If you’ve got a big love for big dogs, IAMS™ has a large-breed puppy formula specially made for their nutritional needs.
Many large-breed puppies have a tendency to grow very quickly. Unfortunately, if this tendency is encouraged by overfeeding, developmental bone problems can occur. To avoid these problems, careful feeding management is necessary. This should include
- Consideration of optimal protein quantity and quality
- Restriction of the energy-containing fat
- Careful control of the calcium and phosphorus levels
Our specially formulated large-breed puppy formulas make feeding management easier because they are designed for fast-growing, large-breed puppies (those with an expected adult weight of more than 50 pounds).
Protein in Puppy Food
A protein level approximating 26% in these formulas promotes healthy body condition and balances the protein with the reduced number of calories in the food. Research has shown that
- Dietary protein levels from 15 to 32% have no adverse effect on skeletal development.1
- Body condition decreases as protein gets too low.
The protein in our large-breed puppy formulas supports normal skeletal and muscular growth.
Calories and Fat in Puppy Food
Fat contributes more than twice as many calories in a diet as proteins or carbohydrates do. As the fat level increases, the energy content of the diet also increases, making feeding management more difficult for large-breed puppies. Several studies have shown increases in developmental bone problems when a diet was overfed.2, 3
By reducing the fat content of large-breed puppy formulas to about 14%, the metabolizable energy (ME) of the diets can be kept to a low level of about 1,800 kilocalories per pound.
Calcium and Phosphorus in Puppy Food
Fat contributes more than twice as many calories in a diet as proteins or carbohydrates
Comparing with Our Other Puppy Foods
Our large-breed puppy formulas, such as IAMS ProActive Health™ Smart Puppy Large Breed, are made specifically for growing puppies with expected adult weights of 50 pounds or more. These puppy foods are unique because they are formulated with:
- Less fat for fewer calories to optimally reduce growth rate of large-breed puppies and help safeguard against overconsumption of energy
- A lower level of protein to ensure a proper balance of protein with energy content
Reduced calcium and phosphorus levels with a normal calcium-to-phosphorus ratio to promote proper bone development in rapidly growing large breed puppies.
1 Nap, et al. Growth and skeletal development in Great Dane pups fed different levels of protein intake. J Nutr 1991; 121:S107-S113.
2 Hedhammer, et al. Over nutrition and skeletal disease: an experimental study in growing Great Dane dogs. Cornell Vet 1974; 64:1-159.
3 Lavelle. The effect of overfeeding of a balanced complete commercial diet to a group of growing Great Danes. In: Nutrition of the dog and cat. Burger and Rivers (eds). Cambridge Univ Press, 1989:303-316.
4 Hazewinkel, et al. Influences of chronic calcium excess on the skeletal development of growing Great Danes, J Am Anim Hosp Assoc 1985; 21:377-391.
5 Goedegebuure, Hazewinkel. Morphological findings in young dogs chronically fed a diet containing excess calcium. Vet Pathol 1986; 23:594-605.
6 Hazewinkel, et al. Calcium metabolism in Great Dane dogs fed diets with various calcium and phosphorus levels. J Nutr 1991; 121:S99-S106.
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Keeping Your Senior Dog Healthy and Active
It depends on the breed of dog, but your pet's senior years generally begin at age 7. Louise Murray, DVM, director of the ASPCA's Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital in New York City and author of Vet Confidential (Ballantine, 2008), tells you what you need to know to keep your older dog spry and happy.
Senior Dog Health: Preventive Health
At this stage, Murray recommends taking your dog to the vet twice a year. "So much can happen to an elderly dog," she says. Your veterinarian can take blood annually to test liver and kidney functions. "Discovering problems early is extremely important," she says. Your vet can be on the lookout for conditions that often affect older dogs, such as anemia and arthritis.
Senior Dog Health: Urination, Bowel Movements, and Appetite
Pay attention to what might be subtle changes in your dog's habits: Is she drinking more water or urinating larger amounts? These behaviors might indicate a liver or kidney problem. Have your dog's bowel movements shifted? This could indicate a digestive issue. Diabetes or digestive problems might cause your dog to eat more but still lose weight. Knowing the dog's patterns can help the veterinarian determine a course of treatment.
Senior Dog Health: Flea, Tick, and Heartworm Medicines
Continue to use preventive medicines.
Senior Dog Health: Dental Health
Clean your dog's teeth daily. If she has tartar buildup, you might need to have her teeth professionally cleaned at your vet's office, which requires sedating your pet.
Senior Dog Health: Exercise
Your dog is probably less active, so steady, moderate exercise is best for her now. Don't turn her into a "weekend warrior" who, after lying around on weekdays, accompanies you on a 10-mile hike on Saturdays. This is especially hard on an older dog's joints.
Senior Dog Health: Diet
Your veterinarian might wish to put your dog on a senior diet, such as IAMS™ ProActive Health™ Senior Plus. These formulations contain nutrients specifically geared toward older-dog health.
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