Raw Feeding the Large and Giant Breed puppies
When someone says puppies, images of tiny creatures will come to your mind. But today we're going to talk about the not so small puppies. We will look at the large and giant breeds because they feel left out.
But on a serious note, these fellow will ultimately weigh anywhere between 50-60 pounds at their fullest. Any four legged dog weighing more than 90 pounds is called a Giant breed.
Some Large Breeds are:
The German Shepherd
The Golden Retriever
The German Shorthaired Pointer
The Doberman Pinscher
The Great Dane
The Irish Wolfhound
The King Shepherd
The South African Boerboel.
Now if you own either of these, your responsibility is also LARGE. As with smaller breeds, you want your large breed to lead a happy, healthy and wholesome life too filled with nutritious food.
This involves giving him a diet filled with quality food because large dogs are more susceptible to diseases and joint problems. This will put a huge responsibility on your shoulder as the owner of a huge animal.
A large dog diet isn't rocket science. It is not much different from small and medium sized dogs. Large breed puppies will need special and customized diets however to ensure that they get adequate nutrition while they're growing.
Some things to watch out for in large and giant breeds are joint and other orthopedic diseases, obesity and bloating.
These breed of puppies grow at an alarming rate and can reach their full weight and size within a year and a half ( about 18 months). All this means is that you have to watch their weight and diet very carefully and speak with a professional and another large breed owner regularly for tips on how to feed your pup a raw diet.
If your large breed pup is growing too quick, he is susceptible to any of the below diseases:
If you own a Great Dane, Lab, St. Bernard or a German Shepherd, you have to watch out for this ailment. It is a disease of the hip. The hip is made up of a socket and a ball, if these are not formed properly, they don't meet and this leads to rubbing and grinding instead of smooth sliding.
Hip Dysplasia begins when large breeds are puppies; even as young as 4 months old. Here weight control is very important so it's important that your puppy get a balanced diet right from infancy.
: Another common condition in large breeds. It starts when your pet is a pup and if not carefully treated can continue for life. This is caused due to an abnormality in the elbow joint of your pup specifically related to the cartilage. Symptoms will start as early as 4 months old and males are more impacted by females. Symptoms are lameness and swelling in your pup's joints.
: If you have a Great Dane, a Lab or a Rottweiler, they are susceptible to this disease. Caused due to interference in blood supply to your pups bones. There is an excess of cartilage as compared to bones giving rise to this condition. Symptoms are lameness, Swelling of joints, Extreme pain in your pup's limbs. You will see that your pup limps more after exercise.
( Also known as Panosteitis
): An extremely painful condition made obvious by lameness and limping. This one affects the long bones in large breeds making it very difficult to move about. However, it is treatable and short lived.
A good, healthy and balanced diet coupled with exercise to keep him fit lessens the risk of him contracting any of the diseases mentioned above.
in large and giant breeds is a cloud that hovers over us as pet owners and we need to ensure that they are at their adequate weight right from the time they are puppies. If not monitored, they could contract Diabetes
, Kidney diseases
, and high blood pressure too. Yes, you read that right!
We all know how our bodies bloat up when it is filled with gas and has no way to escape. This happens to our large breeds too and can be fatal. This condition is known as twisted stomach or in medical terms, Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus
). It requires immediate treatment and your pet can die if not treated in time.
If you feed your pet only once in a day and if he's being fed processed foods, fatty foods or oily foods, you're increasing the chances of him contracting GDV. Ensure that your pet is fed multiple, small meals through the day and is exercised appropriately.
So how much do you feed your large breed?
There's no definite answer. You will need to feed him depending on his specific needs. Check his BCS or body condition score ( referenced in my previous blogs) and then decide on if he is underweight or overweight.
Three things to keep in mind:
Your large breed pup should not be given excess calcium
Too many calories is a no no.
An unbalanced diet will be disastrous for your puppy
A larger breed requires double the efforts so pick your breed wisely. Ensure that you do not compromise on the quality of food for your large puppy. Speak with us; we'll help you customize a diet for him.
I would also like to talk about the importance of something that not too many people are aware of: The benefits of feeding fresh fish like sardines, mackerels, anchovies to your raw fed pup.
Rich in proteins, calcium and Omega 3
, these fish are healthy for your dog. It is much better to feed your puppy the whole fish, rather than capsule s containing fish oil and Omega -3. After all, isn't fresh the best?
Feed your pup RAW fish about twice a week. Your puppy might love the fish frozen, so you can try giving it to him that way or thawed or fresh from the fish market. It's his choice.
Some other good seafood for your puppy is Phytoplankton, Kelp, Seaweed, Oily fish (as mentioned above) and Green Lipped Mussels.
contains Vitamin D and Omega 3 as well. But you have to be cautious with this one.
You must buy wild salmon and freeze it for about 15 days before feeding it. DO NOT
buy salmon if you are not sure of its origin.
Be careful of fish oils though.
I know they're popular but because of their exposure to air they might not be as beneficial for your pup as you think. Fish oil can contain toxic substances like lead, arsenic and mercury and can cause cancer and liver or kidney damage.
Before I sign off, let me remind you to give your pup veggies (brocolli, spinach, asparagus), and please make sure they are pulped in a juicer or blender for good digestion. Make sure that your pup isn't allergic to any of the above foods.
If you have a puppy that is skinny inspite
of being given sufficient food to eat, she might have worms. You would have to keep an eye on her poop to check for worms. You can deworm her; just ask around with other raw breeders for which meds they use. I personally use Diatom Earth a product which I use everyday for my pups and dogs.
Your pup has to have a waistline and you should be able to feel her ribs and not see them.
If your pup is fat however, you can cut down on the quantity for a while; it will not harm her under any circumstances.
We hope these guidelines will help you smoothly feed your large and/or giant breed puppy raw; but remember we're always around if you need some guidance. Write to us and let us know how it goes for you.