~Recommendations for you and your new FAMILY member!!!
*Your puppy should be fed a HIGH quality food of not more than 26% protein or more than 16% fat. Large breed puppies grow at a very rapid rate and any food higher than this or supplements are not essential and could possibly be harmful to the correct growth of your puppy. A puppy should be able to grow a bit lean/thin, NOT fat!!! Once an adult you should be able to feel his ribs and not see them. DO NOT KEEP YOUR DOG OVERWEIGHT!!! A heavy dog should not be measured by his fat but by his structure. We recommend an ALL~Natural dog~food as an adult, formulated for large breed adult dogs.
*Your puppy should be able to exercise at will.....this will help correct muscular development which is essential for the puppy to properly develop because of the size they will become. Lack of muscle is also considered negative environmental conditions. Do not allow your puppy to vigorously exercise 1 hour before or 1 hour after a meal as this can cause bloat, a deadly condition in large breed dogs.
*Your puppy should have available.... a full bowl of fresh, cool water at all times. Large breed dogs drink alot of water and should never be left without it. (Snow is not enough for the outside dog.)
*All puppies should be trained!! They should be leash trained and obey commands. Large breed dogs are a giant breed and an out of control one is unsightly. Proper socialization should be given, 15 minutes a day can possibly full~fill the requirements but some may require more. Remember dogs are pack animals and will be happier and so will you if they know you are in charge and NOT THEM!! All puppies especially show prospect puppies should allow anyone to examine the bite, full hand to body examination, and in case of male allow his testicles to be examined. Remember TRAIN, TRAIN, TRAIN!!! You will be happy you did!!
*Large breed dogs are gentle giants but remember....they are a giant breed!! Children should never be left alone playing with a large breed dog as their size and weight is generally much more than a child's.
*While genetics play a significant role in the development of hip dysplasia, there are also a number of environmental factors that can contribute to the expression or manifestation of this degeneraive joint disease.
*For example, nutrition is known to be related to the development and severity of canine hip dysplasia. In addition, dogs that are overweight are more likely to suffer from joint problems, as the extra weight places more stress upon the joints. The large breed formula dog foods provide the proper nutrition for your puppy; it is imperative to moderate calorie and calcium levels as you grow a large breed puppy to help control growth. If the puppy grows too fast, he/she can develop skeletal problems such as hip dysplasia.
*Only the premium dog foods can help in this regard; no dog food should have fillers such as corn/wheat/soy, ect. or any grain listed in their products....grain free is the best food to feed these large-breed dogs and of course, NO BY-PRODUCTS.
*Read up on dog nutrition, as "what goes in" is what "comes out" in the way of a healthy and happy puppy. Do not take what your vet advertises like "Science Diet" as an indication it's the best food---LOOK AT THE INGREDIENTS ALWAYS!!!! And read up on why so many vets promote Science Diet----there is a financial reason for them to recommend it!!
*Secondly, excessive activity, especially when related to climbing stairs or jumping can place extra stress upon a dog's joints. In a dog predisposed to developing hip dysplasia (such as St. Bernards and Mastiffs), too much of these types of activities will eventually cause more arthritis than would otherwise be present, significantly crippling the animal.
*Another environmental factor that can contribute to canine hip dysplasia is exposure to slippery flooring or bedding. Puppies that spend most of their time on slippery surfaces such as newspaper or wood floors tend to have more of a problem with hip dysplasia. You must provide them with proper "traction" if you have hardwood floors, such as rubber backed rugs in every area the puppy may run, ect.
*Hip dysplasia is not always genetic, how your puppy grows, plays, and is raised has a large role in contributing to the development or in preventing it.
~RECOMMENDATIONS FOR JUMPING, PLAYING, EXERCISE~
*NEVER allow your large breed puppy to jump off furniture, out of vechicles, and if they do jump, when possible take their paws and place them back on the floor, NOT allowing them to jump or back off of what they are up on. Say it firmly,"4 on the floor!!!" and stick to that!! They are going to be puppies and that does include jumping, but excessive jumping is to be avoided with any pup.
*Exercise and play are important; some recommendations from Vets are that large breed puppies, need to run with having open strides and that is on a daily basis. (Like throwing a ball as hard as you can and letting them go after it). Not after a heavy meal, however, bloat is possible. But they do need unrestrained play and free time to flourish and grow into their bones properly!
*Dogs laying around all day then taken for a walk on a leash is not enough for proper development. Kennel exercise is sufficient if no smaller than a 10x20 area.
*Please call us at anytime you have questions concerning your puppy!! We are always available to help you and to answer your questions!! We especially like pictures of our offspring!! Have a FUN day with your puppy and THANX for considering Puppy Pawz!!!