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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The general consensus I see here is that a balanced, high quality diet is sufficient for large breed/shepherd puppy growth.

We have two younger dogs, a 16 month old bitch from Europe and a 10 month old dog from Argentina. Their breeders are not connected in any way, but both have recommended a joint supplement to support proper growth and development of bones, joints, and ligaments. The most similar product I have access to in the USA, to what each of them recommended, is Nutramax Cosequin DS Plus with MSM. Interestingly, the reproductive veterinarian who oversaw the care of my puppy during his quarantine period also recommends Nutramax Cosequin DS Plus with MSM for all developing shepherd puppies.

The two breeders both suggested I give the recommended dose of the supplement for a month, then go a month without the supplement, then back on and off for the entire growth period, up to 24 months. The veterinarian recommended consistent supplementation at a maintenance dose until health testing is complete, or even for the rest of their lives.

I've started and am considering continuing the veterinarian's regimen on both until I do PennHIP and official OFA radiographs on them at 24 months of age.

My questions are:
1) What is everyone's opinion or experience with supplements for growing shepherd puppies?
2) Which supplement regimen, if either, sounds more beneficial?
3) In one's opinion will doing this cause more harm than good?
4) Does anyone recommend supplementation to puppy buyers?

Thank you in advance for your input!
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The general consensus I see here is that a balanced, high quality diet is sufficient for large breed/shepherd puppy growth.
this.

...but should you decide to supplement, I’d ask the vet and the breeder each of their line of thinking as far as the different approaches to how it’s given. additionally, double check that your contract with the breeder doesn’t require supplements, otherwise voiding the health guarantee or something like that.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
No, supplementation is not required in either of my contracts. The breeder’s just recommended I do the chondroitin/glucosamine/msm during growth period only and actually said aside from that combination for the first year or so, they do not supplement at all.

This is the recommended way to administer the supplement in Europe per manufacturer‘s instructions. The only reasoning I was given was that prolonged use of any supplement could impact the body’s ability to function without it. You want to support with supplements not have to rely on them permanently.

I have had good results with just my food and salmon oil, so still on the fence about continuing this. I do like the sudden, dramatic improvement in my male’s ear set so I might go all the way with it for him at least.

I haven’t gotten much feedback and what I did receive just follows the opinion that good food is sufficient and anything else is a waste of money. It helps! If I had someone come out fully supporting growth period joint supplementation, then maybe I’d take it more seriously, but for now I’ll just play with it and see how it goes.

Thanks!
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