I’m needing help finding a good large breed puppy food. I have my pup on a dry kibble that is highly recommended but because the ingredient list isn’t percise, I can’t tell if the ratios are the best for my large breed pup (the kibble is for puppys but not specific to large breeds and it only lists “min” and “max” amounts so it’s hard to tell how much of each ingredient is in it). My vet is recommending Hills Science Diet large breed puppy because you can tell with more detail what the ingredient ratios are and it is formulated specifically for large breeds, I’m considering this food right now. Does anyone in this forum have personal experience with a dry large breed puppy kibble that he/she would be willing to share? Thanks in advance for your help!
Hi Karen G-
Congrats on the new pup! What kind of dog is it? Did you see the recommended dry foods for large breed puppy spreadsheet that is posted on the large breed thread on this forum? I think it is on about page 33 of that thread. It lists both with and without grains kibble. The main thing objective is to keep calcium under 3.5 g per 1,000 kcal. Also, the food should be labeled for puppies (growth) or all life stages. It does not necessary for it to specifically say for large breed pups. There is no recognized standard for large breed as far as food labels go.
Nutrisource large breed pup with grains is listed and also Wellness Core puppy grain free is on the list. There are several others as well. I was trying to mention more well known brands.
Keep your pups growth slow and steady. Do not over exercise or run him/her. I feed my 3 year old big dogs Victor. Both The Victor Select chicken and rice and lamb and rice would also be good options for your new pup! Hip, knee and elbow problems are so prevalent with big dogs. We need to do what we can to try to prevent them. Have fun with your pup!
There is a thread here in the forum specifically for Large Breed Puppies. You can find it here https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/forums/topic/large-and-giant-breed-puppy-nutrition/
Also, on one of the pages, I think, and someone can correct me if I’m wrong, on page 11 or 15 or somewhere around there, Hound Dog Mom made a list of the best foods for Large Breed Puppies. That thread is long, but you may find some helpful info in there. Good luck!
Here is that list of Hound Dog Mom’s I was referring to, so you don’t have to go searching for it. I was bored, so I did it for you 😉
If that link doesn’t work, it’s on this page
I think the newer list is on page 33. I wish there were a way to put it somewhere where you don’t have to scroll thru so many pages. Thanks for copying it over for her. I have a hard time with that procedure on my iPad.
Thank you SO MUCH crazy4cats and Cyndi, the list you found for me is invaluable! I have a German Shepherd pup who is about 11 weeks old. I currently feed him Merrick for puppys (grain free). He loves the Merrick and seems to be doing well on it so far. Here is what the lable says: Protein (min) 28%, fat (min) 12%, fiber (max) 4.50%, calcium (max) 1.70%, Phosphorus (max) 1.10%. What bothers me is I don’t really know how much is in the food because of the “min” and “max” designations. I wish I had a little better idea of the actual percentages in the food. I went with Grain Free because I read something about arsenic levels but I eat grain myself so I guess it isn’t a big deal if it contains grain or not….I’m still debating about this. My vet is recommending Science Diet since they are more specific about just how much of these nutrients are included in the kibble but my previous GSD never did well on Science Diet so I’m reluctant to try it. I’m going to take a look at this list that you so kindly provided for me and see what I find. I’m new to understanding what type of ingredients a large breed pup really needs (other than keeping calcium lower) so I’m educating myself now. Thanks again for all your help and for taking the time to respond so thoughtfully to me!!!
I believe that the creator of the list actually called the companies listed to find out what the max calcium levels are of the foods listed on the sheet. I feed both with and without grain foods to my labs. I wouldn’t feed a food with rice everyday forever due to potential arsenic, but part of a rotation is OK in my opinion.
I’ve been learning that waiting until the dogs are full grown to neuter is also helpful for preventing hip dysplasia as well. Unfortunately, I had my dogs neutered younger due to vet’s recommendation before I knew better. Luckily, they are three years old now and are doing fine.
Science diet is a controversial brand on this site. It just seems very expensive for the ingredients listed to me.
Hi C4C, I didn’t realize you had already told Karen about that list of HDM’s. I just scrolled thru your first comment and missed it, so I apologize. & I also didn’t realized there was another updated list on page 33. I thought I had the right updated list, lol! You’re right, wish it was easier accessible for people. HDM sure did put alot of work into that, and yes, I do believe she in fact called every company on there.
Karen, you are very welcome. We are all here to try to help each other. 🙂
Crazy4cats, how long is it recommended to wait before neutering? I’ve been debating about this as well.
This is another area with conflicting opinions. Most regular vets want to neuter at 5 to 6 months because it is easier on the dog. Others say to wait until they are full grown. I am absolutely no expert. Just a fellow dog owner with two 3 year old golden labs trying to learn as much as possible. But I tend to agree with many on this site that it would be best not to shut off their hormones (testosterone) until their joints are fully developed. Otherwise it tends to interfere with the closing of the growth plates. Which in the opinion of many, may increase chances of hip dysplasia. I was needlessly worrying about my dogs fighting because I have two males. They don’t fight and I don’t think they would have even if I waited longer. I think I’d rather have a more expensive and difficult surgery than a big dog with joint issues. You could start a topic on this subject and get some ideas from others as well. I wish you well.
Once again, thanks for the info crazy4cats, I think I might try to hold off as well. I’ve considered bringing home a male littermate but so far haven’t done so after reading about littermate syndrome (even though I know this situation is not a one size fits all b/c I do think that some dogs are meant to be together). Also, I have concerns about them fighting and I’m thinking about holding off longer on neutering, which escalates my concerns. My dog was really attached to one of his male littermates. Are your labs littermates?
Yes, my pups are litter mates. Honestly, fighting would be the least of my worries now that I’ve gotten through the puppy stage. Training them is very difficult with two. It’s important to try and separate them while training if you can. They can distract each other very easily. I think German Shepherds are generally easier to train and less destructive than labs. But, it is a lot of work!!! Also, the theory that they will bond with each other and not you is not true in my opinion either. If anything, they are totally jealous of each other and fight for attention from us humans! Lol! It’s also difficult to split them up now. They get a little separation anxiety. But what is really nice is that when we are not home, they keep each other company. I think having two dogs is great. But getting two pups at the same time is a lot of work! Getting two kittens at the same time is mandatory, however, in my opinion! 🙂 Good luck with your decision!
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