Do larger puppies need special food?

When feeding large breed puppies, it is important to know that the smallest mistake in food composition or amount can lead to permanent damage as the puppy grows so rapidly. The larger the puppy will be as an adult, the faster must its body grow to achieve the adult weight, in extreme cases this can mean from 0 to 50 KG in the course of one year.

Background
Puppies growing into an adult dog is one of nature’s top performances. The larger the grown dog will be, the faster the puppy must build up body substance. In just twelve months this little creature increases its weight many times. The energy and building blocks needed for this enormous growth are provided by the daily food intake.

This means that in particular for large breed puppies the quality of the food absolutely determines the “quality of the body”, i.e. the dog’s health. The dog must be provided the three main food components (protein, fat and carbohydrates) in a balanced and high quality form. All growth is based on this.

Vitamins and minerals
are not only important for the skeletal system but are also needed by many metabolic functions. As minerals interact, any deficiency or excess of one mineral can affect growth. This is why puppy food should not be mixed with other components such as fresh meat. Supplementing industrially prepared puppy food with mineral preparations (such as bone meal) is equally harmful.

The daily energy intake is of utmost importance for growing large breeds as it affects the growth rate. As a matter of principle, less is more. Only if the body is given enough time to grow it will develop into a strong and fully developed adult. Over-feeding while growing can cause permanent bone and cartilage damage. Tall breed puppies should be fed a suitable puppy food providing the correct calorific intake (such as Select Gold Junior Large Breed) and should not be given more than the recommended daily ration.

Joint cartilage must not only develop properly in the growing puppy but must also be strong enough to cope with the puppy’s jumping and playing around. Most high quality large breed puppy foods (such as Select Gold Junior Large Breed) contain glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate – essential cartilage building blocks promoting cartilage development and stability.

Conclusion

Large breed dogs grow very rapidly and need high quality junior food controlling the growth rate. Special additives such as glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate support a stable and healthy musculoskeletal system.
Call into your local store today to discuss your dog’s personal needs with our Maxi Zoo Pet Experts.