Diet For Your Puppy

We will now assume that you have purchased and taken delivery of your puppy.

The first thing to remember is that he is like a baby, and will need frequent and regular meals. He has only a tiny tummy, and will require only a small amount of food at each meal, but to obtain the best and most lasting results, which will build him up into a strong and healthy dog, give him only the best.
The amount of food which I am quoting here is applicable to a puppy of between 8 and 10 weeks old, which weighs approximately 4 lb and which, when fully grown and developed, will be between 14 and 16 in in height, and will weigh between 14 and 18 lb. These quantities are abasis to work upon, according to the present and eventual size of the dog.

Dogs of larger breeds will take longer both to grow and to mature, and it is during this period that frequent and good-quality meals are so vitally important.

Here, then, is the diet for an 8-to-10-weeks-old puppy which weighs 4 lb.

Breakfast - Two dessertspoonful of any brand of baby milk, or Lactol, mixed toa smooth paste with fairly hot water. Add a little more hot water, then an equal quantity of cows' milk. Stir in a dessertspoonful of Farex (this is also a baby food obtainable at any chemist's, which contains fat, protein, mineral salts, iron, calcium, phosphorus, and vitamins B and D).

A breakfast-size saucerful is a good measure for quantity, increasing the amount of all ingredients with the age and growth of the puppy.

Mid-day - Any good brand of puppy meal. This should be soaked in hot liquid (Preferably bone or vegetable stock) until the liquid is absorbed and the meal is soft and crumbly, but not sloppy-and this is very important. To this add a small amount of very finely-cut-up or minced meat. If butcher's meat, or horse-flesh for human consumption, this should be given raw; if knacker's meat is used it must be lightly cooked, in order to kill disease germs. Rabbit, fish, sheep's head (taking care that all bones are removed), tripe, grated cheese (which is high in protein value) can be substituted if meat is not available. To this add either 3 drops of Halibut-liver Oil, or one teaspoonful of Cod-liver Oil, and one teaspoonful of Olive Oil. Mix all together, and again, as for breakfast, the amount should be a large saucerful, increasing, of course, with age. All meals should be given warm, about blood-heat temperature.

3 pm - A drink of warm milk-half baby milk or puppy milk-half cows' milk.

5.30 pm - Repeat mid-day meal-but omit Cod- or Halibut-liver Oil-and Olive Oil.

Bedtime - Repeat breakfast, and as the puppy gets older, two or three puppy biscuits should also be given. A piece of marrow-bone in his bed will also be appreciated, and this will be of great help at teething time.

A puppy changes his teeth as does a baby. This commences at about 4 months old and continues until he is between 6 and 7 months. Gnawing at this piece of bone will facilitate the casting of the baby teeth.

Please note that at no time during his life must any small meat, fish, rabbit, poultry, or game bones be given. These splinter and break, and can perforate the stomach or intestines, and have caused the death of many a puppy and many a grown dog.

Here again I must reiterate that food-other than the milk feeds-must not be sloppy or wet, for such food causes digestive troubles. I have advocated the use of Olive Oil, which can be increased to a maximum of a dessertspoonful, and I think this should be given daily (on food) all through the life of the dog. It will ensure freedom from constipation; it is rich in vitamin E, is a gentle and feeding lubricant, and has a most beneficial effect on the skin and coat of your pet.

You will probably find that at about 3 1/2 months old your puppy will reject his milk feeds. This is not really surprising, for if he has been reared correctly, he will have had a surfeit of these. It will be a sign that he does not require such frequent feeds. Give him instead, for breakfast (he needs food then, after his long night fast) about half a breakfast-cupful of any breakfast cereal; this can be given dry, or very slightly moistened with milk, whichever he prefers. If in winter you have porridge, give him a little of this, let down with a little milk, and a little sugar on it-most dogs love sweet things-, and a small amount of sugar can do him no harm. His afternoon milk feed can now be discontinued, but slightly increase the quantity of both mid-day and evening meals.

A drink of milk at bedtime may also be refused, but so long as he has two or three puppy biscuits, or some pieces of rusked wholemeal bread, and his marrow-bone, this will not matter.

All waste household wholemeal bread can be rusked in a very slow oven until it is pale golden hi colour. Quite a quantity can be done at one time and it can be stored in an airtight tin. It is just as good-maybe even better-than puppy biscuits. Many pups and grown dogs prefer it. The bread used would probably be wasted, so this is therefore quite a useful economy.

Please note: White bread has very little feeding content and is not recommended. 
The diet which I have given you is the result of our experience in our own kennels over a period of many years, and is one which produces well-boned, healthy, sturdy, and intelligent puppies, for with this good feeding you are feeding both body and brain, and also producing a disease-resistant dog.

As with a baby, absolute regularity in regard to feeding times is essential. The puppy also requires a great deal of rest and sleep.

Fresh water, in a bowl which is kept scrupulously clean, should always be available, both in puppyhood and in adult life.

It will be noted that I have advocated the use of Halibut-liver Oil as an alternative to Cod-liver Oil. The reason for this is that some puppies and dogs do not like the fishy taste of Cod-liver Oil. If this is so, 3 drops of Halibut-liver Oil is all that will be required, and the taste will not pervade the food, but it is essential that one or the other should be given.

Yeast is also a most useful addition to the diet of your puppy and dog, and is rich in vitamin B. Give the puppy 1 tablet daily, increasing until he has 4 to 6 tablets daily (according to his eventual size). Either is a splendid conditioner, and most dogs love these tablets and regard them as a great treat.

Before concluding this chapter I would like to dispel some absurd but quite prevalent beliefs.

Some foolish people say a dog should not be given milk, as it causes him to have worms. The diet which I have given will prove how absurd this is. Others, equally foolish and misinformed, say that a dog should not be given meat. The dog is a carnivorous (flesh-eating) animal. In his earliest form he roamed the primeval forests, depending for his very existence on the smaller prey he could kill and eat. Every dog requires meat for the promotion and continuance of his health and well-being.


by - Catherine Fisher
The Pan Book of DOGS
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