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Discussion Starter #1
I'm having a really difficult time in feeding my Italian masiff cane corso. Researching says not to feed him a certain way because too much protein can make him grow to fast and be hurtful on his joints, the vet agreed. Now I had him taking blue buffalo puppy and it's not working out gave him diarreah so I switch him to natural balance wild pursuit high protein grain free for puppies to adults:all breeds. Now the vet told me he needs a large breed puppy food just because of certain nutrition in it ect that's essential for his growing., research says give him adult food because vets don't realize that puppy food has to much protein in it. A nutrition consultant told me to watch out for how much calcium intake... so I just don't know what to feed my poor pup that's almost 9 weeks old. Normally I would think protein is good because in history times that's all they naturally ate was protein.
 

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A few things I've discovered in my research about nutrition for my Dane puppy, which probably applies to your Mastiff/Corso as well:

1. There isn't scientific proof that too much protein results in health issues later in life. There ARE studies that prove too many calories/too much calcium can contribute to developmental orthopedic diseases (including osteochondrosis, HoD and pano), as well as bone deformities and hip dysplasia later in life.
2. There ARE nutrients in puppy food not present in adult food that your puppy needs. So you need to either find a puppy food that falls into the number range you're looking for (which I will list in a moment), OR you need to supplement adult food with puppy vitamins.

The numbers that I'm shooting for for a puppy who is most likely going to end up around 170-180 lbs. are:

Protein levels 23-26%
Fat 12%-16%
Moderate calories per cup 350 - 400
Calcium - 1.2% - 1.5%

I'm currently feeding 4Health puppy, which has these numbers:

Crude Protein 27.0% (min.), Crude Fat 15.0% (min.), Crude Fiber 3.0% (max.), Moisture 10.0% (max.), Calcium 1.2% (min.), Phosphorus 1.2% (max.), Phosphorus 1.0% (min.), Zinc 150 mg/kg (min.), Selenium 0.4 mg/kg (min.), Vitamin E 150 IU/kg (min.), L-Carnitine* 30 mg/kg (min.), Omega-6 Fatty Acids* 2.2% (min.), Omega-3 Fatty Acids* 0.3% (min.), DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid)* 0.05% (min.),
*Not recognized as an essential nutrient by the AAFCO dog food nutrient profile.
The protein is just slightly outside of the recommended range, but not much. I am probably going to switch foods to a slightly higher quality food (4Health is good, but not top of the line), and when I do, I will be more than happy to return to this thread to post what I switch to and whether I'm happy with it.

As a warning - any new food you switch your puppy to is likely to give him diarrhea unless you switch over a period of time by mixing portions of the food your puppy is used to and the food you're switching to.
 

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A food that says "all life stages" is made to puppy food standards. But some puppy foods and all-life-stages foods have too much calcium. It might be best to talk to some experienced Corso owners who have raised multiple healthy dogs, to see what they recommend.
 

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With large breeds the most important thing I've read about is calcium/phosphorus ratio. You want calcium to be 1.3% or lower and phosphorus should be 1% or lower ideally
You want to do puppy or all life stages, and you must look at the bag for the % because not all large breed foods fall into that range unfortunately
 

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I said I'd come back and post when I switched :) I'm transitioning my Great Dane puppy to Earthborn Holistic Grain Free. Both the "Meadow Feast" and "Coastal Catch" varieties are appropriate for all life stages and contain the proper calcium/phosphorous/caloric values for giant breed puppies. It's not super cheap, but it's good food owned by a decent parent company.

So far my puppy really seems to enjoy it - I've been using it minimally as training treats and mixing it in with his old food at about a 1:6 ratio.

I hope you find something that works for you!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'm trying Fromm right now, he's still having diaherra but it could be because he's been switched a few times from his food, so I'm just going to leave this one and stick to it, but earthborne is defeinetly my next option! Thanks
 

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I started with Fromm and liked it except he pooped a ton on that food lol I am currently feeding dr.tims pursuit and he does well on that. I would have fed orijen but it was a little high in calcium and phosphorus.
 

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I had similar issues with Fromm, Lad just didn't do well with it. I am sure it is a great food it just doesn't work for him. I feed Muenster Naturals to him, either Large Breed or Chicken and Pork. I contacted the company to verify that calcium and phosphorous numbers were appropriate. The communication was excellent, fast and friendly. If I were not using Muenster I would probably use Victor or Earthborn.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
So fromm isn't working out, still no hard poop, only once and awhile I'm trying it out for one more week, but I'm considering either earthborn, Acana, or TOTW, all recommended by mastiff breeders. I don't want to do adult food I'd rather do large breed puppy or all life stages. earthborn holistic primitive natural has tons of meat in it, which I like, but has a 1.5 calcium rate and I'm wondering if that's too high, others may not think so. Also, not sure which Acana food would meet the ratio either since their kind of high, and TOTW doesn''t list their calcium & phosphorus on their website. Which foods are recommended out of those that meets the needs?
 

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Earthborn Meadow Feast and Earthborn Coastal Catch both fall into the recommended calcium/phosphorous amounts and are All Life Stages foods.

My puppy has done incredibly well on Earthborn. I had to transition sort of quickly because I didn't want to buy another bag of 4Health, and I saw no soft stools as a result. Being able to switch back and forth between the two types makes the taste a little different every few weeks and I like to fancy that it keeps my dogs more interested in their meals, but that could just be me :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The only thing wrong I see with those two is that it only offers 1 meat and then the next ingredient is either peas or potatoe.
 

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The only thing wrong I see with those two is that it only offers 1 meat and then the next ingredient is either peas or potatoe.
Neither peas nor potatoes are 'bad' ingredients. My main reason for choosing this food was appropriate calcium/phosphorous/protein levels in a quality 'all life stages' food, which is pretty difficult to find.
 

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It's no bad, but it's nice to have more meat vs carbs
"More meat" isn't necessarily a good thing, label-wise. For instance, in Fromm Four Star Nutritionals Duck and Sweet Potato, "Duck" is the main ingredient and "duck meal" is the second ingredient, but duck meat is about 80% water and will lose that water weight after cooking, which reduces the actual meat content of the food to a fraction of the original amount. So in fact, "duck meal" is the most prominent ingredient in that particular bag of food, and "pearled barley" would be the second most prominent ingredient.

You can read up on high protein diets for dogs and the pros and cons of such. I wouldn't recommend a high protein diet for a giant breed puppy personally, but you could contact a nutritionist about that if you're interested in exploring that option.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Your right, I read that too about the "meat" being water mostly and that's the reason why I read to have two different meats in the first two ingredients. It was just more beneficial. I know my vet said my dogs protein levels are really low as well as his phosphorus, so me moving up in protein should be fine. I also have done research and protein intake has been a myth when watching out for large breed growths, it's calcium and phosphorus that needs be watched.. everything us always conflicting though, so you never know what's 100% right. I just know I was recommended by mastiff owners to either get TOTW, ACANA, or earthborne, and there all against puppy food. Either choosing adult or all life stages.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Do you know how this calcium and phos. Calculatates? because Acala Prarie states 1.2 calcium , 0.9 phos = 1.3:1 ratio
Acana Pacifica states 1.5 cal , 1.2 phos. = 1:3:1 ratio

How are they both adding up to that being two different levels of calcium and phos?
 
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