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General puppy questions

(44 Posts)
AlphaBravoHenryFoxtons Tue 09-Dec-14 09:07:09

I thought I'd start a general puppy question topic as otherwise I'm going to have hundreds of threads running. grin

My pup isn't ever very hungry. She hardly touched her breakfast this morning. (I took her to the vet yesterday for her first injection and the vet said she's full of vim and vigour so nothing is wrong.)

She's 8.5 weeks and I feed her 4 times a day on dry food, softened with a bit of warm water. Would it be OK to try her with it dry to see if she likes it any more than softened with warm water? It's James Wellbeloved Turkey & Rice complete puppy food (dry pellets that come in a small sack).

I've changed her food recently as the breeder was feeding her on adult tinned dog food mashed with a fork. shock

crapcrapcrapcrap Tue 09-Dec-14 10:20:34

It's fine to offer it dry. It's also fine to mix a bit of tinned puppy food to it since it might be more like what she's used to.

Make sure you lift it up after ten minutes or so, so she doesn't become a grazer. It's harder to train dogs that aren't hungry! Some puppies do better with good from toys or Kongs rather than bowls - a bowl is totally optional (my 8 month old hasn't got one - all her daily food comes as hand fed during training or stuffed into Kongs).

SimoneAdriaan Tue 09-Dec-14 10:29:52

What breed do you have? you could try adding some wet food, something like Nature's menu (country hunter range is amazing! look in pets at home) or Wainwrights, I'm told the James Wellbeloved wet food is good too but haven't tried it with mine as we stick to higher meat content. Just make sure you mix it together well so she can't just eat the wet and slowly start taking the wet food away if you're not happy to feed wet.

tabulahrasa Tue 09-Dec-14 11:22:15

It's not very likely that she'll prefer it dry as usually soaking makes it more appetising.

The most likely issues are that either she's wanting the food she's used to or you're over feeding her.

What food was she on?

LoathsomeDrab Tue 09-Dec-14 13:03:29

I've changed her food recently as the breeder was feeding her on adult tinned dog food mashed with a fork.

There's not actually anything wrong with feeding a puppy a good quality adult food. More often than not the only difference between an adult and puppy food of the same brand is that the puppy food has a higher ratio of meat proteins to than plant proteins. A good quality food with a high meat content is absolutely fine for puppies and adults alike. I always swap puppies onto the exact same diet my adult dogs get.

Presumably you've not had her long as she's only 8.5 weeks old. I've found it's not unusual for young puppies to take a while to get into eating properly once I've brought them home. Did you change the food gradually or swap over in one go? If you did it suddenly it may well take her a little while to get used to dry food if she's been used to wet. I'd probably start putting a bit of the wet the breeder was using into her dry food then gradually reduce it as her appetite improves.

crapcrapcrapcrap Tue 09-Dec-14 16:22:49

Loathsome please be careful giving the advice you've just given - yes, a good quality food may be fine but it isn't clear to most people what a good quality food consists of, and you will struggle to get most dog professionals to even agree on what constitutes good quality.

I have seen puppies or more than one occasion with skeletal deformities due to improper feeding of adult food which is insufficient to meet the demands of rapid growth. At 8.5 weeks of age this puppy is only just off milk and as such is already on an altered nutritional plane. There's nothing wrong with giving puppy food as the OP has chosen to.

AlphaBravoHenryFoxtons Tue 09-Dec-14 16:24:43

The Vet told me the adult food he was being given was wholly inappropriate for a puppy. Insufficient calories just for starters.

MostAmused Tue 09-Dec-14 16:44:58

Our vet advised a complete puppy food too. He was on Puppy Iams with the breeder which I'm trying to ween him off of. He's on James Wellbelloved Turkey and Rice too at the moment with a bit of the Iams but I might change him to a more natural diet at some point. His farts are horrendous!
We only ever feed him 3 times a day and to start with he would leave his meals some times. He mostly eats it all now but I add in some chopped chicken to spice things up a bit here and there smile

Not sure if you've seen this thread Alpha. Might answer some of your questions. And it's always good to read about people in the same boat!
Puppy Parent Support Thread

LoathsomeDrab Tue 09-Dec-14 17:35:57

There's nothing wrong with giving puppy food as the OP has chosen to.

I didn't say there was anything wrong with giving puppy food, just that giving adult food is not necessarily a dreadful thing to be doing either.

crapcrapcrapcrap Tue 09-Dec-14 18:00:36

It's dreadful if the puppy develops deformed limbs though - not always irreversible but pretty awful and totally avoidable. All I was doing was highlighting a risk with the advice that has been given.

LoathsomeDrab Tue 09-Dec-14 18:28:30

crapcrapcrapcrap Just out of curiosity what would you consider to be the ideal nutritional values for a food for puppies?

crapcrapcrapcrap Tue 09-Dec-14 18:43:27

I am not a nutritionist but I would expect protein of 35%+ and my personal preference would be grain-free. I am not arguing that some adult foods could potentially be appropriate - after all, raw fed pups wean straight onto a similar diet to what they'll receive as adults, as animals are evolved to do - but one person's concept of "good quality" is very different to another's. Having seen the effects of poor nutrition on puppies it is hard to advocate feeding an inappropriate food without careful qualification of what you mean by "good quality". Some of my clients believe Bakers to be "good quality" because the packet looks nice.

LoathsomeDrab Tue 09-Dec-14 21:29:20

I can see it's my use of the words "good quality" that seem to be causing the issue here as we're really saying the same thing.

I was only responding to the OP's apparent horror at a puppy being fed adult food, suggesting that it may not be completely terrible.

AlphaBravoHenryFoxtons Tue 09-Dec-14 21:39:36

MostAmused - thank you for linking to that thread.

I have so many questions.

crapcrapcrapcrap Tue 09-Dec-14 21:44:46

It's not unlike having a PFB grin

constantlyconfused Tue 09-Dec-14 22:07:55

My puppy hardly ate a thing for first 10 days I had her .She ate a teeny tiny amount I was so worried but vets said some pups take longer to settle in.Now theres no stopping the greedy guts mine preffered her food dry .

AlphaBravoHenryFoxtons Tue 09-Dec-14 22:18:32

constantlyconfused - thanks so much for that. It's very reassuring.

crapcrapcrap It is exactly like having a PFB.

I just realised I'm very very tired. I am going to leave her for an hour tomorrow and go and get my hair cut. A friend said it's a good idea to lock her away for an hour early on. SO that she becomes used to being left. And she advised me to take her on the odd short car trip to get her used to going out in the car.

I wish I could meet up with other puppy owners in injection exile. We could have coffee and exchange tips and the puppies could have a playdate.

MostAmused Tue 09-Dec-14 22:27:29

Not in East Scotland by any chance?
Our vet was happy for our puppy to socialise with fully vaccinated dogs. Any chance you have a friend whose dog is up to date?

crapcrapcrapcrap Tue 09-Dec-14 22:31:57

Check out - socialisation is important now. Although we need to be mindful of disease risk, the practice of "keeping puppies in" is not a good idea. I'll be back with another link in a tic ...

crapcrapcrapcrap Tue 09-Dec-14 22:34:30

To back that up, check out the "Puppy Socialisation Position Statement" here:

AlphaBravoHenryFoxtons Tue 09-Dec-14 23:22:53

Thanks for those links.

Can somebody tell me about chew toys. My puppy is only little but I need to get some chew toys don't I? Which ones?

Dancingyogi Wed 10-Dec-14 06:11:56

Dpup was fed on puppy kibble but wasn't too keen and was on the underweight side when he arrived...despite planning to give him the same good as the breeder for a couple of weeks, we just jumped straight into raw. He still sometimes needed encouragement to eat so I often fed him from my hand....he only needed me to do that when he was very young.
We hit a variety of chew toys - textured, soft, hard, semi hard - Dpup is fickle!

AlphaBravoHenryFoxtons Wed 10-Dec-14 08:39:43

MostAmused - sorry meant to say, I'm not in Scotland.

CatsClaus Wed 10-Dec-14 08:47:48

we thought our new pup was not keen on her food, tried all sorts, more water, less water, warming it ....turned out she didn't like the bowl, just an ordinary metal one

So we used one of the flat plastic cat plates. She is fine with the bigger bowl she has now though.

NCIS Wed 10-Dec-14 08:57:11

IF you're anywhere near me (Surrey,Hampshire,Berkshire borders) you could come and meet my fully vaccinated 16 month old, he loves puppies and is surprisingly gentle with them, even going as far as to lie down to play so he doesn't squash them, smile

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