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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I need your advice and suggestions.. Zoe has had a rough last few months - for those who remember she had a nasty abscess back in March and had surgery and lost almost 10 pounds. We are slowly gaining some back and I am trying to settle her feeding - food type and quantity. She is turning one on the 23rd - next week! And the is at 63 pounds.

She ate purina puppy kibble until she was 7 months and we switched to purina adult after that because she seemed to be hungry constantly (I wish I had kept her in the puppy kibble and maybe just upped her quantity or introduced something else that was my mistake then but it seemed to stabilize her hunger until she got sick and had the surgery.
For about a month now, we have made the transition back to purina one puppy but the package says 3 1/4 cups a day and it's the same issue as before when she was on puppy.. she does not seem happy with what she is eating.. with the adult kibble she was getting 5 cups (2.5 each feeding, plus treats and occasional special bone).

I've been thinking maybe I could mix puppy with adult? maybe do 1 cup each at each feeding for a total of 4 cups a day? I'm so lost on this food thing, I need advice!
I'm also looking at getting the purina one for large breeds, maybe that would help?

Thank you!!
 

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If one brand isn’t working, try a different one. I switched mine to Fromm for a few years. They did well on it until my older dog developed a condition that needed a different approach. Then I switched to raw. I took my dog off puppy food and put him on adult at around 6 months. Maybe even a little younger because he had pano.
 

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Isn't puppy food supposed to be better for pano?
I was thinking since pano is 'growing pains' due to bones growing fast, wouldn't the puppy diet be more focus towards providing extra nutrients to balance that?

See.. I'm so confused!
 

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I agree with the suggestion to change over to Fromm or one of the better puppy foods or all stages food that has the proper calcium/phosphorus levels for a young GSD.
 

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Deja gets a handful of kibble in the morning (raw in the evening). A few weeks ago I bought a 5 lb bag of Purina (the improved!), just for variety (yes, where was my mind?) and to add some grains . After two weeks I started smelling her coat and ears. This has never happened in all her life of 5 + years old. For some reason, even though they improved their formula, it still isn't great quality. Back to the higher end foods for her. I rotate brands, 5 lb bags at a time because she gets so little every day.
 

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I'm no expert...I've only had one dog. But when he was about your dog's age, he was ravenous all the time. I took the package's suggestion as just that--a suggestion and a starting place. I fed him enough that he was full but kept a good weight and shape. It was usually way more than the package said! Now that he's almost full grown, he's eating less and maintaining a good weight. Also at one year, I switched him to adult food instead of puppy chow. He hasn't had any problems with bones and things. ;) Don't take my one-dog experience as gospel, but I don't think you need to worry too much about how much you're feeding her as long as she has a shiny coat and is happy and healthy--with a waist as well.
 

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I fed both my gsd pups fromm large breed gold. Happy how they grew and nice and healthy. My male always hungry he would engorge himself. Winters when less active I may feed a little less when more active a little more depending.
 

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I was told that puppy food encourages rapid growth while adult food slows it down. That is from my experienced GSD friends off the forum. I believe I got the same advice here.
 

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It's my understanding that puppy found does promote faster growth. As my vet explained it. Although GSD's are not technically large breed dogs (they are actually in the medium class by veterinary standards) they benefit from slower bone growth as the breed is prone to pano which is why large breed puppy food is recommended. Large breed dogs need to grow slower to prevent bone issues.
More importantly is the calcium to phosphorus ratio. It should be around 1.2:1 give or take a little either way. Too much of either and in the wrong proportion can cause growth, bone and joint issues in the short and long term.
Also, aside from quality ingredients, all foods are not created equal in the calorie department. For example (I'll use Purina since that is a brand you have used):
Purina One SmartBlend puppy food has a good calcium to phosphorus ration and 397
k/cal per cup
Purina ProPlan Grain free Puppy Chicken and Egg has a similar nutrition profile for protien, calcium and phosphorus but differs in the calories per cup. It has 483 k/cal per cup.
So if you are feeding the first you would have to feed more to achieve the same results as with the later.

Puppy, adult, all life stages, grain or grain free...end of the day you just need to read the labels. Look for a food that offers the best balance of calcium to phosphorus and quality calories for the price. Cheaper foods may seem like a deal but if you have to feed twice as much to maintain good weight and health as a better quality food there is no savings. Pick a dollar value you can live with and look for the best food in that range that gives you the best value (servings per bag for your dog) and your dog thrives on.
And yes it is rocket science so don't feel bad that you find it overwhelming. Most of us have struggled with the "what food" issue at one time or another. Best of luck to you and your pup.

Side note: try not worry to much about actual weight unless your vet truly feels you pup is underweight. It's more about body condition than weight. A leaner dog is generally a healthier dog. Plus she is just a year old. She has another 1.5-2 years before she is fully matured and settled into her adult physical condition. It's a lot easier for them to become overweight without realizing than you might think. Once that happens taking the weight off can be hard.
 
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