Feeding your Puppy & Adult Dog
I feed free choice dry “Earthborn Holistic Puppy Vantage” mixed with Nutri-Source canned food & a little dried goat’s milk, for my puppies and “Earthborn Primitive Natural” , rotating with Earthborn’s four “Unrefined” recipes to my adult dogs (photos below). They are meat based foods. I supplement with our own raw natural beef, liver & eggs that we raise here & Dr. Harvey’s Raw Vibrance. I give you a small baggie of food when you come to pick up your new puppy. If you cannot find Earthborn Puppy Vantage food 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. Usually they eat around 1/4 cup to a heaping tablespoon per feeding 4 x day. If less, then they make up for it the next time. You cannot overfeed a puppy so no worries there. They are growing. Appetite is always better after exercise. After that, change gradually to dry food three times a day up to 6 months of age, after that 2 times a day. If your puppy does not seem to be eating enough, mix in some Stella & Cheweys Freeze Dried Food (I talk about that below). I use the canned food “Nutri Source” but any high quality canned will do. Read the ingredients. Advance as you can (at around 6 months to 1 year) to feeding only twice a day. I have never had a growing puppy overeat on dry food.
Be Prepared – Feeding Your Puppy – 1st Week
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 especially the Stella’s freeze-dried. The FortiCal 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. (We call it “puppy crack” around here! If they turn it down, there is a problem! 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 Forti-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, South America or who knows where but it will be somewhere where they do not have our FDA rules. 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!
Here are some very good/safe cheweys to help you both through the puppy teething stage: Bully Sticks , Beef Tibial Tendons , Natures Logic Beef Tendons
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 “Pure Bites” Liver. The “PureBites” brand products are mostly sourced in USA but not all of them. Their Chicken jerky is good. BE SURE to sign up here for Free Recall Alerts.
My Favorite Puppy Dog Dry 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 feed “Earthborn Primitive Natural” to my adult dogs, along with our home grown raw natural beef meat, bones & liver, and our farm raised eggs. The Earthborn company adjusted their formulas to be sure there is adequate taurine. I do have allot of faith in that company. I also feed Earthborn’s new recipes called “Unrefined – Ancient Grains & Superfoods” rotating with their 4 “Unrefined” recipes (Salmon, Turkey, & Rabbit – preference in that order). Include fish & krill oil)
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 any Earthborn dog food! They are a well run company.
When you change foods, change the diet gradually over one or two weeks time. With a raw diet, I like the freeze-dried type because it has a much less chance of having salmonella & E-coli, etc. We do not eat raw because there is too high of a chance of raw getting contaminated so we cook our meat some. 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 supplement with moderately cooked food and be sure that it is human grade. Give your dog some of your burger, eggs, fish, brown rice, and veggies sometimes! That’s what they were meant to eat! 🙂
I like “The Farmers Dog” food. It is a moderately cooked pre-packaged balanced meal that comes to you weekly frozen & they offer a variety of recipes so can be rotated.
This new food looks VERY good! “Sundays Food for Dogs”. Yes, it is high priced but with high quality dried foods they are nutrient packed and they do not need to eat much per meal.
I like Dr. Harvey’s Raw Vibrance. With these recipes you add your own moderately cooked meat and I recommend you also add organic grains such as brown rice- it includes very healthy ingredients & is very easy to feed. I add it to our beef & ALL my dogs LOVE it!
NomNomNow and Just Food For Dogs are VERY good choices in which you can rotate recipes and have delivered weekly fresh.
Here is a link to a web site that give some 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 Fresh Dog Foods
- 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’t s up to “Healthy Pets” here: Bones for Dogs – Healthy or Lethal.
FDA Investigation into Potential Link between legumes & Canine Heart Disease: Summer 2019
This has been dis-proved upon further studies. You can keep updated on this FDA study at their site or here at Dog Food Advisor
My Most Recent Doggie’s Dry Food Taste Tests:
Another taste test complete now with my dogs of the top 16 brands from my most recent research on Dry Foods. UPDATE ON FAVORITES: (6th week of testing) #1 Orijen Puppy; #2 Earthborn Puppy; #3 Earthborn Adult Vantage; #4 Heartland Naturals; #5″Go”; #4 “Fromm”. NOTE: Although they all like the Orijen, there are allot of legumes in that food but they are listed after the TONS of meat products. Sooooo, all things considered, the Earthborn Puppy, All 4 Unrefined Recipes, Primitive Natural, & Adult Vantage, Petland’s Heartland Naturals, Orijen Puppy or Adult are my dog’s top choices for the dry food.
I recommend rotating food to get a wide range of nutrition. A healthy meal is wonderful, but if you eat the same thing all of your life, you will be missing out on too many needed nutrients.
Dog / Puppy Nutrition
If you are interested in learning more about nutrition for your puppy, dogs, and even cats, I recommend reading a copy of canine nutritionist Linda Case’s book “Feeding Smart with The Science Dog“. This book is very well done!
Well yes, sometimes puppies will eat poop. Thats pretty yucky! My few dogs who did it always have grown out of it on their own thank goodness. I think thats natures way of them trying to get the natural bacteria balance in their gut. I have seen this happen occasionally and it’s just that -occasional. But I still think it’s gross! LOL. Here are different things that you can try: Canned Pumpkin or pineapple every day or Probiotics, or “Chew No Poo Bites“.
Really enjoyed reading all the material on preferred puppy food. We buy a half cow every year, now I can save the round bones with marrow. I will re-read all of this several times to implant the your words into my brain. Very thankful you took the time to write all of this. Thank you!
You are welcome Barbara! I continue to do research all the time on things like this. I keep my website updated with any new information. I do not want my puppy buyers to rely on opinion – we all needs facts so we always need to consider our sources.
Hi Mary. My boy Jerzee turned 4 years old today. he is a havanese/poodle I got from you in May 2019. I had a food question. I have stuck with earthbound and it has been great. I recently came across a highly recommended brand called OC Raw Dog. Wanted to get feedback on this brand, Thanks!
-Dev M. from Philadelphia
It’s Jerzee’s 4th birthday today isn’t it!!!!!! Give him a great big hug from me!!!!! About that food. It appears excellent BUT I worry about raw. Too much contamination. I like it only if it’s been freeze-dried because that will kill the bacteria in it. Thats why we mildly cook our food. I also see that OC Raw Food has had several recalls as most raw diet do. If you want raw, instead of raw frozen, look for freeze-dried or mildly cooked foods. There are many food options that are better than the dry ones. Dry food is very convenient but most are over-cooked which looses many nutrients. I have some a few suggestions here: https://sunnydaypuppies.com/preparing-to-pick-up-your-new-puppy/feeding-your-new-puppy/
There also is a VERY good book that I mention there at the bottom of my page “Feeding Smart” that I highly recommend.