In larger breeds of dogs, such as Rottweilers, Retrievers, German Shepherds and Great Danes, there is a tendency for them to be affected with Hip Dysplasia. This is when the hip joint, or the ball-and-socket, becomes loose; the hip socket becomes too shallow, the actual ball is not round, or when the ligaments are too loose.
When a puppy or dog has this condition it is easily recognisable, you will hear a clicking sound when your dog moves, he will have difficulty in moving about as the condition is quite painful.
There is also Elbow Dysplasia; this is a condition that affects the front legs of a dog rather than the rear ones. Arthritis can affect your pet’s joints later on in life.
A nutritional diet can have a positive effect on a dog; to avoid the onset of this disease it is important that a diet meets the requirements of the relevant breed of dog. Quality ingredients should be a priority, a dog that is fed cheap dog food will not meet the standard required to keep a dog in good health; long term there will be excessive stress on its joints.
Large breeds of dog at the puppy stage should be fed the correct ratio of protein, fat and calcium. Adding extra calcium or vitamins can do more harm than good, and portions should be kept small.
Four or five small portions a day will stop a puppy from becoming overweight; too much food will put a strain on the major organs of his body.