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Offline MParlier

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Giant Breed Nutrition and Feeding
« on: April 17, 2009, 12:17:18 PM »
GIANT BREED NUTRITION AND FEEDING

Giant breed dogs, like English Mastiffs and Great Danes, require some special attention when it comes to feeding and nutrition. Many times, Great Danes and Mastiffs are lumped into the category of "large breed puppies," which grow to 50 lbs. or more.  Giant breeds like Mastiffs and Great Danes grow to be 100 to 250+ pounds at adulthood. Proper nutrition plays a huge role in the proper growth and health of giant breeds, from proper development to prevention of bloat in adults.

There are a few major points on Great Dane and Mastiff puppy feeding and nutrition that all giant breed owners should be familiar with, as they are crucial to proper growth and development:

SLOW DOWN

Overfeeding a Great Dane or Mastiff is a big no-no.  This seems to be the toughest point for new giant breed owners.  Everyone wants their puppy to be impressively huge, and there is a misconception that by feeding more, your puppy will grow to be a larger adult.  Genetics are genetics.  Your dog will grow to be the same size in the end; it's just a matter of how long it takes for them to get there and how healthy they are in the end.

Studies have shown that by feeding giant breed puppies approximately 25% less calories and by feeding the proper ratios of protein, fat, calcium and phosphorus (all slightly reduced levels compared to normal puppy food) you can greatly reduce, if not eliminate, their chances of developing certain diseases such as HOD, OCD, Pano, and environmentally caused hip dysplasia.
When a Great Dane or Mastiff puppy is fed more calories or foods with high levels of protein and fat (most experts agree that 23% protein and 12% fat are the ideal levels for growing giant breeds) it can cause their bones to grow faster than their muscles, which can lead to the painful and disfiguring diseases listed above. Proper feeding allows for more consistent, slower and proper growth.

WEIGHT -  SO HOW MUCH SHOULD I FEED?

A good general rule for Great Danes and Mastiff puppies is you should be able to see the outline of the last rib or two when looking at their side while standing. For adults, you should be able to easily feel the ribs, but not see them other than possibly the last one. Adjust your feeding amounts by about 1/2 cup at a time and watch for improvement.  If you have to err, it's always better for a giant breed to be on the lighter side rather than overweight, as extra weight can lead to hip dysplasia and joint problems in giant breeds.
*Please consult your breeder for their recommendations.

NO REGULAR PUPPY FOOD

Regular puppy formulas contain way too much fat and protein for giant breeds like Great Danes and Mastiffs.  Look for a good quality giant breed puppy formula.  Puppies should remain on puppy food designed for giant breeds until they are 18 to 24 months old.
 
*Please consult your breeder for their recommendations.

HOW OFTEN TO FEED

Puppies from 7 weeks to 3 months should be fed three-four times per day.  We like to feed three times a day up to 4 months.  After 4 months, we switch to twice a day with an extra snack on highly active days, and continue to feed twice a day into adulthood. Studies show that more frequent feeding in smaller amounts can reduce the likelihood of developing bloat.
 
*Please consult your breeder for their recommendations. 

YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT

..and so is your dog.  Many commercial pet foods contain junky ingredients. Salt, sugar, corn and byproducts (the junk left over after the good meat is used elsewhere) are just as bad for your pet as they are for you (especially during the crucial growth period).  Spring for a super-premium giant breed puppy food to give your pup the best chance at growing into a healthy adult. Giant breed puppy formulas are balanced with the proper levels of protein, fat, calcium and phosphorus for these fast-growing giant breeds.

RAW FEEDING

Some people recommend fresh raw bones and raw foods (BARF) as an alternative to processed foods.  If you choose to go this route, make sure you consult a vet that is familiar with the special needs of giant breed puppies to make sure you're feeding your puppy the correct ratio of ingredients.

*Please consult your breeder for their recommendations. 

HEALTHY TREATS

As great as some super-premium foods are, they are still processed foods.  We like to give our Great Danes and Mastiffs healthy treats rather than packaged bones in order to add some fresh ingredients to their diets.  Some of our favorites are fresh grilled chicken breast slices, carrots, plain yogurt, green beans, broccoli, peas, strawberries, apples, oatmeal, blueberries, bananas, green peppers, cucumbers and celery.  If your dog or puppy isn't used to getting these types of foods, start slowly so you don't upset their digestive systems - just a bite or two at a time.

TALE CARE OF THEIR JOINTS

We've had the most success keeping our giant breeds feeling good & playing like puppies well into adulthood by choosing foods with glucosamine and chondroitin for healthy joints, and by choosing super-premium foods rather than foods with junky ingredients.

BLOAT PREVENTION

Deep-chested breeds, like Great Danes and Mastiffs, are highly susceptible to bloat (or torsion), a condition where the stomach fills with gas, twists, and kills the dog if not treated immediately. Nutrition and feeding practices play a huge role in the prevention of bloat. 

Portions of article by:  I-Tails.com



~AM Murphy, Flying W Farms (B: 1.23.05 ~ Rufus & Kady) CGC, Therapy Dogs International, Inc., RIP 8.22.2016
~Epileptic GSD mix Annie (B: 10.4.04 ~ adopted 5.06) RIP 5.17.08
~EM Frankie (B: 11.11.01 ~ adopted 10.07) RIP 10.28.09
~Epileptic AM Brody, Orion Farms (B: 9.11.09 ~ Merlin & Pandora ~ adopted 4.2.10) RIP 6.15.13
~EM Maggie (B: 10.17.05 ~ adopted 12.06) RIP 12.1.2013
~Chihuahua mix, Daisy (B: approx 2003 ~ adopted 11.09) RIP 1.31.2014

*You get out of a dog only what you are willing to put into it.

Offline Maria and Rick

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Re: Giant Breed Nutrition and Feeding
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2009, 01:52:12 PM »
Since we lost a lot of what was posted before, I thought I'd just add my experience of feeding my AM to this post. X is my first dog, so it has been a big learning experience.

When we brought X home, we stuck to the free-feeding that they had been doing at FWF. With only one dog, we didn't have to worry that another dog might stuff themselves. We chose Eagle Pack because we had read an article by the Great Dane Lady, and we could not get what the breeder fed, as it was not available in Canada. The Eagle Pack Holistic Large and Giant Breed Puppy Food, has a feeding chart based on age and weight on the bag, so we started by putting out that amount of food accordingly.

Some days she finish's the food by bedtime, other days not.  On days when she finished all her food by late afternoon or early evening, we would put a bit more out. She would ussually do that for 3-5 days, then we would notice that she would be taller when compared to the couch, and the amount of food would then go down. When we would check it again compared to the Eagle Pack chart, it would ussually be in line with her current age, and (since we've tried to take her in to weigh her every month) her new weight.

In the morning she gets 1-1.5 cups of wet food. I make this from boiling chicken, or beef, (no seasoning)
the meat gets pureed with cooked carrot, broccolli, and sweet potato, and then mixed with kibble. I usually make enough for 1 week at a time. At lunch (if I'm home) and at dinner she gets some cooked and cooled brocolli or carrot, or sliced apple and peanut butter. Don't remember when I started giving her lunch, or dinner, but when anyone is in the kitchen at dinner she is there waiting for her veggies.
 
AM Xenobia 06/20/08 FWF (Sweet Georgia x Nigel Bear)
Tuppence the diabetic cat 10/29/93-02/13/10
AM Hank ?2008? FWF (Penny? X Nigel)

Offline Cleos Family

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Re: Giant Breed Nutrition and Feeding
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2009, 02:00:38 PM »
We also got our Cleo from FWF but have not been free feeding (based on our trainer's recommendation).  She is however getting 3 meals a day, even at 9 months.

The boiled chicken and veggies is also working very well for Cleo and a good option for picky eaters.  She always eats her Eagle Pack with broth and a few small pieces of chicken.

I always add a few apples in the soup mix too.


Offline carshell

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Re: Giant Breed Nutrition and Feeding
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2009, 08:55:49 PM »
Anyone feed Canidae? I think that's what it's called....


Michelle, Mom to:
Bentley, Born on 5/18/09 to Millie and Otis, Poplar Bluff Ranch, Canada

Offline dimples21_

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Re: Giant Breed Nutrition and Feeding
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2009, 08:40:21 AM »
Anyone feed Canidae? I think that's what it's called....
Both my dogs are on a mix of Canidae Lamb and Rice and Kirkland Lamb and Rice.
They do REALLY good on it. My lab doesnt limp or is as stiff as he used to be on different food, I had him on Iams senior.
Christianne mom to
Elizabell "Izzy"
NigelxSophie FWF
6May2007

http://s290.photobucket.com/albums/ll254/Izzys_photos_6may2007

Offline Maria and Rick

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Re: Giant Breed Nutrition and Feeding
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2009, 09:49:20 AM »
Its great that the change in food helped your lab. Up until we applied to be on FWF waiting list and really started looking into food, I thought it was all the same.
AM Xenobia 06/20/08 FWF (Sweet Georgia x Nigel Bear)
Tuppence the diabetic cat 10/29/93-02/13/10
AM Hank ?2008? FWF (Penny? X Nigel)

Offline dmartin

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Re: Giant Breed Nutrition and Feeding
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2009, 10:26:06 AM »
I've started researching what Adult food I'm going to switch Sierra over to when she is 18 months old.  I know I'm starting early as she is only 13 months old right now but there are alot of foods out there and I want to be confident that I've choosen the best one for her. 

Debbie
Debbie from Toronto
Captain Kiss, CGN, CRNMCL, CRNTMCL, CRAMCL, CRATMCL- Hidden Acres Farm
Born May 9/14 to Abby / Bull

Sasha, CGN, CKC, CRNCL, SDS-SP, SDA - Hidden Acres Farm
Born: Dec 10/10 - RIP Aug 19/16
Hunley / Rebel

Sierra - Hidden Acres Farm                     
Born: Mar 6/08 - R.I.P.Oct 26/10           
Max / Savannah    


Spend your time teaching what you want, not stopping things you don't want.

Offline carshell

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Re: Giant Breed Nutrition and Feeding
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2009, 09:02:47 PM »
Thanks for the info!  I visited our local pet store which stocks mostly natural type dog foods and they had the Eagle Pack and the Candidae along with some other brands, but the clerck recommended the Canidae with he said is great quality but about $10 dollars a bag less ;D
Michelle, Mom to:
Bentley, Born on 5/18/09 to Millie and Otis, Poplar Bluff Ranch, Canada

Offline MParlier

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Re: Giant Breed Nutrition and Feeding
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2009, 06:51:09 AM »
Anyone feed Canidae? I think that's what it's called....
Both my dogs are on a mix of Canidae Lamb and Rice and Kirkland Lamb and Rice.
They do REALLY good on it. My lab doesnt limp or is as stiff as he used to be on different food, I had him on Iams senior.

I feed Canidae and Kirkland too.  Until I got laid off, my crew was on Canidae alone... but finances made that a little difficult to continue... and I added Kirkland back in.  The reason I keep up with the Canidae is that my crew tend to have pudding poops if they're on Kirkland alone.  Canidae helps to keep everything nice and firm.   ;D
~AM Murphy, Flying W Farms (B: 1.23.05 ~ Rufus & Kady) CGC, Therapy Dogs International, Inc., RIP 8.22.2016
~Epileptic GSD mix Annie (B: 10.4.04 ~ adopted 5.06) RIP 5.17.08
~EM Frankie (B: 11.11.01 ~ adopted 10.07) RIP 10.28.09
~Epileptic AM Brody, Orion Farms (B: 9.11.09 ~ Merlin & Pandora ~ adopted 4.2.10) RIP 6.15.13
~EM Maggie (B: 10.17.05 ~ adopted 12.06) RIP 12.1.2013
~Chihuahua mix, Daisy (B: approx 2003 ~ adopted 11.09) RIP 1.31.2014

*You get out of a dog only what you are willing to put into it.

Offline carshell

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Re: Giant Breed Nutrition and Feeding
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2009, 12:04:22 PM »
Quote
The reason I keep up with the Canidae is that my crew tend to have pudding poops if they're on Kirkland alone.  Canidae helps to keep everything nice and firm.   

Hmm, might have to try that combo...I think the guy in the pet store said that Canidae doesn't have a puppy food though...don't our big dogs need the puppy formula of food when they're itty bitty versions of their bigger selves? ;D ???
Michelle, Mom to:
Bentley, Born on 5/18/09 to Millie and Otis, Poplar Bluff Ranch, Canada

Offline dimples21_

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Re: Giant Breed Nutrition and Feeding
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2009, 01:05:09 PM »
Canidae calls it All-Stages. Its meant for puppy, adult and/or senior. I wouldnt recommend this for a large/xl puppy because its not meant for large/xl breed puppies and/or dogs. But the nutritions is excellent.

http://www.canidae.com/

I personally mix Canidae and Kirkland to keep the cost down.
Christianne mom to
Elizabell "Izzy"
NigelxSophie FWF
6May2007

http://s290.photobucket.com/albums/ll254/Izzys_photos_6may2007

Offline carshell

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Re: Giant Breed Nutrition and Feeding
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2009, 05:01:50 PM »
so maybe after puppy is x amount months old I can switch to the Canidae/Kirkland mix.....

Michelle, Mom to:
Bentley, Born on 5/18/09 to Millie and Otis, Poplar Bluff Ranch, Canada

Offline dimples21_

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Re: Giant Breed Nutrition and Feeding
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2009, 05:18:07 PM »
I did the switch. When they are 18-24 months old is when the puppy can get switched off of puppy food to adult food. Until then their rapidly growing bones and muscles need the extra "stuff" in the puppy food to help them grow properly.
Christianne mom to
Elizabell "Izzy"
NigelxSophie FWF
6May2007

http://s290.photobucket.com/albums/ll254/Izzys_photos_6may2007

Offline momto5

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Re: Giant Breed Nutrition and Feeding
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2009, 05:23:09 PM »
I was checking out the Canidae brand and they don't have puppy food.  Puppies are supposed to get food specifically for puppies right??  I believe our puppy that's coming from Capell Creek is getting Eukanuba Large Breed Puppy, I read that on Cameran's website a while back.  Do we give him that until he's 18-24 months?  Or should we switch him to something else?  I'm glad he can't have Hostess, I get into trouble with those cupcakes!  ;D
Lisa

Chloe, 3/26/09 Capell Creek - Akuna X Koah

Offline Renae

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Re: Giant Breed Nutrition and Feeding
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2009, 06:00:13 PM »
I'm glad he can't have Hostess, I get into trouble with those cupcakes!  ;D

Chloe, Sycamore Creek, Dorie/Triton, 12/01/06
Josie, Golden Retriever, 05/01/01
Bear, German Shepherd, 3/17/09

Offline dimples21_

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Re: Giant Breed Nutrition and Feeding
« Reply #15 on: April 24, 2009, 08:41:32 AM »
I'm glad he can't have Hostess, I get into trouble with those cupcakes!  ;D



too funny.
Christianne mom to
Elizabell "Izzy"
NigelxSophie FWF
6May2007

http://s290.photobucket.com/albums/ll254/Izzys_photos_6may2007

Offline dimples21_

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Re: Giant Breed Nutrition and Feeding
« Reply #16 on: April 24, 2009, 08:50:28 AM »
I was checking out the Canidae brand and they don't have puppy food.  Puppies are supposed to get food specifically for puppies right??  I believe our puppy that's coming from Capell Creek is getting Eukanuba Large Breed Puppy, I read that on Cameran's website a while back.  Do we give him that until he's 18-24 months?  Or should we switch him to something else?  I'm glad he can't have Hostess, I get into trouble with those cupcakes!  ;D
Canidae calls it All-Stages food. they claim their food is good for puppie, adults, and/or seniors. But they do have a senior/weight management kind.
Some breeders feed puppy food that should be easy to find at a regular pet store so the new owners of the pup can keep them on that food if they want. If you want to feed a different food I would suggest buying a bag of the puppy food they are on and a bag of the new food you want them on and slowly switch them over. Start with the old and every 4-5 days add a little more of the new food in until you are only on the new food. They have very delicate tummies and digestive tracts so a quick switch could really mess them up. Also talk to Cameron about it she will walk you through the process step by step. She is an AMazing person/breeder/behaviorist
Christianne mom to
Elizabell "Izzy"
NigelxSophie FWF
6May2007

http://s290.photobucket.com/albums/ll254/Izzys_photos_6may2007

Offline dmartin

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Re: Giant Breed Nutrition and Feeding
« Reply #17 on: April 26, 2009, 10:04:52 PM »
My breeder (Hidden Acres) uses Eukanuba LBP and I've had Sierra on it since I brought her home.  I'm very pleased with it and Sierra likes it and looks great.

Debbie   
Debbie from Toronto
Captain Kiss, CGN, CRNMCL, CRNTMCL, CRAMCL, CRATMCL- Hidden Acres Farm
Born May 9/14 to Abby / Bull

Sasha, CGN, CKC, CRNCL, SDS-SP, SDA - Hidden Acres Farm
Born: Dec 10/10 - RIP Aug 19/16
Hunley / Rebel

Sierra - Hidden Acres Farm                     
Born: Mar 6/08 - R.I.P.Oct 26/10           
Max / Savannah    


Spend your time teaching what you want, not stopping things you don't want.

Offline blhasch

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Re: Giant Breed Nutrition and Feeding
« Reply #18 on: September 25, 2010, 11:37:05 PM »
I was checking out the Canidae brand and they don't have puppy food.  Puppies are supposed to get food specifically for puppies right??  I believe our puppy that's coming from Capell Creek is getting Eukanuba Large Breed Puppy, I read that on Cameran's website a while back.  Do we give him that until he's 18-24 months?  Or should we switch him to something else?  I'm glad he can't have Hostess, I get into trouble with those cupcakes!  ;D

It's recommended to keep your pup on the same food the breeder fed them but you can switch them if you want.  I chose to keep Roxy on the Eukanuba because I didn't see any reason to mess up a good thing.  Makes sense, right?  Anyway, when she was about 4-5 months old she developed an allergy to the Eukanuba.  (Not sure if you already know this but...) Dogs can develop a food allergy any time in the first 6 months of life.  So, you may want to prepare yourself for a sudden food change.  Before I brought Roxy home I researched dog foods and after reading about it on the forum I had kind of already decided to change her over to the BBLBP.  Once it was determined she had a food allergy I did a little more research.  I went online & looked at tons of foods and read their ingredients lists, then I went to some stores to see what they had and I made some comparisons.  I got back online and looked at the BBLBP for the tenth time...or so it seemed.  I kept going back to it for a reason...I liked the ingredients list.  Everything in there is just regular food, vitamins & minerals that I can recognize and pronounce so to me that's a good thing because it's more natural.  I decided the BBLBP was the food for Roxy.  It wasn't just the ingredients list that led me to my decision.  The availability and price played a huge part in my decision.  The BBLBP is available at PetSmart and is only $10 more than the Eukanuba.  I'd rather pay $10 more each pay day than $100 each payday for food.  Easy math in my opinion.
 

Roxy, CKC
Chunni x Tocho
February 24, 2010
Sycamore Creek Ranch

Offline jmctigue23

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Re: Giant Breed Nutrition and Feeding
« Reply #19 on: November 03, 2010, 08:33:17 AM »
Has anyone heard of Sierra Naturals pet food?  It is a small holistic dog food company based in NJ. I am trying to get the protein, fat and calcium ratios from him but just wondering if anyone has heard of this. Website is sierrajack.com

 

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