Q: IS ORIJEN SUITABLE FOR A LARGE BREED PUPPY OR DOG?
A: YES. The main dietary concerns for large breed puppies and dogs are assuring appropriate calcium and energy levels in the food.
CALCIUM: The ideal calcium content for large breeds is thought to be between 1.0 and 1.4% on an “as fed” basis. It is believed that calcium in excess of 3% on a dry weight basis can predispose to significant skeletal abnormalities. When formulating for large breeds it is also important to keep in mind that certain vitamins (Vitamin D) can increase absorption of dietary calcium (to possibly excessive levels). ORIJEN is formulated to meet these calcium ideals.
ENERGY: If too many calories are supplied and consumed on a daily basis, too rapid growth can result and the excess mass that must be supported on an immature skeleton can result in damage to skeletal tissue, with subsequent malformation and/or malarticulation of joints.
There are 3 sources of energy in commercial pet foods; protein, fat and carbohydrate. ORIJEN is moderate in fat, high in protein and, importantly, very low in carbohydrate.
Carbohydrate has no essential function in the body, and as it converts to sugar quickly and easily, carbohydrate is the most common dietary cause of excess weight. Restricting carbohydrate in the diet is ideal for promoting peak physical conditioning in all dogs, including large breed puppies and dogs.
Q: HIGH PROTEIN AND JOINT HEALTH FOR LARGE BREED DOGS?
A: Research into the growth of Great Danes (Nap RC, The Netherlands,) has shown that the protein level of a diet has no significant influence on skeletal development. High protein intake does not result in increased risk for OCD or HD, and there is no effect on the development in the longitudinal growth of the bone." Additionally, while protein does not cause orthopedic problems, other nutrients can.
It is not excess protein that causes joint problems, but over feeding dogs can contribute to arthritis and orthopedic problems. Please note that most orthopedic and joint problems are inherited, but puppies and dogs that are over weight have a greater chance of an increase in pain and discomfort, and the potential of developing orthopedic problems as younger animals and arthritis later on in their life.
And while some nutritionists recommend feeding more fiber than meat and protein for weight gain, this can also have consequences, as it can block absorption.