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Puppy food-protein problem? carbs? fats? calories?

4770 Views 24 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  larrydee33
Ok, now I'm all confused again.

I have a friend who's breeder told her that protein was the evil to growing young puppies so has her feeding her puppy with that goal in mind. Keeping the puppy fit and lean was also a goal. But neither carbs or fats or calories were (to this breeder) as key as the low protein. (not that she's saying use a crap food, she wants a quality food but with the low protein the main component to look for)

And there actually is a premium 'puppy' kibble that has the lowest protein level we could find at the pet store (lower than any of the adult blends) and it was the one the breeder recommended. Think the protein level in the puppy food is like 23% (don't remember the brand though)
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Ok, update on the food withthe low protein that's supposed to be best for working puppies. It's Holistic Select® Large & Giant Breed Puppy Formula

Holistic Select® Large & Giant Breed Puppy Formula
23% Protein / 12% Fat / Calories - 375 kcal/cup
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I'm getting no help from you all !!!!

But did discover that if the low protein is right, since my pups all get the Nutro adult, it's only got 21% protein.

Nutro Natural Choice Lamb and Rice
Crude Protein (minimum) 21.00%
Crude Fat (minimum) 12.00%
Crude Fiber (maximum) 5.00%
Moisture (maximum) 10.00%
From what i have read, why feed a puppy blend at all? Opinions are feed a high quality Adult food from the get go or RAW(my choice) is an option if you can deal with that. Onyx suffered from three bouts of Pano I believe due to the high protein level of her puppy blend(that and she is one of the tallest female GSD's I am aware of) until i researched things and decided to go raw. Some of the kibble blends without grains have a really high protein level, but it is a usable one and not filler. So confusing! I wasn't comfortable feeding those so I thought raw would be a better compromise.
23% protein doesn't seem all that low to me. Kind of on the low side of average.....but when I thought my dog had a chicken intolerance and I was looking for a non-chicken based kibble, most of them seemed to be under 23%.

And I really like the Eagle Pack Holistic worked very well for my older dog and I've heard good things from others. And I've had great responses from their company and nutritionist when I've had questions.
I never fed puppy food to my dog...I got her at 10wks and put her on Innova adult...I think it has 24% protein..Maybe this breeder was talking about the real high protein foods like Evo...Which is not good for large breed pups.
The breeder said most adult blends have too much protein, and when we went running around the pet store checking, we found she was correct that almost ALL the premium adult food has more than 23% protein. So the puppy food she recommended was lower than the ADULT foods.

I also only ever fed my puppies adult kibble, but I didn't know is was only cause of the protein amount. I thought it was carbs/calories/extra unneeded supplementation.
I keep hearing about the ratio of Calcium and Phosphorus.
I'm confused too.
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The puppy food that I fed my pups was 26%, it was the Solid Gold WolfCub.
The problem is, I don't think there are any "definitive" answers to this question. What little research that exists is debated. Simply Googling "large breed puppy nutrition" turns up lots of stuff. But lots of it is from pet food manufacturers. Here's one that's not, and seems to break it down in a way that is both scientific, and understandable:

Like everything else in life, I don't think it's "one thing." It's not just protein, not just calcium, not just calories. It's all of those things. Because in the end, the goal is SLOW bone growth. And all of those nutritional factors are part of it. Meal size is also important, I think. You can get too much calcium/protein/calories into a pup by overfeeding him with an otherwise suitable food.

I think the "headline" for all this is simply that no large breed puppy owner should be feeding one of the traditional, fortified "puppy chows"--because they DO have extra calories, protein, and calcium---all three of which are part of this equation.
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I'm with Tracy here
Good link as well Tracy, thanks I saved it.

Basically we have to not only pay attention to excessive growth BUT also be sure that a growing puppy is getting the proper nutrients it needs for growth. Both negative ends of this spectrum can be dangerous....and not apparent.

I support most of the large breed puppy formulations on the market as these foods have specifically looked at the problem and are attempting to help with the situation and a solution.

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Kai was on a High Energy Puppy formula (24% till 5 months) due to the calcium/phosphurus ratio (and the fact that it was the same brand as we feed our adults). At 6 months he was put onto the same food as our adult dogs (a premium kibble) at 18%. Over the summer they all go onto the 'Active/Working' dog formula due to agility at 22%.

He is growing steady but slow. He is 8 months now and stands just on 23.5" and weighs 24 kilos (53lbs). A little light maybe but he is a lean thing and will be that way due to breeding.
OMG Jayne! My Emma had that very same blue Octopus toy when she was a puppy lol
LOL some things really do cross the pond then! He still has it but only when we are around to supervise and when our oldest dog isn't around as otherwise it would be dead in about 5 seconds.
I also thought it was ratio of Calcium and Phosphorus to worry about. If this is so the OP selection maybe low in protein but is comparitively high in the ratio of Calcium and Phosphorus. This is super confusing yet super important.
Your dogs are gorgeous. I can't believe how low the protein levels in what you feed. 18%-23%. Certainly working for you. Thus my HUGE headach and confusion.
OMG - I have not seen anyone in this entire forum mention Science Diet Dog Food. I have been feeding my 3 1/2 month old pup with it and so far so good. Does anyone have a comment about this brand? Please help, this is my first German and I want the very best for him.
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Science diet isn't considered great. If it works for you then great. I have never used it because of its ingredients. I think if you switched to a higher quality food you will see better coats, cleaner teeth, and definately less poop.
Re: Puppy food-protein problem?

I was told by our trainer yesterday to be careful about protein in the food, shouldn't be more than 21%. I didn't know about it. Now I did read all the post about it and it looks like she was right.
We feed Royal Canin maxi large breed puppy 32, which is 32% of protein, Buddy looks good (he is 6 months old)and he likes to eat it but I am concern now, should I feed him Royal Canin for adult, it has only 24% of protein.
Thank you all for an advice.
Re: Puppy food-protein problem?

21 seems so low. Hard to get a kibble that low that isn't all filler.
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