m not a vet but I am currently in school working toward it – so hopefully in a few years.

    I don’t believe there is a thread on the forums dedicated to the arsenic and rice issue but you could certainly start a thread if you want input from other posters. I really haven’t researched the issue much as neither myself or my dogs eat much rice aside from germinated rice a few times a month. However, I feel that as long as you’re rotating rice-inclusive foods with rice-free foods it probably wouldn’t be a big issue. Dr. Mike does have an article about arsenic in rice over on the review site.

    I’ve fed both Nature’s Variety Instinct and Nutrisca and feel they’re both good foods. When I used to feed kibble Instinct was a staple in my dog’s rotation – it’s a great food.

    NaturalK9Supplies.com and K9Cuisine.com usually have a big selection of trial-sized bags and free samples. Also, companies will often mail you samples if you ask. As stated previously, I don’t feed kibble for meals any longer, I do still order samples frequently though. I like to try products with my own dogs so I can make better recommendations. I usually layer kibble and canned pumpkin and freeze it to give to my dogs as a treat.

    My assumption as to why Dr. Tim would recommend Pursuit over GF Kinesis is the calcium levels – the calcium in the GF Kinesis is a bit high for a large breed puppy.

    Hope that helps! 🙂

    #19707 Report Abuse

    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    Sully’s Mom – I’ve posted two detailed responses to your questions but unfortunately they keep getting sent to the spam folder. I’ll email Dr. Mike and see if he can release them. I apologize ahead of time for the duplicate posts if they do come back.

    #19708 Report Abuse

    Saireah
    Member

    * InkedMarie:
    Yes! Dog Food Chat – I’m “Grey.” 🙂

    * Sully’s Mom:
    I really just used the sample bags as a treat. I opened them up to see their reaction and fed them a small handful. The reaction between Dr. Tim’s and Earthborn was noticeable, though, and the sample from Dr. Tim’s was larger (5lbs). Earthborn were just little bags (but they did have coupons on each one!). What’s lovely about Earthborn is that they have the UPC for Trees program (see their web site). When I was originally considering Earthborn, I LOVED that idea. I still may feed Costal Catch if I decide to rotate as I’m thinking about, though. Another thing that turned me off a bit about Earthborn is the ash level – it’s a bit higher than Dr. Tim’s. Now, mind you, it’s not as if it automatically makes it a bad food – the pea protein and the ash are just factors that Dr. Tim’s was lower on or didn’t have and that’s how I made my decision between specifically selecting between both of them. Also, something funny — some people mentioned that Dr. Tim’s smells like roasted chicken, but I think it smells like the Iowa State Fair barnyard. 😉 Dr. Tim originally suggested Pursuit for my dog (the one with hip dysplasia), too – because the extra fatty acids in Pursuit would help (per his quote). However, I circled back with him half a year later and he did say that grain-free would suit perfectly fine now that she’s in better health in terms of her joints.

    Kinesis GF has 32% protein, 18% fat,1.51% calcium, 415 cal/cup, and 6.9% ash.
    Pursuit is grain inclusive and has 30% protein, 1.06% calcium, 20% fat, 450 cal/cup, and 6.5% ash.

    They’re both a mainly chicken-based food, with Pursuit being more calories. However, the plus-side with grain-free is that you can feed less. Compare the feeding suggestions. Right there, I’d say that grain-free (in my personal opinion) is superior because 1) it’s grain-free, yay!, 2) you’re going to feed less, 3) they’ll produce less waste because of this, and 4) Kinesis has higher protein. I’m not incredibly knowledgeable about specifics of ingredients, but this is why I chose the grain-free line over the grain inclusive line. GF Kinesis looks to be roughly $5 more per 30lb bag than Pursuit, too – and Dr. Tim mentioned they are considering a 44lb bag of GF Kinesis (grain inclusive Kinesis has this option available) in the future.

    I’m thinking that he might have mentioned Pursuit over the two specifically because your dog is fairly young and likely very active – so he was thinking he’d do quite well on Pursuit. By no means are either a “bad” food to choose – remember, there’s several dogs out there eating low quality food every day. My mother fed our family dogs a food that is a 2 star food for his entire life and he lived to be 12. I know we’re trying to do our best with what they food them, but no matter what – by choosing a 4 star or 5 star food – we are making a better choice.

    #19710 Report Abuse

    cinner00
    Member

    HDM,

    Shoot. He’s only 12 weeks old. I couldn’t find the calcium ratio on the Victor, but saw it was 5 star and had many of the things you have discussed. Well I only bought a small bag. Back to the drawing board. I would like a really good dog food around the 50.00 dollar range for the 26lb bag. I don;t mind ordering if I have to. Is there anything you would suggest for his age and size. I have looked at so many foods I’m going crazy. Some of the foods I have seen people discussing are up to 63-70 dollars for the big bag.

    #19711 Report Abuse

    cinner00
    Member

    HDM,

    Ok, I started from scratch again and I found your list about calcium. I am thinking that I will go with the Wellness Core Puppy which you did mention to me in an earlier reply. I can get it online for a reasonable price and I can also get it at my local pet store. Any negative feedback on this decision?? You have it rated 5 stars.

    cinner00

    #19718 Report Abuse

    gsdmommy89
    Member

    Hello Hound Dog Mom!

    I recently posted a question in the Orijen dog food review. One of the persons that replied to my questions recommended this forum. I will be getting a German Shepherd puppy in the next few weeks and I was interested in the Orijen Large Breed puppy formula. I went on their website and the Calcium content for this formula was min/max 1.2%/1.5%. I also liked the Earthborn Holistic Primitive Naturals formula but their website states that the Calcium content for this formula was not less than 1.5% and also, the calorie content for this formula was 717 kilo-calories per cup. That’s a very high number, I think. I’ve also taken a look at Nature’s Variety Instinct in the Duck Meal and Turkey Meal formula, but the Calcium content for that was not less than 1.92%. I looked at the Wellness Core Puppy and their website states a Calcium content of no more than 1.5%. I saw in one of your responses that you fed Nutrisca. I didn’t find the Calcium content on their website, but what did you think about this food for your dogs? The las one I wanted to mention that I’ve been looking up is Merrick Grain Free in either Duck, Pork, or Beef. Merrick did not have their Calcium content on the website either but I did email them. Haven’t gotten a response yet.

    I’d like to know what you would recommend for a German Shepherd puppy? I know it will all depend on his energy level, how big he is, etc. But something to start out with, what would you recommend. I’m really interested in the Orijen, and I’d like to stay away from plant protein boosted kibble if possible. Out of the foods I mentioned above, which would you think would be better for me to try? I’m sorry if it’s alot of questions. I just want to make sure I do things right, and make the right decision. Thank you so much for your time. Also, if you’d like to recommend something else besides the kibble mentiones above, Im all ears

    #19719 Report Abuse

    gsdmommy89
    Member

    Hello Hound Dog Mom!

    I recently posted a question in the Orijen dog food review. One of the persons that replied to my questions recommended this forum. I will be getting a German Shepherd puppy in the next few weeks and I was interested in the Orijen Large Breed puppy formula. I went on their website and the Calcium content for this formula was min/max 1.2%/1.5%. I also liked the Earthborn Holistic Primitive Naturals formula but their website states that the Calcium content for this formula was not less than 1.5% and also, the calorie content for this formula was 717 kilo-calories per cup. That’s a very high number, I think. I’ve also taken a look at Nature’s Variety Instinct in the Duck Meal and Turkey Meal formula, but the Calcium content for that was not less than 1.92%. I looked at the Wellness Core Puppy and their website states a Calcium content of no more than 1.5%. I saw in one of your responses that you fed Nutrisca. I didn’t find the Calcium content on their website, but what did you think about this food for your dogs? The las one I wanted to mention that I’ve been looking up is Merrick Grain Free in either Duck, Pork, or Beef. Merrick did not have their Calcium content on the website either but I did email them. Haven’t gotten a response yet.

    I’d like to know what you would recommend for a German Shepherd puppy? I know it will all depend on his energy level, how big he is, etc. But something to start out with, what would you recommend. I’m really interested in the Orijen, and I’d like to stay away from plant protein boosted kibble if possible. Out of the foods I mentioned above, which would you think would be better for me to try? I’m sorry if it’s alot of questions. I just want to make sure I do things right, and make the right decision. Thank you so much for your time. Also, if you’d like to recommend something else besides the kibble mentioned above, I’m all ears

    #19725 Report Abuse

    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    Hi cinner00 –

    The calcium percentages for Victor that were provided to me are: 2.0% for the GF All Life Stages, 2.0% for the GF Joint Health, 1.7% for the GF Ultra Pro and 1.9% for the GF Salmon & Sweet Potato – there’s no point in bothering with calculating grams of calcium per 1,000 kcal, I can tell they’re all too high in calcium just based on these percentages.

    I have no negative feedback for the Wellness CORE formula. I’ve personally never fed any Wellness products, but they seem to get fairly positive feedback on the review site.

    #19727 Report Abuse

    cinner00
    Member

    HDM,

    Thank you.

    #19728 Report Abuse

    Dustin-R
    Participant

    I have a 4 month old Rottie. He was on Blue Buffalo Wilderness puppy. He had loose stool a lot. Blue would not give me a answer about the calcium levels so I switched to Wellness Core Puppy and have NO problems at all with it. It is on the list also. With my pup Wellness Core Puppy is the one.

    #19729 Report Abuse

    starbright26
    Participant

    Hi Saireah,

    You responded to my post about my pup with hip dysplasia and I truly want to thank you for the advice and encouragement.. It was extremely helpful. I certainly plan to help Sadie lose some weight being that even a few pounds seems to make a huge difference on a dog with HD. I’m looking into a food change of either Earthborn grain free or 4health grain free..as both of these seem to be highly recommended. Perhaps I can alternate them. I’ve also started supplimenting..

    I have unfortunate issues with the exercise routines being that Sadie was feral and is being socialized+the deafness/vission issues-she has an extremely difficult time leaving the house even for small walks. We are in full swing rehab mode though so hopefully we can overcome these issues quickly to help rebuild her muscles. I want to try your air mattress technique though until we get further!

    Because of her intensified sense of smell she is very food motivated.. this is is the main way we’ve been able to train and encourage her but Im weary of the treats we’ve been giving. I certainly want to watch her weight now. Do you have any good recommendations for healthy treats or those good for dogs with HD? Sorry if this doesnt really relate to this thread anymore but Im grateful to have any advice! Thanks again…

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