Feeding

What Should I Feed My Puppy

One of the most frequent questions I get from puppy buyers is “what are you feeding my puppy.”  Most people are familiar with the idea of keeping a puppy or dog on a familiar diet and slowly switching them over to the food you wish to use.  This is quite helpful, especially with puppies, who will feel stress with the change of home and environment.

I tell my buyers the name of the Kibble I am using with the puppies. I then tell them that I recommend that they consider feeding a raw diet, or at least feed raw as part of the diet.

I have been feeding raw since the late 1990’s. At that time, this was considered quite radical, and not a good idea.  The only veterinarians that seemed to be on board were holistic vets.  But after doing my research, I made the decision that a raw diet was going to provide my dogs with optimal nutrition.

In those days, raw diets were made from scratch. The “Barf Diet” book had come out.  Homemade raw diets consisted of meat, chopped or mixed, with some vegetables, health oils, and perhaps some grain mixed in with the raw mixes.  A strong component of the diet was the use of raw meaty bones. Raw meaty bones were defined as bones with meat that the dog could actuallyeat.  Examples included chicken, thin spareribs, lamb bones, rabbit. 

The emphasis on the raw meaty bones was that they provided an almost ideal balance of calcium and phosphorous.  Not to mention, eating raw bones keeps teeth sparkly clean. I have 12 year old dogs who have never needed any dental cleanings or had any dental issues.  Puppies were started on chopped wings, and gradually they could be fed the larger chicken pieces as they got bigger and got some real teeth.  It was also suggested for those convinced that their dog would choke, that they get a meat grinder powerful enough to grind chicken wings and necks.

Feeding raw these days is much easier than it was back in the early days. More and more pet food companies have brough products into the raw feeding market, as the diet becomes more an more popular.  Today, one can purchase mixes that only require on to add their own meat.  There are also refrigerated prepared raw meals available, and services that will deliver pre -packaged raw food mixed especially for the customer based on questions answered by their dogs.

In addition, freeze dried diets, and complete mixes are available, which only require one to add water. Raw nibs, raw kibble toppers, and raw coated kibbles are now coming out. 

Pet food is probably much more nutritious today than it was 30 years ago, as pet food companies realize that many people want to provide the same quality to their furry family member as they do to their own family.

In my next article, I will compare the different types of dog food available for pet parents to choose from.  I will also provide information on how to choose a specific brand of dog food.

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