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Hey everybody! My grandparents just got my cousins a beautiful female yellow lab puppy, she is only 8 weeks old. I am going with my aunt to buy all of the supplies needed for her when she gets here. I was told that the breeder had the puppies on Purina Puppy Chow. I know that that food isn't the best thing to come around, so I am trying to get her to buy the good stuff. I was thinking about Solid Gold Puppy Food. I was told by my best friend, who is a manager at the local Petco, that this would be the best for her. Anybody have any other suggestions? Any would be greatly appreciated by everyone! Thanks!
 

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Solid Gold is good stuff.
Of the other brands sold at PetCo, I also really like:
Wellness
Natural Balance (not as much for puppies though)
Pinnacle.

For brands not at PetCo:
Innova
Ziwi Peak
California Natural

Personally, Wellness and Innova are my favorites, especially their grain-free formulas (Core and Evo, respectively).
 

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Solid Gold is good stuff.
Of the other brands sold at PetCo, I also really like:
Wellness
Natural Balance (not as much for puppies though)
Pinnacle.

For brands not at PetCo:
Innova
Ziwi Peak
California Natural

Personally, Wellness and Innova are my favorites, especially their grain-free formulas (Core and Evo, respectively).
I agree. Although the grain free formulas are NOT for puppies, so this would be something to consider after your pup turns a year old if you wanted to go that route I would recommend Wellness Core. Personally I like California Nutural (just have to be careful of the low fiber content if your dog needs a high fiber diet), Innova, and Wellness, Solid Gold, and Natural Balance.
 

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Crap I completely forgot about Orijen! I love that stuff too!
Why shouldn't puppies have grain free?
 

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Crap I completely forgot about Orijen! I love that stuff too!
Why shouldn't puppies have grain free?

Because as far as I am aware all say not suitable for puppies under 12 months. I believe the calcium ratio is too low or something along those lines. But I doubt a company would disclude a whole generation of dogs if it didn't have to for one reason or another. I know Wellness says that it isn't suitable for dogs under 12 months and I believe Evo does as well.
 

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Because as far as I am aware all say not suitable for puppies under 12 months. I believe the calcium ratio is too low or something along those lines. But I doubt a company would disclude a whole generation of dogs if it didn't have to for one reason or another. I know Wellness says that it isn't suitable for dogs under 12 months and I believe Evo does as well.
No, EVO is great for puppies. The calcium amount is good. The protein is basically all animal based protein. The following is from their website.

"Animal feeding tests using AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) procedures substantiate that EVO Dog Small Bites Dry Dog Food provides complete and balanced nutrition for all life stages."

Puppyhood is a life stage.

If I had to feed kibble to a puppy or dog, EVO would be it.
 

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If I had to feed kibble to a puppy, it would be Orijen Puppy. The amount of calcium in EVO, and most of the grain free kibble on the market, is too high for puppies. Up until puppies reach a certain point in their development, they are not able to regulate how much calcium their body absorbs. When too much calcium is given, too much is absorbed, greatly increasing the risk of bone and joint problems.
 

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I was told the same thing regarding EVO. I was planning on putting my new pup on EVO along with the older dogs, but I was told that I should have her on reg Innova until she gets about 1 year, then slowly switch her.
 

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If I had to feed kibble to a puppy, it would be Orijen Puppy.
I'm with you on that one! They even have a puppy formula, so I'm pretty sure it should be good for puppies. *shrug* my friend just switched her dog from raw back to kibble because she said it was too inconvenient with how much she traveled (whatever, I wasn't going to fight with her about it) so we did some research, narrowed it down between EVO and Orijen and decided to go with Orijin. I'll probably recommend she switch between the two every couple of months so her dog can get some variety, but yeah, Orijen. I like them both.
 

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Watch out with this!!!

I have done excessive amounts of research on nutrition for large and giant breed dogs, considering that I have two Great Danes and one honorary Great Dane mix.

I have read, and heard, from many different sources that large and giant breed puppies should not be fed regular puppy food or any food that has high in nutrients. Any grainless food falls into this category. I am not saying that grainless is bad, its just not formulated right for large and giant breed puppies. Smaller breeds do not have to worry about this problem so much because they do not do as much growing. It is just too nutritious in plain english. Large and giant breed puppies cannot handle this overload of nutrients, vitamins and minerals.

If a excessively nutritious food is given to a large or giant breed puppy, there is a risk of certain bone disorders. There is some discrepency on what exactly causes bone disorders, such as hypertrophic osteodystrophy or HOD which is the most, but it definitely is linked to over nutrition. Some say that it is a deficiency in vitamin C and others say that it is too high in calcium, protein, and calories. HOD is a disorder that affects puppies 2-6 months of age and is characterized by swollen, painful joints occurring bilaterally, usually in the forelimbs as shown here.






Some say that this excess amount of nutrients makes them grow too quickly and therefore grow inappropriately. I have personally seen many dane puppies come into the RMGDRI and to my work with HOD, guess what they were being fed? Regular puppy food or a grainless food. Their owners thought that buying the most premium food on the line was the best, or that they just didn't know the risks involved with puppy food. There is some research that shows that puppy food in general is not really needed....

I am raising a litter of dane puppies as we speak and I have ever prospective home sign a contract that they will not feed their puppy a high protein, high nutrient food until they are at least a year old for this very reason. It is what I learned from my mentor, a Great Dane breeder with 30 years under her belt. She told me that a high quality, premium adult food is enough for a growing puppy, but it must be low in protein and phosphorus and what I mean by low is less than 25% protein.

Please do your research, information is really easy to find on the web....

My adult dogs are on EVO!!!
 

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No, EVO is great for puppies. The calcium amount is good. The protein is basically all animal based protein. The following is from their website.

"Animal feeding tests using AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) procedures substantiate that EVO Dog Small Bites Dry Dog Food provides complete and balanced nutrition for all life stages."

Puppyhood is a life stage.

If I had to feed kibble to a puppy or dog, EVO would be it.
\

You should do some research on this before you comment. I know that you feed raw, which is fabulous, but this food is not great for puppies just because it is grainless kibble.

AAFCO states that it is formulated for "puppies" but they are not specific in which size of the puppy. Large and giant breed puppies require much different nutrition than that of the smaller breeds.

In this case, it doesn't matter where the protein/nutrients comes from. They have the ability to do the same amount of harm no matter the source.
 

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Rawfeddogs, don't you have Danes that you've been feeding raw since they were 12 weeks old, do they have HOD?
 

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Rawfeddogs, don't you have Danes that you've been feeding raw since they were 12 weeks old, do they have HOD?

First, I was only talking about kibble so I don't know where the whole raw diet came in, I wasn't comparing a raw diet and a kibble diet at all, but hopefully this helps:

Raw diet is not too nutritious for growing large and giant breed puppies, it is their natural diet and is formulated better than any commercial dog food, if done properly. That is the difference. There is not too much protein or nutrients or calories in a raw diet, if done properly. Puppies can still get HOD from a raw diet that is not balanced and proportioned. That is why his dane puppy probably never had HOD, because he proportioned it's diet correctly. Some commercial dog foods are so nutritious that they cannot extract and handle all of the nutrients out the first time it is digested, hence the reason some dogs eat their own poo and the reason obesity is such a problem. There is evidence that the higher end dog foods, such as Innova EVO or any other grainless food for that matter, is just too nutritious for large and giant breed puppies. In other words it makes them grow too quickly. Large and giant breed dogs are slow growers and require a large amount of time to get to their full height and weight. If you rush that process there are bound to be problems.

I never said in my original post that a raw diet is too nutritious! Sorry if it was confusing in any way. Does this clear things?
 

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Rawfeddogs, don't you have Danes that you've been feeding raw since they were 12 weeks old, do they have HOD?
I got one of my Danes at 12 weeks and he was fed raw from the moment he walked in the door. There were no physical problems with his growth.
 

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From here: https://www.msu.edu/~silvar/hips.htm

Plasma calcium concentration is tightly regulated by the body. This regulation is needed for the many calcium-dependent biologic processes, such as muscle contraction, hormonal release, and blood coagulation. The release of calcium-regulating hormones (parathyroid hormone [PTH], calcitonin [CT], and 1,25- dihydroxycholecalciferol [1,25 vitamin D]) is influenced by plasma calcium concentration. These hormones regulate calcium dynamics in the intestine, kidneys, and bone.

Calcium excess is routed primarily to bone through the influence of the calciotropic hormones on target organs. Chronic, high intake of calcium in large breeds has been associated with hypercalcemia, concomitant hypophosphatemia, rise in serum alkaline phosphatase, retarded bone maturation, higher percentage of total bone volume, retarded bone remodeling, decrease in osteoclasts, and retarded maturation of cartilage. These changes cause disturbances in endochondral ossification (articular and epiphyseal).(6) When high calcium intake (calcium excess) is coupled with relatively little absorption from bone, severe pathologic changes occur in the young, growing skeleton that is unable to respond by normal remodeling and endochondral ossification. The clinical diseases associated with these changes are osteochondrosis, retained cartilage cones, radius curvus syndrome, and stunted growth.(1,6) Therefore, calcium excess is a major causative or contributing factor in the pathogenesis of skeletal disease in the growing giant-breed dog.(3-6)

It is the absolute level of calcium, rather than the calcium/phosphorus ratio, that most influences skeletal disease.(11) Young, giant-breed dogs fed a diet containing 3.3% calcium (dry matter basis) and 0.9% or 3% phosphorus have significantly increased incidence of developmental bone disease. These dogs seem to be unable to protect themselves against the negative effects of chronic excess levels of calcium.(26) Calcium levels for a growth diet should be between 1% and 1.6% (dry matter basis). Often puppies are switched from growth to maintenance diets to avoid calcium excess and skeletal disease. However, because maintenance diets are generally of much lower energy density than growth diets, the puppy must consume more dry matter volume to meet its energy requirement. If the calcium levels (dry matter basis) are similar between the two diets, the puppy will actually consume more calcium on the maintenance diet. This is exemplified in the case of switching a 13-week-old Great Dane puppy from a typical growth diet (4.2 kcal/g and 1.6% calcium on a dry matter basis) to a typical maintenance diet (3.2 kcal/g and 1.4% calcium on a dry matter basis). The puppy would consume approximately 638 g of the growth diet containing 10.2 g calcium. To meet energy needs of 2680 kcal/day, this same puppy would consume approximately 838 g of the maintenance diet containing 11.7 g of calcium.

Feeding treats containing calcium or providing calcium supplements further increases daily calcium intake. If the same 13- week-old, 20 kg Great Dane puppy were given two level teaspoons of a typical calcium supplement (calcium carbonate) in addition to the growth diet, it would more than double its daily calcium intake. This level is well beyond that shown to increase the risk for developmental bone disease.(11)

Recent investigations produced osteochondrosis in the fetuses of ewes fed high levels of dietary calcium.(24) Because of the rapid growth rate of giant-breed dogs, they become "sentinels" for nutritionally influenced skeletal disease such as is seen with excesses in dietary calcium. Similar changes may be slower to surface and are not as easily identified in the smaller breeds. Regardless of the risks of high calcium intake, dietary calcium is a highly influential nutrient for skeletal development.
 

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Wow...thank you. Now that is what I call backing yourself up with facts. =)
 

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There are a few studies that have been done that do show excessive calcium to be the problem in growth related bone and joint problems, as well as rapid growth, specifically for giant breed dogs, but I personally feel are relevant for any larger breed dogs.

On the same note, puppies in general are not able to regulate how much calcium they absorb so it is wise to make sure appropriate levels are in the food throughout the growth of a pup.

I don't personally think that protein levels or "over nutrition" are a problem unless they are accompanied by excessive calcium.

The NRC states puppies require a minimum of 2 grams of calcium per 1,000 calories consumed, with a maximum of 4.5 grams of calcium per 1,000 calories consumed. One study done on Great Danes did indicate that any more than the 4.5 grams did indeed result in bone issues.

When looking at your food options, just make sure you consider the caloric density of the food when looking at the calcium percentage listed. Not all "all life stage" foods are appropriate for puppies, particularly large breed puppies, so don't go with a food just because it says it is formulated to meet the nutritional levels for all life stages according to AAFCO. Meeting nutritional requirements and providing the most appropriate nutritional balance are not the same.

You can, very appropriately, feed a raw diet to a large breed puppy. It will have to be carefully put together to ensure proper ratios are being achieved.

As far as commercial foods, if you are wanting to go with a grain free formula, as of right now the only grain free food I've found to be appropriate for large breed puppies is Orijen Large Breed Puppy formula.
 

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First, I was only talking about kibble so I don't know where the whole raw diet came in, I wasn't comparing a raw diet and a kibble diet at all, but hopefully this helps:
...

I never said in my original post that a raw diet is too nutritious! Sorry if it was confusing in any way. Does this clear things?
Sorry, when you said "too nutritious" I figured that a raw diet is pretty darn nutritions so why don't giant breed puppies on raw diets suffer the same problem if it is indeed a problem for giant breed puppies. I didn't mean to bring raw into the kibble forum, I was just wondering if the same rules applied.
 

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food choice for my ridgeback/boxer mix

My dog is about 19 months and weighs about 70 lbs. When she was a puppy I bought her nutro natural choice puppy chow but for large breeds and she is still alive and never had any problems! Go figure. You get like a 35 lbs bag for 20 something bucks! Its like 10 dollars cheaper then any other food for that size bag.
 

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Sorry, when you said "too nutritious" I figured that a raw diet is pretty darn nutritions so why don't giant breed puppies on raw diets suffer the same problem if it is indeed a problem for giant breed puppies. I didn't mean to bring raw into the kibble forum, I was just wondering if the same rules applied.

Some kibbles are for a better way of putting it "over-nutritious" for growing large and giant breed puppies, meaning they are not formulated for their needs, which sometimes can cause HOD. And as someone stated in another post that another bone disorder, OCD (not obsessive, compulsive disorder lol), has to do with a discrepency with calcium in the diet. A raw diet is not too much for them and has the right amount of calcium, if done and proportioned properly. There is a huge difference in too much or the wrong kind of nutrition and the right amount and kind of nutrition!

I didn't mean to come off as mad or anything about raw being mentioned here, I just don't want to see any puppies have bone disorders because they are being fed the wrong foods! I certainly don't want to come off as rude or pushy =)
 
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