I feed free choice dry “Earthborn Holistic Puppy Vantage” and “Earthborn Primitive Natural” to the adults (photos below). They are meat based, grain free foods, Dogs are basically carnivores – not herbivores. I give you a small baggie of food when you come to pick up your new puppy. If you cannot find it at a local Pet Store, you can order it from Amazon or Cheweys & have it delivered right to your door. The first couple weeks mix canned with dry half/half 4 x day. After that, change gradually to dry food three times a day up to 6 months of age, after that 2 times a day, (NO cows milk). If your puppy does not seem to be eating enough, mix more canned dog food with the dry or mix in some Stella & Cheweys Freeze Dried (I talk about that below). I use the canned food “Nutri Source” but any high quality canned will do. Basically, you are just adding it to bring the nose to the food. Advance as you can (at around 6 months to 1 year) to dry food only twice a day. I have never had a growing puppy overeat on dry food.
Oftentimes a puppy is stressed due to changing environments and won’t eat enough the first week. If that happens, you’ll be prepared with the MegaCal or FortiCal, but they will almost always eat the canned food or freeze-dried. The MegaCal will provide vitamins, nutrients and sugar plus stimulate his appetite for the next meal. They will have been eating dry food mixed with canned 2x/day with free choice dry available at all times before they leave here but appetite may decrease temporarily with the stress of moving to their new home. I highly recommend buying a package of “Stella & Chewy’s Chicken Freeze Dried Dog Food” for the times when your puppy looses his/her appetite and doesn’t want to eat. This can be used for training treats also! Make sure your puppy has access to water all day long. At 12 weeks of age, you can start picking up the water and food bowls at night to aid in potty training but have food and water accessible all day if you aren’t there.
If you have to leave your puppy home alone all day, leave Puppy food down while you are gone. Also, before you leave, feed him a heaping tablespoon of canned or freeze-dried and again when you come home. Keep him in a fairly small enough area so he can easily find his food and water. First week, give Mega-Cal Supplement before you leave and when you return home from work if he has not eaten well. Plenty of toys & cheweys will help to keep him busy.
PLEASE beware of store bought treats! Recently, over 10,000 dogs have died from treats that have ingredients in them that were made in China (most of it is). Trick here is that they can say on the package that they are “made in the USA” (and they are) BUT their ingredients are sourced from China. This count is not even close to the numbers of dogs that have gotten deathly ill, then recovered after long term critical care with vet bills in the thousands. I had 3 adult dogs that were in prime, perfect condition get deathly sick and lost my little Chipper … It was a terrible death. The other two I was able to save but only after long, very intensive care. And those treats said “Made in USA”! (but ingredients were imported from China). All ingredients MUST be “Sourced in the USA” where we have strict inspectors and rules to follow when we produce our products!
Puppy treats should be the nutritious things. My (and ALL my dogs’ top favorite treat choice is “Stella & Chewy’s Chicken Freeze Dried Raw Diet Dog Food or their “Meal Mixers”) Remember, your puppy has a very small stomach & you don’t want them to fill it up on junk food so the nutrition in your treats is important. I have more about good SAFE treats with links to help you listed on my page “Puppy’s First Year”. Another top favorite is “PureBites” Liver. The “PureBites” brand seems to all be good quality & sourced in USA. BE SURE to sign up here for Free Recall Alerts.
There are many high quality brands of dry food available at your PET STORE, although none at most grocery stores. If you change their diet, please look for a quality food. It is VERY important what you feed. The “Wellness”, “Instinct”, “Orijen”, “Chicken Soup”, “Taste of The Wild”, “Natures Logic” are all good choices. TOTW is much easier to find for most folks, obtainable at most pet stores & even TSC. It is certainly quality enough for puppies. I feed “Earthborn Primitive Natural” to my adult dogs, along with our home grown raw natural beef, and our farm raised eggs.
I require you to sign up for this email notification site that will email you with news of any recalls on dog food or treats: Get Free Recall Alerts. There has NEVER been a recall on Earthborn dog food! They are a well run company.
If you choose not use Earthborn dog food, change the diet gradually over one or two weeks time. With a natural raw diet, I prefer the freeze-dried type because it has less chance of having salmonella, etc. Please look at the ingredients of the food that you choose. Remember, “You are what you eat”! Chemically added vitamins & minerals are fair but naturally added are MUCH better. Here is a great page on the Best Type of Food for Your Dog. It sums it all up very well.
Here is a link to a good web site that give reviews & ratings on dog foods:
- List of TOP quality Dry Food at Dog Food Advisor.com
- List of TOP quality Freeze-Dried Raw & Raw Frozen dog foods
Do not give small puppies cow milk. A lot of people do so thinking that they are being kind. It will cause diarrhea. Many dogs eat grass. This is natural and fine for them EXCEPT if it has been treated with dangerous fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides.
Dogs LOVE BONES! Are they safe? Yes & No. They are wonderful but some can be very dangerous, even lethal. Yes, I give my dogs bones – RAW bones. Bone marrow is very healthy, they help keep teeth clean, and very enjoyable for the dog. My favorite is raw beef or deer bones. Raw pork bones can contain Trichinosis but can be made safe by freezing for at least 2 weeks before feeding. I am leaving the full explanation of the dos & don’ts up to “Healthy Pets” here: Bones for Dogs – Healthy or Lethal