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Feeding your puppy to avoid joint problems

Using a premium dog food can significantly lower your Olde English bulldog’s risk of hip dysplasia. The nutritional needs of large breed puppies are different from those of small and medium breeds.

Ignoring those needs can lead to crippling bone and joint disorders like:

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

When compared to smaller breeds, two unique factors about the way they grow make large breed puppies more prone to skeletal problems because they grow faster and remain puppies longer.

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.

Rapid growth means the bones must change quickly, a factor that can put them at risk of forming improperly. It is this remarkable rate of growth that makes large breeds so prone to hip disease.

Hip disease in large breeds appears to be the result of at least one of two proven factors:

  1. Overfeeding
  2. Excessive dietary calcium

It’s important to avoid feeding too many calories or too much calcium, two factors that can significantly increase your puppy’s risk of hip dysplasia.

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.

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

Free choice feeding can cause a puppy to grow too fast and can lead to permanent bone damage.

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

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

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 that is safe for large breed puppies.

Thanks to an important change in labeling laws that went into effect in January 2016…

It’s now possible for you to be 100% certain ANY food you buy is safe for your large breed puppy.

The written assurance you need is printed right there on the label of virtually every commercial dog food.

It’s a simple, easy-to-read sentence known as the Nutritional Adequacy Statement. To meet the more rigid safety guidelines for large breed puppies, a dog food must contain

  • 1.2 to 1.8% calcium
  • 1.0 to 1.6% phosphorus
  • Calcium-to-phosphorus ratio 1:1 to 1.8:1

You want to be certain the food meets AAFCO nutrient profiles for either “Growth” or “All Life Stages“.

AAFCO defines a large breed puppy as any dog whose adult weight is expected to exceed 70 pounds.

We recommend a more conservative 50-pound definition of large breeds advocated by Canidae pet foods.

Canidae All life Stages fed here at Olde South meets and exceeds the AAFCO nutrient profile for large breed puppies and dogs. The calcium content matches the requirement as well at 1.8% and 1.2% phosphorus.

Large breeds puppies don’t reach adulthood until 12 to 18 months.

We strongly recommend feeding the Canidae All life stages though out the dog’s life.

We feed puppies twice daily using the Canidae All Life Stages dry mixed with All Life Stages wet canned food following their recommendations for the pups’ current weight.