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Dog food and growth problems?

September 21st, 2006, 11:03 PM
I have seen people posting that dog food brands such as Eukanuba, are really not that good for dogs, and suggest more holistic choices. I do have a concern about putting my 3 month old puppy on a food for all dog ages, as my vet and sources I have read have stated that if a large breed puppy (he is a Golden/Black lab mix) consumes too many calories, he can end up growing too quickly. This, I have read, can lead to the development of joint problems, and hence is the reason for specific large breed puppy foods. I frankly would prefer him to have a healthier diet, but I also donít want to risk causing other problems.


September 21st, 2006, 11:15 PM
Not all holistic foods are all-stages. Most still have puppy formulas. Too much calcium can cause too rapid growth and premature arthritis. Don't assume that because a dog food is holistic, there hasn't been as much research that has gone into every bag.... :) :shrug: Most food companies know their recommended nutrient percentages and abide by them. The only thing that changes is the quality of ingredients..

September 22nd, 2006, 04:17 AM
The thing with large breed puppy food is that most breeders will say NOT to feed it. Many say that the high protien and calcium will cause the puppy to grow to fast and yes its true you want to grow your puppy slow. Thats another reason why alot of breeders are moving to a raw diet. The puppies grow at a slower more stable, natural rate.

September 22nd, 2006, 08:33 AM
hold on. there is a difference between a kibble that is "all life stages", "puppy", and "large-breed puppy". What breeders of large breeds (BTW, labs are classified as medium-breed dogs, not large... an akita is a large dog, and a mastiff is a giant, etc :) ) don't want is people feeding their puppies a regular puppy food, that will lead to joint and bone problems. They recommend either the large-breed puppy food or, even better, an all-life stages food. You can always supplement with quality additions such as canned fish, cooked meats, whole eggs with shell, yogurt, cottage cheese, holistic canned food, etc.

It is true that raw-fed puppies grow at a slower and more "normal" (ie constant) rate than kibble-fed pups, the growth spurts are minimized and bone vs muscle formation is more regulated, which is specially important for large & giant breeds.

For example, my girl has been raw-fed since we got her at age 3 months, and her two kibble-fed sisters are currently a good 20 lbs heavier than she is, even if as puppies there was almost no size difference. Seeing as these are BYB dogs (non-pedigreed..) and my girl shows a lack of rear angulation - meaning a higher risk of ACL tears down the road - I really am happy she is growing more slowly and thus minimising the risk due to stronger joints & ligaments. By age 2 or 3, most raw-fed dogs are the same size or larger than their kibble-fed counterparts (more dense muscle mass), they just take longer to get there :pawprint:

September 22nd, 2006, 09:50 AM
Any websites, articles, etc that we should be reading in order to get more information on a raw diet that would benefit Byron?

BTW, THANKS for your wealth of ideas and advice!!! :thumbs up

September 22nd, 2006, 10:19 AM
we're all here to help one another :angel:

here are some sites that I like, of course there are no "absolutes" and only through alot of reading, talking, listening & asking for advice in the right places will you have enough information to form your opinions on what is right for Byron. :) however i do recommend the following reading material:


September 22nd, 2006, 11:15 AM
I will go on RAW diet also, at least try it, I really hope that my dog will take to it :pray: because I feel that commercial foods are just too risky (they change the formulas, the debate on the nutritional value of the cooked/processed foods, the "accidents" that killed many dogs etc.) and because all my dogs at home ware fed home cooked diets and they lived long healthy lives, no teeth problems, no vet bills and no cancers.

Here are some web pages that ware very helpful for me:

and a few threads from before that are a really good reading: