Are you thinking of getting a Giant Breed? Maybe you’re considering a Great Dane like Sweet Lilly? If so, it’s important to remember that Giant Breeds are unique in the dog world, and they require a specific diet to accommodate their quick growth and giant size.
Because your puppy is family, it’s important to provide them with the correct balance of macronutrients, i.e. protein, carbohydrates and fat. Giant Breeds grow very fast and their caloric intake and protein need to be regulated to insure good skeletal and muscle development. A diet that is high in fat can be disastrous and cause your pup to gain body mass faster than their bones can support.
Protein is crucial in Giant Breeds because it’s essential for good muscle development. Pups need a higher level of protein than adults because they’re much more active. Too much protein can have a negative affect on bone and joint development. Calcium is also key to healthy bone growth, and just like protein too much can be harmful. Excessive calcium and protein can lead to DOD, or Developmental Orthopedic Disease. Consider the recommendations of Suzanne Fentner, President of Great Danes for our Hearts:
What you should look for in a kibble is Protein at or below 24%, 1 % or lower Calcium and .9% or lower phosphates. More important than protein are the calcium and phosphates. The C&P levels are the true culprits in growth issues in giant puppies.
If feeding grain free the protein can be up to 33%, because the protein source is a meat. On most bags of dog food the calcium and phosphate levels are not listed but protein, calcium, and phosphates go hand in hand. Lower protein = lower calcium and phosphates.
Make sure the first ingredient is a meat, not a meat meal or corn. Stay away from lamb as it has been proven to block the absorption of taurine, which is important for healthy muscle growth, mainly with the heart. Lamb is also loaded with copper and can cause copper toxicity/active hepatitis. Most will do fine on Lamb until it’s too late.
The good news is that a growing number of today’s dog food and treats contain higher quality ingredients that puppy parents can trust – like Sweet Lilly’s All Natural DROODLES! the industry is recognizing that pets are not just pets anymore; they’re family members and should be treated as such.
The quality of food matters more than the quantity you feed. Today everyone is concerned with grains and most foods available today are available Grain Free. There are a lot of different opinions on this topic. . The way I see it, before dogs became domesticated they relied on what they could hunt and feed on, and I’m pretty sure that didn’t involve hunting for grains. Now, don’t get me wrong I do feel there are times when certain grains can be beneficial, like rice, and certain types of grass.
These are just recommendations. I always suggest that when in doubt talk to your vet, your local pet food store, and read up on the latest trends in healthy canine nutrition, but please make sure that they are knowledgeable about Giant Breeds.
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