Puppy growth rate concerns-GSD - Page 1

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by Billthedog on 05 July 2019 - 15:07

Last week I took our GSD puppy in for her last round of shots at 17 weeks old. She weighed in at 45 lbs. and 19” at the withers. I am concerned about her growing too fast and being over weight. The vet said she is not over weight, in fact slightly under as her ribs can be felt when you run your hand over her. He checked her joints and says she is fine.

We have transitioned to Hills puppy large breed dog food at 12 weeks, before mostly soft refrigerated puppy food mixed with lean turkey and an egg or two.

Should I be concerned? Any advice is welcome. As always, thanks all for your help.


by Koots on 05 July 2019 - 15:07



Hills food is crap....look at the first 3 ingredients in ANY food you want to feed your pup or adult.

With large-breed pups, you must be aware/concerned with levels of minerals, too much and they can be a contributing factor to pano. If you are in Canada, I would feed Acana large breed puppy (or Orijen), but the USA manufacture of Acana is not the same so find another good quality Large Breed Puppy food.

Do a search for large breed puppy foods on here and on the net for more info. There's lots out there.

Edit to add:    I fed a good-quality adult food to my GSD puppy, as do many others, and occassionally gave a meaty bone or frozen carrot for teething help.    Most quality adult formulations will be sufficient for your pup without going overboard on the mineral content.

A site with lots of different brand reviews:   https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/


by Koots on 05 July 2019 - 15:07

Oh, and another thing that I despise about Hills food is that they make a 'breed-specific' dog food. As if a Golden Retriever needs a different food than a German Shepherd.....sheesh, what a load of marketing crap.

OK, rant over, sorry....lol.

by Billthedog on 05 July 2019 - 15:07

The second choice was Victor Puppy and Active Dog but we saw it on a list that caused health issues.

Thanks for the advice. We will get rid of it ASAP.....

by maofryan on 05 July 2019 - 19:07

Raw diets. Far better than any commercial food, and super easy.....one GSD dog.....chicken leg quarters, raw.....bones skin and all.....Walmart 59 cents/lb, 2 leg quarters twice a day. And scrape your leftovers (from your own dinner) into his/her bowl after dinner. This is all you need. Nothing more

Been doing it 25 years.

Been breeding 46 years.

No issues....robustly healthy....long-lived dogs.

When they walk away from the chicken....start feeding less.

That is all.

by Billthedog on 05 July 2019 - 21:07

At 18 weeks can I feed her the chicken leg bones?


Western Rider (admin)

by Western Rider on 05 July 2019 - 23:07

Yes my 8 week olds eat them no problem once their system gets used to eating raw.  Start them on necks then work your way up to chicken 1/4s.  Do not just feed legs to much bone not enough meat.

by ali44 on 09 July 2019 - 18:07

Feeding raw, feeding human grade food is the best we can do for our dog. You can also give her raw eggs, plain cheese, some rice. I usually buy the whole chicken and give the breast one day and the rest another.
When I feed mine chicken leg quarters I always remove the diaphysis of the long bones because there is the risk of damaging the intestines if not chewed and digested properly.


by GK1 on 10 July 2019 - 14:07

Cooking the human grade animal proteins is an option too, as a first step toward a raw transition. No cooked chicken bones tho.

Even if overfeeding raw, I don’t believe natural, whole foods would cause the extreme and potentially harmful growth spurts often attributed with commercially processed kibble per the op.

by Billthedog on 13 July 2019 - 22:07

Thank you all for the advise.

We are transitioning our puppy to natural foods. For now, 80% meat (chicken, beef and some venison), 10% organs (chicken livers & hearts some calf liver), 10% supplements/ frozen fruits and vegetables. And the wife is baking the egg shells, grinding them to a powder and adding about a tablespoon a day to the mix.

So far no chicken bones. We are just nervous she will swallow a half broken bone. Maybe when she gets older.

It's only a little extra work and it seems cheaper and better for the pup.

BTW: We ran this diet by the Vet. She was very unsupportive. She kept stating there is no science behind pulling dry food. I showed her a couple different articles written by Vets. One stating excessive minerals in these foods is thought to develop Pano. in dogs. The other article written by a Vet, claiming America has the worst dog cancer rate in the world due to years of feeding burnt kibble to dogs. The Vet. kept saying, these are just beliefs breeders have but can't be supported by science.

Again, Thanks for all the input. It has made us really research and try to get up to speed on subjects we would have never thought of!!!!


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