German Shepherds Forum banner

21 - 35 of 35 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
855 Posts
Hmmm...question. I picked Victor Nutra Pro to start with my new puppy. It has 38% protein, 18% fat. An older Q & A I found on dog food advisor said you should aim for a 2 : 1 protein to fat ratio. In this case 38% seems fine? I do get that some dogs don't like that high of a fat content but that is a separate issue.

Am I missing something? Is there another reason you say you would not feed 35% protein to a puppy? After over thinking this and too much research I thought I had settled on a decent choice. Thanks.
While Dog Food Adviser is well intended, I would not use it as a sole source for information. It's great for the basics, but I wouldn't rely on it as the bottom line.

This is an article I recommend reading to understand feeding choices: https://ivcjournal.com/feeding-large-breed-puppies/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31,877 Posts
Hmmm...question. I picked Victor Nutra Pro to start with my new puppy. It has 38% protein, 18% fat. An older Q & A I found on dog food advisor said you should aim for a 2 : 1 protein to fat ratio. In this case 38% seems fine? I do get that some dogs don't like that high of a fat content but that is a separate issue.

Am I missing something? Is there another reason you say you would not feed 35% protein to a puppy? After over thinking this and too much research I thought I had settled on a decent choice. Thanks.
I've been feeding GSD puppies, protein:fat ration around 26-27%protein:15-17% fat. Too high or too low in protein can cause nutrition deficits that cause problems like down pasterns, while overage in calcium can cause calcium deposits in the joints. I do feed an adult kibble, but the other three varieties of the food I feed have higher protein and lower fat, and I contacted the company to verify that the lamb is suitable for puppies.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,497 Posts
Both my Gsd pups were on fromm gold large breed puppy. I had no growth issues, solid stools, no itchy skin and both grew to be muscular energetic athletic dogs. I like the calcium/phosphorous/ and protein levels for growing pups. Depending on your local feed store - many have buy 12 bags get one bag free program through fromm.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
222 Posts
While Dog Food Adviser is well intended, I would not use it as a sole source for information. It's great for the basics, but I wouldn't rely on it as the bottom line.

This is an article I recommend reading to understand feeding choices: https://ivcjournal.com/feeding-large-breed-puppies/
Please understand that I'm not trying to argue I'm trying to learn. I went into this assuming everything I had done with my previous dogs was wrong or based on recommendations that have now changed. Hence the overthinking and too much research. From the article you linked:

Most nutritionists recommend that large, fast growing puppies eat diets containing at least 30% protein and 9% fat (dry matter basis).
I'm reading at least 30%. That particular recommendation doesn't talk about a max protein content.

In another example, a major OTC adult maintenance dry diet contains 22% protein [...snip...] the protein content is adequate but a little marginal for growth.
Again this seems to suggest that 30+% protein is the target?

A dry matter content of about 30% protein, 9% fat, 1.5% calcium and 0.8% to 1% phosphorus. The calcium : phosphorus ratio should be between 1:1 to 1.3:1.
The final summary mentions 30% again but this time seems to cap it with "around". That's the first time a cap is suggested--appearing in the summary which is odd. There are references so I guess I could follow the trail but--sigh--why is this such a black art?

Interestingly that line in the summary suggests a max on the calcium to phosphorus of 1.3:1. Most other places give a range of 1:1 to 1.8:1. As it turns out the Victor Nutra Pro has a 1.2:1 ratio but again no one seems to agree on anything. Or rather they agree in general terms but the details are all over the place.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
855 Posts
Please understand that I'm not trying to argue I'm trying to learn. I went into this assuming everything I had done with my previous dogs was wrong or based on recommendations that have now changed. Hence the overthinking and too much research. From the article you linked:





I'm reading at least 30%. That particular recommendation doesn't talk about a max protein content.





Again this seems to suggest that 30+% protein is the target?





The final summary mentions 30% again but this time seems to cap it with "around". That's the first time a cap is suggested--appearing in the summary which is odd. There are references so I guess I could follow the trail but--sigh--why is this such a black art?



Interestingly that line in the summary suggests a max on the calcium to phosphorus of 1.3:1. Most other places give a range of 1:1 to 1.8:1. As it turns out the Victor Nutra Pro has a 1.2:1 ratio but again no one seems to agree on anything. Or rather they agree in general terms but the details are all over the place.


It actually does quote a protein range, shortly after the intro:

“A common misconception found in many internet articles is the claim that dietary protein should be controlled in large breed puppies to prevent skeletal abnormalities. This theory was disproved some years ago (Nap, 1991). Most commercial puppy foods contain more protein than is thought necessary, but studies have shown that protein contents of 23% to 31% (dry matter) do not have a deleterious effect on growth. “

The calcium to phosphorous ratio is due to absorption rates of the body based on how the two interact with other growth processes and hormones in the body. Past a certain point, a ratio that’s unbalanced from that range affects skeletal growth:

“The maintenance of a constant level of calcium in the blood as well as an adequate supply of calcium and phosphorus in cells is critical for the function of all body organs, but particularly for the nerves and muscle. Therefore, a complex system of regulatory hormones has developed that helps to maintain adequate supplies of these minerals in a variety of situations. These hormones act not only on bone but on other tissues, such as the intestine and the kidney, to regulate the supply of these elements. Thus one reason that bone health is difficult to maintain is that the skeleton is simultaneously serving two different functions that are in competition with each other.”

- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK45504/

While the above article is in regards to humans, the underlying processes of growth and physiological pathways of calcium and phosphorous are the same. Research from specialists has shown that there is an ideal range, and this is why AAFCO must put whether or not the food is safe for specific breeds at specific stages.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,688 Posts
I am aware that correlation does not equal causation. My problem with Fromm is that so many tout it as such a great food here but with no real data to back it up. Fromm admitted they do not have animal nutrition experts on staff, and their response to the taurine scare was to simply throw taurine into their foods, which was stated to not be the solution as the ingredients in formulations are stopping the absorption in the first place. Im pretty sure they're also the only dog food company that puts cheese in their foods. The point is greater than one company though. Many feed Pro Plan and RC with great success and long lives. I just dont see why if someone is feeding RC with good results that they should need to switch because some forum members tell them corn is bad and anything sourced overseas should be avoided. You have no clue if a dog fed RC their whole lives will be worse off than a dog fed something else.
Because the problem with these foods is that they may be fine, until they are not and with cheap, unverified ingredients and sourcing the results could be catastrophic.
It's been confirmed for better then 10 years that no pet products from China are safe, that's why most reputable pet stores will not stock them and in light of the past monkey business with China selling to other countries who in turn export to Canada and the US I simply what full disclosure.
And lets be honest Mars and Nestle have proved less then forth coming, and in some cases downright deceitful. And for those who may not be aware RC is owned by Mars. And their testing involves, or did, blind taste tests with dogs. Not really science if you consider what some of our dogs would choose to eat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31,877 Posts
It actually does quote a protein range, shortly after the intro:

“A common misconception found in many internet articles is the claim that dietary protein should be controlled in large breed puppies to prevent skeletal abnormalities. This theory was disproved some years ago (Nap, 1991). Most commercial puppy foods contain more protein than is thought necessary, but studies have shown that protein contents of 23% to 31% (dry matter) do not have a deleterious effect on growth. “

The calcium to phosphorous ratio is due to absorption rates of the body based on how the two interact with other growth processes and hormones in the body. Past a certain point, a ratio that’s unbalanced from that range affects skeletal growth:

“The maintenance of a constant level of calcium in the blood as well as an adequate supply of calcium and phosphorus in cells is critical for the function of all body organs, but particularly for the nerves and muscle. Therefore, a complex system of regulatory hormones has developed that helps to maintain adequate supplies of these minerals in a variety of situations. These hormones act not only on bone but on other tissues, such as the intestine and the kidney, to regulate the supply of these elements. Thus one reason that bone health is difficult to maintain is that the skeleton is simultaneously serving two different functions that are in competition with each other.”

- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK45504/

While the above article is in regards to humans, the underlying processes of growth and physiological pathways of calcium and phosphorous are the same. Research from specialists has shown that there is an ideal range, and this is why AAFCO must put whether or not the food is safe for specific breeds at specific stages.
Not trying to argue, but do you think that the studies on the specifically targeted down pasterns in German Shepherds? I mean, it is not that common that every dog whose protein is out of line gets the condition. I have stayed within a range that long-time breeders have used, and I have avoided the condition in my dogs. But whether the lines do not have the genetic component of that going on, or if I have successfully avoided it is unknown.

Still, sometimes it is better to go with what experienced breeders have found over veterinarians, because the breeders' focus is on one dog breed, where veterinarians are seeing 200+ dog breeds and mixes and cats and birds and reptiles, etc. Their knowledge base is wide, but in a lot of cases more shallow because of how wide it must be. Since this condition only shows up in some dogs, studies might not have captured it. It does seem that changes in protein in affected dogs has improved the situation.

Also, pano seems to be improved when feeding more appropriate levels of protein and fat. Sometimes.

I think that a strong dog food company, like Fromm might have a better handle on this than veterinarians because they have a dog in the fight, and have feedback that might really help them. Most dog food companies I wouldn't trust either to be thorough about data/feedback.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
222 Posts
I hope you can see the source of my confusion. That one article says:
...but studies have shown that protein contents of 23% to 31% (dry matter) do not have a deleterious effect on growth.
and:
Most nutritionists recommend that large, fast growing puppies eat diets containing at least 30% protein...
and under the summary recommendations:
A dry matter content of about 30% protein...
So in a single source I'm seeing 23-30%, at least 30%, and about 30% with no specification on what "about" means.

I suppose I should not be surprised. I mean dietary recommendations for humans are as wide and varied as the people making them. Just as example, throughout my life eggs have been considered part of a well-balanced breakfast then very bad for you then the yolks were bad but the egg whites OK, then bad again, to more recently just fine in moderation.

In terms of my choices I guess I am feeling OK. Once I get him fully transferred to Nutra Pro I want to rotate in other proteins. Victor has a number of grain-inclusive products that have protein percentages in the 23-26% range. On average that will put the diet in the "about" 30% range. Not sure what I can do beyond that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31,877 Posts
I hope you can see the source of my confusion. That one article says:

and:

and under the summary recommendations:

So in a single source I'm seeing 23-30%, at least 30%, and about 30% with no specification on what "about" means.

I suppose I should not be surprised. I mean dietary recommendations for humans are as wide and varied as the people making them. Just as example, throughout my life eggs have been considered part of a well-balanced breakfast then very bad for you then the yolks were bad but the egg whites OK, then bad again, to more recently just fine in moderation.

In terms of my choices I guess I am feeling OK. Once I get him fully transferred to Nutra Pro I want to rotate in other proteins. Victor has a number of grain-inclusive products that have protein percentages in the 23-26% range. On average that will put the diet in the "about" 30% range. Not sure what I can do beyond that.
Yes, this is one veterinarians recommendation. Maybe she is wonderful, I don't know. But she is talking about large breed puppies which probably spans everything from the size of a German Shepherd/Lab/Golden to English Mastiffs, which will be over 200 pounds at the same point a shepherd will be around 70 pounds. Dogs range in size from about 4 pounds to 260 pounds. And, yeah they are going to require different nutrition at different points.

And this is why I suggest listening to breeders, they at least have experience feeding the breed you are working with. And we all know that you can have 3 GSDs and be feeding them 3 different foods. There is a lot of physical variation in this breed. We have dogs that never go above 79 pounds and other dogs that are easily 30 pounds above that. And you think, 30 pounds what's that? But it is 30% for a 100 pound dog, and for an 80 pound dog, its 37.5% if the math in my head is right. And some pups are fully grown heightwise by 10 months, and others continue to grow upwards until 24 months. Of course there is no one-size-fits-all food. Your best bet bet is to listen to your breeder if you trust him/her, as they have the experience with the genetics within your dog. Without that, take into consideration what other GSD breeders say and try to keep up with calorie intake, while keeping protein/fat and calcium/phosphorous ratios good.

Read, read, read all you can. Vets are not always your best source of advice. They take something like 1 class in nutrition, and that class was developed by Purina many years ago. They will often encourage Science Diet and Iams because those companies have targeted vets in their marketing schemes. Those foods are marginally better than Generic Dog Food -- Ole Roy. And vets will openly blanch if you mention feeding raw food or homemade food. And they probably HAVE seen problems with folks doing this, because some folks just throw some chicken at the dog and think, I'm feeding raw. Others may be supplementing Ca without doing anything about phosphorous. And so much more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
222 Posts
Read, read, read all you can.
I got that part covered, don't worry. If you look up overthinking in the new puppy ownership dictionary you'll find my picture. :grin2:

I think my main problem is my educational background is in the hard sciences. I am used to theories being tested and either validated or not. When I see people take a single study involving a handful of dogs and then making sweeping, definitive conclusions I can't help but think "That isn't science!" I know that's the most rigorous a field like nutrition can get but it still bothers me.

In general while I am always trying to learn more I've told myself not to overthink or panic. You want to do your best based on what you know. But if I use a diet with 28% protein and my puppy gets an issue I can't think, "OMG what did I do? I should have been at 26%!" The "science" of it is just not that exact.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
855 Posts
Not trying to argue, but do you think that the studies on the specifically targeted down pasterns in German Shepherds? I mean, it is not that common that every dog whose protein is out of line gets the condition. I have stayed within a range that long-time breeders have used, and I have avoided the condition in my dogs. But whether the lines do not have the genetic component of that going on, or if I have successfully avoided it is unknown.

Still, sometimes it is better to go with what experienced breeders have found over veterinarians, because the breeders' focus is on one dog breed, where veterinarians are seeing 200+ dog breeds and mixes and cats and birds and reptiles, etc. Their knowledge base is wide, but in a lot of cases more shallow because of how wide it must be. Since this condition only shows up in some dogs, studies might not have captured it. It does seem that changes in protein in affected dogs has improved the situation.

Also, pano seems to be improved when feeding more appropriate levels of protein and fat. Sometimes.

I think that a strong dog food company, like Fromm might have a better handle on this than veterinarians because they have a dog in the fight, and have feedback that might really help them. Most dog food companies I wouldn't trust either to be thorough about data/feedback.
I would agree that in general, a breeder is going to have a better understanding of specific ailments within a breed.
They have more connections, see more dogs, and dedicate their lives to understanding what they and others produce. It's far more specialized. Not all research we see will take into account whether the dogs are from health-tested parents, look at the pedigrees (we know there are dogs out there that have produced horrible ailments), or look at diet or exercise, just as a few examples.

Until there's a study on the breed, done throughout P1/P2 - F1/2/3 etc... it's hard to say in regards to joint development. There's so many specific genes involved, some that interact during development and then become in conflict with one another later in life. We know that a diet too high in protein is related to arthritic problems, but too high is different for each individual. Protein quality, source of protein (animal vs. plant), etc. all play a role. An appropriate and quality diet doesn't ensure longevity, but it can help it if the genetics are there.

Unfortunately we can't always trust that a dog food company will have a dog's best interest in mind, though obviously a lot of vets don't either. If you have had the chance to look into Taurine Deficient Cardiomyopathy, Fromm is a so-called culprit. So are other high quality brands. They are aware of these issues, and no changes have been made at the moment. It may change as money is what talks. While the understanding so far is that it is only a correlation, we do also know that with dietary changes there have been improvements and in many cases, regression of the disease if it is not in late stages. There are some foods with zero known incidence as of this moment, and some with high incidence of the disease.


I got that part covered, don't worry. If you look up overthinking in the new puppy ownership dictionary you'll find my picture. :grin2:

I think my main problem is my educational background is in the hard sciences. I am used to theories being tested and either validated or not. When I see people take a single study involving a handful of dogs and then making sweeping, definitive conclusions I can't help but think "That isn't science!" I know that's the most rigorous a field like nutrition can get but it still bothers me.

In general while I am always trying to learn more I've told myself not to overthink or panic. You want to do your best based on what you know. But if I use a diet with 28% protein and my puppy gets an issue I can't think, "OMG what did I do? I should have been at 26%!" The "science" of it is just not that exact.
I also have a background in the hard sciences, and I agree that it makes it very difficult to feel comfortable or confident in what to do because there is a lot of research - some good, some bad. But as you know, where the information comes from and how it came about is far more important than what that information might be.

When you're looking at feeding your dog, at the end of the day you simply feed the dog in front of you. Your dog may never tolerate high protein levels, or if your dog is like mine, might do poorly on kibble formulations that are low protein (within the 23-25% range). The food you might want to feed might result in a sensitivity or intolerance, and now you're back at square one trying to find a food you approve of and feel comfortable feeding. The diet you might want for your dog based on your research may never work for your dog. So sometimes you have to take the scientific, logical thinking aspect out of some of it and simply look at what your dog does well on. Keep certain guidelines in mind for the well being of your dog, especially during growth and development, but really there are no absolutes when it comes to nutrition. There are dogs that live on scraps and live longer and look healthier than a dog fed on the highest quality kibble money can buy.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,706 Posts
If you have had the chance to look into Taurine Deficient Cardiomyopathy, Fromm is a so-called culprit.



3/1/19 Email from Lori at Fromm's:
Our recipes are all meat protein dominant, and we only use ingredients from suppliers who adhere to our strict quality and safety standards. Additionally, Fromm has been supplementing with taurine for many years. Each batch undergoes several inspections including raw ingredient testing, in-processing testing, and a final PCT (Product Consistency Test) which tests for everything from protein, fat, fiber and moisture to the presence of unwanted contaminates or pathogenic bacteria that could be problematic. Our final product is held on site until our PCT clears it for distribution, and only after that is complete do we allow the food to ship to the retailers.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
855 Posts
3/1/19 Email from Lori at Fromm's:
Our recipes are all meat protein dominant, and we only use ingredients from suppliers who adhere to our strict quality and safety standards. Additionally, Fromm has been supplementing with taurine for many years. Each batch undergoes several inspections including raw ingredient testing, in-processing testing, and a final PCT (Product Consistency Test) which tests for everything from protein, fat, fiber and moisture to the presence of unwanted contaminates or pathogenic bacteria that could be problematic. Our final product is held on site until our PCT clears it for distribution, and only after that is complete do we allow the food to ship to the retailers.


If there are any “suspect” ingredients in the formula, it doesn’t seem to matter if taurine is supplemented because they are blocking the metabolic pathways for taurine to do its job. Dogs are being tested for their blood taurine levels, those levels are coming back within normal range, and then further testing through an echocardiogram shows DCM because of taurine deficiency.

I’m not saying Fromm is a bad food. Nor am I saying this is the end-all-be-all of science for this issue. But it is an issue, and dogs on certain Fromm formulations have had the disease from diet induced taurine deficiency.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
335 Posts
I was also overwhelmed trying to figure out what to feedback my puppy.. My local pet store owner suggested one brand. My vet suggested another. My parents suggested yet another. And my dog trainer suggested yet another! I had no clue what to do. I tried a few different foods including Fromm’s. All were just ok. Some did cause allergy issues. Some loose stool.

I did some research myself and kinda realized that I don’t want to feed my dog kibble that’s been on a shelf in a warehouse for a year. We now feed our dog Just Food for Dogs. Her coat is way shinier, and she’s happier. The vet said he even noticed a huge difference. Not to mention her poop is the best it’s ever been (TMI?! Haha). She eats chicken and rice and veggies right now but we’ll probably try another meal plan later.

Obviously I know this isn’t for everyone. My SO and I don’t have kids so we spend our money on our animals haha.
 
21 - 35 of 35 Posts
Top