There are a lot of different ideas as to what diet to feed your dog. Plenty of commercial food both wet (canned or the like) and dry. There are raw diets, homemade diets and there are plain old table scraps.
We don't believe in feeding table scraps because as we mentioned in the previous page there are quite a lot of human foods that can have detrimental affects on dogs with the best know example being chocolate. However onion, garlic powder, and tomatoes and tomatoe plants are just two of the others that could cause a problem for your dog. For more information follow the link at the bottom of the general information page. However, should this be your choice of feeding, think twice about allowing the dog to be fed directly from the table while you and your family are eating. There is nothing worse than visiting someone for a meal and having their dog staring at you awaiting some morsal to be fed to it.
So what do you feed your dog? Well the other thing that we don't recommend is using a lot of canned food. It does contain a lot of water and does not aid in good gum or teeth hygiene. As a quick fix on the odd occassion when you are just pushed for time, or you just haven't been shopping yet canned food is fine. However, a good quality dry food is a very good start and despite our belief that we like a varied diet so our dogs do too, it is perfectly fine to just feed the same dry food all the time, as long as it is a good quality. It aids in teeth and gum hygiene and is convenient to be able to leave down if the necessity arises in the case of being unavoidably away over night.
Having said that we don't believe it is a good idea to leave food down 24hours a day. This only leads to the dog eating when they feel like it not when you want them to and can lead to them overeating. It can also attract vermin!
IT IS IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAT WHENEVER DRY FOOD IS FED, ADEQUATE AMOUNTS OF CLEAN DRINKING WATER SHOULD BE PROVIDED. We also don't advise feeding young puppies only dry food, as it is a bit like pizza, it makes them thirsty and if they have eaten too much and then drink too much they will develop bloating which can be bad news.
So what else can be fed? Well a raw diet is what homeopathic/naturapaths would recommend. Finely chopped raw vegetables (except from the deadly nightshade family such as onion, capsicum, tomatoe etc.) mixed in with raw mince provides a good balance of vitamins and minerals. We suggest that before going down this path you consult with a professional Homeopath or Natrupath for advise on quantity and ingredients.
As for when to feed, we feed only one meal a day but a lot of people feel that twice is better. The rule of thumb in that instance is that the amount fed in two meals should only equate to the amount fed in one meal otherwise you will end up with an overweight dog.
When you take your puppy home, the breeder should provide you with information as to the diet that the puppy has been fed and we even provide our new owners with a quantity to go home with so that should they decide to alter the diet they can do so gradually (a rate of 25% change over several days) as this will help prevent the pup from getting an upset stomache which will occur should the change be done all at once.
ON THE FURNITURE OR NOT?
We always advise that you should start the way you want to finish. In other words if you are not going to allow adult dog on the furniture or bed, then don't allow puppy on the furniture or the bed. In fact we feel that even if adult dog is going to be allowed on these things it is best to not allow it until the dog can get on and off SAFELY of its own accord. Even adults can get "tunnel vision" and it is so easy to see the little pup asleep next to us on the lounge and when the phone rings or there is a knock on the door, believe that a few moments away from the pup will be fine. It's not. We would never dream of leaving a baby unattended on a bed or lounge, so why should it be any different to a puppy? It is when the pup is young and the bones are still growing that injury is the most likely. A fall off of any height could cause a sprain to the knee or it could cause serious injury to the ligaments just like in sport.
A good idea is to have a special rug or mat that you can train your puppy to lay on. This item can be taken with you wherever you go and you will be able to trust that your dog is going to know that that is where they are supposed to be. Then when the dog is old enough to get on and off the furniture safely, place the rug or mat on the lounge. This way the dog will not shed hair on the furniture, will not be all over the visitors and will only get on the lounge when the rug/mat is on it.
CHILDREN AND DOGS:
We are all only too aware of dog attacks whether on children or adults and as breeders we have a responsibility to ensure that all new owners are aware that children should never be left unsupervised with any dog. Dogs cannot talk and tell the child "That hurt", "You startled me because I was asleep" or "Watch where you're walking my tail was there!" The dog can only communicate by yelping or biting, and whenever we hear of an attack, we always wonder how much to blame the dog was. Sometimes once a dog starts biting, instinct kicks in and it takes it too far, so rather than run the risk of this situation, supervise at all times!!
The other issue with children is that of toys. Barbie dolls, Leggo blocks etc. are fair game for a young pup and small parts can be dangerous just like for young children so it is best to make sure that toys are kept neat and tidy and out of reach or that play areas are out of bounds for puppy.
Another good suggestion is to never give the puppy an old shoe, thong or slipper to amuse it. Puppy will not be able to tell the difference between old and unimportant and the $100.00 pair of shoes that you bought for the wedding this weekend!! Again, start as you mean to finish.
Wayne & Suzanne McCreight
Halbury (nr Balaklava), SA, Australia
Phone : 0427616447 or 0437516365
Email : [email protected]