Pets or companion animals have been around for centuries. Pets date back all the way to the 8th century. An early literary reference to “man’s best friend” is in Homer’s Odyssey. Pet popularity has only increased over time. It is estimated that about 42% of households in the U.S. own a dog and about 33% own a cat. Independent of whether you are a dog person, or a cat person, one can understand the love that people have for their pets. Why not show your love for your companion animal with good nutrition?
This post explores good nutrition principles for large breed dogs, such as airedale terriers, German shepherds, Golden retrievers, and Alaskan huskies. Larger dogs are predisposed to dysplasia, at the elbow and hips. This disposition is heavily associated with a dog’s early nutrition. Check out the 5 recommendations below to help keep your pup healthy!
- Choose a dog food with anti-inflammatory ingredients with a appropriate composition. Look for dog foods with a high percentage of protein. High protein diets do not contribute to dysplasia; this is a myth. It is important to consider the ancestral diet of canines. Canines are carnivores, but can tolerate some carbohydrate. Therefore the ideal dietary composition is:
- 56% Protein
- 25-30% Fat
- 16% Carb
This is the assumed ancestral diet. However, in this day and age that is nearly impossible and thus research supports the following composition from dry dog food:
- 18-32% Protein
- 8-22% Fat
- 46-74% Carb
Dry dog foods that will meet this composition will have high-grade animal products as their primary ingredients, with minimal grains and potatoes. Grains that may benefit a dog are barley and oats.
- Do not overfeed your puppy.Provide adequate energy needs for growth at a steady pace based on the following equation: 3500 x (Pup’s Weight / 2.2)
This will determine the number of calories based 3500 kCal of Dog food per Kilogram of body weight. You will need to identify the volume of dog food to provide the amount of calories your pup needs. If you find that growth is inadequate at this rate, you can multiply the weight up to 4000 Calories.
- Assess the calcium to phosphorus ratio. Excess calcium in a pup’s diet is probablly a close secondary cause of dysplasia. Aim for a ratio of 1.1:1 to 1.5:1 (Calcium:Phosphorus) Utilize the calculator at: http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/best-dog-foods/best-large-breed-puppy-food/
- Consider supplementing Glucosamine and Chrondroitin. Most vets agree upon 500mg of Glucosamine and 400mg of Chondroitin per 25lbs body weight per day. This may be found in the dry dog food. If it is not, you may want to consider supplementing the dog’s food.
- Consider supplementing with Fish oil.Quality fish oil can help to combat inflammation in dogs just like it does in humans. Researchers do not know the best ratio of EPA to DHA for dogs. They have concluded that EPA has strong anti-inflammatory properties for dogs and make recommendations for daily intake based on the following equation: 20mg EPA for every 1lb body weight. So, for a 25lb pup they would need 500mg EPA daily. This- again- may be in their dog food and they may not require a supplemental form.