By Jon Dunkerley
Dog nutrition is very important to think about especially when dealing with young puppies. When deciding on the nutritional components that will determine the diet of my pups it is important to recognize and keep the following key factors at the forefront:
- The pups will mature quickly, meaning that they will need the best diet possible to allow them to safely grow with the aid of the necessary amounts of the 6 major nutrients present
- Starting at birth and lasting for the first 5-6 weeks of life, my pups will need a high quality Colostrum based formula due to them not being able to ween at birth. After researching various formulas, I have selected the following:
This is a blend of New Life Colostrum (vital for the pups when first born to stimulate body functions), glucosamine sulfate, MSM, acetyl myristoleate, lipase enzyme, coated with beta-lipid.
- Helps increase bioavailability and absorption of nutrients in the body and helps decrease the bioavailability of iron to pathogens
• MSM, a natural form of sulfur helps in the prevention of free radical damage and helps support joint and cartilage function
• Glucosamine sulfate contains sulfur, an element important to the biochemical synthesis of connective tissue
• Cetyl myristoleate helps support joint and cartilage function. It is paired with a lipase enzyme in order to help increase its absorption and assimilation in the body
Due to the importance of Colostrum, below you will find a detailed breakdown of the nutritional make up of this vital component to my pup’s healthy first few weeks of life.
Pure Colostrum Guaranteed Analysis and Nutritional Breakdown
Lactose Monohydrate 15%
Half life 16 hours
(1x480 mg tablet mixed with 3-5oz of warm water three times daily
daily total = 1440mg)
Week Amount Daily Fed/Mg
1 3x480mg = 1440mg
2 3x480mg = 1440mg
3 3x480mg = 1440mg
4 3x480mg = 1440mg
5 3x480mg = 1440mg
Some believe that proper Colostrum supplementation should consist of more than what is stated above, however, this is just opinion, and there is no evidence that proves this theory.
- The Structural Growth period (0 to 18 months) is the most important stage of the development of my pups meaning that during this phase of their lives, it is crutial for them to consume high quality premium or home prepared food.
- Along with my formula, I will be eventually feeding my pups a premium puppy food up until they are 15 to 16 months of age, (Eagle Pack Large/Giant Formula) which upon my research, appeared to be the best suited to the needs of my Labrador pups.
When considering a puppy food, one must take into account the quality of ingredients, and what these ingredients mean to the growth of my pups. For my pups to thrive, they need and will receive the best possible ingredients which when combined will produce an optimum food to enable them to grow safely, and consistently in regards to their breed specifications.
Eagle Pack Analysis
The Eagle Pack puppy food I chose has in my opinion the best combination of ingredients for consumption by my pups. Some of the key ingredients include:
- 7 skin and coat conditioners consisting of; chicken fat, flax seed, avocado oil, herring meal, lecithin, vitamin E, and biotin. This is a rare combination and is only found in top quality puppy formula. The main purpose of these conditioners is to allow for a nice shiny healthy coat with healthy skin underneath
- Premium chicken meal, rice, and herring meal provide great taste as well as extra protein and fat which allow for a great foundation for growth
In order to show the extensive process of creating a high calorie-quality puppy food, below is the entire ingredient list with the above key ingredients included:
Chicken meal, brown rice, ground rice, rice bran, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and ascorbic acid), flax seed, dehydrated alfalfa meal, avocado oil, herring meal, lecithin, brewers dried yeast, natural flavoring, monosodium phosphate, choline chloride, rosemary extract, sage extract, ferrous
sulfate, dl-alpha tocopherol acetate (source of vitamin E), zinc oxide, sodium selenite, manganous oxide, riboflavin supplement (source of vitamin B complex), copper sulfate, zinc methionine, iron proteinate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, cobalt proteinate, niacin, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin A
supplement calcium pantothenate, d-biotin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), calcium iodate, thiamine mononitrate (source of vitamin B1), folic acid, vitamin D3 supplement, bromelain, papain, dried bacillus subtilis fermentation product, dried aspergillus oryzae fermentation product.
- Like most specific puppy formulated food, Eagle Pack’s Puppy Formula is designed for optimum growth. With high protein, nutrient and fat content, the building blocks for continued growth are present and I would expect my pups to do very well while consuming this product
- Low stool volume is a big advantage and is strictly due to the chicken meal and rice formula allowing for better digestibility, which in turn, allows for more nutrients and vitamins to be absorbed by the puppies
- Palatability is maintained by the presence of vitamin E and C, meaning that no preservatives are used
- Eagle Pack Puppy Formula is pressure cooked to ensure that the highest nutrient and vitamin level is present
Crude Protein 26%
Crude Fat 16%
Crude Fibre 4%
At approximately 5 weeks of age, I will start reducing the “Artho” and introducing my puppies to the “Eagle Pack” kibble mushed in warm water.
Week/Month Daily Amount Daily Caloric Intake
5-6 wks of life 2x ¼ cup 188
7 wks of life 2x ½ cup 372
8 wks of life = 2 months 2x ¾ cup 564
10 wks of life 2x 1/1 cup 744
12 wks of life = 3 months 2x1 ¼ cup 838
16 wks of life = 4 months 2x1 ¼ cup 838
20 wks of life = 5 months 2x1 ½ 932
24 wks of age = 6 months 2x1 ¾ 1308
24 wks of life-36 wks of life= 9 months of life 2x2 cup 1488
36 wks of life-48 wks of life = 12 months 2x2 cup 1488
12 months of life-14 months of life 2x2 cup 1488
Weeks of Life Pup Food Ration, Adult Food Ration Total Daily Ration
57 wks of life = 14 ¼ months 75%, 25% 100%
58 wks of life = 14 ½ months 50%, 50% 100%
59 wks of life = 14 ¾ months 25%, 75% 100%
60 wks of life = 15 months 0%, 100% 100%
Now that phase two of my nutrition plan is complete, I need to move to phase three, which is the adult phase of life. I have always been a believer in the commonly used phrase, “you are what you eat” and with this in mind, I have researched the wide selection of adult dog food found on today's market and in doing so have come across a company that goes the extra mile in regards to their research, dedication, and determination to provide the best adult dog food on the market.
Royal Canin is a dog food manufacturer based in Europe, and stands head and shoulders above all other food manufacturers based on their track record, attention to detail, testimonials, and their determination to provide the best diet possible for any given breed. Yes, this company has started to provide specific diets for specific breeds based on the differing needs that different breeds incur.
Knowing this fact, made it impossible for me not to choose this manufacturer to provide my Labrador with a life long healthy diet. Labrador Retriever 30™ Formula coupled with love an all the affection I can give, will provide my Labrador the optimum foundation for a long healthy mischievous life. (I can’t wait!)
Labrador Retriever 30™ Formula
Unlike other similarly sized dogs, the Labrador tends to have less muscle mass, and an ability to gain weight just by looking at the food dish. When you combine the “labrador beg” which usually wins him something from the human supper table, with the lazy metabolism and chronic greed of the Labrador, you get the “porky Labrador.” This obviously is bad news and can promote numerous disease factors such as bloat, obesity, poor joints, etc.
Taking all these factors into account, Royal Canin set out to develop a specifically formulated food for the Labrador retriever. They determined that by Promoting high protein and low fat, the Labrador would receive the building blocks to a well balanced diet and would be most likely to hold a proper bodyweight in relation to their specific height and activity level.
Chicken meal, brown rice, corn gluten, oatmeal, barley, brewers rice, chicken fat (naturally preserved with mixed tocopherols), natural chicken flavor, beet pulp (sugar removed), cellulose, fish oil, zeolite, soya oil, potassium chloride, sodium tripolyphosphate, salt, choline chloride, chicory extract, borage oil, taurine, calcium carbonate, inositol, niacin supplement, vitamin E supplement, L-carnitine, glucosamine hydrochloride, ascorbic acid (source of vitamin C), chondroitin sulfate, calcium pantothenate, marigold extract, tyrosine, zinc oxide, pyridoxine hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), rosemary
extract, thiamine mononitrate (source of vitamin B1), riboflavin supplement (source of vitamin B2), zinc proteinate, iron sulfate, manganous oxide, vitamin A supplement, manganese proteinate, folic acid, copper sulfate, copper proteinate, biotin, calcium iodate, vitamin D3 supplement, sodium selenite, vitamin
Guaranteed Analysis, Feeding Method
Crude Protein 30%
Crude Fat 13%
Crude Fibre 5.7%
Vitamin E 600mg/kg
Vitamin C 300mg/kg
Feeding Method Calories Per Cup
Portion Controlled 293
Amount Fed Daily Calorie Intake
2x 3 cup 879x2 = 1758
- Contains numerous skin and coat conditioners to help maintain a nice healthy shiny coat
- Contains antioxidants such as glucosamine and chondroitin to aid in joint maintenance
- Contains taurine which has been proven to aid in heart health
- A high protein level allows for muscle mass maintenance
- Specific components when combined together have been proven to slow down the aging process. Some of these include; vitamins C and E, taurine, zinc, selenium, chondroitin, and other antioxidents
- Meets all standards provided by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO)
The final stage of my nutrition plan is based on the nutritional requirements for my dog when he becomes a senior. (9-10 years of age) Although we do not like thinking of our dogs one day becoming seniors, getting old is one of life’s few guarantees and it is because of this fact that we need to look out for the well being of our pets when they reach this point of their lives.
After researching the hundreds of possible senior based dog foods, I have decided to keep my Labrador on the Labrador Retriever 30™ Formula. I have decided this because this food has all the necessary components that senior dogs need and I feel that my Labrador will do very well on this food in his elder years. Also by not switching food, I avoid the potential of temporary setbacks during the transition from adult to senior foods.
- We all know that as dogs get older, they tend to spend more of their time sprawled on the couch: therefore, by feeding my couch potato Labrador Retriever 30™ Formula, his fat intake will remain low and his protein intake will remain high to help him retain his muscle mass
- Joint protection will be aided by the presence of glucosamine and chondroitin
- In order to aid the digestive tract chicory extract has been added to help regulate this vital body system. (fructo-oligosaccharides)
Has your dog been a really good boy lately???
Everybody needs a treat now and again, dogs no exception:
Labrador Loaf Recipe
1 cup Amaranth
1 cup Dates -- dried, chopped
1 cup boiling water – or beef broth
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder -- non aluminum sulfate
2 tablespoons canola oil
4 ounces Egg Beaters ® 99% egg substitute
2 cups beef broth
1/2 pound ground beef, extra lean
Put Amaranth and Dates in a bowl, pour boiling water over and allow to soak 30 minutes. Pre-heat oven to 350.
In a large bowl, mix egg beaters and canola oil and beef broth and beef, mix well. Add whole wheat flour and baking soda, and the soaked Amaranth and Dates.
Pour into an oiled loaf pan, bake for 1 hour or till done.
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