How to Choose the Best Large Breed Puppy Food and Lower Your Dog’s Risk of Hip Dysplasia

The following is from the Dog Food Advisor website:

http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/best-dog-foods/best-large-breed-puppy-food/

 

Choosing the best large breed puppy foods — and feeding them in the right amount — can significantly lower your dog’s risk of developing hip dysplasia during growth.1

That’s because the nutritional needs of large and giant breedpuppies are different from those of small and medium breeds.

And ignoring those needs can lead to crippling bone and joint disorders like:
Canine Hip Dysplasia Xray

  • Elbow dysplasia2
  • Osteochondrosis (OCD)
  • Canine hip dysplasia (CHD)
  • Developmental orthopedic disease (DOD)

However, before a dog owner can take steps to help prevent these conditions, it’s important to first understand the cause.

Why Large Breeds Are
at Greater Risk

Large breed puppies are those whose adult weight will ultimatelyexceed 50 pounds.3

When compared to smaller breeds, two important factors aboutthe way they grow make large breed puppies more prone to skeletal problems:

  1. They grow faster
  2. They remain puppies longer

A Labrador retriever can grow from just under a pound at birth to over 70 pounds in a year. That’s a whopping 70-fold increase in size in just 12 months.

In comparison, a human being can take 18 years to achieve results that are less than half that much.

What’s more, unlike smaller breeds that can be fed as adults at about 9-12 months, many larger breeds continue to grow and can still be considered puppies until 12 to 24 months.4

Rapid growth means the bones must change quickly — a factor that can put them at risk of forming improperly.

And it is this remarkable rate of growth that makes large and giant breeds so sensitive to nutritional imbalances.

The Protein Myth

Unfortunately, the Internet is awash with misinformation about how to feed large breed puppies.

For example, many insist that high levels of dietary protein can lead to hip dysplasia.

Yet contrary to that popular myth…

No evidence exists to link high protein intake to skeletal disease in large breed dogs.5

So, if high protein isn’t the problem — what is?

The Real Causes
of Hip Dysplasia in Dogs

If you exclude all the less common factors, orthopedic disease in large breeds appears to be the result of at least one of 3 proven causes:

  • Genetics6
  • Overfeeding7
  • Excessive dietary calcium8

So, since after birth there’s nothing you can do to change your puppy’s genetics

It’s important to avoid overnutrition — feeding too many calories or too much calcium — to help lower your dog’s risk of hip dysplasia.

The Danger
of Overfeeding

Free choice is a popular feeding method in which the food remains in the bowl and continuously available — so a puppy can eat whenever it wants.

And many owners of large breed puppies mistakenly believe that this form of uncontrolled eating is the correct way to feed their pets.

However, free choice feeding has been shown to cause a puppy togrow too fast — and lead to serious problems.

For example, a 1995 German study of Great Danes demonstrated a significant increase in the risk of developing skeletal disease when the puppies were fed free choice.9

In another study, one group of Labrador Retriever puppies was fed throughout life a restricted calorie diet while a second was fed free choice.10

The restricted calorie group experienced a much lower incidenceand later onset of hip joint arthritis.

And Too Much Calcium

Like overfeeding, excessive dietary calcium has also been shown toincrease the risk of skeletal disease in large breed puppies.11

That’s because puppies can have trouble regulating how much calcium is absorbed from their intestinal tracts.12

And that’s not all.

Feeding too little calcium can also lead to problems.

That’s why it’s so important to feed a dog food that contains an amount of calcium believed to be safe for large breed puppies.

Recommended
Calcium Safety Guidelines

Unfortunately, although AAFCO13 has published nutrient profiles forpuppies in general

There are currently no AAFCO nutrient profiles designed to address the special needs of large breed puppies.

Yet fortunately, there’s general agreement among the experts that any food intended for large breed puppies should not only meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for growth, it should also contain:

  • 3500 to 4000 calories (kcal) per kilogram of food14
  • 3 grams of calcium per 1000 calories of food. That value should not exceed the safe upper limit of 4.5 grams15
  • A calcium-to-phosphorus ratio between 1.1:1 and 1.5:116

Although most AAFCO compliant puppy foods are suitable for small and medium breeds, only a few meet these special guidelines and can be considered safe for large breed puppies.

How to Check for
Safe Calcium Content

for the rest of this article and handy calculator tool please go to:

 

http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/best-dog-foods/best-large-breed-puppy-food/

Introducing Acana Regionals

Announcing the addition of Acana Regionals!

From Champion Pet Foods…..the makers of Orijen.  Made from Canada’s best and freshest ingredients, ACANA Regionals reflect our local heritage and express the diversity of fresh authentic foods produced from western Canada’s vast ranchlands, rich prairies, fertile valleys, and pristine waters.

Rich in protein, low in carbohydrates and entirely grain-free, these unique and flavorful ACANA recipes feature 60-70% meat and 35-40% of fruits and vegetables to nourish cats and dogs completely.

  • RANCHLANDS acana_ranchlandsBlack Angus beef, Alberta Bison, Alberta Lamb
  • For Adult dogs of all breeds and sizes and we have them in both small and large bag sizes!

More exciting news coming soon with new options for single source protein foods for your allergic pets!

Comparing Dog Food Labels

To follow-up on dog food labeling here is a label from a leading seller that many think is a great pet food.

GUARANTEED ANALYSIS

  • 25.0%    Crude Protein (min)
  • 10.0%     Crude Fat (min)
  • 4.0%      Crude Fiber (max)
  • 14.0%    Moisture (max)
  • 1.5%     Linoleic Acid (min)
  • 1.0%     Calcium (Ca) (min)
  • 0.2 mg/kg   Selenium (Se) (min)
  • 10,000 IU/kg   Vitamin A (min

And here is a label from another less known dog food:

GUARANTEED ANALYSIS

  • Crude Protein 24% MIN
  • Crude Fat 15% MIN
  • Crude Fiber 3.5% MAX
  • Moisture 10% MAX
  • Omega 3 Fatty Acids      0.5% MIN
  • Omega 6 Fatty Acids      2.6% MIN

Based on this guaranteed analysis they don’t look all that different do they?

 

But let’s take a look at the ingredient panel now…..

INGREDIENTS

Ground yellow corn, chicken by-product meal, corn gluten meal, whole wheat flour, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols, chicken, soy flour, rice flour, propylene glycol, sugar, tricalcium phosphate, salt, phosphoric acid, potassium chloride, animal digest, mono and dicalcium phosphate, dried carrots, sorbic acid (a preservative), dried tomatoes, avocado, calcium propionate (a preservative), L-Lysine monohydrochloride, choline chloride, Vitamin E supplement, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, Yellow 5, manganese sulfate, niacin, Red 40, Vitamin A supplement, Blue 2, copper sulfate, Vitamin B-12 supplement, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, garlic oil, Yellow 6, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, Vitamin D-3 supplement, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), calcium iodate, folic acid, biotin, sodium selenite.

Manufactured by: Nestlé Purina PetCare Company, St. Louis, MO 63164 USA

 

And the second one:

INGREDIENTS

Chicken, Chicken Meal, Pearled Barley, Oatmeal, Sweet Potatoes,Brown Rice, White Rice, Dried Whole Egg, Menhaden Fish Meal, Millet,Chicken Fat, Dried Tomato Pomace,Safflower Oil, Herring Meal, Cheese,Flaxseed, Carrots, Broccoli,Cauliflower, Apples, Green Beans,Chicken Cartilage, Potassium Chloride, Cranberries, Blueberries,Salt, Monocalcium Phosphate,Chicory Root Extract, Alfalfa Sprouts,Calcium Sulfate, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Sodium Selenite, Folic Acid,Taurine, Parsley, Sorbic Acid (Preservative), Vitamins, Minerals,Probiotics.

Fromm Family Foods LLC

 

Which one would you think is better for your dog?

The next time you go to pick up that bag of Beneful or other “grocery store/big box” brand please take a look at the label and think about it!

What’s All that Stuff in the Ingredient List?  

 

Here is a description of various ingredients that you might see in many pet foods.   This is from AAFCO…..   You may be surprised!

Meat is the clean flesh derived from slaughtered mammals and is limited to that part of the striate muscle which is skeletal or that part which is found in the tongue, in the diaphragm, in the heart or in the esophagus; It shall be suitable for animal food.

Meat Meal is the rendered product from mammal tissues, exclusive of any added blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents except in such amounts as may occur unavoidably in good processing practices.  If the product bears a name descriptive of its kind, composition or origin it must correspond thereto., ie. Chicken meal, duck meal, lamb meal, etc.

And what you find in many other brands of pet foods carried by competitors:

Poultry By-Product Meal consists of the ground, rendered clean parts of the carcasses of slaughtered poultry such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs and intestines, exclusive of feathers except in such amounts as might occur unavoidably in good processing practices

Corn distillers’ grains – the residual grains or byproduct that contain the nutrients remaining after the starch from corn has been fermented to alcohol.

Animal Digest – material which results from chemical and/or enzymatic hydrolysis of clean and undecomposed animal tissue. The animal tissues used shall be exclusive of hair, horns, teeth, hooves and feathers, except in such trace amounts as might occur unavoidably in good factory practice and shall be suitable for animal feed.

Brewer’s Rice – the dried extracted residue of rice resulting from the manufacture of wort (liquid portion of malted grain) or beer and may contain pulverized dried spent hops in an amount not to exceed 3 percent.

Corn Gluten Meal – the dried residue from corn after the removal of the larger part of the starch and germ, and the separation of the bran by the process employed in the wet milling manufacture of corn starch or syrup, or by enzymatic treatment of the endosperm.

Dried Animal Digest – dried material resulting from chemical and/or enzymatic hydrolysis of clean and undecomposed animal tissue. The animal tissue used shall be exclusive of hair, horns, teeth, hooves and feathers, except in such trace amounts as might occur unavoidably in good factory practice and shall be suitable for animal feed.

Poultry Digest – material which results from chemical and/or enzymatic hydrolysis of clean and undecomposed poultry tissue.

Quality Ingredients provide amino acids (Proteins) as needed! READ your label!

Our last discussion related to crude protein and the difference in quality of proteins that can both produce the same result on the crude protein level.     So the quality of those protein producing ingredients in the key.   We have to have appropriate levels of various amino acids (building blocks of proteins) in order to meet the needs of your dog or cat.   An essential amino acid MUST be supplied by the diet.   A non-essential amino acid can be synthesized by the animal assuming sufficient “build material” is available in the diet.   There are 10 essential amino acids for dogs and 11 for cats (they also need taurine).       Since levels of amino acids are not typically listed (not required)  on the label we focus on the quality of the ingredients used to make sure they are provided.    So let’s move on the ingredient panel and look at those ingredients companies use to provide protein/amino acids:

Quality ingredients:  whole meats…..   duck, turkey, chicken, salmon, lamb, whitefish, bison, beef, pork….basically any decent quality meat.   The one somewhat deceiving thing is that a meat may be listed first on the label but that is based on the water it contains also….once it’s incorporated in the diet it may not contribute nearly as much as it appears.

Typically we then move on to quality meat meals….  Chicken meal, lamb meal, duck meal, salmon meal, turkey meal, bison meal, pork meal, anchovy & sardine meal, whitefish meal, etc.    Note, that the terms used here do not include by-product in the name.     These are pure meat meals.    Excellent quality protein products.

The quality foods we carry end it here.

Many competitor labels however move on to various other by-products mostly as an attempt to cheapen the diet because they cost considerably less than high quality meat meals.   Various possible ingredients on the label might include:

Poultry by-product meal (and other species by-product meals, meat meal, meat and bone meal, chicken liver flavor, animal digest, beef and bone meal, pork and bone meal, chicken by-product meal, hydrolyzed meals (code word for acid treated feathers, etc.) etc.

Beyond that then we move into grains/grain by-products that are terrible sources of amino acids for your pets.   They include such things as:

Ground whole grain corn, corn gluten meal, soybean meal* , ground whole grain wheat, brewers rice, distillers grains, whole wheat flour, soy flour, wheat middlings just to name a few.

*Soybean meal is technically from an oilseed and not a grain.   It is commonly lumped into the same category, however, as there have been reported cases of gastrointestinal distress in some dogs fed soybean meal based foods.

This does not consider white or brown rice or pearled barley used as a carbohydrate to form a kibble.     Our foods do not use these as a major protein source.

Please, remember you are feeding for amino acids which require a high quality protein source on the ingredient panel.     Grab your bag of Iams, Science Diet, Purina, Kibbles n Bits, Pedigree, Eukanuba, Ol’Roy, Nutro, 4-Health, Beneful, Bil-Jac, Hills Prescription Diet, Newmans, PMI Nutrition, Royal Canin, Sportmix, etc and bring it in to compare to one of our brand labels.  You may be shocked.    Or view ours on-line.    And then you have the Blue Buffalo story where the people manufacturing their food under a contract for them was using the lesser ingredients and just not putting them on the label……

Tailwaggin Tailgate Party Saturday, September 19

We will be hosting a tailgate party for our furry friends and their owners on Saturday, September 19th. Lots of taste testing, great deals, games, face-painting, contests and give-a-ways.

Bring the entire family!

Wear your favorite team gear so you can pose for a picture with your furry friends in our photo booth!

It’ll be a great time, you won’t want to miss it!

at 11:00am2:00pm  CDT

So What’s In a Pet Food Label?

So what’s in a pet food label?

 

The Association of American Feed Control Officials stipulate 8 items that must be included on a pet food label.    There’s a lot of fine print regarding what has to go where on the bag and some of the terminology but in essence here are the 8:

 

  1. Brand and Product Name….pretty well self-explanatory
  2. Name of species for which the food is intended
  3. Quantity Statement….net weight or net volume
  4. Guaranteed Analysis…percentage of each of the nutrients in the food
    1. Requires minimum % crude protein, crude fat, maximum crude fiber and maximum moisture
    2. Other guarantees are voluntary or required if connected to a label claim
  5. Ingredient Statement
    1. Listed in order by weight on an “as formulated basis”
    2. Ingredient that makes up the highest percentage of the total weight is listed first
      1. That includes water before cooking….thus the “as formulated basis”
    3. Ingredients must be declared by the correct AAFCO defined name
  6. Nutritional Adequacy Statement
    1. Statement that indicates the food is complete and balanced for a particular life stage
  7. Feeding Directions
    1. At a minimum must state “feed (amount of product) per (weight) of dog or cat”
    2. Should include recommended feeding frequency
  8. Name and address of manufacturer or distributor
    1. If someone else makes the product must show that by using “manufactured for” or “distributed by”

It’s common practice to list the caloric content of the food within the area showing the feeding directions.   This is commonly listed as Kcals per cup.

Personal or commercial endorsements are permitted.    So keep in mind they probably mean very little.  Veterinarian recommended, veterinarian formulated and/or developed are easy criteria to meet.

 

From a practical standpoint we mostly focus on three key elements of the above requirements.   The guaranteed analysis, the ingredient statement and the feeding directions (including the caloric content).   It’s these three areas that provide us the most guidance as to the nutritional adequacy, appropriateness and quality of the food for your furry friend.   It does take some work to correctly interpret some of this, however.     While the first ingredient on the ingredient statement may be “duck” it may not be the ingredient providing the most protein in the diet….after the water is cooked out!   But it makes for positive marketing.     We’ll have more on that in future pieces.

Addition of Pork Chomps

We are please to announce the addition of Scott Pet Products Pork Chomps and related items.   Pork chomps are baked pork skin and are highly digestible.   Therefore they do not present the potential danger of an intestinal blockage like beef rawhides.     Dogs love them and the pork skin products do an excellent job cleaning teeth!  You won’t find any slimy rawhides laying around either sticking to your furniture or your carpet.      And they are economical!

From Scott:

The World’s Most Perfect Chew

Pork Chomps are more digestible than rawhide because they are made from skin not hide. Rawhide was just an inexpensive byproduct of the cattle industry, and virtually has no flavor on its own. That is why most rawhide is basted, stuffed or sugarcoated, in order to interest pets. Pork Chomps are also better than rawhide chews for dogs because of Scott Pet’s proprietary, patented expanding process wherein 70% of the pork’s fat is removed, creating a more natural dog chew that is a cleaner product with reduced grease and odor.

Pork Chomps are naturally delicious; that’s why dogs chose them 9 to 1 over ordinary rawhide in an independent taste test.

With a wide variety of shapes, flavors and sizes to choose from, there’s a perfect chew for every dog.

Specifically about Pork Chomps

Scott Pet has been in the pet industry for over 35 years. Our guiding principal has been to provide quality products that enhance a dog’s life. We maintain very strict guidelines in both our US based plants and our overseas plant. Pork Chomps are produced in China because it is the largest pork producing country in the world.

To ease your mind even further, Pork Chomps were a part of a two year study at the University of Illinois, a leading veterinary college. The study was to determine the digestibility of pork skin versus beef rawhide, (click here to view the study), it also reiterates the overall health and safety of our product.

And if you still have even the slightest doubt about feeding your dog Pork Chomps,  dog parents here at Scott Pet want you to know that we give our dogs Pork Chomps on a very regular basis.

 

So do the owners of Wholesome Pet Essentials.    

Meet Our Newest Pet Stylist!

Meet our newest pet stylist Andrea!

I discovered my passion for pet grooming in 2010 when I started bathing dogs that had boarded at a veterinary clinic that I was working part time for. From there I moved on to PetSmart as a professional bather then I went through their Grooming Academy in 2011. l have been grooming for 4 ½ years, and have loved every minute of it. I not only specialize in the typical all over haircut, but I am also trained in breed standard patterns and creative grooming. I have also been grooming cats for a little over 2 years. I absolutely enjoy helping pets look their absolute best, and see the smiles on their parents faces. I want grooming for any pet to be as fun and relaxing as possible. I am very excited to continue my grooming journey at Wholesome Pet Essentials!

Wholesome Pet Essentials's photo.
Many of you have already met Anabelle who has been styling pets for us for several weeks already!

Tired of Big Box Grooming?

Wholesome Pet Essentials is very pleased to announce that we now have two top pet groomer/stylists with years of experience.     Anabelle Dunbar and Andrea Nosko have 9 1/2 years of combined grooming experience and will  offer first rate service on a 7 day schedule without interruption.   Both are solid professional stylists and we are very excited to have them on board to service your furry friends grooming needs and make you beam with pride.    We will have more biographical information for you in the near future.

Call today for an appointment, and let them pamper your pets under their constant watchful eye.     We will not place your pet in some back room!  

And yes, we do CATS!