German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
141 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
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?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,104 Posts
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 :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
141 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
815 Posts
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?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,649 Posts
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
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
815 Posts
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.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
15,195 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
141 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,649 Posts
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!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,649 Posts
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!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24,301 Posts
http://www.iamshealthynaturals.com/iams/en_US/jsp/minis/iamsHealthyNaturals/index.html

http://us.iams.com/iams/en_US/jsp/IAMS_Page.jsp?pageID=PL&productID=200000#4

Guaranteed Analysis Nutrient (percent)
Crude Protein not less than 26.0%
Crude Fat not less than 15.0%
Crude Fiber not more than 4.0%
Moisture not more than 10.0%
Vitamin E not less than 140 IU/kg*
Beta-Carotene not less than 10 mg/kg*
Omega-6 Fatty Acids not less than 2.5%*
Omega-3 Fatty Acids not less than 0.25%*


Ingredients
Chicken, Chicken By-Product Meal, Brewers Rice, Corn Meal, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Ground Whole Grain Barley, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Dried Beet Pulp (sugar removed), Natural Chicken Flavor, Dried Egg Product, Brewers Dried Yeast, Dicalcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Beta-Carotene, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Acetate, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate (source of Vitamin B1), Niacin, Riboflavin Supplement (source of Vitamin B2), Inositol, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (source of Vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), Fish Oil (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Flax Meal, Apple Pomace, Dried Carrots, Dried Peas, Choline Chloride, Dried Spinach, Dried Tomato, Minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Potassium Iodide, Cobalt Carbonate), L-Carnitine, Rosemary Extract
 

·
Administrator & Alpha Bitch of the Wild Bunch
Joined
·
13,571 Posts
Diet cannot cause or prevent HD. A dog cannot develop HD unless it has the genes for it. What diet and other environmental conditions can influence is severity and age of onset of symptoms. Poor diet, improper exercise, and being overweight can hasten the development of arthritis, which in turn will make symptoms occur earlier and more severely. Dogs should be kept at a healthy weight regardless of HD potential, but it is especially important for dogs of breeds prone to joint problems, and especially when they're young and still growing.

I have never put much stock into recommended feeding amounts listed on dog food bags. Dogs are individuals with individual metabolisms. You can have 2 dogs of the same breed and size who eat vastly different amounts to remain at an ideal weight.

Likewise, those little puppy growth charts posted all over the web need to be taken with a grain of salt. Again, pups are individuals and grow at different rates. I've seen healthy, not over weight 8 week old GSD pups who weighed more than 20lbs!

The only way to know if a dog is fat, skinny or just right is the rib test. Running your hands down the dog's sides and if you can feel the ribs easily, the dog is at a good weight. If you can't feel them, he needs to lose a few pounds. If they are too prominent, and you can see them, feel all the individual bones in the spine, etc.. the dog is underweight. With young dogs who are still growing, you may find yourself adjusting feeding amounts often. It's not uncommon for a young dog to suddenly seem to gain or lose weight despite no change in feeding amount as they go through growth spurts.

And you're correct that dogs should be fed at scheduled meal times, NOT free fed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
815 Posts
Originally Posted By: CalipsoIf 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.
Since it's apparent your relative won't budge, is there any way for you to arrange it so that your pup doesn't have access to the others' food? Is she kept crated when you can't keep a direct eye on her? As mentioned, teach her the Leave It command for when you are around. Hopefully with enough time, she will ignore the others' food bowls while you are home. You will still have to put her up when you leave, though, because most dogs will eat any available food if their owner isn't present to "claim" it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
141 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
The food bowl is outside, so what I'm doing now is placing the bowl out of reach when the puppy is out. I haven't had much luck with the 'leave it' command. Sugar is sneaky. She'll wait for you to get out of sight and raid the food.

I don't like keeping her crated during the day. She has some fear issues with being outside alone, so rather than cater to the fears, I leave her outside with some toys so that she'll gain some confidence being outdoors. She's doing much better now and has discovered squirrels and the cat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
580 Posts
First of all, if it was MY house....MY rules. I don't care if a relative left food out all day..... if the dogs are living under MY roof, MY rules......... unless something was medically neccesary (that's a different story)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
964 Posts
The thing about leaving her out to "conquer" her fears is that you are not there. Sounds like it is working for you but at that age I would not want my pup to have so much freedom.
1. Safety
2. Helps with bonding that every activity starts and finishes with you.
3. Cannot bond more to the other dog than you.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,415 Posts
The key in my opinion is to keep your dog on the lean side. Also give Chris's comments another read. The section about not putting a great deal of faith in recommended feeding amounts is right on.

The skinny dog among our family and friends is the biggest eater. That guy easily can go through 2X recommended feedings. And the dog has been checked for every possible problem under the sun, regarding his weight. He is very high energy, and I suspect has a high metabolism rate. So he eats like a pig and is skinny.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
141 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Originally Posted By: mjb03The thing about leaving her out to "conquer" her fears is that you are not there. Sounds like it is working for you but at that age I would not want my pup to have so much freedom.
1. Safety
2. Helps with bonding that every activity starts and finishes with you.
3. Cannot bond more to the other dog than you.
* Safety is not a problem. Her play area is secured.

* I agree with the bonding part, but I can't be with her all day and I really don't want to raise a dog that's afraid to leave my side. Her playmate is very outgoing and courageous (and half Sugar's size now). I'm hoping she'll learn that from her playmate. Sugar was removed prematurely from the litter so she has some fear and socialization problems. She's doing much better now but still needs some work.

I'm not too worried about the personal bonding at this stage. She still follows me around and seeks comfort at my feet when she's upset by something.

Sugar starts puppy school this weekend. The first thing I hope to fix is the submissive panic peeing when she is approached by someone new.

The issue with the food is still a problem. Yes, it's my house and my rules. But for the sake of peace and quiet, a compromise needs to be reached. For the time being, I'm just placing the food out of reach when Sugar is outside. It's made a big difference in her appetite during scheduled feeding times. I fill her bowl up and let her eat her fill, then remove the bowl until the next meal time so she doesn't just graze all day.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
629 Posts
Originally Posted By: CalipsoSugar starts puppy school this weekend. The first thing I hope to fix is the submissive panic peeing when she is approached by someone new.
Make sure that the trainer knows this. I have seen many trainers when presented with this problem just throw loads of people at the dog which just overloads them. Just get people to walk past her at first dropping treats as they get to her but totally ignoring her. Then when she is happy with this ask them to approach her, side on, and still ignore her (talk to you) and offer a treat in their hand. You can build from there basically. I know a few youngsters who simply grew out of this with age (it can just be that their bladder muscles aren't strong enough yet).
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
15,195 Posts
why can't you crate her when you're not around? i had a puppy many, many years ago and the breeder told us to leave food out for the puppy 24x7. we would feed him he's breakfast and then leave some dry food out for him. the same with dinner and he never over ate. the idea is he's use to having food around. now that worked for that dog. i haven't done that since. you have to figure out a way to keep her from that food. good luck.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top