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Old 12-14-2010, 05:19 PM   #1
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Default Puppy Food Necessary?

Is puppy food a gimmick? I have been told by a couple of breeders that recommend feeding a large breed pup adult food from the begging to the end.

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Old 12-14-2010, 05:25 PM   #2
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Puppies are growing babies and need more protein to do well. However, large breed dogs have problems growing too fast, so they move to regular dog food early.
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Old 12-15-2010, 08:59 AM   #3
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No IMO it's not as it's balanced differently compared to adult dog kibble.
When Nipper was a pup she was on baker's complete puppy food she never digested it properly and then she started eating her dirt as you could see the undigested food come out the other end So it's important to get the right puppy food for the right breed. ATB
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Old 12-20-2010, 11:43 AM   #4
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Yes, puppy food is a gimick. Look at the ingredients lists on puppy food and "regular" food in the same line of foods. In most cases they have exactly the same ingredients and 2 or 3 of them are switched in order just enough to be able to call it different.

Contrary to snippets you see on the internet, there is no difference in dietary requirements between breeds.

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Old 12-20-2010, 06:34 PM   #5
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The ingredients itself is not the difference between adult and puppy food. It is the balance of vitamins, minerals, protein levels etc that is the difference.

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Old 12-21-2010, 12:29 AM   #6
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Vitamins and minerals are part of the ingredients list. The ingredients after about #4 or #5 are in very very small amounts. If you swap #7 & #8 or you swap #10 & #11 you are not going to make any significant changes nutritionally.

For all purposes except marketing, they are the same product with a little different wording on the package.

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Old 12-21-2010, 09:23 AM   #7
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The kibble is usually smaller for puppy food and to be honest it is different look at the %'s for certain things found in puppy food then compare the difference to the same things found in adult dog kibble. There is a difference
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Old 12-21-2010, 09:36 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigboy View Post
The kibble is usually smaller for puppy food and to be honest it is different look at the %'s for certain things found in puppy food then compare the difference to the same things found in adult dog kibble. There is a difference
Size of kibble is relatively unimportant except POSSIBLY for the very smallest of breeds. Looking at the % of nutrients in the nutrient profile tables is an unreliable comparison. For example, protein is listed as something like "24% min". The "min" means that that particular food COULD have 50% protein and still be in specs. There are a lot of "Mins and Max's" in the nutrient profile. So two identical bags of food could have different numbers and contain exactly the same food taken out of the same batch.

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Old 12-24-2010, 05:50 PM   #9
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Looking at percentages is misleading because the percentage doesn't tell you how digestible it is. Look at ingredients. Whole meat, no grain, etc. If you are really concerned about how your puppy is growing, feed raw.
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Old 12-25-2010, 03:54 AM   #10
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Quote:
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Is puppy food a gimmick? I have been told by a couple of breeders that recommend feeding a large breed pup adult food from the begging to the end.
No and yes. Not all puppy foods are created equal.

No, quality food for puppies is not a gimmick. Puppies need as much as 2.25 times as many calories as an adult dog of the same weight during peak growth, and for optimal growth, they have fairly specific nutritional needs for proper musculoskeletal development. That said, a quality food for puppies is not necessarily labeled as being for puppies, but it must meet the nutritional requirements to support puppy growth. "All Lifestages" foods should meet these requirements.

Yes, some food for puppies is purely gimmick, and may just be repackaged adult food labelled to appeal to the puppy food market segment. You can identify this kind of puppy food by the fact that it doesn't really differ from the adult food, nutritionally, and doesn't support the nutritional requirements of growing puppies.

There is no one best possible food. There are a number of excellent kibbles available, now. Here are some things to look for.

Nutritionally-dense. At peak growth, puppies need twice as many calories as an adult of the same weight, or more. That is a lot of food. The more nutritionally-dense a food is - the more calories per gram - the less of it must be fed to get the needed calories and nutrients. Even then, there is so much food required during peak growth that a puppy's daily ration needs to be split into four or five meals throughout the day, to allow the pup to digest, maintain a steady supply of nutrition throughout the day, and simply get that much food into the pup. A good food for puppies will be nutritionally-dense - at least 350-400 kcal/cup or more.

Fat. The fat level in a good food for puppies should be about 15%, but no lower than 12%.

Protein. Puppies need protein for musculoskeletal development, but not so much that the calcium level becomes too high. A good food for puppies will have protein levels in the 22-26% range. Protein levels higher than that usually mean higher calcium and phosphorus levels, too, so excess protein should be avoided for the puppy.

Calcium. All puppies need a food that supports growth without providing too much calcium. Excess calcium can cause musculoskeletal growth problems in puppies, particularly in large and giant breed puppies that have a much longer, slower growth phase than toy, small and medium breeds. A good food for puppies will have a calcium level of at least 1.2% but not more than about 1.5%.

Phosphorus. Puppies need an proper ratio of calcium to phosphorus for proper development. Assuming calcium in the appropriate range, a good food for puppies will have a phosphorus level of at least 0.9% but not more than about 1.1%.

More is not necessarily better, but these are guidelines, not absolutes. A multi-meat food is important for complete amino acids for growth. Other things I look for in dog food, and things I try to avoid, are explained in the kibble scoring system, stuck at the top of this forum.

A word about breed-specific puppy foods. Much of the labeling is marketing. All puppies need about the same relative levels of nutrients to support growth. What differs is how long puppies of different breeds and size groups need to be on food to support growth verses food to maintain adult bodies. Large and giant breeds have a longer, slower growth phase than smaller breeds; thus, they need a more moderate level of nutrition over time to avoid too-rapid or too-slow growth, either of which could lead to serious long-bone musculoskeletal development problems, that smaller, faster-growing breeds don't really have as a risk. Owners deal with these differences various ways, by using all puppy food and varying the amount throughout the puppy's growth curve, or starting with all puppy food and gradually blending in and transitioning to adult food, or using an "all lifestages" food throughout.
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Last edited by vagreys; 12-27-2010 at 11:45 PM.. Reason: typing too fast

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