A puppies’ life during its first year is a critical period. Many of their body’s important systems are undergoing key development cycles and changes during this period. The skeletal system is especially vulnerable, and a variety of factors can have influence on its development. Proper nutrition is essential if you wish to avoid any musculoskeletal problems in your pooch.
Osteochondrosis is one of several issues that can arise from inadequate nutrition during the early stages of your dog’s life. Larger, faster growing breeds are especially susceptible to developing osteochondrosis. These type of bone issues cause angular deformities, long bones, and weak cartilage. Later in life, these deformities give way to inflammation issues, and eventually degenerative joint disease.
Diet is Key
Nutrition and diet play a large part in the developmental stages of a dog’s life. Studies have shown that over-feeding and the use of high-energy foods contribute to the development of osteochondrosis and similar conditions. During puppyhood, these diets can elevate the production of growth hormones in a dog already saturated with them.
If you are raising a large breed dog, it is crucial to administer a diet that only provides the amount of calories necessary to keep your dog lean during its early stages of growth. Opt for foods designed for large breed puppies, rather than the energy-dense super premium types.
A whole food diet is another option for owners raising large breed puppies. A whole food diet is typically healthier, but also involves more calorie consideration and preparation. If you wish to go this route, it is important you consult your veterinarian to design the ideal diet for your pup.
As always, we recommend supplementation to help protect your pet against dog joint pain later in life. A very large percentage of both dogs and cats develop arthritis and similar joint conditions during their lifetime. Supplementing a good diet with a joint health protectant like FlexPet, can dramatically reduce your pet’s chances of developing joint disease.