Feeding Your Pup
I am sharing a lot of information here, but it is important so please take the time to read it! Keep going to the bottom where I talk about an unpleasant but important topic...POOP!!
There is no one right way to feed your dog. There are many factors like your individual dog and your family lifestyle. For some people kibble is the only way. Others enjoy taking the time to prepare raw meals for their dogs. I have done both.
Raw can be a lot of work but many owners swear by it. If you have an interest in raw feeding you may want to check out Dogs’s Naturally Magazine as they offer a lot of good information on that approach in addition to many natural, non-pharmaceutical approaches to raising dogs. I often refer to their videos and articles. I have recently become a big fan of Dr. Judy Morgan who also takes a holistic approach to feeding and caring for dogs. My dogs are especially fans of her 'Pup Loaf'. Check out her website for the recipe and many helpful articles about caring for your dog. She has several really good books that
you may want to add to your library - Yin and Yang Nutrition for Dogs and From Needles to Natural: Learning Holistic Pet Healing.
Many vets will advise against raw but there are many raw food owners who will give you many pros. A regional raw food company that I have used and have been pleased with is Top Quality Dog Food. You need to do your research and make your choice. There is a lot of information out there on both sides of the raw vs kibble issue. Personally I have never had an issue with raw. Maggie was demanding and would only eat raw for the first 5 weeks after delivery as she did with her other litters. Whatever it took to get food into her was the most important thing to me as she was eating up to 4 ½ pounds of food per day to keep her milk supply up for the pups. Now that I am weaning the pups, I have transitioned her back to PawTree and she is not complaining. Kibble is working out to be easier for me and a high quality kibble is a good choice.
I use PawTree food for Ozzie and Maggie as well as my pups. It is made in the USA and is made with real meat or fish as the first ingredient. It has no poultry by-products, no corn, no wheat, no soy, no added sugars or sweeteners, no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives and no grains in their grain-free recipes, and only healthy grains in their other recipes.
I start the pups out on the PawTree Real Chicken and Sweet Potatoe Recipe as well as add Gastro Pro Plus and Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil to one meal a day. Gastro Pro Plus has prebiotics, probiotics, digestive enzymes and herbs to help the pups develop a healthy digestive tract. Wild Salmon Oil is good for their coats and seasonal allergies and provides essential fatty acids and omega 3’s Salmon Oil can contribute to loose stool so if you’re having that problem back off on the dosage. Be sure to use wild salmon instead of farmed salmon as farmed salmon is high in omega 6 but the wild is high in omega 3’s which you want. Also be sure it is pure salmon oil and not a mix of fish oils. I recommend that you continue this regimen when your new pup comes home. I will be sending home a 10lb. bag of food with each pup when you pick them up.
Coupon code for first order: INTRO4U
One of the very important reasons I use PawTree is that they have NEVER had a recall. If you look at some of the ‘premium; commercial dog foods such as Merrick, Purina or Blur Buffalo you will see quite a history of recalls. Many dog food companies do not show as having recalls. Some dog food companies like Sojos (which until recently was an independently owned small business) was purchased by WellPet which is owned by a multinational coal mining company, Berwind Corporation. I prefer a food that is controlled by a company whose only focus on the health of dogs. Go to my links below to read more about dog foods and recalls.
The dog food industry is huge and there is a lot of garbage dog food out there full of all kinds of fillers and other unnecessary stuff. I would avoid buying from Amazon or the big box stores as the freshness of the food is not guaranteed. You really need to do your research if you decide to transition to a different food! You also need to educate yourself on how to transition your puppy properly.
Sudden changes in diet can sometimes result in digestive upset. All pets should transition to a new food slowly over a period of 5 to 7 days, mixing increasing amounts of the new food in with their old food. By day 7, the pet should be completely transitioned over to their new diet. Pets with sensitive stomachs may take up to 10 days. If your pup is experiencing gas or loose stools you are probably changing too quickly.
PawTree is a more nutritionally dense food with no fillers so you need to feed less. If you overfeed you may see gastric disturbance such as gas or loose stool or your dog may gain weight. With no fillers or by-products, their nutritionally-dense food is rich in named-animal proteins and antioxidants, providing the pure, natural nutrition your pets need. As a result, you will feed less per day than other pet food.
Their holistic approach to pet nutrition allows your pets to thrive, not just survive. This preventative measure helps you to avoid costly vet visits.
Some people look at the cost of a bag of PawTree and think it is high priced. If you take a closer look on their website, you will see that you save almost 30% with the larger size bag. I find that I feed 25-30% less of PawTree than other kibbles, so there again is an additional savings.
Most of the pups, depending on their size, will be eating ¼-3/4 cups of food per day. The daily cost for that is about 13 to 38 cents per day when buying the large bag of food.
For Ozzie and Maggie, I will rotate between some of the other meat choices for variety. Rotating food is not simply good for the dog’s interest but for their health. And just like humans they like variety. A varied diet is healthy for dogs and enhances the diversity of their mocrobiomes. I rotate pretty much on a daily or every few day basis but you can do every few weeks or months. For picky eaters PawTree offers pawPairings which is seasoning you can sprinkle on top of the kibble to entice your dog to eat. Some dogs do not tolerate food rotating and the pawPairings is a great way to ad variety to their meals. My dogs love it!!
If you start rotating foods, you need to do so slowly to see how they handle it. As when changing food brands completely you need to introduce a new ‘rotated’ PawTree food over a week and see their reactions. If they are having gas or loose stools you are moving too quickly.
Some helpful links!
Disclaimer right up front… I am not a veterinarian!
Always consult with your veterinarian at the signs of any problems!!
I'm just trying to share some things to pay attention to.
Healthy poop should have a distinctive but relatively mild odor. Stinky poop in pups is usually due to parasites and low-quality dog food. Lower quality dog food is less digestible, so more food remains in the digestive tract allowing gut bacteria to feed on it. Less digestible foods are fed on by the less desirable gut bacteria. This less desirable gut bacteria create by products including hydrogen sulfide thus stinker poop. So, if your pup has stinky poop you may want to investigate the digestibility of their food. Dog food should have at least an 85% digestibility rate. Not all dog food companies will share that information. You should go with a dog food company that is going to be open and transparent. Oder can also indicate high fat content in food, GI diseases food intolerance, infections, medications, etc.
When it comes to poop you want to notice if there are changes from day to day. It should stay consistent. If there is a drastic change you need to identify the reason. Diarrhea can be extremely dangerous in puppies as well as is constipation. The takeaway here is to pay attention to your pups’ poop as it can be an indicator of a problem.
Again, always consult with your veterinarian!