Saturday, March 24, 2012

Large Breed Puppy Diets Applies to Extruded Diets (Kibble) Prepared by Meg Smart DVM PhD Clinical Nutritionist WCVM Saturday, March-24-12

Puppy Diets
Growth is a complex process involving metabolic changes, environmental influences, genetics, nutrition and unknown factors. The eventual size of the dog is determined by its genetics, the age it reaches its adult size can be in part controlled by nutrition. The only nutritional trial to follow Labs from weaning to death was done by Purina. Although flawed this trial gave us insight into in the role that nutrition plays in growth. They took two groups of puppies and fed one group all the food they could eat in a 15-minute period over their lifetime. The second group was fed 25% less. The initial diet was Purina Puppy Chow; the adult diet was Purina Dog Chow. The onset of hip dysplasia and arthritis was delayed in the second group; the second group lived significantly longer.
No matter what diet you choose you must feed the appropriate number of calories per day and monitor the weight and body condition of the puppy. Ideally, if you look at the puppy from above it should have a waist, the hipbones and ribs can be felt. The skin should be moveable over the hips and ribs with some fat. The ribs and hips should not be hidden or covered by a layer of fat.

Body weight
A Golden Retriever puppy’s adult body weight should be between 35 to 40 Kg this ideal weight is  related to the genetic potential of the puppy thus  to its parent’s ideal body weight or the weight for the breed  standard.
At 8 weeks the puppy should weigh about 20% of Adult body weight= 35x.20= 7kg
At 14 weeks the puppy should weigh about 50% of Adult body weight=35x.5=17.5 kg
At 20 weeks the puppy should weigh about 65 % of the adult body weight=35x.65=23 kg
At 48 weeks the puppy should weight about 85% of the adult body weight=35x.85=30 kg

Caloric Intake:
The growth of a puppy can be divided into three periods:
Period 1: 8 weeks to 14 weeks (57 to 96 days)
 Period 2: 14 weeks to 20 weeks (97 to280 days)
Period 3: 20 weeks to 52 weeks (98 to 365 days)
The table below reflects average daily caloric intake based on research done on the impact of nutrition on the growth of large breed puppies. In the Purina study, only the average caloric over the 3 periods was given and this was 1483 Kcal/day. The average caloric density of these diets is 370 Kcal/100g
Period 1
Period 2
Period 3
1237 Kcal/d
1635 Kcal/d
1492 Kcal/d

I analysed over 50 commercial puppy diets and calculated the industry average for all diets and the large breed puppy diets:

Caloric density
Period 1
Period 2
Period 3
All Diets
Large breed puppy diets

To determine the number of calories your puppy needs in a day you can calculate for:
 Period 1: the number of calories per day by: BW in kg x 80 Kcal/kg BW
Period 2: the number of calories per day =BW (kg) x 70 Kcal/kg BW
Period 3:  the number of calories per day = BW (kg) x 60 kcal/kg BW
** Note you must always monitor your puppy’s body condition if the puppy is becoming too thin feed more if too fat feed less. Make gradual rather than rapid changes in food intake.
*** Note Commercial treats. rawhide chews, pig’s ears all contain fat and calories that can cause your puppy to become fat. Unfortunately, if you cut back on the puppy’s diet you could be creating a nutrient deficiency. Always cut back on or change the treats first!

Unfortunately, for most dog foods the nutrient breakdown on bag label gives you only the guaranteed analysis that is either the guaranteed minimum or maximum but not the actual nutrient percentage. You may be able to get this information from the company’s web site or their hot line.
Research indicates that a protein percentage in the diet with a moisture content of 0% between 14 and 35 supports the growth of large breed puppies. Protein percentage below or above these values are detrimental. In Purina’s study, the protein content was 26 %. In the study I did, the average protein content of 50 puppy diets was 30%.
I recommend looking for a diet that has between 24 and 30% Crude Protein on the label.
The fat percentage in the research diets averaged around 10% with 0% Moisture In the Purina study the fat percentage in the diet was 11%. The average for the 50 puppy diets was 15 %, 4 to 5% above requirements. This is related to the facts that fat is a cheap but concentrated source of calories and fat increases the palatability of the diet.
A puppy requires m between 4 g and 8 g of calcium per day. Less than 4g may be considered low less than 2 g deficient. Above 8 g may be too much.  Thus a puppy diet with between 1 and 1.5% Ca (0% moisture) is appropriate. In the Purina study, the Ca was 1.2% and the average for the 50 puppy diets was 1.3 %. The maximum Ca is 2%
The Ca: P ration should be 1.5:1
The Ideal Large breed puppy diet should have a caloric density of approximately 3700 Kcal/1000g. This may be on the bag label, on the product’s website or obtained through the companies hot line.
You will need this value to calculate how much food to feed per day
The Nutrient Analysis should indicate:
A crude protein of between 24% and 30%
A fat of no more than 15 % and no less than 10%
A Ca of 1.2% and no more than 2%
Grain free diets are an option but I do not believe that they are potentially any better than diets with grains.
Grain free diets contain carbohydrates from fruit and vegetables which when heat processed will likely have the same digest ability as that of the grains.
Research is very limited in this area; mostly these recommendations are based on opinion rather than facts. 

1 comment:

  1. i really appreciate your work. please do let us know about how you will identify which food if best Pet Food