|Barked: Thu Feb 7, '13 8:32pm PST |
|Okay, stop the presses just a bit. Let's de-confuse ourselves.
FACT: Large breeds go through a massive growth spurt. Now, a large breed is any breed with an average adult size of over 55 lbs. A giant breed is even more massive spurt than regular large breeds.
FACT: Contrary to what we've been told in the past about our pets, power feeding to make our pets big is HARMFUL to their physiology - any size dog. What we should be going for is a controlled, balanced growth.
So, the reason there is a separate Large Breed Puppy Kibble is because the commercial dog food business have to add tons of minerals to the regular kibble to compensate for all the minerals lost in the food processing. The Large Breed Puppy Kibble is designed to have a lower mineral content and lower calorie content than the regular puppy kibble to achieve a controlled, balanced growth throughout the massive growth spurt undergone by a Large Breed Puppy. Large Breed puppies need a relatively lower calorie intake as well as the Mineral intake as compared to their smaller counterparts. But, this is where the commercial dog food is not very good... In the process of creating a Large Breed Puppy formulation, they also lower the Protein content. We DON'T WANT to lower the PROTEIN ratio. And here's why (in overly simplified terms):
High calories contribute to big mass. A dog with a bigger mass than its skeleton can support is going to result in growth problems.
Minerals contribute to faster bone growth. Bones that are growing faster than its ligaments will cause lesions on the bone and other bone abnormalities contributing to a weak bone structure.
Protein is the main energy source for a dog. Lowering the protein ratio in a dog's diet will cause a protein deficiency that is detrimental to growth.
So, this is what you need to be going for in large/giant breeds - low mineral ratio, high protein ratio all contributing to a low calorie intake.
BUT - In PMR-fed dogs the 80-10-5-5 ratio is just fine for any breed, any size dog (this is not a high mineral diet at all). Raw food is also less calorie dense than the corresponding kibble in volume. So,the 2% volume guideline is a good starting point. Then you need to observe the dog to watch his growth - if he's getting too fat, cut back the amount of food (keeping the ratio), if his ribs start to stick out, increase the amount of food. This is really nothing different than all the other PMR fed dogs. Don't use mineral supplements as the dog is growing. Introduce minerals only when the dog shows signs of mineral deficiency (which can be genetic).
Edited by author Thu Feb 7, '13 8:51pm PST
|my posts|| [notify]|