About Feeding your Puppy / Adult Dog
I feed mainly free choice dry “Earthborn Holistic Puppy Vantage” for my puppies and “Earthborn Primitive Natural” to my adult dogs (photos below). They are meat based 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. Read the ingredients. 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.
UPDATE July , 2019 after FDA Investigation into Potential Link between legumes & Canine Heart Disease:
I have been feeding Earthborn food for 12 years. I have had absolutely no problems & VERY healthy dogs. I have done extensive research before I chose this food along with many taste tests with my dogs. This has always been their favorite. My dogs are VERY healthy eating this. I supplement with our own raw natural beef & eggs that we raise here. But even as I do not believe this food is causing cardiomyopathy, it certainly does not hurt to be safe and add grains to the food. Not a bad idea to stay on the safe side.
Choose a quality food with meat as the main ingredients with legumes not in large portions. I don’t like corn in the food unless it is very little. I never see dogs grazing in our corn fields so I’m sure that wouldn’t be their favorite choice. The food doesn’t need to be grain free. Look for naturally added vitamins & minerals instead of chemically added. Compare, then see if your dog likes the food. It’s not healthy if they don’t eat it!
I have had 3 of my dogs healthy live to 20, with one 23 years old now and the old man is still chasing me on the tractor! Yes, they were all hybrids that I bred myself!
I talked to my vets for awhile about the FDA’s investigation on the dog food. They agreed that since Earthborn adds the taurine that the legumes are deficient in (peas in this case) their food is fine. That may explain why my dogs have never had any health/heart problems BUT as I mentioned above, I supplement with our own raised beef & my eggs along with Dr. Harvey’s Raw Vibrance. I also have learned (as I expected from such a reputable company) that the company has changed their formulas to include less taurine deficient legumes.
I want you all to know that in the FDA’s report there have been no small breed dogs of the breeds that I raise here that have actually been diagnosed with cardiomyopathy. 🙂
You can keep updated on this FDA study at their site or here at Dog Food Advisor
Update Sept. 2019
My Doggie’s Food Taste Tests: Complete
Taste test complete now with my dogs of the top 12 brands from my most recent research on Dry Foods. UPDATE ON FAVORITES: (3rd week of testing) #1 Orijen Puppy; #2 Earthborn Puppy; #3 Earthborn Adult Vantage; #4 Heartland Naturals; #5″Go”; #4 “Fromm” (formulas for each are pictured below). NOTE: Although they all hands down like the Orijen as their top favorite, there are allot of legumes in that food but they are listed after the TONS of meat products. I do not see any added taurine but likely it doesn’t need added taurine with all that meat. Sooooo, the Earthborn Puppy, Unrefined & Adult Vantage or Petland’s Heartland Naturals formulas rotated with Orijen Puppy or Adult are my dog’s top choices.
Back to “Feeding Your Puppy”
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 Dog 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!
Healthy Puppy Treats!
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.
My Favorite Puppy Dog Foods
There are many high quality brands of dry food available at your PET STORE, although none at most grocery stores. If you change your puppy’s diet, please look for a quality food. It is VERY important what you feed. AND, your puppy or dog needs to like it! I have been feeding “Earthborn Primitive Natural” to my adult dogs, along with our home grown raw natural beef, and our farm raised eggs. The Earthborn company adjusted their formulas now to be sure there is adequate taurine. I do have allot of faith in that company. I am also feeding Earthborn’s new recipe called “Unrefined” – Ancient Grains & Superfoods recipe” rotating with their 4 “Unrefined” recipes (Turkey, Salmon, Rabbit, & Lamb).
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 my choices of dog foods, change the diet gradually over one or two weeks time. With a natural raw diet, I like 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. I do advise to at least supplement with raw but be sure that it is human grade. Give your dog some fresh raw burger sometimes! That’s what they were meant to eat! 🙂
I REALLY like “The Farmers Dog” food. It is a pre-packaged natural meal that comes to you weekly frozen.
I also like Dr. Harvey’s Raw Vibrance. Although you add your own meat – it includes more healthy ingredients than the Farmers Dog & is very easy to feed.
Here is a link to a web site that give reviews & ratings on dog foods (although I see that lately they do not seem as accurate – maybe they are getting paid to advertise now???) :
- 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 cows milk. A lot of people do so thinking that they are being kind. It often causes diarrhea. Many dogs eat grass. This is natural and fine for them EXCEPT if it has been treated with dangerous fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides.
Dog’s Love Bones! – Safe vs Lethal?
Dogs LOVE BONES! Are they safe? Yes & No. They are wonderful but some can be very dangerous, even lethal. Yes, I give all my dogs bones – large, non-sharp RAW BEEF 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.