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Discussion Starter #1
I just purchase my first really large breed dog two weeks ago. I would like to know what is the best food to feed him? And any other pointers that you could pass along.
 

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Hey Rose...well theres two groups here on this forum. There's the kibble feeders and the raw...I'm assuming that you're sticking to kibble since its where you posted...sooo...here goes.

Foods that our group generally like is Innova, California Natural, Merricks, Wellness, Natural Balance, etc (theres lots more, can't think of them right now)

You should also check out Dog Food Analysis - Reviews of kibble. You can rate different food and compare, etc.

Theres a lot of information in the Dry/Kibble section so have fun =)
 

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What kind of puppy did you get? If it's a giant breed you aren't supposed to feed puppy food, just adult food I guess. I've never had a giant breed dog but we have some Dane owners here that could probably give you some good advice.

When it comes to food, you want to make sure you're feeding something with no corn, wheat, soy, by-products, artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.

What are you feeding now?

Be sure to post pictures of your puppy for us!
 

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He is a mixed Mastiff puppy ... mom was a neopoltin mastiff weigh 110lbs and dad was a old english mastiff weigh 200+ lbs. He is turn 12 weeks last saturday and weigh 35lbs. I was letting him eat the Fromm dog food that I feed my other two dogs.. I just know that he is going to me a very large dog and just want to make sure he gets the right food.. my other two dogs are 2 & 8 yrs old and weigh 55 -65 lbs so there is a difference.. I posted some pics of him in my albums on my profile..
 

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That is going to be a huge puppy! Fromm is good food so you should be set there but like I said, I've never had a dog that large before so I don't know exactly.
 

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WOW! yea...thats one big puppy. yea..i dont have much experience with the large/giant breeds.

some people say stick with the large breed formulas, etc since they are prone to hip dysplasia, etc.

we have a few people on our forum that has experience, so hopefully they'll give ya their input. =)
 

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My puppy is 5 months old and while he's not a GIANT breed like yours, he is 50 pounds already. I started him on Innova large breed puppy which gave him a really nice, super soft coat. He had a little bit of soft stool on it so now we mix it about a third with Solid Gold WolfCub large breed puppy and he does fabulous on it. That is made with Bison and has a little pumpkin in it so he gets exposed to different protein groups with the two brands, plus the pumpkin in the Solid Gold helps keep him very regular and he has very little clean up in the yard. When that is gone we will let him try Orijen large breed puppy to expose him to another brand and protein source. I have one dog with severe food allergies so I am rotating this pupppies food and exposing him to new things periodically to help prevent that. So far the Innova large breed puppy is doing well by him and he eats a lot less then the two puppies in his puppy kindergarten who are skinny,hyper little things!
 

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The "common belief" among giant breed people is to NOT feed puppy food to a giant breed puppy. Feed an adult food that is less than 24% protein and 14% fat. 22% protein would be better. This is supposed to cause the dog to grow slower and thereby not causing bone/joint problems caused by too rapid growth.

I'm not convinced that there is any basis to that "common belief" but the greatest majority of giant breed owners swear by it. It may just apply to kibble fed pups.

I fed my Great Dane puppy a raw diet of nothing but raw meat, bones, and organs and he had no problems with bones/joints as he grew up. I have never heard of a raw fed puppy having these problems. My Thor is now 3 1/2 years old and in perfect health.
 

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I have Danes and Feed Solid Gold. I dont believe just because you have a large breed that you have to feed a large breed food. As long as they are getting a quality food you should be fine. Solid Gold does have Wolf King for large breed but I myself dont feed that one. I feed the blue bag. Cant remember what its called!
 

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I feed my St. Bernard Eagle Pack Holistic Giant Breed. I have fostered St. Bernard puppies and have fed them Eagle Pack Holistic Giant Breed Puppy. They have all done very well on it. I rotate foods for my dogs and my St. seems to look the best when eating this food.
 

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He is a mixed Mastiff puppy ... mom was a neopoltin mastiff weigh 110lbs and dad was a old english mastiff weigh 200+ lbs. He is turn 12 weeks last saturday and weigh 35lbs. I was letting him eat the Fromm dog food that I feed my other two dogs.. I just know that he is going to me a very large dog and just want to make sure he gets the right food.. my other two dogs are 2 & 8 yrs old and weigh 55 -65 lbs so there is a difference.. I posted some pics of him in my albums on my profile..
Fromm is a great food. I have two great danes, both gentle giants and I don't feed them a large breed formula at all. Both of mine were on Canidae All Life Stages formula, until recently when I switched them to EVO. My friend with two danes, one is a puppy from my litter, and they both do really well on Fromm. Any high quality food will be great for your new puppy so I would stick to the Fromm is it is working out well.

The only thing that I have heard about the whole "don't feed a giant breed puppy regular puppy food" is that puppy food, or any high protein food, is just too much for their system to handle, which can lead to certain joint issues like HOD and OCD. If fed properly, these high protein foods and puppy foods can be perfectly fine for their systems. I would suggest going to a specialty pet foods store and talk with the owner, who would know more about nutrition and dog food brands than most people and vets. They will most likely come up with a feeding routine and personalized diet for your puppy! Good luck :)
 

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We are feeding them the fish flavors since that seems to agree with my other two dogs stomachs. My female pit/sharpi mix gets bad gas from meat flavor kibble so I try to stay with things that are made with fish mostly to keep the house smelling nice...lol
 

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The "common belief" among giant breed people is to NOT feed puppy food to a giant breed puppy. Feed an adult food that is less than 24% protein and 14% fat. 22% protein would be better. This is supposed to cause the dog to grow slower and thereby not causing bone/joint problems caused by too rapid growth.
Some think that too much protein is the culprit with bone and joint problems in growing large breeds. Actually what you need to look for is the calcium phosphorus levels in the kibble. Try to stay under 1.5% calcium, and .9% phosphorus. If the levels are higher than this, the bones can grow at a faster rate than the muscles, therefore putting added stress on the joints from the lack of support from the muscles. And if it has a high fat and calorie content (which most regular puppy foods do) added onto high calc/phos levels, that puts even more stress into the mix due to the extra weight the puppy is putting on. There are quite a bit of companies that do not include the calc/phos content on their analysis, that is why a lot of large breed people try to look for the lowest protein content. Lower the protein..lower the calcium, in most cases. Orijen Large Breed Puppy has 42% protein, but a low percentage of calcium and phosphorus. Just keep an eye out for 1.5 and .9 and under, and if there is a food you like, but it is not listed, you can contact the company and they should be able to tell you what they are. Sorry to be long winded. Hope this helped some. :redface:
BTW- Raw fed pups naturally grow at a slower pace, so bone problems are usually not as common as kibble fed.
 

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Regarding the calcium and phos. levels for puppy food, I am researching food to use for my female german shepherd puppy. I will get her the last week of Jan. and she will be approx. 9 weeks. I currently have a boxer/lab mix that is on Nutro Natural Choice and I am switching her next week to Natural Balance or Wellness (I chose these two brands b/c I can find them locally at PetCo). I plan to put my adult dog and puppy on the same brand of food (NB or Wellness as mentioned above). After researching both brands, Wellness' Just for Puppy had a good analysis on "dog food analysis.com" but the protein (28%) fat (17%), calcium (1.3%) and phos. (1%) seem a bit high for the large breed recommendations I've been reading about. Should I instead put both dogs on NB Lamb and Rice (protein 21%, fat 12%, calcium 1.2%, phos 1%) or Wellness Lamb/Barley/Salmon (protein 22%, fat 12%, calcium 1.2%, phos. .9%)? My adult is an active walker/frisbee player and we plan to train the puppy in the same activities. I would appreciate any advice on these foods.
 

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Have you looked into the large breed puppy formula by Wellness? http://www.wellnesspetfood.com/dog_wellness_dry_super5mix_puppy_health.html
I do like wellness better than NB, admittedly, but they are very similar products. Also, you could look into putting your lab/boxer on Wellness Core. I like it a lot better than the regular Wellness products, especially for active dogs.
 

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Thanks for those suggestions and it looks like they'll both work! Glad to know you like Wellness more than NB. Regarding caloric intake for dogs, is there a way to calculate the calories to feed your dog based on their activity level? I always wonder if the tables on the food bag are accurate. Also, what is your opinion on switching dog food throughout a dog's life to keep if from developing allergies? If you switch foods, how many and how often would you switch? Is it okay to keep a dog on the same food if they like it and aren't having any problems with it? Thanks!
 

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I take those guidelines with a grain of salt. They usually suggest overfeeding my dog, and I truly believe every dog has different metabolic needs. So I usually look at the suggestion, look at how much I've been feeding, look at my dog's body condition, and adjust it accordingly. I just found this kinda handy website that gives you a rough estimate of how many calories your dog will need. Check it out: Metabolic Energy Requirements For Dogs

I like the idea of switching up the foods throughout their life, mainly for variety purposes. Different types of protein have different benefits to dogs, so varying their protein sources are definitely good for them. Some people switch every month, every other month, etc. If your dog is happy with the food its on and so are you, you can certainly stick with it (especially if your dog has health problems). But if your dog is perfectly healthy and can handle some variety, I'd say that is the most preferable option.

The other thing I encourage people to do for their dogs is give them some real food every now and then. Like scramble up an egg and mix it up with their kibble. Or give the dog some plain cooked meat or fish or liver, etc. Don't bother with adding fruits, grains, and veggies, as those really just cause more poop and don't do much for the dog. When you add these extra things, just make sure you subtract some kibble from that meal to make sure they aren't getting a bunch of extra calories.
 

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The "common belief" among giant breed people is to NOT feed puppy food to a giant breed puppy. Feed an adult food that is less than 24% protein and 14% fat. 22% protein would be better. This is supposed to cause the dog to grow slower and thereby not causing bone/joint problems caused by too rapid growth.

I'm not convinced that there is any basis to that "common belief" but the greatest majority of giant breed owners swear by it. It may just apply to kibble fed pups.

I fed my Great Dane puppy a raw diet of nothing but raw meat, bones, and organs and he had no problems with bones/joints as he grew up. I have never heard of a raw fed puppy having these problems. My Thor is now 3 1/2 years old and in perfect health.

I agree with the above. I have a Newfoundland and know many breeders who feed their puppies adult food starting at 4 months old. Many Newf owners feed Orijens, Sold Gold, Wellness Core, Eagle Pack,Innova,or The honest kitchen ...LOL I have tried them all. My fav is Origens 6 fish and the honest kitchen. I now only feed raw.

Good Luck with your boy... and just so you have an idea, my boy weighed 36lbs at 12 weeks and is now 14 months and a lean 150lbs :eek:
 
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