Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Puppy Care - Part 2 - Feeding...

2. FEEDING: (Make sure that you check the list of Dog food brands that are affected by the recall!)

Feed only a dry PREMIUM dog food made especially for puppies, for example, Science Diet. Premium dry foods give solid nutrition and the hardest smallest stools. This not only facilitates pickup but a hard stool massages the anal glands and seems to prevent problems. There are other very good brands - check with your vet if you have concerns. If you want to switch, do so very gradually over a 10-day period or the pup will get diarrhea.

We urge you not to use grocery store brands of dog food as the ingredients used are of inferior quality. Do you want your dog getting its protein from "chicken feathers and heads" or from backs and giblets? Premium dog foods may seem more expensive but the dog consumes less, the food is highly digestible and there is less stool. Price wise, it evens out.

Feed large pups twice a day and tiny ones 3 times a day. Offer DRY food, as much as they will eat in 15 minutes and then pick up the food. Do not moisten or add canned food. Leaving food down all the time is not recommended because studies have shown the puppies fed this way consume 20% more food and this may cause bone defects and obesity in later life. It is better to have your pup a little underweight. Make no fuss about eating, it is a neutral and natural activity and should not be encouraged or discouraged. The "clean plate club" does not apply to dogs. Except in rare cases of illness, the dog will eat exactly what it needs with the above method. Pups will normally skip meals as will adults. KEEP FRESH WATER AVAILABLE AT ALL TIMES EXCEPT WHILE IN CRATE.

Avoid feeding table scraps (if you must, they should not consist of more than 10% of the diet). REMEMBER, THE SMALLER THE DOG, THE LESS THE TREATS. Do not feed commercial dog biscuits as training rewards. A very small portion of Jerky will do. Watch the intake of rawhide chew toys. GIVE TREATS ONLY AS A REWARD FOR OBEDIENCE. DO NOT GIVE ANY BONES EXCEPT STERILIZED BEEF KNUCKLE BONES. DO NOT SUPPLEMENT WITH VITAMINS, COTTAGE CHEESE, MILK OR EGGS. These old beliefs are not only unnecessary with today's balanced Premium foods, but may cause a host of skeletal and cartilage defects. They may also decrease phosphorus, iron, zinc and copper absorption and may cause crusty and scaly skin. CHOCOLATE, ONIONS, GARLIC AND CAFFEINE ARE HIGHLY TOXIC TO DOGS.

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