Why Large-Breed Puppy Formulas Are Different
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If you’ve got a big love for big dogs, IAMS™ has a large-breed puppy formula specially made for their nutritional needs.
Many large-breed puppies have a tendency to grow very quickly. Unfortunately, if this tendency is encouraged by overfeeding, developmental bone problems can occur. To avoid these problems, careful feeding management is necessary. This should include
- Consideration of optimal protein quantity and quality
- Restriction of the energy-containing fat
- Careful control of the calcium and phosphorus levels
Our specially formulated large-breed puppy formulas make feeding management easier because they are designed for fast-growing, large-breed puppies (those with an expected adult weight of more than 50 pounds).
Protein in Puppy Food
A protein level approximating 26% in these formulas promotes healthy body condition and balances the protein with the reduced number of calories in the food. Research has shown that
- Dietary protein levels from 15 to 32% have no adverse effect on skeletal development.1
- Body condition decreases as protein gets too low.
The protein in our large-breed puppy formulas supports normal skeletal and muscular growth.
Calories and Fat in Puppy Food
Fat contributes more than twice as many calories in a diet as proteins or carbohydrates do. As the fat level increases, the energy content of the diet also increases, making feeding management more difficult for large-breed puppies. Several studies have shown increases in developmental bone problems when a diet was overfed.2, 3
By reducing the fat content of large-breed puppy formulas to about 14%, the metabolizable energy (ME) of the diets can be kept to a low level of about 1,800 kilocalories per pound.
Calcium and Phosphorus in Puppy Food
Fat contributes more than twice as many calories in a diet as proteins or carbohydrates
Comparing with Our Other Puppy Foods
Our large-breed puppy formulas, such as IAMS ProActive Health™ Smart Puppy Large Breed, are made specifically for growing puppies with expected adult weights of 50 pounds or more. These puppy foods are unique because they are formulated with:
- Less fat for fewer calories to optimally reduce growth rate of large-breed puppies and help safeguard against overconsumption of energy
- A lower level of protein to ensure a proper balance of protein with energy content
Reduced calcium and phosphorus levels with a normal calcium-to-phosphorus ratio to promote proper bone development in rapidly growing large breed puppies.
1 Nap, et al. Growth and skeletal development in Great Dane pups fed different levels of protein intake. J Nutr 1991; 121:S107-S113.
2 Hedhammer, et al. Over nutrition and skeletal disease: an experimental study in growing Great Dane dogs. Cornell Vet 1974; 64:1-159.
3 Lavelle. The effect of overfeeding of a balanced complete commercial diet to a group of growing Great Danes. In: Nutrition of the dog and cat. Burger and Rivers (eds). Cambridge Univ Press, 1989:303-316.
4 Hazewinkel, et al. Influences of chronic calcium excess on the skeletal development of growing Great Danes, J Am Anim Hosp Assoc 1985; 21:377-391.
5 Goedegebuure, Hazewinkel. Morphological findings in young dogs chronically fed a diet containing excess calcium. Vet Pathol 1986; 23:594-605.
6 Hazewinkel, et al. Calcium metabolism in Great Dane dogs fed diets with various calcium and phosphorus levels. J Nutr 1991; 121:S99-S106.
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- adp_description_block71Nutrition for Large- and Giant-Breed Adult Dogs
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Healthy joints and proper weight are especially important for dogs that grow to be more than 50 pounds. But not all large- and giant-breed adult dogs have the same nutritional needs. Is your dog getting proper exercise? Is she about to have puppies? Special conditions can dramatically affect your dog’s nutritional demands. Giving her a food specially formulated for her large size, life stage and activity level is the easiest way to make sure she’s getting the nutrients she needs.
Choosing a Food for Overall Health
To address the special needs of your large- or giant-breed dog, look for these features:
- Less fat to help maintain an ideal body condition for less joint stress
- Vitamin-rich fish oils for healthy skin, shiny coat and overall health
- Essential vitamins and minerals to help support the immune system and help maintain good health
- High-quality animal-based protein sources to help maintain muscle tone
- A moderately fermentable fiber source, such as beet pulp, to maintain intestinal health, enhance your dog's ability to absorb nutrients, and reduce backyard cleanup
- A carbohydrate blend to help sustain energy by maintaining normal blood sugar levels
These components are key to good nutrition. Look for them in treats, wet dog food, or dry dog food, such as IAMS™ ProActive Health™ Adult Large Breed.
Maintaining Healthy Joints and Cartilage
Joint health is a big concern for owners of large- and giant-breed dogs. A large- or giant-breed formula that contains high-quality protein can help nourish healthy joints. Vitamins and minerals help promote the production of cartilage. Also, keeping your dog at a healthy weight will help minimize joint stress.
Guarding Against Weight Gain
Dogs with lower activity levels and dogs that have been neutered or spayed are all prone to weight gain. Controlling your dog’s weight is an important step toward protecting against the health effects of excess weight, such as diabetes or joint health problems. If you use a weight-management food, look for these characteristics:
- A reduced fat level that still offers essential nutrients for skin and coat health
- L-carnitine, a key nutrient that helps burn fat and maintain muscle mass during weight loss
- Special carbohydrate blends that help maintain energy while managing weight
- Vitamin-rich fish oils for overall health
Providing Nutrition During Pregnancy
Pregnant dogs have substantial nutrition requirements. Starting in the seventh week of her pregnancy, a mother dog will need to increase her energy intake up to 50% by the time she gives birth and increase it even more when she starts nursing her puppies. Because she may lose her appetite at times, it's important that she eats a nutrient-dense food. A complete, balanced puppy formula can give her the extra nutrients she needs. But avoid puppy food created for large and giant breeds; these formulas contain specially adjusted levels of energy and minerals that may not be sufficient for a pregnant or nursing dog.
Switching to a Mature Diet
Dogs who grow to be more than 50 pounds are considered mature or senior at age 5 or 6, which is earlier than small-breed dogs. So, it’s critical to make a proactive transition to a specially formulated mature diet, such as IAMS™ ProActive Health™ Mature Adult Large Breed, to help keep your dog healthy and active as she ages.
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