What should I feed my new puppy?
Proper nutrition is essential to the long term health of your new puppy - for dogs expected to be greater than 50 pounds it is important that you feed a balanced diet appropriate for large breeds. Feeding a normal diet would actually provide too much nutrition and would cause your puppy to grow too fast. This could lead to the following developmental orthopedic diseases:
Retained ulnar cartilage core
Food designed for large breeds are lower in fat, calcium, phosphorous and vitamin D. They are designed to ensure that your puppy grows at the rate that is healthy and won't lead to long term health issues down the road.
We feed our dogs Royal Canin for Large Breed Puppies.
You do not have to use Royal Canin - but if you choose to go to a different brand you need to allow some time to transition from Royal Canid to your preferred brand. This usually starts with replacing a 1/4 of the puppy food with the new brand to allow the flora of the puppies digestive tract to react to the new food and adjust accordingly. You would do that for several days and then move from 1/4 replacement to 1/2 replacement to 3/4 replacement to fully transitioned in the course of 10 days or so. If your pup does not react well at any point to the transition - stop and talk with your vet.
What to look for in a dog food:
Should be formulated for large breeds
Will have large kibble to slow down their eating and keep bloat from occuring
How many times per day should I feed my puppy?
First let's talk about free feeding - we don't recommend free feeding for any of our puppies. Free feeding can lead to obesity from over eating and over nutrition which may lead to developmental orthopedic diseases. Free feeding will void our health guarantee.
When your puppy goes home, he/she will be eating three times per day. We feed our adult dogs two times per day - unless they are pregnant or nursing.