Feeding large-breed puppies

Compend Contin Educ Vet. 2010 May;32(5):E1-4.


Growth is a physiologically demanding process that requires adequate amounts of energy as well as optimal intake of essential nutrients. Key nutritional factors, including energy and calcium, have been identified as important during growth. Large-breed puppies have a genetic tendency toward fast growth rates that can stress developing skeletal structures and result in malformations if left unchecked. Overnutrition in large-breed puppies leads to not only heavier body weight but also faster bone growth with abnormal bone remodeling. The end result is a larger but less dense skeletal structure supporting a load that is heavier than ideal. Controlling the growth rate and providing nutrients in amounts adjusted for energy intake can help decrease the risks of skeletal abnormalities caused by rapid growth in large-breed puppies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animal Feed
  • Animal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Bone Development / physiology
  • Diet / standards
  • Diet / veterinary*
  • Dogs / growth & development*
  • Dogs / physiology
  • Energy Intake
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology
  • Nutritional Requirements* / physiology
  • Nutritional Status