Puppy chow?

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Our new baby Kaylee was a shelter rescue, and we don't know her parentage, but from her looks and body type, we're thinking German Shepherd/Husky. We were told she was 8 weeks old when we got her, but at the most recent vet visit, we were told she is at least two weeks younger than we thought. She has been recovering from a Giardia infection that may have been passed from her mother, or may have come from the shelter - there's no way to know.

Anyway, the long and short of it is that she would hardly eat when we first got her. She wasn't gaining weight, and even lost some. We tried the dog food that the foster home had given her, canned specialty food from the vet, and some other types of puppy kibble, and she still wouldn't eat, even once the giardia had been treated. I finally cooked up some chicken, mixed it with brown rice and homemade chicken stock and VOILA! She ate. In fact, once I started cooking her meals, she ate like a little piggy! I started mixing in some eggs, and minced carrots and celery. She has almost doubled her weight since I started cooking for her. Her coat is smooth and sleek, and she has tons of energy.

My question is - does anyone have experience with cooking for a puppy? The vet keeps telling me I have to switch her to a large breed puppy food - that it's too hard to get her the nutrition she needs in homemade food. But Kaylee doesn't want to. I have tried three brands, and when I mix them in to her home cooked food, she just eats around the kibble and leaves it in the bowl. Am I that wrong? I get proper nutrition into two growing boys just fine - how much harder is it to do that for a growing dog?
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  • no profile photo CD4274730
    How's your puppy doing? Did you end up feeding a raw diet/home-cooked diet?

    I'm not a fan of either just because I'd be concerned about the proper balance of nutrients. There are some VERY high quality foods out there (Diamond, Blue Buffalo, Taste of the Wild) :)

    Then again, I'm a veterinarian-to-be, so maybe I'm biased :0)
    3022 days ago
  • BECKYB73
    I've fed a biologically appropriate raw diet to my dogs for about 12 years now and have raised several puppies on it. I LOVE it and think my dogs are better for it. However, I had to put in a ton of research and get educated about it, to make sure that I was covering all the nutritional bases.

    I don't advocate for a cooked diet, because the heat breaks down essential enzymes, etc.
    3023 days ago
    What would they eat if they were wild, like the wolves that they really are?

    "If he's strong enough and big enough he may be able to pull down a small dear. In a pack of wild dogs, this is easily done. The first thing the dog in the wild eats is the organ meats and intestines. This included the liver, heart stomach and spleen. The dog doesn't know it but he is eating the most enriched parts of the deer. These organ meats contain nutrients not stored in the bones and muscles. These organs also contain grains and fruits and berries that only herbivores eat.Nutrition for the life of your dog is crucial for your pets well being

    Also wild dogs routinely consume grasses, berries, roots and other vegetable matter. The gastrointestinal physiology of dogs is fully capable of digesting and absorbing plant protein sources as well as meat protein sources."
    3077 days ago
    I was a Vet Tech for 9 years and vets tell people this partially because they know that the dog is getting proper nutrition if you tell the that the dog is eating ___ dog food, and the other part is that not many people have the ambition to cook properly for their dog.

    There is definitely ways that you can cook healthy for your pet, but it is not easy work. After all the dog foods have to be made some how right?

    One thing is that a dogs intestinal tract is much shorter than ours meaning that they should not have much variety to their diet. It can cause diarrhea and nutrition absorption problems.


    is a great web site for home made dog food. Remember not to change things up for the little one. If you do decide to go to dog food and the puppy is picking around the home made food that you are mixing in with it you can try two things.

    1. Prep the food the day before and mix it with the puppy chow and put in the refrigerator. Chances are that the flavors will mix and the puppy will eat it. Slowly (over about 2 weeks) ween the puppy off of the home made food and only puppy chow.

    2. Tough love. Now that the dog is healthy, if it gets hungry enough it will eat. This is the tough way to go about it and I would not be able to follow my own advice on this one.

    Please remember that when you are switching food weather it is home made or manufactured kibble do it slowly. If you decide to be a cook for the dog than find a good healthy recipe and stick to it. Dogs are not like humans and do not need variety to their diet. The domestication process of the dog has taken away it's ability to eat a variety of foods.

    Let me know if you have nay other questions.
    3078 days ago
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