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S.B. – I recently found this link and it was so, so helpful to me. There’s so much variation in dog food and this helped me zero in on where to start. Start by weighing your pup (today, right now – they grow so fast!), then find how many calories per cup the food you’re using contains. I found that on the website for our food. You can then use this formula to compute how many calories daily are needed for basic metabolic processes. For a puppy, the Ohio State vet clinic advises 2x the amount in the 4+ months to adulthood stage. I started there but found my puppy needs a bit more (they advise it can vary as much as 50%). Because she’s a large breed, we are going to watch/adjust weekly to make sure she isn’t growing too fast or too slow.
I’m not sure if this will help you, but I know how much it helped me and wanted to share. 🙂
Thank you so much for your help! I’ve decided to start tracking her weight weekly on the calendar and visually determine health on the 9-point scale weekly as well, so hopefully we’ll find a good groove.
I ended up buying the Coastal Catch variety and setting the Primitive Naturals variety aside. On their website, Earthborn Holistics states that PN is not suitable for growth of large breed puppies but they haven’t placed that statement on the bag; that’s disappointing. I know I read the back of the bag in the store and would have appreciated that statement.
For anyone who may read this later, I ended up using this calculator which is based on research from Ohio State University. It calculates number of calories needed based on life stage of the dog. Then I took that daily caloric need value and divided by the number of calories in a cup of her food….which gave me a number of cups to feed per day. I’m going to start there because it makes the most sense to me. But every week we will re-evaluate her weight and visual condition and adjust as needed. That link is:
I just went through this link (http://www.petmd.com/sites/default/files/bcs-dog.jpg) and she’s at about a 5. She has great waist definition, I can feel her ribs and spine running my hand along her. She has a very thin layer of fat. No saggy belly. She just got spayed about 2.5 weeks ago, so I’m guessing that will slow her metabolism. I just calculated her age in weeks and she’s 22 weeks, weighing about 42 lbs. For some reason I was thinking 2 lbs per week was good growth for puppies until about 6 months or so. I appreciate your help figuring out what to feed her. It can feel overwhelming trying to find the right fit; we’ve already tried a couple other foods until I stumbled across the Hound Dog Mom Google document outlining appropriate foods for large breed puppies. Neither of the ones we were using made the list. And as I was writing this, I just went back and checked the list and Primitive Naturals doesn’t make the cut either. 🙁 According to my calculations, the calcium content is 1.5:1 with phosphorus, so it’s definitely at the higher end of acceptable for large breed puppies. I can’t believe I goofed that – but I was reading so many different things the day I decided on Earthborn Holistics. Grrrrr….. I can’t waste the expensive bag I just bought, so we’ll finish it and then switch. Earthborn makes a Puppy Vantage, but it includes grains and a few more controversial ingredients. Oh the decisions. :/
Thank you both! The bag of food doesn’t specify based on age/weight, and from what I can tell it is based on adult weight. So I will feed based on her ideal adult weight, but at the bottom end of the range. For her current weight at this moment, the range (35-50 lbs) is about 1.75-2.25 cups/day. However, for the weight range 65-80 lbs which I believe is her ideal *adult* body weight, the feeding range is 2.75-3.25 cups/day. I just fully switched her over today and was thinking I would feed 2 cups, but I think instead I’ll start with 2.75 cups/day and watch that she continues her weight gain. My vet hasn’t been very helpful when I’ve asked about weight gain per week; does anyone have a good resource/rule of thumb for weight gain? She’s been gaining about 2-2.5 lbs per week thus far, but I would assume that is going to slow down at some point? When should her weekly weight gain slow down?
Hi! I’m new to this forum, but this article has been tremendously helpful for me in choosing a proper food for my puppy. Reading the Google doc that Hound Dog Mom posted helped me choose Earthborn Holistic’s Primitive Naturals kibble and my 42 lb 5 month old chocolate lab puppy loves it but I have a question: How much do I feed her? Meaning, based on the bag/chart, do I feed her based on her current weight or based on her ideal weight? For her current weight, it says she should be getting around 2 cups per day. But is that enough? Or should I feed to her ideal weight which I think is closer to 70 lbs? This is my first dog and I’m trying to figure this out. Their offices are currently closed for the weekend, but I left a post for Earthborn’s Facebook page as well.