The Great Dane Lady, Linda Arndt, has more than 38 years of experience as a canine nutritional consultant and breeder. In our Great Dane Lady Approved series, Linda will talk about her research and work with Precise. You can explore Linda’s website at GreatDaneLady.com
Recently, I have received many comments and questions about a previous blog post on the different approaches used for switching your dog’s food versus your puppy’s food. Many puppy owners have heard it’s better to switch food slowly to allow adjustment. However, in my experience, it’s better to switch your puppies quickly.
Large and giant breeds grow very quickly from birth to six months of age. At times, you can see a significant difference in just 24 to 36 hours, so changing foods can be tricky with these dogs. It is best not to stretch out the transition period on very young puppies (8 to 20 weeks of age) because it can throw them into developmental orthopedic disease. One such condition is hypertrophic osteodystrophy (HOD), a bone disease that usually affects young, rapidly growing, large breed dogs. Puppies could also experience panosteitis also known as Pano, “self limiting” bone disease characterized by wandering lameness that switches from leg to leg. A faster food transition tends to avoid these problems, but probiotics are essential to the process as well because switching foods quickly can often cause digestive upset so probiotics help prevent this problem.
Each dog food company uses different vitamin/mineral premixes, and there can be an enormous difference in the “quality” from brand to brand. This is another reason why it is important not to stretch out the transition past three meals on very young dogs. By mixing together different foods (adult & puppy) or different brands, you are sacrificing the integrity of each diet diet. This can be very problematic and cause a drastic growth spurt. Additionally, inferior minerals can tie up other quality minerals needed for development.
As long as you use a high-quality, multiple bacteria-based probiotic product combined with digestive enzymes, the transition will be very easy in the early ages, often better than with a mature dog, which may take a little longer. Probiotics that I recommend to ease the transition are ProBio Pac, BakPakPlus or 4 in 1 Probiotic from www.firstchoicenaturals.com.
Remember, Precise Pet Products are rich with nutrients and made with quality ingredients your puppy or dog needs. Each of our lines of dog food also comes in formulas specially made for specific sized puppies.