regular vs. large breed food
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Thread: regular vs. large breed food

  1. #1
    Junior Member carey's Avatar
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    regular vs. large breed food

    I am not sure which I should be feeding my puppy. She is part miniature beagle part black lab. She seems to look more the size of a black lab puppy. When do you feed large breed food to a dog vs the regular?
    Carey~mom to Parker, Emma and Gabi
    and my 4 legged baby Stella

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  3. #2
    Senior Member DogsforMe's Avatar
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    Re: regular vs. large breed food

    If she's a big puppy for her age, I would be looking at using the large breed puppy food. You'll get an idea on the bags. Large dogs in particular should be grown slowly to help prevent problems with their growing bones & joints later down the track. Another perfect way to feed dogs is the raw mehttp://www.rawfed.com/myths/index.htmlaty bone way. It's what nature intended.
    http://www.rawfeddogs.net/ & the myths people will try & tell you to be true. http://www.rawfed.com/myths/index.html
    Last edited by DogsforMe; 10-19-2008 at 12:30 AM.
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  4. #3
    Senior Member BoxMeIn21's Avatar
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    Re: regular vs. large breed food

    Honestly I think size/breed specific food is nothing but a gimmick. You can find the same stuff in a good all life stages food...Or feed raw.

    "Please allow me to adjust my pants, so that I may dance the good time dance.
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  5. #4
    Senior Member Pepper's Avatar
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    Re: regular vs. large breed food

    But it can depend, giant breeds of dogs such as Irish Wolfhounds and Great Danes need a lower amount of protein, about 25% to mature and grow slower than a food with higher protein content would allow.

    And with first time Raw, you would have to do a nice amount of research and find exactly what your puppy needs, if it needs less protein, or a normal amount of protein.

    Some life stages can have lower protein for slower growth, others too much.
    Most Large breed puppy has the right amount of protein for a very quickly growing puppy.

  6. #5
    Senior Member trumpetjock's Avatar
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    Re: regular vs. large breed food

    The biggest concern for large breed puppies isn't protein. It's not calorie content. It's not what brand of food you feed.

    It is the content of calcium.

    The biggest concern that faces large breed dogs in the current state of the dog world is their joints. You want to ensure that your dog will have the best chance possible of avoiding any issues they can with their connective areas. The best way to do this is to make absolutely certain they do not eat a high calcium food (which results in legginess). Someone else can correct me if I'm wrong(as I've never owned a giant breed), but I believe the general guideline for large breeds is to keep it at 1.3% calcium or lower. Any higher and you are trudging into dangerous territory.

    Another thing to consider is the recent veterinary study covering 1.2 million dogs over 20 years that showed males having a 200% greater chance of getting hip dysplasia if neutered before full maturity (2+ years in large breeds), and females having 160% greater chance. That is more of a personal choice than the type of food you feed, but one to definitely look into!

    (I'm not advocating the practice of keeping your dogs intact. I'm just saying that the 2 years of having to watch your dog like a hawk may very well save them 5+ years of comfort from not having HD later in life. It's something to think about)

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    Senior Member flipgirl's Avatar
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    Re: regular vs. large breed food

    Here's a quote from a study done on early neutered dogs:
    Bones and ligaments: Early-age neutered dogs have increased incidence of orthopaedic problems (type not specified) [8], and hip dysplasia (CHD) [14]. Similarly, a correlation between increased incidence of CHD and increased time for growth plate closure has been reported in Labradors [110]. Although rates of CHD were increased in early neutered dogs, one study found the disease was significantly less severe than in dogs that were neutered at a later age; dogs with hip dysplasia that had been neutered at 5.5 months or older were “3 times as likely to be euthanatized for the condition as those with hip dysplasia and gonadectomized before 5.5 months of age.” [14]. This study was done on dogs obtained from a shelter – not a population of dogs that would normally be screened for CHD. I assume therefore, the dogs presented with clinical signs. In contrast, one study that followed early-age neutered pets for a 4-year period found no statistical difference in CHD rates between pre-pubertal (< 24 weeks of age), and traditional age (>/= 24 weeks of age) neutered pets [13].

    Again, relating to neutering at a young age and resultant increased height/weight; Akita dogs (not bitches) “with any musculoskeletal disorder were 2-times as likely to be in the highest weight/height category than were dogs never diagnosed with a musculoskeletal disease.” [108].

    http://users.lavalink.com.au/theos/Spay-neuter.htm#vacc

    The following is from a poster on another forum but it explains it well:

    "The surge of sex hormones through the body is the signal for the growth plates, mostly in the long bones, to close up. Preventing puberty by neutering denies the body that signal resulting in growth of the long bones continuing a bit longer than would normally happen. The dog's ultimate weight at maturity, determined by genetics and feeding, is thought to be unaffected but the dog may have longer legs than nature intended and the length may be in places where a joint angle, meaning structure, is changed. It is linked in some studies with the increase of cruciate injury and is the reason many owners of dogs intended to do hard work or sports prefer to let their dog mature before neuter. This applies to bitches and dogs."

  8. #7
    Senior Member trumpetjock's Avatar
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    Re: regular vs. large breed food

    Quote Originally Posted by flipgirl View Post
    Here's a quote from a study done on early neutered dogs:
    Bones and ligaments: Early-age neutered dogs have increased incidence of orthopaedic problems (type not specified) [8], and hip dysplasia (CHD) [14]. Similarly, a correlation between increased incidence of CHD and increased time for growth plate closure has been reported in Labradors [110]. Although rates of CHD were increased in early neutered dogs, one study found the disease was significantly less severe than in dogs that were neutered at a later age; dogs with hip dysplasia that had been neutered at 5.5 months or older were “3 times as likely to be euthanatized for the condition as those with hip dysplasia and gonadectomized before 5.5 months of age.” [14]. This study was done on dogs obtained from a shelter – not a population of dogs that would normally be screened for CHD. I assume therefore, the dogs presented with clinical signs. In contrast, one study that followed early-age neutered pets for a 4-year period found no statistical difference in CHD rates between pre-pubertal (< 24 weeks of age), and traditional age (>/= 24 weeks of age) neutered pets [13].

    Again, relating to neutering at a young age and resultant increased height/weight; Akita dogs (not bitches) “with any musculoskeletal disorder were 2-times as likely to be in the highest weight/height category than were dogs never diagnosed with a musculoskeletal disease.” [108].

    http://users.lavalink.com.au/theos/Spay-neuter.htm#vacc

    The following is from a poster on another forum but it explains it well:

    "The surge of sex hormones through the body is the signal for the growth plates, mostly in the long bones, to close up. Preventing puberty by neutering denies the body that signal resulting in growth of the long bones continuing a bit longer than would normally happen. The dog's ultimate weight at maturity, determined by genetics and feeding, is thought to be unaffected but the dog may have longer legs than nature intended and the length may be in places where a joint angle, meaning structure, is changed. It is linked in some studies with the increase of cruciate injury and is the reason many owners of dogs intended to do hard work or sports prefer to let their dog mature before neuter. This applies to bitches and dogs."
    That is exactly the type of information I was referring to. For me, the choice plays out like this....

    Male:I deal with increased energy level, and the possibility of them developing undesirable behaviours such as humping and marking at 10 months to 2 years. Also, during this time they can NEVER be fully trusted off-leash due to the unstoppable pull of a female in heat that could strike at any time.

    Female:I deal with 4 cycles. That means 21 days times 4. So out of 730 days I have to really pay attention to her for 84 (and she's only fertile for 10 per cycle.... I think. Shalva will correct me if I'm wrong, and I welcome it).

    Now... the benefits? For males, depending on the size of the breed a 200%(medium breed) lower chance of HD, and females a 160% lower chance...

    A bit of inconvenience for the possibility of many years of happy life? Hell yes, says I.

  9. #8
    Junior Member carey's Avatar
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    Re: regular vs. large breed food

    Quote Originally Posted by trumpetjock View Post

    It is the content of calcium.

    The biggest concern that faces large breed dogs in the current state of the dog world is their joints. You want to ensure that your dog will have the best chance possible of avoiding any issues they can with their connective areas. The best way to do this is to make absolutely certain they do not eat a high calcium food (which results in legginess). Someone else can correct me if I'm wrong(as I've never owned a giant breed), but I believe the general guideline for large breeds is to keep it at 1.3% calcium or lower. Any higher and you are trudging into dangerous territory.
    interesting. My cousin just adopted a great dane puppy and the breeder told her that she would need extra calcium. He said to give either whole milk or a calcium supplement daily.
    Do you have any links to info that I can send her about this?
    Carey~mom to Parker, Emma and Gabi
    and my 4 legged baby Stella

  10. #9
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    Re: regular vs. large breed food

    I second the reduction of calcium in large/giant breeds. I knew a couple that had giant breed studs (German Rottweiler, English Mastiff, and Irish Wolfhounds). Their first Irish Wolfhound was a rescue that had uncontrolled growth. They got him at 10 months old, he was HUGE, and looked like he had arthritis.

    When a large/giant breed grows unchecked, their bones can grow faster than their tendons, ligaments and muscles causing musculoskeletal pain. Another factor with uncontrolled calcium, is uncontrolled calorie intake. A growing large breed puppy should absolutely be kept slightly on the skinny side until at least 85-90% of skeletal growth is obtained (but at a slow rate!). If they are allowed to be fat, they are putting extra stress on joints that are not fully developed, which is why Glucosamine and Chondroitin are often added to large/giant breed food. And remember, there is no concrete timeframe for when growth plates seal up on a puppy. I was once given an approximation of 8-10 months (for large, not giant), but my dog got a knee injury at 11 months and x-rays showed that her growth plates weren't done. She has continued to grow (albeit slowly) for an additional two months.

    A healthy giant breed shouldn't have weight maturity until 1.5-2 years of age, and are usually fed Large Breed puppy food for that long as well. 1.5% calcium should be the absolute max, but 1.3% is preferable.



    As for the OP...A beagle/lab mix is an unpredictable mix as far as end results are concerned. I don't know if you know the accurate age, but even that can't necessarily help a vet predict mature size. My dog (lab/boxer - 25 lbs when I got her at 3-4 months old) was estimated by the vet to be 60, 65 lbs max. This was based on the fact that labs in the US tend to be smaller framed, and female Boxers are around 50 lbs. She has always been more boxer structured (lean and muscular with a well-defined waist) so they figured smaller. Yeah right. She's a year old and nearly 80 lbs, will probably be 80 by 2 years old. I'd recommend staying on the safe side and feeding a large breed puppy food. It won't hurt the dog.

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