Growing bigger than expected. - Page 3 - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
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post #21 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-16-2012, 01:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Vhuynh2 View Post
I'm not sure what Rhonda Hovan's credentials are but it seems like she is respected in the veterinary community for her research in golden retriever health.

http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/CCAH/h...retrievers.cfm

I don't agree with feeding such a small amount either, but I don't think the idea of feeding a bit less to slow growth is absolutely preposterous.


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I'm not questioning her credentials. She knows far more than I do. I'm just questioning her food intake guidelines, and the logic behind them.

What are we trying to slow down? Skeletal growth? Muscle? Or just fat? She isn't specific about that. I have a hard time believing that cutting back food intake minimally would slow skeletal growth significantly, and I'm not sure I would want muscular growth to be stunted at that age either. Of course, I agree that a fat puppy isn't preferable.


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post #22 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-16-2012, 02:07 AM
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Plus I think people get too wrapped up in that growth chart. I looked at it a few months ago, and thought something was wrong until I talked to my vet about it.


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post #23 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-16-2012, 02:22 AM
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I'm not questioning her credentials. She knows far more than I do. I'm just questioning her food intake guidelines, and the logic behind them.

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Me too. Maybe I'll email her and ask about that one of these days..


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post #24 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-16-2012, 08:55 AM
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I will speak up in favor of the Slow Growth Plan, I don't think it is hogwash. What I DO think is crazy though is to expect every single puppy to fit to the same weight requirements. They are guidelines and every puppy is different and has different parents. I think it is crucial to on the one hand, feed enough so that your puppy grows steadily and gets enough nutrition but on the other hand, it is also really important for your puppy to not grow out of control fast and be chubby. I am following roughly a slow growth plan with Winston but he ate more like 2 cups a day at that age and 3 cups a day plus extras now. He is extremely healthy and not too skinny or too fat. He is growing steadily at about the same amount each week.

I am all in favor of not overfeeding puppies and going easy on their joints, but I think it is crucial to find a happy medium. Its worth it though and I think it can be accomplished with regular weighings and "hand checks" of your puppy by both you and your vet which is what we do.
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post #25 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-16-2012, 11:13 AM
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I will speak up in favor of the Slow Growth Plan, I don't think it is hogwash. What I DO think is crazy though is to expect every single puppy to fit to the same weight requirements. They are guidelines and every puppy is different and has different parents. I think it is crucial to on the one hand, feed enough so that your puppy grows steadily and gets enough nutrition but on the other hand, it is also really important for your puppy to not grow out of control fast and be chubby. I am following roughly a slow growth plan with Winston but he ate more like 2 cups a day at that age and 3 cups a day plus extras now. He is extremely healthy and not too skinny or too fat. He is growing steadily at about the same amount each week.

I am all in favor of not overfeeding puppies and going easy on their joints, but I think it is crucial to find a happy medium. Its worth it though and I think it can be accomplished with regular weighings and "hand checks" of your puppy by both you and your vet which is what we do.
If you're feeding him 3 cups a day, you're not following the "slow growth program" that is being discussed here. It sounds like you're giving Winston the amount of food he needs.

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post #26 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-16-2012, 12:15 PM
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I do not know enough about the slo growth plan to comment on it. However, 3/4 cup of food a day is not enough for a growing puppy, and I believe the OP stated he was going to increase the amount. I don't believe in giving a puppy too much, especially with the super-premium foods that are now available, that pack a lot of nutrition into a small volume. Like most things in life, moderation is probably best. Too much a nutrient is just as harmful as not enough. Most of the goldens I see, out and about, are way above the breed standard and I have to wonder if it has anything to do with the availability of super premium foods and overfeeding.
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post #27 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-16-2012, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Nairb View Post
If you're feeding him 3 cups a day, you're not following the "slow growth program" that is being discussed here. It sounds like you're giving Winston the amount of food he needs.
Winston is four months old now and he gets a lot of exercise and so I have recently upped him to three cups. I have been weighing regularly and adjusting the food accordingly. He actually fits the slow growth plan perfectly, he has been within a pound of the suggested weights at every single time point. Winston was 20 weeks yesterday and he weighs exactly 28 pounds.

The plan suggests 3/4 cup per day by eight weeks, but does not say that you shouldn't increase this amount as they grow. It also says "Please note that it is always more important to feed to correctly manage each individual pup's weight gain, rather than to try to schedule a certain specific amount of food." There is no set amount of food you need to feed to follow the slow growth plan. At nine weeks I had Winston eating about 1.5 cups per day, then 2 cups per day, then 2.5 cups per day, and now 3 cups per day. In a few months I expect to go back down a little.
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post #28 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-16-2012, 01:11 PM
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My puppy was certainly getting more than that per day, in kibble, plus appropriate wet food. I would never feed the minimum on those guidelines. Like human babies, every puppy is different, so I don't go by those generalising guidelines. Loki gained weight quickly & at 18 weeks was over 50lbs. I was worried he might be overweight & asked the vet to check him out, & was told he was in very nice physical shape. I did the same when he was 13 weeks & seemed to be gaining too quickly & was reassured then that he was in good physical shape, & that was by a different vet in the practice. To be honest, I would rather feed a little more than not enough, as large breed puppies must have their growth requirements met to sustain proper bone & joint growth.
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post #29 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-16-2012, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by vcm5 View Post
Winston is four months old now and he gets a lot of exercise and so I have recently upped him to three cups. I have been weighing regularly and adjusting the food accordingly. He actually fits the slow growth plan perfectly, he has been within a pound of the suggested weights at every single time point. Winston was 20 weeks yesterday and he weighs exactly 28 pounds.

The plan suggests 3/4 cup per day by eight weeks, but does not say that you shouldn't increase this amount as they grow. It also says "Please note that it is always more important to feed to correctly manage each individual pup's weight gain, rather than to try to schedule a certain specific amount of food." There is no set amount of food you need to feed to follow the slow growth plan. At nine weeks I had Winston eating about 1.5 cups per day, then 2 cups per day, then 2.5 cups per day, and now 3 cups per day. In a few months I expect to go back down a little.
That's way more food than I've ever fed Bella, yet she was about 45 lbs at that age (she's about 55 at 7 months, 10 days). There's a good chance that Winston will eventually surpass her in weight, because, 1. Winston is male, and 2. Bella doesn't seem to be gaining much weight. I think she'll be 65-70 lb or so, at the most.

Why the differences in growth rates of these two puppies? It's clearly not related to amount of food intake, since Bella eats less than Winston. Genetics determines growth spurts, and the adult size of the dog. Not food intake. That of course assumes you're not feeding way too much or way too little.

Hovan also suggests only two feedings per day after 8 weeks.

Edit to add: Bella also gets a lot of exercise.

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post #30 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-16-2012, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
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Ok so I upped his intake to 1 1/2 cups today (1/2 cup 3 times), and his stomach has been horribly upset all day. He acts like his normal self but has the worst diarrhea right now. Could this just be from the increase in nutrition?
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