I would like to add that the lineage you are dealing with has a lot to do with this. I started out w/ bigger labs-- and when LBP food first came out, I kept those those pups on it longer (~18 mos if I remember right). BUT, I wasn't doing as much w/ my dogs then either (to need more calories).
Now I've got "little" labs.... famales topping out at 60# and males averaging 75 (assuming the owners don't let them get fat... that's another story). So for my small, slow, even growing labs that are pretty well strung together by 1 yr, that seems to be a fine time to switch. If I had a Dane, Mastiff or St Bernard (or oversized Lab even), 2 yrs may well be the ticket as a large dog isn't well tied together yet until about that age. Interestingly enough there was a question on another lab forum recently polling weights--- I can't believe the number of 100+ lb labs out there. :(
I add a 1/2 cup more than they recommend. Depending on how much I work my pups. If its winter I may even make it a extra cup. Especially if they are going on a few waterfowl hunts. The litter I have now I blend up 2 cups, what the pups don't finish Momma does.
The green Diamond ("Premium Adult") lists maximum as well as minimum percentages for Ca and P in their guaranteed analysis. The range is narrow and just what is specified for growing large breed puppies. It is really hard to evaluate all of the competing claims of the dog food manufacturers, but I like that about the Diamond.
Originally Posted by LabLady101
That's good to know, Amy. Thanks! I know Purina and Iams/Eukanuba only list Mins, and I think there's a host of others that only list Mins as well. It's good to know at least one company (I think Nutro might as well?) states the Max too. Good on Diamond for doing that!;):D
Originally Posted by afdahl
I have found that working Lab pups between 12-24 mos do not get adequate calories from puppy formulas (Purina & others), i.e., I can't keep weight on these young dogs. So I routinely switch to adult performance formula at 10-12 mos based upon the individual dog's response to daily, heavy field work.
I agree with David. If the young dogs aren't getting much work, then fine, stick with the puppy food. But every dog is different. Their metabolism can vary greatly between any two dogs. The recommended feed amounts listed on the bags are only a guideline. Some dogs will have to have much less than the guidelines, and some will have to have much more than the guidelines, to maintain a healthy weight. I have one young dog now that we switched to adult formula at 12 months. We were having to feed him 6 cups a day of the puppy formula to keep him from looking emaciated. He now gets about 3 cups of the adult Performance Pro Plan. He is still thin, but very healthy.
Originally Posted by Granddaddy
Just a note, Pro Plan Puppy (NOT the large-breed) has 18% fat which boosts calories...Large Breed Puppy has 12%. Of course, PP Performance is highest with 20%. ;)
Outside of side classification the response from purina does say above 50 lbs at maturity which should cover labs.
Originally Posted by LabLady101
Reading through the posts seems many can't keep weight on their dogs. Which raises a question, is puppy food on the market developed for the common large breed pet AND the active large breed puppy??????
Below is a comparison of puppy and adult feeds. Definitely they are not the same feed in different bags. Three things jump out at me, which raises more questions.
First- Though the puppy food is higher in both protein and fat it is lower in kcal/cup. Are there less carbs in puppy food? If so is a high protein and fat/lower carb diet what we should be feeding active puppies?
Second- There is more than 4X the amount of Vitamin E in the adult feed. Could the amount of Vitamin E in adult food be harmful to puppies?
Third- Is the amount of Linoleic Acid contained in the adult feed enough for puppies?
Pro Plan Large Breed Puppy Pro Plan Large Breed Adult
Digestible Energy 398 kcal/cup Digestible Energy 423 kcal/cup
Linoleic Acid- 1.6% Linoleic Acid- 1.3%
Ca- 1.1% Ca- 1.0 %
P- .8% P- .8%
Se- .30mg/kg Se- .30mg/kg
Vitamin A- 15,000 iu/kg Vitamin A- 15,000 iu/kg
Vitamin E- 100 iu/kg Vitamin E- 460 iu/kg
Good post. Here's my take:
Originally Posted by Losthwy
1. Protein & Fat do not matter nearly as much as Calcium & Phosphorus and watching weight overall. In fact, there are studies that actually show higher protein levels (of at least 26%) are better for and not detrimental for growing "Large" breed pups. Having said that, I wouldn't feed a pup a food that has say 42% protein.
2. Vitamin E (combined with Fish Oil) can actually help prevent and/or reduce joint inflammation. It's also used as an antioxidant as well as helps skin & hair.
3. Linoleic Acid is an Omega 6 dogs need. As long as the Omega 6s and 3s are properly balanced (should be as close to a 5 to 1 ratio as you can get), you should haven't any problems with either a puppy or a dog. I just wish Purina would specifically list their Omega 6s and 3s. They do on the Selects, but not on the regular Pro Plan. However, I'm sure they would tell you what they are if you contacted them.
Having said this, this is why I feed the regular Pro Plan puppy (which has the same Ca & P levels as the LBP because Purina has "dummy proofed" their foods in the last few years). The LBP food is fine for pet pups but, for active pups in training, it doesn't cut it. They need more calories. As long as you watch their weight, the extra calories shouldn't be a problem.
Just my 2c.