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Next weekend we'll be bringing home our new 8-wk old pup. I've been doing a ton of reading/research on lab care and training. Re food, I've read that "large breed puppy" formulations are the way to go for even growth and joint health. But I've also seen the recommendation to start young pups on "Adult" food, for the same reasons. Questions:

-- Which is better for pups, "LB Puppy" or Adult food?
-- If LB puppy, when switch to Adult?
-- There are lots of LB puppy brands on the market - Eukanuba, Purina One, others. Are they all about the same? How to choose? Which do you like?
-- What are the main factors to look for in lab puppy food - what specific measures of protein, calcium, phosphorus, etc am I looking for?

Thank you!! I've been reading this forum for a while, and lots of great info and people here. I expect I'll be back often.
 

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My breeder recommended a LB Puppy Formula so we did. We tried quite a few because Milly really struggled to properly thrive on alot of formula's. Turns out, she has an aversion to grains, specifically corn and depending on the levels she was ingesting she would either have REALLY gunky eyes, smelly ears and butt or dry flaky itchy 'dandruff' like skin... which was really obvious against her dark chocolate coat.

We eventually tried California Naturals and this was by far for us the best food that worked for our dog, especially because it was absent of corn! We switched Milly at 12 months to Innova EVO - a grain free food (the only one I could find in Australia!!) and she really does well on it. We get ALOT of compliments on her coat and she never has gunky eyes, smelly ears or butt and really enjoys it. I do believe you can buy a grain free puppy formula, being in Australia we do not have the variety of food available as you do in the states and as such, I drive half an hour to get to a store that stocks grain free food for dogs.

I found this website really helpful: www.dogfoodanalysis.com even though it doesn't tell me what available in my country it showed me how bad some of the foods available were for my dog.

As for the main factors in puppy food I am not 100% sure but I am certain another member will be along soon that can help with that.

And I also truly believe that you should wait until your puppy is really settled in your home before you switch food on him/her. Continue with what the breeder has been feeding... do you know what the breeder is feeding? Have you asked about their current meal plan so you can ensure that you can copy it from day one? It is so important that you don't change their food straight away, housetraining a puppy is SO much harder when you have runny poop's to clean up because you have switched their food and they have an upset tummy as well as being in an unusual place, away from their mother and littermates, sleeping in a strange room with strange people feeding it etc etc...
 

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I feel your pain...I struggled with similar issues but thankfully Ben is old enough for adult now. I went to a talk by an orthopedic vet a couple of months ago and he recommended any good LB formula.
 

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I feed regular puppy until the puppy is somewhere around 4 months, then I switch to adult.
 

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BTW, some people say that Labs aren't large breed and point to the words in the Lab standard that Labs are "medium" sized dogs.

However, worldwide, canine nutritional scientists define "large breed" as over 25 kg (55 lbs.) at adulthood. There's no reason in the world that canine nutritional scientists should be forced to have the same definition for large or medium as any particular dog breed's standard. The important thing is not the words but the weights at adulthood.

Below is a copy of a post I've often made. Not all of the links still work but most do.
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While there is not 100% agreement among Lab breeders or all vets, as far as I know there IS 100% agreement among canine nutritional scientists that large breed dogs (and those with high susceptibility to joint problems, such as giant breed dogs) should be fed a formula especially formulated for LB puppies up to 12 months or when adult height is gained.

Labs are among the breeds that have a lot of joint problems -- about ONE of every 3 dogs among Labs.

Joint problems are caused primarily by 3 mutually interacting factors:

-- stress, injury, such as caused by jumping, leaping especially before adulthood.

-- genetics such as caused by breeders not having their breeding dogs certified for hips & joints AND not checking for that in the pedigree line -- in short, puppy mills, backyard breeders, scam breeders

-- diet such as caused by feeding a puppy a food that is not specially formulated to control the amount of calcium delivered and the calcium: phosphorus ratio.

Once you have your Lab, you CAN fairly much control the activities that could cause stress or injury AND you can absolutely control the diet your Lab gets. Doing both of those lessens the probability that your Lab will develop joint problems.

Below are a few references on the importance of feeding a Large Breed Puppy food for the first year. (There are NO scientific articles claiming the opposite.)

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My very strong preference -- for all Lab puppies under a year old -- is to feed a Large Breed (formulation) Puppy Food, such as made by Diamond Naturals, Eukanuba, Nutro Natural Choice, ProPlan, or Science Diet, etc., for the reasons given in the articles below:

http://consumer.vetmedcenter.com/consumer/display.asp?id=9808&dt=p

http://www.mediarelations.ksu.edu/WEB/News/NewsReleases/listpuppies62403.html

http://www.petevents.com.au/news_articles/28.shtml

http://www.diamondpetfood.com/Jul03.html

http://www.newmanveterinary.com/large.html

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This (just below) is a technical article (but readable) that summarizes many of the canine nutritional and growth studies:

http://www.ilovemypet.com/jackart.html

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See also:

http://p075.ezboard.com/fjustlabradors41940frm0.showMessage?topicID=3973.topic

Within it, it contains this statement and references:

"The scientific literature is very clear on nutritional changes to "help manage" the potential orthopedic problems in growing large and giant breed dogs. Here are a few citations for you. As you can see from the dates on these citations, it is “old” news to vets but pet owners and breeders are still making dangerous recommendations."

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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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you everyone!

Thank you for your replies, especially Bob Pr. I have been reading your posts on various topics, and I always find your replies FULL of info and helpful details. Thank you for contributing so generously. I'm glad I found JL Forum.
 

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I believe that the LB Puppy primarily provides a lower calcium content. The motivation is to prevent too much calcium in the large joints when growing. Granted there are lots of hereditary factors in HD and Arthritis, but the theory is that this tends to reduce the magnitude.

Side Note: Lots of humans take Glucosomine to relieve arthritis pain. Studies have shown that there is no measurable benefit. Dr's tend to say it does no harm and if specific patient thinks it provides some relief, so be it.
 
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