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Large Breed Puppy
June 2, 2018
Large Breed Puppy
The large breed pups (55lbs +)
Optimal growth for a large or giant breed puppy is very different from maximum growth.
Optimal (the best kind of) growth for these pups means controlled growth – it does not mean growing very big, very fast.
Serious, debilitating, sometimes crippling health problems develop in large puppies whose bodies grow too fast – problems of the bones, joints, tendons, muscles and nerves.
Diets for large and giant breed pups should not encourage rapid growth. Excess mineral content and excess calories, not protein, are the culprits in rapid growth puppy foods.
Feed your large or giant breed puppy a portion-controlled, balanced, species-appropriate diet – either homemade or an excellent commercially available formula. If you feed kibble, feed either a food specifically for large-breed puppies, or one that is “Approved for all life stages.”
Feeding high calcium diets with excess calcium is often blamed for contributing to bone problems in young, rapidly growing dogs. There does appear to be a link between the incidence of hypertrophic osteodystrophy (HOD), osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) and hip dysplasia, and the overfeeding of calcium. In recent studies, researchers fed dogs calcium at a much higher than recommended amount, and compared the incidence of disease in dogs that were fed normal or less than normal calcium levels. As would be expected, the animals that were overfed calcium showed increased incidence of skeletal problems including hip dysplasia.
Many people have embraced these studies and interpreted them to imply that by feeding a puppy food slightly lower in the recommended amounts of calcium and phosphorous to large breed puppies, the puppies will have a decreased incidence of hip dysplasia. However, there are no studies that show that these low calcium foods result in less hip dysplasia in large breed dogs than a normal well-balanced puppy food. While feeding a special formula large breed puppy food to your puppy is not bad, there are no concrete studies that show it is better than a balanced puppy food formulated for all puppies.
Therefore a 1:1 ration is optimal for LBP