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Discussion Starter #1
Just wondering what my fellow Lab owners felt about feeding Taste of the Wild (Salmon) to my new pup. Thanks for any input or any other food suggestions.

8,330 Posts
That's grain free, isn't it? I can't remember if all TOTW foods are grain free, but, if it is, Imy understanding is it isn't a good idea to feed it to a puppy. Someplace in this section of the forum is a thread about grain free foods and puppies.

8,472 Posts
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 typical weights at adulthood.

Below is a copy of a post I've often made. Not all of the links still work but most do.
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) 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.)
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:

Large Breed Puppy Nutrition
Diamond Pet Foods : Jul03.html
Large Breed Puppy Diet Recommendations

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


See also:
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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