Although Spirit is my 1st full breed lab, I have almost always had large dogs, including shepherds, lab sheperd mixes, a variety of others and currently, other than my new black lab, my 11 yr old Rotweiller - Crowley.* My little girl Spirit is 15 weeks old.* We are getting there (slowly)* on the potty training and all else is going reasonably well, however, since it has been years since I've had a puppy, I have a few food questions.* I've been a voyeur on this websit for a few weeks now and have noticed some controversy over not only what food to feed, but when to stop puppy and start adul, etct. Problem is, I did not commit any of these opinions to memory.* Now, however, I am asking for your input (promise to pay attention this time * I have a ton more questions but I will keep it to this for now to avoid an overwhelmingly lengthy post.
Thanks in advance to you all.
Hi Spirits Mom!
Well... you posted this in the Help Desk... which is more for computer/website questions. You might want to repost this in the Puppy and Training page.
General concensus around here is to feed a quality large breed puppy food. Now, when to stop is something that everyone has a different opinion on.... as early as 4 months to as late as 1 year. We split the difference and switched Ender at 7 months.
However... are you in contact with the breeder? He/She might know what is best for their dogs.
Congrats on the puppy of course! We would love to see pictures. ;D
Yeah, I know. My bad. Of course, I noticed it after I had hit that unforgiving "send button" HA :-[
I think you need to look at the ingredients - protein/fat ratio and the calcium/phos. ratio. Some adult food would be better than puppy food or large breed puppy food in that respect. I still say labradors are not large breed dogs. Many breeders start their pups on adult food and that's it. Most breeders I know that use puppy food feed a bag of it and when it's almost gone they switch to adult food - I would say around 4-5 months.
The reason people feed LB Puppy food is not because of some arbitrary designation, but because Labs are susceptible to growth problems...particulary when dietary calcium is high. From what I've read and opinions I've heard, I think a lot of people would agree that they're not technically a large breed dog, but their size isn't the reason people feed the food. As it turns out, LB Puppy foods are based on calcium-controlled diets, so it works out pretty well.I still say labradors are not large breed dogs.
As you mentioned, however, that doesn't mean that there aren't other foods that are appropriate, but you just need to look at the amount of calcium. The general guideline is less than 1.5% calcium, but there are other variables including kcals/kg.
As for when to change, ask your breeder. Some prefer to feed a LB Puppy food for 12-18 months, others not at all. Labs do not develop a mechanism to excrete excess calcium until sometime after 6 months of age, so I think 6 months is the bare minimum to be concerned with calcium (one of the justifications for feeding a LB Puppy food).