Featured Story – Meet Hank

January 5th, 2012

hankHank’s entry into the world was rough (he was one of only two pups to survive the birth), and his first couple weeks were touch and go. Despite a rocky start, he seemed to be doing very well, so we thought it was best not to alter his diet at all. His breeder told us he was eating Eagle Pack Puppy Formula Dry Dog Food – that it was the only food he used or recommended. Hank has gone from 15 to 50 lbs in three short months, and he is strong and healthy. Thanks Eagle Pack!

Nikki D., Temperance MI

Large and Giant Breed Puppy Health

November 18th, 2011
Large Breed Puppies Need Special Nutrition for Controlled Growth

Large Breed Puppies Need Special Nutrition for Controlled Growth

Large or giant breed dogs are among the most popular breeds. Of the 160 or so breeds registered with the American Kennel Club, the majority listed in the top half are large or giant breeds. Labrador Retrievers are the most popular breed by a significant margin, and have been for some time. Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, Boxers and Standard Poodles are all among the top ten breeds.

It is essential that pet parents are aware of the special needs of large and giant breed puppies. Getting off to the right start is essential in order to assure a happy and healthy life for these special pets.

Many of the larger breeds have the potential to grow 100 times their birth weight. They have a faster growth rate; however, that rate must be controlled in order to allow the puppy to develop normally, without the risk of problems. For this reason, it is important to feed a diet that specifically addresses the needs of large and giant breed puppies. Like any diet, the basic formula should be extremely nutritious, containing highly digestible ingredients that address all the needs of that specific life stage.

Just what are the nutritional needs of these rapidly growing large and giant breed puppies?

Controlled growth, optimum levels of calcium and phosphorus, essential fatty acids as well as specific natural ingredients to enhance development are all essential elements in an optimum natural formula for a large or giant breed puppy.

If growth is not controlled and calcium levels are in excess, the puppy can have an increased risk of contracting one of several developmental bone diseases, all of which are very painful and can have permanent detrimental effects on the puppy’s quality of life. Traditional puppy diets are designed with lots of protein and fat so as to provide large amounts of calories. Large and giant breed puppies do not do well on these diets and for that reason, specific large and giant breed formulas were developed.

Like all of the Eagle Pack formulas, the large and giant breed puppy recipe provides high quality, natural nutrients and supplements have particular importance when considering a specific diet for puppies, especially those large and giant breed puppies.

1. Controlled Growth:

If too many calories are consumed, the rate of growth will be increased. This is to be avoided. Too many calories increases weight too rapidly on the developing bones and can increase the stress on developing bones and raise the risk of encouraging developmental bone problems. These puppies should be fed an amount of food that maintains a slightly lean body condition, at least until they are approximately 10-12 months of age.

For this reason, the Eagle Pack Large and Giant Breed Puppy recipe contains fewer calories than the traditional puppy recipes in order to help the pet parent maintain an ideal, slightly lean body mass while developing.

2. Provide Optimum Calcium and Phosphorus Levels for Large and Giant Breed Puppies:

Most would assume that large and giant breed puppies would need more calcium and phosphorus than a smaller breed puppy, as their bone structure is so much bigger. On the contrary, they actually need slightly less calcium. Too much calcium can also increase the incidence of any one of those very painful developmental bone diseases. The challenge is to provide just enough calcium to reduce the risk of bone problems while supplying levels that allow for maximum growth potential. As long as you are feeding a balanced diet, never supplement a large and giant breed puppy with a mineral supplement.

3. Guarantee Certain Essential Fatty Acids:

Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is an essential Omega-3 fatty acid that has been found to enhance brain development in puppies. It is important that these giant, and in some cases large breeds, are well trained so that control is maintained. By providing natural, functional food ingredients that support proper brain development, puppies have been found to be more easily trained in the basic obedience commands.

4. Probiotics or Direct Fed Microbials (DFMs) and Prebiotics:

Probiotics are the essential “good bacteria” that play a key role in establishing the normal flora of the gut so that proper digestion is achieved. They have the natural benefit of also enhancing the immune system early on in the puppy’s life. By feeding a daily diet that contains these natural organisms, the digestive system and immune system will be at optimum efficiency all the time.

Prebiotics are the essential foods necessary to keep the probiotics or DFMs healthy and happy. They are natural ingredients that have benefit specifically to the good bacteria, as well as additional advantages for the puppy.

It’s always best to feed regularly as opposed to leaving food out for your puppy at all times. This will help control rate of growth. Likewise, try and avoid feeding just before and just after exercise to reduce the chances of “bloat”, another potential problem for some breeds. Giving a puppy the right start in life is as important as giving a child the right start. Creating good habits that include regular exercise and feeding an optimum diet that will encourage maximum growth potential while reducing the risk of disease is the ultimate goal.

We encourage you to explore the entire Eagle Pack website and learn all you can with regard to our philosophy, the specific ingredients in our foods and much much more about the benefits of a holistic and natural pet food.

We have been making natural diets specifically for large and giant breed puppies for almost 25 years and have the experience and expertise to provide your pet with the ideal formula it deserves.

Eagle Pack® Named the Official Dog Food of the 2011 Iditarod® Trail Sled Dog Race

November 10th, 2010

A team of happy huskies pulling a sledThe Iditarod National Historic Trail runs along more than 1,049 miles of the roughest, most beautiful terrain Mother Nature has to offer.  “The Last Great Race on Earth”® pits man and animal against nature, and against wild Alaska at her best. It exemplifies the stamina and drive these canine athletes must have, and demonstrates the Nutrition in Action™ that Eagle Pack delivers. As the Official Dog Food Sponsor, Eagle Pack will also supply the teams with food along the trail, and dedicate funds to the health and care of the Iditarod dogs.

The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race runs from Anchorage to Nome, Alaska over approximately 10 days. More than 45 teams with 12 to 16 dogs each take to the icy snow each year to compete. The Iditarod is regarded as a symbolic link to the early history of the state, when mushers and sled dog teams were the only means by which to carry mail and supplies, including medicine, to the inland communities.  This trail is connected to many traditions commemorating the legacy of dog mushing.

Iditarod LogoEagle Pack has long sponsored five Iditarod mushers and their teams: Martin Buser, Hans Gatt, Dee Dee Jonrowe, Aliy Zurkle and Karen Ramsted. For these mushers, the Iditarod is not just a dog sled race, but rather a venue in which unique men and woman from all walks of life compete to meet personal goals. From fishermen and miners to lawyers, doctors and artists, men and women from all over the world travel to Alaska to take part in this journey.

“The commitment to the care and health of our dogs is proven by the support Eagle Pack gives to each of us,” said Dee Dee Jonrowe, Iditarod musher. “They have a long and rich heritage of conducting research and development to create their high quality formulas for superior natural nutrition.”

The health and well-being of all the animals is a top priority as they travel the snowy course for more two weeks.  Dr. Al Townshend, Eagle Pack’s staff veterinarian and former recipient of the Iditarod’s Golden Stethoscope Award for ultimate canine care-giving, joins the mushers on the trail to help keep all the dogs in top shape. “Eagle Pack’s high quality, performance-proven formula has been developed with canine athletes and quality breeders. This has helped us make better foods for all dogs, not just those that require exceptional nutrition, and resulted in our gaining an advanced understanding of a dog’s true needs,” he says.

To learn more about these canine athletes, and the care and preparation involved, sign up to become an Iditarod Insider™. With your membership, you can follow the leader Dog and musher touching noses in winterboard and see real time locations of mushers via GPS to read how fast teams are traveling and how much distance is between teams, and view checkpoints along with current temperatures on the trail. Insiders will also be able to access on demand video of the race so you’ll never miss a moment of the action!  Click on Iditarod Insider to sign up and receive a bonus $10 Eagle Pack coupon when you join.

Iditarod® , The Last Great Race on Earth®  and Iditarod Insider™ are registered trademarks of Iditarod Trail Committee, Inc.

Big Baby Thor

June 22nd, 2010
Big Baby Thor relaxing on the coach with his pet parent (Mary)

Big Baby Thor relaxing on the coach with his pet parent (Mary)

 Mary N.  sent in this photo of her beautiful Great Dane, Thor (his nick name is Big Baby Thor). Mary recently joined our community on Facebook and she was excited to let us know she feeds her Great Dane Eagle Pack! She shared his story as a testament to benefits Eagle Pack Dog Food for large breed dogs.

Mary knows that proper nutrition is so important for large & giant breed dogs such as Great Danes, who need a specialized diet. We’re so happy to hear that Mary found Eagle Pack early and as you can see – Big Baby Thor is thriving on Eagle Pack.

For more info about Large & Giant Breed Health, visit our Large & Giant Breed Resource Guide.