|Barked: Mon Jul 29, '13 8:58am PST |
|Hi there! Congrats on the new puppy!
When my husband and I got Gatsby, neither of us had ever had a giant breed dog before, and it was a learning curve for us. Luckily, we had a vet and a trainer who were patient with our obsessive calls.
We were also concerned about the proper food to feed him. We finally settled on Nutro Ultra large breed puppy food as it wasn't overly expensive and he seemed to like it. Also as he grew, his food could grow with him, and we ultimately graduated him to the Nutro Ultra large breed dog food. He was 22lbs when we picked him up at 8 weeks, so we were concerned that he was going to be overweight , which is dangerous for the larger breeds...well any breed really. We asked the vet about serving sizes and she suggested we follow the directions on our dog food bag.
Gatsby is weighting in at about 150lbs now, which is a fairly average weight for him to be. He gained weight steadily for a year or so and then it just dropped off until he stopped at his current weight. His dad was all of 200lbs, and his mother was no slouch in the weight area either. We were just shooting for healthy, which he does seem to be. Kona will probably be smaller anyway as she's female.
As for bloat, we spoke to the vet and the trainer about that and ended up building a set of slightly elevated bowls. The trainer said he should be able to stand at his bowl without lifting his neck up or splaying his feet apart, so that's where he is now. He also recommended no heavy exercise for at least an hour on either side of feeding time. Gatsby will be 2 in just a few weeks, and we've not had a problem yet.
Gatsby also breathes pretty heavily, although not when sleeping typically. He did have a bout of ridiculous allergies when he was a few months old that made him stuffy, miserable and a heavy breather. The vet put him in antibiotics, and then said if it ever kicked up we could give him a Benadryl to help. Have you asked the vet about allergies?
I'm not sure what to tell you about the vaccination. We didn't give Gatsby one until we started his training classes, and only because it was required. He was about 7 months old or so. I didn't notice any negative side-effects from it, if that helps any.
The important thing is to take care of her to the best of your ability, which it sounds like you're trying to do. We trust our vet completely, as we know she would bend over backwards to make sure that Gatsby is taken care of and healthy, so if you are questioning your vet, maybe find one that you're more comfortable with, trusting your vet is essential, at least in my opinion.
Just relax, and keep an eye on her, and enjoy her. After having Gatsby, we've decided that we are just St. Bernard people, they are a wonderful breed, with great personalities. You will love every second...even the ones you're covered in drool.
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