feeding big breed dogs during growth

feeding big dogs
feeding big dogs

feeding big breed dogs during growth

what is a big breed puppy?
Compared to other animal species, dogs are characterized by a very big scale of weight and height: it goes from Chihuahua to 1 kg at St bernard's which often exceeds 80 kg. In addition to this huge weight difference, a series of fundamental physiological and pathological differences can be identified that make big breed dogs a category of dogs apart.

- A big breed puppy has a relatively low birth weight compared to his adult weight. To reach its adult format, a big breed puppy needs to multiply his birth weight by 60 to 100, while a small breed dog (adult weight less than 10 kg), does not will only multiply his birth weight by 20. for example, a bullmastiff puppy (about 500 g at birth) will have multiplied its birth weight per 100 at least when it reaches its final format.

- This intense growth is also very long: a dog of
big breed does not reach its final size until 14 months of age for earlier among them. Growth sometimes lasts until the age of 2 years.
- The maximum growth period extends over several months after withdrawal. the peak growth rate is generally between 3 and 4 months,  
the females being earlier than males. In case of deficiency or excess during this period, puppies of big breeds are particularly susceptible to skeletal development disorders.

All these differences, to which must be added to the big size of the jaws must be taken into account in the diet of these dogs. you don't feed a St.Bernardd like you feed a Chihuahua. It is necessarily arbitrary to give a lower limit of height or weight beyond which a dog must be considered as "big breed". It would probably be more appropriate, but very tedious, to list the breeds covered by this qualifier. However, when we identify the breeds with the characteristics listed above (birth weight relatively low, prolonged growth, high susceptibility to osteoarticular problems during growth... ), it appears that these races generally, have an adult weight of more than 25 kg.

puppy weaning
Around the 5th-6th week, the beginning of puppy weaning is a major relief for the mother. At this stage, big breed puppies gain 150 to 200 g per day and multiply their n ai ance weight at least
by 15 in 7-8 weeks. unlike smaller puppies, the
growth will accelerate further after weaning. At this age, the puppy requires a lot of energy: german dog puppies after weaning requires 3.5 times more energy per kg of body weight than an adult of the same race.

From weaning onwards, the puppy gradually becomes able to digest increasing amounts of starch. between 8 and 12 remains, the production
of the enzymes responsible for digesting starch (amylase), increases by 80%, but this still represents only half the amylase capacity of an adult dog. To minimize the risk of withdrawal diarrhea due to poor assimilation, the starch content in the food of withdrawal must therefore be very limited. Frequent and light meals (3-4 per
day) also promote good digestion.

As weaning progresses, it is a good idea to separate the bitch from the puppies at mealtimes so that the puppies can access the bowl freely. However, we will continue to distribute to the bitch the lactation feed until the puppies are finally weaned (which must be completed by 7c weeks at the latest), and even after if you lose weight compared to before gestation. As soon as the fitness weight is reached again, it is possible to gradually return to the initial maintenance feed.

growing osteoarticular disorders:
Hip dysplasia, osteochondritis dissecans, problem
aplomb are frequently observed in puppies of big breeds, while puppies of small breeds are less affected. Heredity, of course, has a major role in the development of oteo-articular disease, and conscientious breeders are expected to avoid reproduction all individuals who carry unfavourable genes. however, this election is difficult because these genes do not express themselves consistently. In other words, a dog carrying the gene (s) that induces dysplasia will not necessarily show clinical signs of dysplasia,  nor will it transmit the disease to all these offspring. The eradication of hip dysplasia or other osteo-articular diseases is therefore not an option in the short term.

It is then necessary to focus on the factors that modulate the expression of these adverse genes, especially nutrition. Considering what we're doing
now knows about the influence of food on the development of the skeleton, some preventive measures should be taken among the dogs "at risk". Regardless of the importance of genetic factors in these disorders, their clinical expression is often modulated by environmental factors, including diet. In animals at the beginning of
growth, excessive energy consumption tends to accelerate the rate of body growth. In heavy breeds; the spongy bone tissue of the bone ends is less dense and less solid than that of the light breeds. when growth is simulated by overfeeding, this the phenomenon is getting worse. 

This results in an imbalance between the evolution of the weight and growth of the skeleton, leading to an overload of the latter. however, excessive mechanical stresses on joints that are still poorly developed ossified disturb the nutrition and renewal of cartilage.

Owners of big dogs often believe that'they overfeed their pet, it will have a big adult size. This is not the case! The dog will simply reach its adult size faster. This growth is harmful because it puts excessive weight on a skeleton immature. To limit the risk of skeletal developmental disorders, it is important to it is advisable to carefully monitor the puppy's daily weight gain:
even a German doggie puppy should not gain more than 200 to 230 g per day between 2 and 6 months. Weight gain is highly correlated with
food consumption, the quantities consumed must be adapted to the growth rate. The puppy should not reach 50-60 % of its weight estimated adult before the age of 6 months. 

The limitation of the energy density of the regime (not more than 4,000 kcal/kg) helps to prevent over-consumption of energy: the master of the energy density is achieved by reducing the material content fat. That's why veterinarians recommend that owners of big dogs limit the amount of dietary food and to use food less dense in energy and therefore less rich in fat during growth. Such measures allow for better control of the growth rate and to promote the harmonious development of the quelette.

To compensate for the decrease in fat levels, it is necessary to increase the level of fat in the food:
- either the level of starch, i.e. the number of cereals present in the food,
- either the protein level, i.e. the quantity of raw materials animal.

A significant increase in starch content would be likely to interfere with the puppy's digestive tolerance of the food. On the other hand, contrary to popular belief, high protein consumption has not been associated with no adverse effect on the growth of puppies' skeletons or on their renal function. Puppies are also naturally attracted to
foods rich in animal protein.

Owners of big breed puppies distribute calcium supplements. This practice is only justified if the puppy receives a "homemade" diet based on meat, vegetables, and cereals. If it contains commercial food formulated for growth, the addition of calcium is not only useless but dangerous.
It is now clearly established that excess calcium can hinder the growth of big breed puppies, and cause bone and joint defects. When adding 2 to 3 tablespoons of calcium carbonate (25-30 g) in a Newfoundland puppy's ration of 6 months already receiving a complete food, we already reach an excessive level of calcium in the ration. Excess calcium also interferes with the absorption of certain trace elements.

In puppies, feeding must have a major objective: to fight against overweight growth thanks to energy rationing well controlled. using dry food with a moderate level of fat makes it much easier: a canned food or a household ration generally have a much higher energy density. dry food is also economically justified: in the case of big breeds, the use of household rations or canned food quickly becomes very expensive.
Among the dry foods, it is better to choose a top

-the of-the-range product, which is to say:
- a highly digestible food, formulated with quality ingredients,
- rich in proteins of animal origin, essential fatty acids,
- with a balanced fiber intake for good assimilation and good digestive hygiene.
The best food is worthless if it is not consumed. 

The palatability is a major criterion of choice; in this sense the physical presentation of the food is important: tests show that dogs of big breeds
tend to prefer kibbles adapted to the size of their jaws, and abandon croquettes that are too small.
A balanced exercise program is also very important for the harmonious muscle development of big breed puppies. In practice, it is recommended not to exceed 2 to 3 periods of exercise of 20 minutes a day, avoiding too violent exercises and too many jumps 

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