I’m feeding Blue Buffalo Wilderness Small Breed (grain free). He gets 3/4 cup twice a day.
It’s calcium is 1%, phosphorus 0.9%, which is the safest mineral ratio of any grain free I could find.
The mineral ratio is the single most important part of feeding a giant breed puppy, so that was the deciding factor for me. The protein is 36%, fat 15%, fiber 7%, and a good amount of omega oils for his coat. I am adding salmon oil, because omega fatty acids are important for the brain and vascular system.
Since he was ravenously hungry and the heavy vaccine schedule/worming/shipping stress had caused diarrhea, I also added Bravo raw duck as it has a tendency to be a dry meat and firms up stools. The loose and messy was gone after 2 days.
I plan to reduce the raw food and eventually eliminate it once his appetite adjusts to eating the lesser amounts than he would with non-grain free foods. He has a bladder infection and ear infection, so he’s getting amoxicillin for an antibiotic and Momenamax in his ears twice a day.
*** 6/18/2012: Levi’s been acting so hungry (and his frustrated behavior is terrible a lot of the time, including resource guarding), that I’m going to follow a suggestion from Remmington Danes.
She said to feed him a small amount every 3 hours, and since the Wilderness daily limit is 2 cups per day, I had to get a bag of Science diet (Mature adult Active Longevity). I don’t like that food brand at all for the very reason I bought it: it’s got enough filler and junk in it to let him have nearly as much as he wants to eat.
The protein and fat is extremely low, so its possible he’ll not to be terribly satisfied. But the minerals (calcium and phosphorus) are also extremely low, so he can darn near free feed on it and be safe.
He’s still on the Science diet, eating 1/2 cup every 3 hours or so, plus I’m using it as training treats along with actual treats. It totals about 4 cups per day, roughly double the weight chart on the bag. But the weight chart is for mature adults (7yrs+), not puppies. Growing so quickly, he needs the extra calories and the minerals are low enough to get away with it.
His front legs are no longer knuckled, the right foot will still turn out in a sit though it’s perfectly straight when he’s walking. His movement is lovely: the topline is straight, there is no rolling in the back, the gait is smooth. This will help prevent excess wear on his joints as he gets old.
He’s been eating every 4-5 hours, which is an improvement over every 3 hours and still going crazy for food.
The right foot is still turning out slightly, but the left is better. The feet aren’t splaying anymore either. His hips, topline, and general angles are still very good. He’s not terribly muscular, and it seems most of his growth has been bone growth.