What we choose to feed Chisel as a puppy is very important, as it helps to give him the best start in life. Think of your puppy just like a baby, we want them to grow and thrive to their full potential so, they need to have a high quality diet with a specific balance of nutrients. It’s vital to use a diet that is specially formulated for puppies, because they have different requirements compared to an adult dog. A premium commercial pet food should make up the majority of the diet, and then it’s OK to supplement with other things.
Chisel came from his breeder with a bag of Advance Puppy, and a diet sheet that included small amounts of Chobani yoghurt, pumpkin, minced meat, vegetables, cheese, chicken breast or tuna. Usually it’s good to feed your puppy similar to what the breeder (or pet shop) fed for the first 1-2 weeks. This helps in the following ways:
- Helps the puppy to settle in an unfamiliar environment
- Reduces risk of diarrhoea from sudden diet change
Whilst this initial diet was ok, Chisel’s owner wanted him to have the best. In our opinion, Hill’s Science Diet is the best, and Hill’s Science Diet Vet Essentials Large Breed puppy is the best for Chisel! So, after just under 2 weeks at home on the breeder’s diet, Chisel’s owners started to make the change to Hill’s Vet Essentials. He did this gradually, by increasing small amounts of the new food until only the new food was fed. Happy to report that Chisel had absolutely no problem with the change! He loved the new food and had no diarrhoea or digestive upsets as a result. Chisel’s owners also thought the new food smelled better than the previous!
Hill’s Science Diet Vet Essential’s is a food that meets all nutritional needs including:
- Weight Management
- Skin & Coat
Hill’s Science Diet Vet Essentials is a Vet recommended food, so you have the reassurance that being experts in pet health care you are being guided with the best choice. The food is developed by vets, scientists and pet nutritionists and is “biology based” meaning that Hill’s selects ingredients to work with the pet’s biology. Chisel is classified as a “large puppy breed”, so they have special ingredients, minerals and the right amount of calcium for controlled bone growth. Click here for more important information about Hill’s nutrition.
Chisel likes to steal Toby’s food – and sometimes Toby steals his too! This is common and OK. But try to make sure your puppy gets mostly puppy food.
Here are some tips on creating good nutritional habits from the start!
- Feed your puppy 3 times a day (if possible) until about 4 months of age, then reduce to twice daily
- Your puppy may be fussy/finicky with food for the first week or so at home.
- Transition your puppy to a new diet slowly, over a period of 5 – 7 days
- Start on the first day by feeding just a little bit of the new food, and just a little bit less of the old food
- Each day, slowly increase the relative portion of the new food
- A typical transition might be something like
- Days 1 – 2: 25%/70%
- Days 3 – 4: 50%/50%
- Days 5 – 6: 75%/25%
- Day 7: 100%
How much to feed?
- Use the feeding guide on the side of the packet as a starting point!
- It will usually show a total amount to be fed for the day, and this needs to be divided into 2-3 smaller meals
- It will usually be based on the puppy’s age and current body weight, so you will need to know what your puppy weighs
- Use a fairly accurate measure.
- You might need scales initially, but then a graduated measuring cup is usually best
- Most manufacturers use either grams, or fractions of a standard 250ml cup measurement. Some manufacturers use their own sized cup as the measure
- Hill’s SD Vet Essentials gives measures in both grams and cups, and we can provide you with a free measuring cup when you buy your food from us
- Your puppy’s ribs should be covered in a thin layer of fat
Don’t allow your puppy to get fat, or to grow too fast. This can lead to health problems.
- Your pet may need less or more food to maintain proper weight. Adjust as needed. If you are unsure, ask your veterinarian
- Remember to keep increasing the amount as your puppy grows – they grow very fast!
- Teach your puppy to eat at meal times, rather than leaving food out all day
- Supplement your puppy’s food with small amounts of other foods for variety (optional)
- Things such as small amounts of meat, vegetables, rice, pasta are all OK
- Be wary that some human foods can be toxic to dogs, such as chocolate, onions, grapes, raisins. Refer to MVG handouts for details
- Never give cooked bones. Ask us for advice about giving soft raw bones such as brisket bones
- Use treats as a training aid
- We recommended liver treats such as Vet’s Best Rewards
- Break up and give only very small pieces
- Don’t give very fatty treats
- Your puppy also gains mental stimulation with feeding such as treat balls and Kongs.
- Give plenty of fresh water
- Puppy milk is optional but unnecessary. Do not use cow’s milk.
This blog is quite detailed, but gives you all the information you need when starting the journey of introducing new foods. Chisel is growing fast and the owners need to keep up with his growing demand!