It is always amazing to me that so many owners of new puppies are baffled about the proper diet for a puppy. Some owners half starve pups on a vegetable diet. Others give them little meat and other necessary foods and then wonder why their pups are not well.
Actually you feed a puppy that has just been weaned very much like you feed a human infant. A child is fed often. So is the puppy. The child thrives on liquids at first. So does the puppy. The child eats cereals. So does the puppy. Milk is good for the child. Milk is an excellent food for the puppy. The child gradually learns to eat solids. The puppy must get solid food, too.
An important exception involves meat. Your puppy must 1W have meat. Plenty of it. The dog is a carnivorous animal. Your dog is not a vegetarian. He won’t thrive on a lot of cooked vegetables. It is true that a small amount of vegetables supply necessary minerals, but a heavy vegetable diet is hard on your dog.
Experienced breeders give puppies (and grown dogs) cooked tomatoes or tomato juice. In moderate quantities both are excellent for puppies. If you have a desire to feed the little fellow some cooked carrots, green peas, rutabagas, or turnips from the table, put them in a dish and take them to your neighbor who raises rabbits. Cabbage, spinach, beet tops, or lettuce well cooked in a stew with meat and biscuit are satisfactory. One of the most successful breeders I know makes a nourishing night meal for his dogs by cooking fresh meat with chopped cabbage or lettuce, thickening it with meal or biscuits.
Milk, like meat, has no substitute in your puppy’s diet. He must have it. But just milk and toast is not a complete diet, although, judging from my mail, thousands of puppy owners think it is all a growing pup should have.
Don’t let anybody tell you that milk causes worms. You’ll hear this myth sooner or later; even some breeders believe it! Your puppy must have milk.
As I said before, you may give the pup a small amount of Canned canned dog food instead of raw meat for some meals. I dog food feed both puppies and grown dogs canned food, as it makes an agreeable change in diet. But the puppy owner must use care in selecting a canned food. There are on the market a number of honestly made canned foods containing a fair amount of meat, plus clean cereals, possibly cod liver oil, bone meal, and vitamins. These foods are the result of considerable research.
BUT also on the market are several canned foods that are worthless. Not only are they lacking in nourishment but some of them contain so much trash they may, in time, make your dog sick. Most of the canned foods are made to sell at a price. Keep this thought in mind. It costs money to put clean, wholesome ingredients in a good dog food. You can’t buy such foods in the bargain “two for a nickel” price field.
If you visit a kennel you will find that the basic food used by professional breeders is dry dog food. There are several reasons for this. First, a well-made dry dog food containing meat is a genuine food for dogs because it contains all the necessary food elements in a form that is easy to feed; second, the dry food (either in meal or biscuit form) is an economical form of dog food.
For’ the puppy, the dry food provides bulk as well as nourishment. Some dog owners prefer a ground meal dry food which may be moistened with milk, broth, or soup; others give kibbled or broken biscuits which have been softened in water. Both are satisfactory.
It is not easy to make general statements about the amount of food to feed a puppy. Naturally puppies of different breeds vary so much in size and in the way they assimilate food that what makes one fat may be just the right amount for another.
If you are raising a Wirehaired or Smooth Fox Terrier, a Cocker Spaniel, a Scottie, or some other rather small breed of dog and you are feeding it four times a day, a teacupful of solid food is apt to be enough for a meal. But you may have a pup that gets ample nourishment from three-fourths of a cup of food. On the other hand, a German Shepherd, Irish or English Setter puppy, or other large breed will require two cups of food or more. At any rate, it isn’t necessary to feed the pup so much at a time that his tummy bulges and he can hardly walk. Feed the little fellow enough food to keep him plump and healthy.
You may cut down the puppy’s four meals a day to three when he is five or six months old. At this time, the pup should be eating plenty of meat, some vegetables, prepared dog foods, and other suitable foods. When the pup is around ten months he may be cut to two meals a day.
Don’t feed your dog the same meal day after day. There are a number of foods which are nourishing and which may be employed to give the dog a change. It is possible to give a dog such a restricted diet of really good food that he suffers from it. I recently examined a guide dog for a blind man. The dog had an unthrifty coat and the signs of skin trouble. I found out that the dog was getting nothing but shredded wheat and raw meat every day. What a monotonous routine for the dog! In addition to being tiresome, the diet was inadequate.
A beef stew which has been prepared for an evening meal is a feast for a dog. Take some of the meat, some of the liquid, and add dog biscuits to the mixture.
Don’t throw away pieces of graham or whole wheat bread. Toast them and give them to your dog. A beef heart is one of the finest forms of meat he can get, and it’s cheaper than raw ground beef.
Pie crust, cake, greasy fried foods, and similar heavy foods cannot be recommended for your dog.
Some dog owners feed their pets once a day. I usually give my dog a biscuit or two in the morning and the principal meal at night. Here is a list of foods for a grown dog:
Cooked beef from table
Raw liver Eggs
Canned dog food
Toasted whole wheat bread
Dry meal prepared dog foods
You may make up meals like this: dog biscuits softened with hot water, canned dog food, a few tomatoes; scraps of roast beef, dog biscuits, a little tomato juice; ground raw beef, a few vegetables and broken dog biscuit; a ground meal dinner. These easy mixtures give your dog a safe, appealing diet.
Your puppy will need some cod liver oil. It is recognized damp as a rich source of the vitamins that stimulate growth and help develop a strong dog. Breeding kennels all give their puppies small amounts of cod liver oil, particularly in winter when there is little sunshine. Cod liver oil should be fed in very small amounts to a young puppy; too much acts as a laxative.
Irradiated or brewer’s yeast is a valuable supplementary food which is given to dogs because of its vitamin content. 1. Establish a feeding time schedule for your puppy or grown dog. Try to feed him at the same time each day.
2. If the dog does not eat all the food offered, take the pan away at once.
3. Don’t believe that the amount of food a puppy or grown dog will eat at one time is the amount he needs.
Dogs haven’t much discretion about the amount of food they ought to put in their stomachs.
4. Feed your dog in a quiet place, alone. Don’t disturb him while he is eating. Remember it is natural instinct to defend his food. This is an inheritance from his wild ancestors.
5. Don’t worry if your dog gulps his food. He’s not supposed to chew it as a cow chews her cud.
6. Avoid giving your dog too many sloppy mixtures.
7. Provide an occasional smooth, round bone for your dog to chew on. Notice I say occasional. Too many big bones will wear out your dog’s teeth.
8. Don’t exercise your dog too strenuously after a heavy meal.
9. Remember to give him clean water every day.
10. Don’t forget that about one-half of the dog’s diet should be meat in some form.
11. Guard against overfeeding in the summer time. It is not natural for a dog to be fat, nor healthy for him to carry excess weight. Keep your dog lean, especially during the summer.
12. Don’t feed your dog very hot or very cold foods.