Gaining weight/growing too fast? - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-03-2012, 03:32 PM Thread Starter
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Gaining weight/growing too fast?

We brought home our "little" girl home 2 weeks ago at 9 weeks old (she was 13-1/2 lbs). She is 11 weeks old today and is 20-1/2 lbs. All the puppies in the litter were pretty big, but in the last 2 weeks, she has gained 7 lbs. She doesn't appear too fat and I can definitely feel her ribs, but she is growing height/length faster than my other 2 Goldens ever did when they were puppies (or at least that I can remember).

Our breeder told us to feed adult dog food 3 times a day at about 1 cup/meal (a total of 3+ cups a day). Our vet on the other hand said to feed her puppy food so that she doesn't grow too fast. Right now she is on adult ProPlan Lamb & Rice and I plan to switch her over in the next week or two to Canidae All Life Stages (ALS).

I believe in feeding adult dog food to puppies to slow down their growth, but she still seems to be growing at a fast rate and I am concerned that it will cause issues down the road (HD, bone cancers, etc). Our oldest dog is just about to turn 13 and has osteosarcoma (aggressive bone cancer in her front leg).

I know that there are suggestions/articles out there to cut our food amount to 1-2 cups/day for a slower growth, but is it too late at this point in her growing cycle or is there still time to slow it down? Or should I even try slow it down? The puppies in this litter were larger than the breeder had in a while, but they didn't seem concerned about it. They have very high success with OFA hip ratings (tons of goods and excellents) and longevity of their lines (not uncommon to have healthy 15-18 year olds).

Would love to hear what you think about this and any recommendations. Thanks.

Wendy
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-03-2012, 03:49 PM
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At that age I fed 3/4 cup 3x a day and then I reduced to 2 cups a day when Molly turned 12 weeks. I think you can reduce her food a little without her getting too skinny. You can also increase exercise.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-03-2012, 04:36 PM
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Hi there.i have a very big boy & thought he was growing too quickly, but my vet told me 2 kilos a week gain in young puppies is about right. I think two kilos is approx 4lb 4oz ...so that is a normal growth rate for a large breed puppy. Loki weighed in at 52lbs four days ago & he turned 18 weeks old yesterday. I saw a different vet for his microchip four days ago, when he was weighed, & I asked him if Loki was overweight ...he certainly did not look as if he was. The vet checked him over with his hands & said he was not overweight ....he was actually in very nice shape. Our vets & breeder told us we should feed good quality large breed puppy kibble up until one year old, as this was essential for good bone growth & joint strength on these large breed dogs. And not to take them on long walks during this quick growth stage ...just short walks of around 20 mins twice a day, so as not to stress the joints too much. We used to have two Maremmas, which are a super large breed growing to around 110lbs plus in full maturity at about fifteen months old, so bigger than GR breed. We followed vet advice & both were in great shape & health when they reached their adult years.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-03-2012, 05:57 PM
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I believe genetics, not how much you feed, will determine more than any other factor, the rate at which a puppy will grow. At 11 weeks, your pup is at the beginning of her most rapid growth period. By 6 months, she will have more than doubled in size from what it is now! At one year, your pup will be, easily, 60 to 70 pounds.

Because of the rapid growth, it is important that your puppy receives sufficient nutrition. I think a quality puppy food is best. At least 3 cups a day, and more as she hits the growth spurts, and then cut back as she becomes an adult.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-03-2012, 06:26 PM
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The proplan feeding guidelines for Pro Plan Lamb and Rice Adult, suggest 1/2 to 1 2/3 cups per day for puppies 1 1/2 to 3 mths with a projected adult weight of 51-75 lbs. I cannot find out how many calories are in a cup of food. You may want to decrease how much she is getting. If she is hungry you can supplement with canned pure pumpkin or green beans to help her feel full. When you switch to Canidae, compare the calories/cup between the 2 brands Proplan-call 800 number on the bag to find out, and Canidae 468 cal/cup from their website.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-03-2012, 06:34 PM
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I used to feed ProPlan Performance and it was around 496 calories a cup. I know the chicken and rice non performance formula is the same number of calories so I'm guessing the lamb and rice isn't too far off either.


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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-03-2012, 06:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vhuynh2 View Post
I used to feed ProPlan Performance and it was around 496 calories a cup. I know the chicken and rice non performance formula is the same number of calories so I'm guessing the lamb and rice isn't too far off either.


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Thanks for the information. I have been looking for a food that has a higher calorie count than the one i am using (337/cup). My younger girl needs a food with more calories. I will have to check out ProPlan the next time I need food.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-03-2012, 07:34 PM
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I feed a mix of Pro-Plan & Eukanuba for large breed puppies. I agree totally with Max's Dad. A lot of it is to do with genetics. Loki's father is a big, sturdy boy & Loki certainly takes after him ...same block head & body-type. I would not feed a puppy less than what it wants. Loki has wet food as well as his kibble, & he will always leave a small amount in his bowl, so I know he has had enough. He has three feeds a day, but seems to be cutting himself down to two now, at 18 weeks, as not wanting his lunch until later & later now, so ends up having a smaller meal at last feed. I have never seen Loki wolf down his meals. He will sit & wait & when food put down, he will eat his way through it at a slow, steady pace. So I know he is having the correct amount, as not ravenously hungry at meals. Sometimes he will bark to tell me I am preparing his meal too slow lol. Guidelines on food packages are only suggesting the amount ...I would never slavishly follow them, as some puppies are just more hungry than others ....just the same as human babies.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-03-2012, 08:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dwyllis View Post
I would not feed a puppy less than what it wants. Loki has wet food as well as his kibble, & he will always leave a small amount in his bowl, so I know he has had enough.

I understand where you are coming from, however, I disagree with the blanket statement. Some puppies will not stop themselves, when they are full. Mine, for instance, will eat and eat and eat and eat and eat and eat. I'm very careful to monitor Bears body and see if he's getting thinner than I'm comfortable with (i.e. he's entering a growth spurt) or if he's packing on some extra pounds and I can no longer see the tuck in his waist. I find that the amount of food we feed is generally around the same amount but will flucuate slightly every day depending on the activity level and how much "other stuff" he's getting (i.e. treats for training or to keep him occupied, etc)

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Originally Posted by Dwyllis View Post
Guidelines on food packages are only suggesting the amount ...I would never slavishly follow them...
I agree 100% with this. Each puppy is an individual and their needs may vary from what the bag offers. I use the bag as a guideline, and start in the low-to-middle of the recommended serving suggestion and then adjust accordingly.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-03-2012, 08:16 PM
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Feeding recommendations on dog food bags are guidelines... On average, a two lb weight gain per week is not excessive. My Gabby, almost five months gains about 2 lbs weekly. And she is a big girl at almost 35 lbs. She ate Wellness Just For Puppy until almost four months and now eats Wellness super 5 Mix. I have never fed Large Breed food.

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