feeding vs. hip dysplasia - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-22-2008, 08:46 PM Thread Starter
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feeding vs. hip dysplasia

I'm curious to get some feedback on the amount of food to give a growing puppy. From what I've read, it seems that overfeeding and/or over exercising a puppy can exacerbate problems with hip dysplasia. But, I've also read that puppies under 12 weeks should be allowed to eat as much as they want, then go to a 3 meal a day schedule, and finally 2 meals a day after 6 months.

My female puppy is now 11-1/2 weeks and weighs 24 lbs. I don't think this is unusual, but studies warn that allowing too rapid growth thru over feeding is a prime trigger for HD problems. (One study suggests over feeding doubles the risk of HD.)

My puppy isn't fat. I can easily feel her ribs. She still has a slight puppy tummy. I'm assuming that's normal for her age. But I do have a logistical problem in that a relative keeps another dog here and insists on leaving food out for it 24x7. I know that the puppy is raiding the other one's food. My concern is that the excessive food is getting turned into unwanted growth for her age rather than simple fat and that there'll be problems with HD later on as a result.

Has anyone got any practical experience with feeding vs. HD?
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-22-2008, 09:09 PM
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Re: feeding vs. hip dysplasia

I always have used the guide on the bag of food to give me an idea of how much to feed. If they haven't had a very active day then I cut back a little bit but if we've been busy then I give them their normal amount.

As far as a feeding schedule - my golden boy was feed 3 meals a day until he was 6 months old and then I put him on 2 meals a day. I think that is really just a personal preference. My Vet thought I was crazy for feeding 3 meals a day but that is just what I thought was best for my pup so that is what I did.

I don't really know if this has helped you but I hope so :-)

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-22-2008, 09:25 PM Thread Starter
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Re: feeding vs. hip dysplasia

I checked the GSD standard for females and she seems to be spot on for her age, so I'm not really worried at this point. But I've already had an unfortunate experience with HD with a previous shepherd, so I'm not anxious to repeat that. My confusion is determining how much is enough food. For now, I'm just going to keep checking her weight against the standard and feel her ribs as a guide.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-22-2008, 09:26 PM
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Re: feeding vs. hip dysplasia

I think as long as you can easily find her ribs and she isn't "roly-poly," there should be no reason to keep her hungry if she wants a bit more food. Of course, she shouldn't be allowed to stuff herself either.

The guidelines on the back of the bag are just that--a starting point to give you a rough idea of how much to feed. Some pups/dogs need more, some need less, but the main goal is to feed them enough that they have good muscle mass, but yet are lean enough to have a waist and easily-felt ribs.

I think the most important thing, besides keeping her in good, trim condition, is to feed a high quality large-breed puppy or adult dog food. Those will have the best mineral ratios to avoid the rapid growth that *may* contribute to HD in susceptible dogs.

What are you currently feeding?

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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-22-2008, 09:54 PM
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Re: feeding vs. hip dysplasia

I hadn't heard of that link to HD so I researched it and found this:

"Studies at the Baker Institute and elsewhere have shown that slowing growth during the early months of life can lessen the severity of hip dysplasia and even prevent it. One study followed two groups of susceptible pups from the time they were eight weeks old until their death. One group of pups was fed nearly 25 percent less food than the second, which were permitted to eat all they wanted of the same diet. Over the course of the 14 year study, data was collected regarding general longevity and the development of hip dysplasia. Not only did the dogs eating a restricted diet live significantly longer than their well-fed counterparts, they developed hip dysplasia at a much lower rate than did the second group. Further, for those dogs on a restricted diet who did develop hip dysplasia, the risk of developing osteoarthritis decreased by 57 percent. This study of course involved a diet restriction that is difficult to enforce for many pet owners. It would be desirable to use a less restrictive dietary regime that would confer many of the same benefits this more severe diet did."

Here is the link: http://bakerinstitute.vet.cornell.edu/cahrc/CHD.htm

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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-22-2008, 10:13 PM
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Re: feeding vs. hip dysplasia

I've seen the full article on the study that is being referred to, and it seems to be a sound study. However, nowhere is it mentioned how much food the free-fed dogs actually consumed, nor how much more weight those dogs gained than the restricted dogs.

Plenty of dogs will eat to obesity if allowed, which is obviously going to affect the risk/severity of HD, so I think that should have been addressed.

I don't think it's a matter of how much food a dog eats, but rather what kind of shape he/she is kept in (including proper safe exercise), along with any genetic predisposition towards HD.

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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-22-2008, 10:26 PM
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Re: feeding vs. hip dysplasia

what did your breeder say concerning hd and feeding???? we didn't feed puppy food. we used lamb and rice with the protein level under 26%. my better half just informed that the food is under 21%. take care and good luck with your new family member.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-23-2008, 12:10 AM Thread Starter
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Re: feeding vs. hip dysplasia

I never met the breeder as the dog was a gift. As luck would have it, I'm feeding her adult food because she didn't care much for puppy food. She's currently getting IAMS Healthy Naturals adult food mixed with some Pedigree canned. She's supplementing her diet by stealing from the other dog's dish which is IAMS for overweight couch potatoes which is a problem.

If it were my decision, I wouldn't leave the other food out 24x7 for the other dogs, but I don't own them. They belong to another family member who insists he's always left food out for his dogs and never had problems. Yes, all his dogs are over weight. They are also smaller breeds which generally don't get HD. He's pretty adamant about leaving food out. I'm not sure what to do about it.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-23-2008, 12:33 AM
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Re: feeding vs. hip dysplasia

Quote:
Originally Posted By: pinkanmlI've seen the full article on the study that is being referred to, and it seems to be a sound study. However, nowhere is it mentioned how much food the free-fed dogs actually consumed, nor how much more weight those dogs gained than the restricted dogs.

Plenty of dogs will eat to obesity if allowed, which is obviously going to affect the risk/severity of HD, so I think that should have been addressed.

I don't think it's a matter of how much food a dog eats, but rather what kind of shape he/she is kept in (including proper safe exercise), along with any genetic predisposition towards HD.
My interpretation of the study was that dogs should be kept lean. And by lean I mean on the skinny side--especially dogs prone to HD!

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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-23-2008, 12:36 AM
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Re: feeding vs. hip dysplasia

Quote:
Originally Posted By: CalipsoI never met the breeder as the dog was a gift. As luck would have it, I'm feeding her adult food because she didn't care much for puppy food. She's currently getting IAMS Healthy Naturals adult food mixed with some Pedigree canned. She's supplementing her diet by stealing from the other dog's dish which is IAMS for overweight couch potatoes which is a problem.
What are the ingredients in IAMS Healthy Naturals?

And as for the food stealing thing--that's a good training opportunity for the "Leave it" command!

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