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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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There are no studies proving the effectiveness of glucasomine and chondroitin. If you have the money and feel it's worth using, knowing that, then go ahead. It won't hurt them.
 

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There are no studies proving the effectiveness of glucasomine and chondroitin. If you have the money and feel it's worth using, knowing that, then go ahead. It won't hurt them.
I know...that's the thing...no legitimate long-term studies and even if you use supplements with good results, is it because of the supplement or would the outcome have been the same (and wallet a little less empty) without them? Interestingly it sounds like my breeders recommend them for ear cartilage strengthening AND bone and joint development. My dog's ears were erect from 8 weeks old, but are huge and he's in the middle of the puppy uglies, so for a while he was looking like a strange airplane or the flying nun. I have noticed improved, closer ear set since starting the supplements, but I don't know if I should attribute that to the Cosequin, and if it is helping the ears does that mean it could also be helping develop stronger cartilage and ligaments around his joints? Here's a picture of my poor goofy boy taken about a month apart. Left picture is before Cosequin, right is after. I've only been giving for about 2 weeks. Obviously hips/elbows are more important than ear set, but this is what sparked me to post this discussion and really got me thinking if it's something I would implement with all my juvenile dogs and also recommend to puppy buyers.
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