Giant-sized dogs, the GIANTS, have an adult weight exceeding 45 kg. These dogs with an above-standard stature represent more than 25 breeds. Their very prolonged and intense growth should be closely monitored to fight against the development of osteoarticular disorders while taking into account their low digestive tolerance.
The Bloodhound, a hunting dog, the Rottweiler, a herdsman’s dog, the Saint Bernard, a mountain dog, the Newfoundland, a sea rescue dog are some of these dogs with an imposing stature. Their particular growth underlines the body frailty of these large build dogs.
A GIANT puppy reaches half his adult weight around 5 months of age. Between 2 and 8 months of age, he is going to gain 2 cm every fortnight on average. He’ll keep on growing until 18 to 24 months of age. His birth weight will then have been multiplied by 80 to 100 (compared with 20 to 30 for a small breed). Much more than in small- and medium-sized breeds, weaning takes place at a critical moment of growth, when the puppy’s nutritional requirements are at their maximum. Until 8 months of age, the first stage of growth is indeed exponential and extremely rapid. It coincides to a large extent with the period during which the GIANT puppy is building up his own immunological defenses, between the 4th and the 12th week of life. From 8 to 18-24 months of age, a much slower growth stage registers the development of muscles.
In a giant breed puppy, the risk lies in trying to obtain too rapid a growth. A Health Nutrition food suited to the first growth stage, from 2 to 8 months of age, has a moderate fat and energy content in order to control the growth rate and prevent any excess weight gain while offering a volume of food intake that’s not too limited. It contains nutrients contributing to bone reinforcement and joint protection, along with active agents contributing to supporting the puppy’s immune defenses.
From 8 months of age, the risk period for the skeleton ends: the growth cartilages present on all bone ends in puppies start to close. Cartilage closure ends around 18 months of age. Then, the puppy keeps gaining weight, develops his muscle mass, but he no longer grows much: 90% of his adult size has already been reached. A Health Nutrition growth food suited to this second stage offers an energy concentration higher than that for the first stage, but without any excess so as to cause no excess weight gain on still immature joints.
Whether the first or the second stage in the growth of GIANT puppies is concerned, it is quite essential to take into account their digestive sensitivity.
GIANT puppies show a higher digestive sensitivity than that of other puppies. This sensitivity comes from a number of anatomical ands physiological features. With a proportionally smaller digestive tract than that of a small dog, intestinal transit duration is practically doubled. This results in an increase in fermentation activity and in the production of moist and not very consistent stools. A Health Nutrition growth food is formulated with protein of exceptional quality so as to be highly digestible. The association of a combination of active components that enrich the intestinal flora and protect the digestive mucosa, along with psyllium to regulate transit, provides an answer to this sensitivity and improves stool quality.
The GIANT puppy’s Nutrition Health growth food enables to support him during the two stages of that decisive period by providing him with maximum digestive safety and growth rate control.