Issue 3 - Feeding

Take the time to read the following - even if you are a savvy dog owner, some of this may not have come to mind and/or are good reminders.  Please note that many suggestions are Leo specific! 

Feeding and Food

  • The puppies are all eating 3 times per day right now.  It is advisable to still keep the puppy on at least 3 meals a day and he/she will let you know by not eating well at one of those meals when it is time to only eat 2 times a day.  I always let the kibble set in water to become completed hydrated before mixing with the other ingredients and feeding.  You can gradually decrease the amount of time moistening and increase the hardness of kibble.  I do believe that dry dog kibble is not enough for any dog and therefore; I also add a variety of things (puréed) including pumpkin (100% canned pumpkin), apples, carrots, bananas, broccoli, cabbage, spinach, or whatever fruit and veggies I have in the house (except onions and tomatoes) in the blender and then I mix raw ground beef, chicken, or turkey, and other ingredients in.  Once they are consuming a hard kibble with water, I typically feed raw in the morning and kibble in the evening…as a hard kibble and raw do not digest at the same rate.

  • Currently, I do get my raw from Texas Tripe and add in veggies & supplements myself for my big dogs.

  • I only feed adult food, no puppy food!!  Puppy food (even large breed puppy food) has a tendency to make them grow too fast. 

  • Always let them eat until they stop during their meals.  Let them control the portion size.  Every now and again you will get a ‘glutton for punishment’, but typically speaking a puppy is the best regulator of how much food they need.

  • In a group, these puppies are very good eaters, but once they are in a different environment this might change especially if there is no other dog in the house. If your puppy gets to be picky and does not gain steadily, you might have to feed three meals longer.

  • The stool of the puppy is a very good indicator of overeating. Many times loose stool happens if he is overeating or the food has too much protein content. Of course, if the puppy has loose stool it could also be parasites or an oncoming illness so this has to be watched closely.  Pumpkin (only 100% pure canned) is good for diarrhea and/or constipation.

  • Too much calcium in the diet can cause bone disorders in large breed dogs, so supplementing with calcium has to be done very carefully and only in conjunction with extra meat in the diet.

  • I also would not recommend free feeding - that is leaving food out all the time - it makes generally picky eaters eat even less. With my own dogs and puppies, I will stand there and watch them eat to make sure everyone is doing well and getting what they need and take the uneaten portion up after they are done - of course, they enjoy the company too.

  • Example of an exact food recipe for 10 puppies:  (So divide by 10…or realize this will make for possibly 10 feedings) Always let them tell you when they are done...feed as much as they can eat.  I feed the raw mixture in the mornings and kibble mixture in the evening.

    • 5 lbs raw food in the morning or

      • 5 cups kibble (then soak till hydrated) in the afternoon and evening 

    • approx 1 cup pumpkin

    • approx ½ cup coconut oil

    • approx 1 cup yogurt (plain full fat) and/or cottage cheese

    • approx 1 cup apple cider vinegar

    • various other things to my liking - apples, bananas, broccoli, cabbage, spinach (all pureed) 

      • add at least 1 cup pureed of greens and 1/2-1 cup of fruit to raw meat.​

    • *5 full (little) scoops of wholistic pet Digest All pre/probiotics (2x per week)

    • *1/4 cup Nupro Supplements (1x per day)

Supplements

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  • I use Nupro Joint Supplement. Their number is 1-800-360-3300.  You can also get this from Chewy.com.

  • Vitamin C is very crucial to their growing bones.  You can start them on 500mg (or add to that from Nupro Joint Supplement…to makeup to the desired amount) and gradually get them to 1500-2000mg.  Vitamin C helps with bone growth and strength without adding unnecessary calcium.  And whatever the body doesn’t need it sluffs off.

  • Pre & Probiotics.  A good one that I have used is Wholistic Pet Organics - Digest-All Plus.  This can also be obtained from Chewy or Amazon.