Re: Feeding grain free food to puppies
there is nothing about the absence of grains that is, in and of itself, a problem.
most grain free kibble has the following characteristics:
-30+% protein levels
there is no evidence that higher protein is a problem, except from some very old studies done on rodents.
-higher levels of calcium (as fed), usually around 2% or higher
there is modern research showing higher calcium levels leading to bone growth abnormalities in large breed pups
-they are calorie dense
just my opinion, but i see no reason to avoid a grain free diet for a gsd pup if the calcium levels are kept at 1.5% (commonly the calcium % recommended to stay at or below) and one is careful to avoid overfeeding and keeps the pup lean. the problem is that very few grain free kibbles meat this criteria. orijen puppy large does. some natural balance might, but i dont know what the calcium levels are on an "as fed" basis.
having said that, unless a pup really isnt handling grains well, i dont think there is any compelling reason to start out with a grainless food. i think most of the grainless foods would be fine after 12 months since most, if not all, skeletal growth is done by then (not to be confused with continued development through additional muscle mass/filling out)
Kimba (gsd) 5/9/07
Saby the mutt~1/15/01
Frisco (gsd) 6/21/02
RIP-canines-Buddy, Roxy, Kujo, Kato, Pierre
felines-Chanel, Panther, TJ