Raw feeding is done by using their age and a percentage of their body weight. Google has several tables to use as a guideline for feeding your new puppy and an older dog a raw diet. This will just help you know how much food to feed as your baby grows. These are only guidelines; some puppies need more or less and that is all trial and error. If you find your baby is constantly looking for food after eating stay to the higher percentage for their age and if they are not finishing their food on a regular basis, try a lower percentage. Once you have a system down with your baby, it will be a breeze. Do not stress over balancing every meal. It is much easier and practical to balance over the course of a week and is absolutely heathy to feed your baby, no matter if they are an adult or a puppy. If you have any questions please contact your breeder.
Feeding kibble is an option many people choose. And with the right kind of kibble, can be very beneficial for your pup and dog. Best way to make an informed decision on which kibble to feed to your pet is to look at the ingredients and even compare those brands you are most interested in. Remember, kibble should always be fed mixed with water to ensure your pet is getting enough and stays hydrated. Meat as well as the source, which animal the meat has come from, as the first ingredient is always a great place to start. Stay away from grain free. It is not what grains that have been removed, generally rice and such, it is more what the grains have been replaced with and that is normally legumes and such which have proven to cause serious health issues in dogs and sometimes even death. The best place to go to is a nutritionist that is not branded. (One that will only support a brand they work for). Vets are not always a good source unless they have specifically studied nutrition. Of course your breeder is also a great place for information and resources as well. No matter the kind of kibble you choose, make sure the Calcium is between 1-1.3% and the Phosphorous is between 0.8-1.3%. If either or both of these numbers are not within the range listed, the food will not accommodate a Great Dane puppy's proper growth and can lead to "knuckling over". If neither of the percentages are listed on the bag, best to move on.
Feeding your puppy is really what works best for the puppy. Most puppies prefer getting food 2 to 3 times day, 2 being average. Ask your breeder, feeding time is generally done 2 times per day. As they get closer to a year in age, some dogs prefer having only 1 meal per day either in the morning or in the evening and that is perfectly OK. Some dogs like to graze and nibble little bits here and there throughout the day although this method of feeding is discouraged. (please feel free to discuss the reasons behind this with your breeder). If feeding a raw diet, fasting every 10 days from food once your new baby is at least a year old is very beneficial to your dog’s digestive system. When it comes time to feed your puppy, be sure to not let them run around like crazy for an hour before and after it is time to eat and never let them drink large amounts of water at one time. Be sure to leave time, about 30 minutes to an hour, after feeding your puppy to take them outside for a potty break. To help discourage your new baby from becoming a picky eater, leave their food down for them to eat for only 10 minutes. And make sure you time it. Once that 10 minutes is up, take the bowl away and put it up somewhere so the dog cannot reach it. If you’re feeding raw and there is still food left inside the bowl, simply put it in the fridge and add it to the top of the next meal. If feeding kibble, cover with a bag and leave up high. This encourages your dog to eat when it is time to eat. If any point during your dog’s life, you need them to eat at a very specific time for one reason or another, you have already taught your dog that meal time is for eating and nothing else. *if feeding raw and your puppy has only had kibble, the best way to transition is either one meal raw and the second meal kibble 12 hours apart or simply fast your puppy from food only for 12 hours and then continue to feed raw. Discuss with your breeder for further details on which is the best way to switch. If your puppy has already been introduced to raw with the breeder, then you have no worries and can continue to feed as normal.
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Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
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