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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello! New to the Forum

I have a 15 week Puppy and Can anyone suggest a good food for a slow growth plan. Right now she weighs 25 pounds.


The breeder was feeding her Eukanuba - Large Breed Puppy, recommended I buy a 20 lbs bag and after it was gone switch to an Adult Eukanuba/Iams mix to begin a Slow growth plan.

A few people suggested MERRICK Grain Free (the bag says it ok for puppies & adults). After slowly introducing the food she still is having loose stool and even more she does not like the food.

She was doing well on the Eukanuba puppy.(sometimes disinterested not to excited about eating) but her poop was firm.

(I guess the protein content is to high? she needs grains?)
I am so confused by all the different foods, brands, research, etc.


Last week she ate a whole bunch of dirt,sand, poop and got really sick.
SHE HAS BEEN EATING EVERTYTHING OFF THE FLOOR. metal wires, bobby pins, poop, paper, etc. Had many X-rays to track her digestion.

Thank good she passed everything with the help of the Hill prescription wet food.

I was mixing in the Merrick with the last can of wet hoping she would be ok with it when she was done but she wont eat the merrick dry.
I feel so bad.

Can anyone recommend a quality Adult food that would be good for a Puppy's SLOW GROWTH.

:uhoh:
 

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Try and find a large breed puppy food or a puppy food that has the guaranteed analysis a large breed puppy needs. Check out purina pro plan large breed or something like nutro large breed. That will give you a idea what a large breed puppy needs. Both foods are also readily available at petsmart or petco. The large breed formulas help promote slow even joint development.
 

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Grumpy Old Man
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I would stay with the Euk LPB until the pup is about a year old. I've raised numerous litters and puppies on it.
 

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Take what I say with a grain of salt, I'm by no means an expert, but from what I understand, the slow-growth plan is about the QUANTITY of food being given, rather than brand. Don't get me wrong, quality food does a lot in terms of good overall health, but you could easily overfeed a dog using a high quality food.

That being said, I've heard a lot of good things about Purina Pro Plan, lots of people on here use it. I don't because Kaizer's been doing great on the food that breeder's given him, and so I see no reason to change it. Do both foods have the same meat product? Some puppies either don't like or don't do well on certain proteins, and do better with others.

Is there any reason you went to Merrick instead of the Eukanuba/Iams mix that the breeder suggested? Besides people recommending Merrick.
 

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I use Orijen.
My breeder voids the warranty if you feed anything labeled puppy. Instructions are no food formulated for puppies due to growth issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Take what I say with a grain of salt, I'm by no means an expert, but from what I understand, the slow-growth plan is about the QUANTITY of food being given, rather than brand. Don't get me wrong, quality food does a lot in terms of good overall health, but you could easily overfeed a dog using a high quality food

Is there any reason you went to Merrick instead of the Eukanuba/Iams mix that the breeder suggested? Besides people recommending Merrick.
I'm looking for a better quality adult food that will fulfill puppy's nutritional needs. As for the "slow growth plan" - It was recommended to switch from the puppy food to an adult food (since the adult isn't as calorie dense).

The Eukanuba's first 3 ingredients read .
[Chicken, CORN MEAL, Chicken by Product]
- Corn meal as a 2nd ingredient made me question quality/fillers. Is corn meal good for dogs? Is rice better?
:yuck: - Chicken by Product : Various parts of poultry (heads, feet and intestines) makes me uncomfortable.


I have a background in Environmental Science and have studied the FDA's standards (or lack there of) & practices of Livestock management.
So I may be a bit more paranoid than the average consumer.
I don't eat a great deal of meat but I know Puppy needs to!
:wavey:recommendations are welcome.

(I will mention the Merrick gives her the worst smelling sleep farts) lol :p:
 

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Brands with "better" ingredients may just sound better on paper. If you're really concerned, take a look at the complete nutritional analysis and do the research on what it really means and what values are ideal for puppies. For example, the right calcium and phosphorus content is important. If you're concerned about the slow growth plan, be sure to look at the calories as well. It could vary quite a bit among foods.
 

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Since I brought home my 6 month old at 8 weeks, he's been on half adult and half puppy food, both of the Natures Domain brand at Costco (about 2-3 cups a day now, less when he was younger). He's now 45lbs, just shy of 6 months, and he is definitely growing slowly. Huge paws, smaller body and head. Very lean, active, and healthy. Hope this helps!
 

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I am a believer in staying on a Large breed Puppy formula till at least 12 months old. The large breed puppy formulas usually have the correct calcium/phosphorus ratio which is important for proper growth.

Another key is not to overfeed. My boy never got more than 3 cups total and by 12 months his food intake was reduced to 2.5 cups. He is now 2 years old, weighs 73 pounds and is in perfect condition and gets 2.5 cups of adult food.

If your baby is doing good on the Eukanuba large breed puppy - why change it? 15 weeks old to me does not qualify to switch to an adult food.

I fed my boy Pro Plan Focus Large breed puppy formula till he was 13 months old.
 

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We didn't switch Chloe to a adult food until about six months. But we had a issue we were trying to stop. She would of stayed on the nutro large breed puppy until a year. We were going to try that young adult nutro but she can't have a chicken based foods. Puppy's need the right ingredients so I would try the nutro large breed puppy then you can switch to the young adult later if you want.
 

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I agree with the others who've said, if your pup was doing well on the Eukanuba, leave her on it. Why fix something that's not broken?

What humans find "good" in terms of food is not necessarily what a puppy or dog needs. Keep in mind Purina and Eukanuba have been feeding healthy dogs for decades. They do mountains of research and testing.

You can do slow growth on Eukanuba Large Breed Puppy - just don't overfeed.

I'll add just as an aside - my pup was on Purina Pro Plan Large Breed Puppy until she was about 14 months old or so (can't quite remember, but she was over one year) because she grew so slowly on it. She needed the extra nutrients in the puppy formula for longer because she was small.
 

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Esquire Golden Retrievers
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QUALITY

If your concern is quality ingredients, I suggest you look at brands like Orijen and Acana. They are more spendy than many of the regular store brands, though. Orijen in particular can be expensive. Maybe not an issue when you have one puppy, but I have several adults, so it's a concern. Also, you can get these foods shipped direct to you at a lower price than in stores by buying from Chewy.com. I definitely recommend Chewy. I save a lot of money shopping there, even though having a herd of active adult Goldens means you can spend hundreds of dollars a month in dog food.

Some of my dogs can be fussy eaters. They all eat Acana, and love it. And their poops are very firm. Acana is less expensive than Orijen, otherwise I would be feeding Orijen. Loose stools can be a result of the richness of the food. Very rich foods sometimes produce loose stools. For instance, a lot of dogs don't do well on Blue Buffalo, because it is richer than most of the other store brand foods.

Slow Growth

Slow growth is a term of art. It's not just about feeding a particular kind of feed, it's an actual feeding plan created by longtime and ground-breaking breeder, Rhonda Hovan of Faera Golden Retrievers. It involves hitting particular growth rates at particular points in development, and it's fairly rigorous. I raised my Gibbs on that plan, and it was a raging success, though more difficult to follow than just "measure and feed." We had to monitor his weight and his rate of growth on a weekly basis, and make constant adjustments on the volume of food he was given. That made him smaller and thinner than most other puppies, but by a year he had caught up.

Here's a link to Rhonda's slow growth plan: http://www.2ndchance.info/homemadediets-Hovan2009.pdf

As I say, we have an image of roly-poly puppies, but on that plan Gibbs was very thin:



It was excellent for his bone growth, though. And now as an adult, he is extremely robust and rugged, with great hips and elbows.
 

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QUALITY

If your concern is quality ingredients, I suggest you look at brands like Orijen and Acana. They are more spendy than many of the regular store brands, though. Orijen in particular can be expensive. Maybe not an issue when you have one puppy, but I have several adults, so it's a concern. Also, you can get these foods shipped direct to you at a lower price than in stores by buying from Chewy.com. I definitely recommend Chewy. I save a lot of money shopping there, even though having a herd of active adult Goldens means you can spend hundreds of dollars a month in dog food.

Some of my dogs can be fussy eaters. They all eat Acana, and love it. And their poops are very firm. Acana is less expensive than Orijen, otherwise I would be feeding Orijen. Loose stools can be a result of the richness of the food. Very rich foods sometimes produce loose stools. For instance, a lot of dogs don't do well on Blue Buffalo, because it is richer than most of the other store brand foods.

Slow Growth

Slow growth is a term of art. It's not just about feeding a particular kind of feed, it's an actual feeding plan created by longtime and ground-breaking breeder, Rhonda Hovan of Faera Golden Retrievers. It involves hitting particular growth rates at particular points in development, and it's fairly rigorous. I raised my Gibbs on that plan, and it was a raging success, though more difficult to follow than just "measure and feed." We had to monitor his weight and his rate of growth on a weekly basis, and make constant adjustments on the volume of food he was given. That made him smaller and thinner than most other puppies, but by a year he had caught up.

Here's a link to Rhonda's slow growth plan: http://www.2ndchance.info/homemadediets-Hovan2009.pdf

As I say, we have an image of roly-poly puppies, but on that plan Gibbs was very thin:



It was excellent for his bone growth, though. And now as an adult, he is extremely robust and rugged, with great hips and elbows.
I agree that the slow growth plan is rigorous and difficult to follow. We tried very hard to follow it with Noah, I obsessed over his weight a LOT! I read Rhonda's plan at least weekly.

In the end, I worked hard to make sure that he always had a visible waist, could easily feel his ribs and made sure (and still make sure) that he has daily aerobic exercise in addition to his long walks. We also take advantage of the various dog sport classes available to us that are appropriate for a growing puppy - puppy agility (no jumps), dock diving, rally, barn hunt, etc. I ultimately "failed" at the slow growth plan as written, but felt good that we never allowed him to show any visible fat or pudginess.

He's 10 months old now, and I took him in to be weighed yesterday, thinking he'd surely gained some weight since his last weight was taken. Turns out, he'd lost 1 lb. He's 62.1 lbs as of yesterday, has a nice athletic build to him, and constantly complimented by the dog sport people I hang out with on his body condition and how nice it is to see a lean golden of his age.

By the way Dana - LOVE that picture of Gibbs!
 

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Grumpy Old Man
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I'm looking for a better quality adult food that will fulfill puppy's nutritional needs. As for the "slow growth plan" - It was recommended to switch from the puppy food to an adult food (since the adult isn't as calorie dense).

The Eukanuba's first 3 ingredients read .
[Chicken, CORN MEAL, Chicken by Product]
- Corn meal as a 2nd ingredient made me question quality/fillers. Is corn meal good for dogs? Is rice better?
:yuck: - Chicken by Product : Various parts of poultry (heads, feet and intestines) makes me uncomfortable.


I have a background in Environmental Science and have studied the FDA's standards (or lack there of) & practices of Livestock management.
So I may be a bit more paranoid than the average consumer.
I don't eat a great deal of meat but I know Puppy needs to!
:wavey:recommendations are welcome.

(I will mention the Merrick gives her the worst smelling sleep farts) lol :p:
First you need to study some college textbooks on animal nutrition and leave the advertising propaganda alone.

1. There is nothing wrong with processed corn as an ingredient, and it is not a filler. The idea that corn is a filler is advertising propaganda. (Vet your information sources.)

2. There is nothing wrong with rice as an ingredient, and it is not filler.

3. By-product meal in and of itself does not mean "Bad". Contrary to what the advertising propaganda would lead you to believe, by-product meal actually has a higher protein content than chicken meal. (go back to your veterinary science textbooks and you'll see it's true.) Advertising folks like to trot out the idea that by-product meal can contain heads, beaks and feet however they're playing you at that point. Just because it "can" contain those things doesn't mean it DOES contain those things. You have to ask the food manufactures directly as to the source of the ingredients they are actually using in their products. (And No you can't tell from browsing the ingredient panel on the side of the bag.) I don't have any problem feeding hearts, liver, and gizzards to a dog and they are by-products. They are packed with nutrients that are easily used by a dog's digestive system.
 

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I am not a fan of the so-called slow growth plan. I believe it is more important that a puppy have an adequate diet to support his/her rapid growth. As far as food is concerned, Eukanuba Large Breed Puppy food is a good food. Max ate it until he was about 15 months old and did great. His adult food is Acana Wild Prairie.
 

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Kristy
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Here is a little reading for you on this subject. The problem is overfeeding calories. Excessive weight caused by calorie dense food and bone development issues caused by either excessive or improper calcium levels (also phosphorous). Higher protein diets may be too rich and cause upset stomach issues for more sensitive dogs, that's probably the issue with the Merrick for your pup.

Your puppy is much better off being a little too lean than a little too heavy, just like people. On a 5 point body scale the vets I've been reading are recommending a 2.5 - 3 for your puppy. That is bordering on just over SKINNY. Take a look:

Body Condition Scoring Chart | Veterinary Medical Center


Do You Know What to Feed Your Large or Giant Breed Puppy?

Feeding Large Breed Puppies - IVC Journal
 

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Discussion Starter #18
. For example, the right calcium and phosphorus content is important. If you're concerned about the slow growth plan, be sure to look at the calories as well. It could vary quite a bit among foods.
Thank you for the tip. The Merrick has a far to high calcium to phosphorus ratio for a large breed puppy.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thank you all for the tips. This is certainly a lot of information to digest (no pun intended).
 

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Esquire Golden Retrievers
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I believe it is more important that a puppy have an adequate diet to support his/her rapid growth.
I think that goes against pretty much all the science on the subject. I can't think of a single study that advocates for rapid growth. But certainly they need adequate nutrition, if that's what you mean.
 
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