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Favorite Large Breed Puppy Food?

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  • Favorite Large Breed Puppy Food?

    Just acquired a new family member! A total lovebug, we went and got her after seeing her picture on Petfinder. She's a bit under-weight, and weighs in around 45lbs. at approx. 6 months. Could be younger than that. She was tied up in her foster moms back yard, and when foster mom called the shelter, they said she would be put down right away since they were so full. Thank goodness foster mom worked with a nearby rescue! They put her up on Petfinder, and we e-mailed them about 3 days later.
    Meet Stella!



    We were told she was an AmStaff/Great Dane mix, but she's proving hard to tell...especially since they docked her tail, so we think there might be some Boxer in there, too? What do you think?

    Anyways, what do you prefer to feed the large puppies?
    "On the back of a horse I felt whole, complete, connected to that vital place in the center of me...and the chaos within me found balance."

  • #2
    I don't see any dane or staffy in her haha although I've seen dogs that I KNOW the breeding of come out bizarre. I see a lot of american bully or pit in the head....gah is she ADORABLE! You can definitely see what a sweet girl she is in that expression--good find! I wonder why they docked her tail...that's not really a trait in any of those breeds. Ahh well, I bet it gives her a cute wiggle butt anyway.

    Oh goodness I'm sure people could write for miles about what to feed! Personally, I fed my puppy Taste of the Wild and then supplemented with green beans and some chicken when I think about it. For me personally I think price-wise its one of the best you can get in the price range. Canidae, Evo, Fromm, Merrick, Chicken Soup, Wellness, etc etc there are many great brands available nowadays. You will be bombarded with the information in the dog food market so the most IMPORTANT first step to take is make sure whatever you're feeding is no corn, no wheat. Premium food.

    Beyond that, you're going to want to find out which meats work better with her digestive--some dogs have issues with chicken; some prefer fish, horse, duck, you name it, its out there.

    Of course the benefits of feeding upper quality are goign to come out in her coat and body condition but your best 'quick test' is the poop. Is it firm with little straining, or squishy and runny?

    Still having digestive issues? Move a little further into food content. Could it be the oils? Animal fats? Beet pulp, other additives? There are many HIGHLY educated people who could talk me under the table about foods...so I wish you luck on your dizzying journey XD

    Welcome to the family Stella!


    • #3
      She's really cute, whatever she is!

      Honestly, some BYB probably docked her tail to try to make more off of her by saying she was some rare breed. I've seen people do that to dogs and try to pass them off as Cane Corso's, just to make a buck.

      She looks "Bully" to me (I own 2 Pit Bull mixes and an Am Staff, btw, there's a picture of them all in my profile). She's more than likely what is now called an American Bully.. quite a few people on the Pit Bull forum I post on have dogs that look similar to her and they just refer to them as Pit Bull mixes or just American Bullies. Either way, you'll never really know since she doesn't have papers.. just call her cute

      As for food, I've never fed an age specific food. I also feel like large breed formulas are more of a gimmick anyway. I always feed all life stages foods to my dogs. Taste of the Wild is a great one, reasonably priced, and most dogs do great on it. Being that she's a blue, skin & coat issues are more than likely going to be an issue so I would stick with something grain free and fish based. Orijen makes a large breed formula I believe, they're a great food. Nature's Variety Instinct is another ALS food. Wellness CORE is another. There are quite a few!


      • #4
        Congrats on your new family member, she's adorable! What's her name?

        I actually would avoid puppy foods. You don't want a large dog to grow quickly. Instead, I'd choose a healthy adult dog food without a ton of protein. Also, try to keep her thin. Not ribby, but you don't want any extra padding, especially at a young age.
        Try looking at http://www.dogfoodanalysis.com/dog_food_reviews/ and choose a food with a 4 star rating or better without too much protein.


        • #5
          Agreed on the blue and skin issues! Food allergies and demodex can be rampant and something to look out for (not to scare you, definitely not a guarantee!)

          And double agreed on dogfoodanalysis, great objective information there.


          • #6
            I've got my large breed pup on Wellness Large Breed Puppy... prior to that he was on Blue Buffalo large breed, but his stools were always soft on that food so I switched to Wellness and he's been fine. His coat is fantastic as well!

            I considered switching him to Taste of the Wild (as that is what my corgi is on), but the calcium is too high for my liking for large breeds. Once he's about 15 months I'll switch him to TotW.
            Custom Painted Brushes: spcustombrushes@gmail.com


            • #7
              I think that large breed puppy foods are designed to prevent the puppy from growing too fast. You don't want to feed a large breed puppy regular puppy food, but I think you should be fine with a large puppy food because the calcium is low. At least that is what I've heard.


              • #8
                We reccomend Wellness Large breed puppy to clients, and I also really liek Eukanuba's large breed puppy. What Casey09 said is correct, do not feed a regular puppy food, but make sure it is the large breed one.

                Just and FYI: for allt he all life stages foods... they fed them to puppies, and bsaically if they didn't die they got to label the food as all life stages. Does not mean it's necessarially the best food for all life stages, just means it won't kill 'em.

                Vet Tech
                You can't fix stupid.... but you can breed it!


                • #9
                  We use Innova for our dog and cat. Great brand


                  • #10
                    Innova has a large breed puppy formula, by the way, and the calcium is pretty low (.9%, I believe). I've been feeding that my own large breed puppy. It is also available at PetsMart now, I believe. Another food that a lot of people like is the large breed puppy formula made by the Eagle Pack line. They've done quite a bit of research and a number of Great Dane people I've known feed that brand.
                    By the way, the puppy is very cute and she looks like a sweetheart!


                    • #11
                      Also, to me a "large breed" is a Dane, Mastiff, etc. Not a Bully breed that'll probably top out at 65-70lbs. My largest dog is 55-57lbs. and I never fed him large breed food. He grew just fine.

                      I wouldn't touch Eukanuba foods with a 10ft. pole, especially with a blue coated dog. I'm not a big fan of Innova or the like since the PG buy out. Regardless of if you do large breed or ALS, stick with grain free. Owning a blue dog (who had Demodex as a pup), I know all about their lovely skin issues.


                      • #12
                        Chicken Soup - pretty darn economical higher end food
                        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                        • Original Poster

                          Thanks for the advice! I just end up reading too much, and then being indecisive, lol. My last puppy was a long-haired shepherd mix, who was around 100lbs. at a year old. I gave him the Wellness Large Breed Puppy kibble, and he did okay on it. So, now I'm all worried it's not going to work for this one, do all this research, and then I get in the store, and panic. (Maybe I'm just gun-shy after the neglected pony turned out to be REALLY metabolic, so now I'm all paranoid about the unknown dietary past of my "rescue" animals.)

                          Yep, I was looking at pictures, and totally see the Pit Bull in her face, instead of AmStaff. But, if you could see her legs, and how much skin there is to grow into, there is NO way she doesn't have something leggier in her, haha. It's hard to tell, since the legs on her look like Great Dane, as well as Boxer...and I'm kind of glad she has a docked tail, so now I don't have to worry as much about having coffee tables.

                          Thanks for the sensitive skin worries, I had no idea it came with the color!
                          "On the back of a horse I felt whole, complete, connected to that vital place in the center of me...and the chaos within me found balance."


                          • #14
                            She is very adorable with the long white stockings!

                            I see Great Dane in her, with the long legs and the longer nose. I don't see Boxer in her. Can you share a picture of her head from the side? I think she looks like a Dane/Bullie mix. There are a lot of blue Great Danes, as Blue is an acceptable color in Danes.

                            I owned a Great Dane/American Bulldog mix in the past who looked a lot like your pup. She grew up into a fantastic dog. Mine had the long legs, but she was broader than your girl. When she was full grown, she was a lean 152 pounds. She grew up to be twice the size of her mother, the American Bulldog.

                            For food, I now feed my dogs prey model raw. I keep some kibble in the house in case of emergency, but I prefer knowing what my dogs eat in a basic diet of meat. It very easy to do, and I highly recommend it.

                            Good luck with your girl. Keep us posted with pics as she grows up. It will be interesting to see how she matures.


                            • #15
                              Very cute She looks like Dane/pit to me, but she might look totally different once full grown. She doesn't look underweight in the pictures (lean but not thin).
                              I like Taste of the Wild even for large breed puppies even though many will disagree because of the high calcium and protein content. Just don't overfeed it, the same goes for all foods. I fed it to my standard poodle when he was younger, and he was 50 pounds at 6 months and had no problems.


                              • #16
                                Taste of the Wild is absolutely a NO NO for a large/giant breed puppy- the calcium level is WAY too high. There are three major considerations for raising a large-breed puppy (anything you expect to get larger than 55 pounds or so when mature): keeping the puppy from growing too fast, which is best handled by not over-feeding the puppy- rolly-polly puppies may be cute, but they turn into unhealthy adults. You want a skinny puppy.
                                Second consideration is the calcium- if you feed anything with much more than 1.5% calcium there is a really good chance you will end up with a dog with skeletal problems. Crippling your dog just because a particular food is good for adults isn't something you'll be happy you did later on.
                                Third is often people suggest feeding adult formulas to large/giant puppies: this can work out, but unfortunately many adult/all life stages formulas are rather deficient in protein; adults can make do (even though it is not optimal) but puppies can't. So make sure whatever it is you feed has at least 27% protein (from meat, not glutens or soy or corn).

                                Orijen large breed puppy food is the best on the market right now.

                                Lots of people say they like "taste of the wild" because it's affordable- but it isn't really. The bags cost less per pound than many other brands with somewhat similar ingredients and macronutrient profiles, but taste of the wild is rather low in calories per cup, so you're actually paying MORE for taste of the wild than many of those other foods. For example, Taste of wild praire you get 851 kcal per dollar; vs. Nature's variety instinct chicken you get 940 kcal per dollar; and EVO red meat you get 899 kcal per dollar. And consider TOTW is made by a company of dubious repute (Diamond) and has a lower-quality nutrient/ingredients profile than EVO or Natures variety instinct. Note that EVO, Natures variety instinct, AND TOTW should not be fed to puppies due to their too-high calcium levels.


                                • #17
                                  I've always liked Nurtisource Large Breed Puppy.


                                  • #18
                                    My great dane is doing very well on the Chicken Soup Large Breed Adult formula. He's 15 months, a lean 162 pounds and 37 inches tall. There's been a lotta growing going on over the last year since I got him.

                                    She's a cutie!
                                    If you believe everything you read, better not read. -- Japanese Proverb


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by JB View Post
                                      Chicken Soup - pretty darn economical higher end food

                                      I love chicken soup for the puppy lovers soul. ! ! and its a good price.

                                      My 1.5 yr old 'puppy' is now on ToTW, so is the cat.


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by wendy View Post
                                        Orijen large breed puppy food is the best on the market right now.


                                        I agree with most of your post, except for this line....Orijen has a LOT of protein at 43% which is too much for a large breed dog pup.