Feeding your puppy
Your dog will not grow any bigger than a cat and needs a balanced diet to ensure healthy growth.
As a puppy is quickly growing and very active it will benefit from a small morning and evening feed. I feed my 'babies' (from about 4 to 8 weeks of age) tinned puppy food and puppy milk in the morning, then a chicken neck or a small amount of puppy biscuits or a meal of cooked meat with pasta or brown rice and veggies at night.
Feeding specially formulated tinned puppy food and puppy biscuits to provide all the minerals and calcium essential for healthy growth. I use Nature's Gift All Natural Puppy tinned food as it is free of preservatives, colours and artificial flavours. Raw chicken necks are a great source of calcium.
Once your pup is 12 weeks of age you can reduce the number of meals to one good sized feed a day and remove puppy milk from their diet. As long as your pup is fed turkey or chicken mince and chicken necks for calcium they will grow well. Meal portion sizes consist of a cup of pasta or rice with mince per meal or about half a cup of puppy biscuits. A chicken neck or meaty bone to chew counts as a meal and should not be fed in addition to the meal. From 6 months of age your pup can be fed adult dog food.
Portion sizes will vary from dog to dog with some dogs needing more than others once mature. Some dogs tend to be little piggies when it comes to meal time so feeding 'visually' and constantly assessing the condition of your dog is important to avoid overfeeding which can result in health issues. A light cover of fat over the ribs and backbone is a good guide. No ribs showing or fat rolls please!
To keep a soft shiny coat, healthy teeth and bones and a healthy immune system your puppy needs a combination of foods. Fresh food is always best and a few extra veggies can be cooked with the family meal for your ‘other child’.
Your puppy / dog will appreciate a varied diet and here are some suggestions;
• Cooked brown rice or pasta and vegetables can be mixed with canned food or cooked mince. Raw wholegrain rolled oats can be mixed with cooked meat and vegetables.
• Kangaroo mince, turkey or chicken mince, lightly fried or boiled with brown rice, rolled oats or pasta and veggies.
• A cooked egg once a week.
• Good quality tinned food such as Nature's Gift which is free of artificial colours, flavours and preservatives (which can cause problems for dogs with skin allergies) and good quality dry dog biscuits. Choose brands low in salt and protein. Excess protein can cause abnormal bone growth in puppies. In adult dogs, products with protein levels higher than 18% can cause skin irritation and kidney damage. Look for 1% salt or less. If you cannot find low protein dog biscuits, limit the amount that you feed.
• Meat scraps but no chicken bones or cooked meat bones as they can splinter in the stomach.
• Brisket bones for clean teeth and healthy gums and chicken necks for calcium and fat.
• Ox tail bones, available from your supermarket pet freezer section will keep them happy for hours.
• Sardines in olive oil, tuna or any dried fish. Avoid fresh cooked fish with bones.
• Add good quality oil such as a Olive oil or Flaxseed oil (keep refrigerated once open) to food once a week. Cod Liver oil can be added to their meal once a week but feed in conjunction with a Vitamin E capsule (dissolve). Seaweed meal can be added to meals for vitamins and minerals.
• Occasional bacon rind, toast and BBQ bits.
Never feed your puppy alcohol, onion, chocolate, avocado, nutmeg, grapes or sultanas as they are poisonous to dogs.
Always provide plenty of clean drinking water for your puppy / dog in more than one location and ensure that the water bowl cannot be tipped over, particularly in hot weather. Change the water every day.
Cooking for your new 'other child' does not have to be chore. Prepare in bulk and freeze in meal size portions. Just cook up a few extra veggies with your meal and set aside or use frozen mixed vegetables (make sure there is no onion in the mix) available from your supermarket. Chop the veggies and add to the meat and pasta or rice mix below.
Boil approximately 2.5 cups of brown rice or 500gms of small spiral pasta and drain. Diced mixed frozen vegetables (available at supermarket) can be cooked with the pasta or rice.
While hot, add to 2 kgs of cooked pet mince such as VIP Fresh Steak Mince or similar which is available from the pet food section at your supermarket and mix. Turkey, chicken or kangaroo mince can also be used.
Place into containers in meal size portions and freeze.
If purchasing pet mince from your butcher it is a good idea to cook it well and drain as it may contain an excessive amount of fat.
Information contained in articles on this website are not to be used in place of veterinary care and expertise. No responsibility can be accepted by the writer for the application of any of the enclosed information in practice.