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Do you have a website or contact information about your plant/location?
Do you have any holistic vets in your area? I too have fed raw for a few years and find what you are experiencing perplexing at best. I raise Saint Bernards so I don’t think I would be able to offer much insight for your particular breed. Sounds like you have tried going through the elimination process but just wondering do you feed the bones whole or grind them? I do both, some ground with their veggies and some fed whole, but just thinking maybe your little guy just needs the bones ground smaller. I wish I had an answer but encourage you to look for a holistic vet that may be more supportive as well as helpful when it comes to a raw diet.
Thank you pitluv. I think you and I are pretty much in sync on this topic. I have many intact Saints as well as not intact saints and they can all eat the higher calorie and fat foods. In fact my 2 older Saints (almost 10) are doing fine without any real adjustment to their diet. The only one I have had to adjust my regular diet for is a 8-year-old spayed girl who started gaining weight and I adjusted her portion down a small bit and she is doing good with her weight now.
I just was wondering if there are any different ideas or beliefs that I may have missed. My guys all eat a RAW diet designed and tested to meet the needs of large/giant breed dogs. It is my own formula (with vet, nutritionist and other breeder input) and I just thought I would see if maybe there was anything else I should be considering in my formula that I might have missed. Anyway, thanks for your input and information.
I made the jump to RAW a couple years ago and could not be more happy with the decision. My dogs are healthier and happier and never leave any food in the bowl at feeding time. I honestly have not had a sick dog since I made the switch on one dog that had been diagnosed with cancer prior to the switch is still with me and doing great.
Books I would recommend for thinking about making the jump would be as follows:
Canine Nutrigenomics by W Jean Dodds, DVM and Diana R. Laverdure. This is the book that finally got me to make the switch after thinking and researching the idea for a couple years. This book has become my Bible so to speak.
Give Your Dog a Bone by Dr. Ian Billinghurst
Raw and Natural Nutrition for Dogs by Lew Olson, PHD
Common Herbs for Natural Health by Juliette de Bairacli Levy
The Dog Cancer Survival guide by Dr. Demian Dressler, DVM
There are more but these are the books I keep handy when looking to make any changes to my dogs diet.
Ok so I have two questions to pose for my fellow Large/Giant Breed folks:
1 – In the article “How to Choose the Best Large Breed Puppy Food and Lower Your Dog’s Risk of Hip Dysplasia” it states:
“Yet fortunately, there’s general agreement among the experts that any food intended for large breed puppies should not only meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for growth, it should also contain:
◾3500 to 4000 calories (kcal) per kilogram of food14
◾3 grams of calcium per 1000 calories of food. That value should not exceed the safe upper limit of 4.5 grams15
◾A calcium-to-phosphorus ratio between 1:1 and 1.5:116
Although most AAFCO compliant puppy foods are suitable for small and medium breeds, only a few meet these special guidelines and can be considered safe for large breed puppies. ”
I am in complete agreement on the grams of calcium and the calcium to phosphorus ratio, but can’t help but wonder about the recommendation to have what I would consider high calories per kilogram of food? Please share your thought and opinions on this as it has me scratching my head:)
Ok, for question 2 — this is a great sharing of information regarding the nutritional needs for Large/Giant breed puppies but I am wondering once your BIG PUPPY reaches adult status and is now a BIG DOG, what is the general opinion/consensus of nutrition needs for the adult or even the senior large/giant breed?
Wow, I love this. It is so good to be able to learn and share information about nutrition for the big guys. As for me and my food, yes I consulted with vets, nutritionists and other giant breed breeders who have fed RAW before switching my adults. Then I did more research and consulting before starting puppies on such a diet. I am a breeder of Saints and also work with rescue for any large/giant breeds that come into shelters in my area. I have fostered Mastiffs, Great Danes, Pitbull’s, Rottweilers and more over the years. Most shelters aren’t equipped to house giant breeds or aren’t allowed to even take in Pitbulls, so I am on their list to call when these breeds come in. I would gladly post photos but am new to this and not sure how?
Thanks. Keeping any dog/puppy at a healthy weight is important but for large/giant breed puppies I can’t stress enough how dramatically proper weight can impact their entire life. As for my puppies, yep I do feed my puppies an all natural RAW diet. I have tested and formulated my mix to ensure it is not only balanced but also to ensure it has the right Calcium and Phosphorus levels for a giant breed puppy. I will admit, the first time I gave a litter of puppies a raw chicken back at about 5 weeks of age I was scared to death. I was simply amazed at how well they took to it. I am now tracking the health and development of the puppies I have kept and continue to feed raw as well as the health and development of the puppies that have gone to new homes and are eating different foods. It is a lot of work, but it is worth it to me. I looked at the commercial RAW diets and kibbles available and just didn’t find any that I felt truly addressed the needs of the large and giant breed dogs, so….. I just took the plunge
I may be a little late coming to the party, but I saw the question regarding nutrition for a Saint Bernard puppy and had to respond. I have been involved with Saint Bernards for over 40 years and can’t stress enough the importance of keeping them lean and making sure they get LOTS OF OFF LEASH EXCERSIE. I fed a kibble with canned food as a topper for many years and then starting making my own cooked food to use as a topper. Two years ago I made the leap to a RAW diet and cannot begin to describe the amazing changes I have seen in my dogs. I have 2 Saints that are rapidly approaching 10 years of age and are still running and playing with my younger Saints.
My recommendation is this:
Keep the Calcium/Phosphorus ratio as close to 1:1 as possible
Keep Calcium to 3g/1000 Kcals or lower
DON’T LET THEM GET FAT
DON’T EVER LET THEM SLIP AND SLIDE ON SLICK FLOORS