I am a firm believer that pets deserve the best diet possible. Puppies need the correct balance of nutrients for health growth and development. Proper canine nutrition has a multitude of benefits, including healthy skin/coat, good digestion, reproductive health, proper weight maintenance, and balanced energy levels. Quality dog nutrition helps to ensure that pets live long, healthy, and happy lives.
For years, I believed the pet food industry marketing that said I needed to judge pet foods by the listed ingredients. I began rethinking everything I thought I knew about dog nutrition when I noticed poor digestion and reproductive issues with heat cycles. There is a need to look at the ingredients list to avoid known harmful ingredients, but not to judge the nutritional value of a food. Nutritional value is judged through science based pet nutrition research and proven with growth studies and breeder feedback. Purina ProPlan is developed through science and the solid research team at Purina, and multitudes of breeders attest to the benefits of ProPlan. My girls are doing well on the food, and they enjoy eating it. I also give them occasional small amounts of scrambled eggs, sardines, or cooked meats.
In 2017, I started giving NuVet Plus vitamins to my adults and puppies. I believe NuVet helps to ensure my adults have all of the vitamins and minerals that they need for heathy immune support and digestion. NuVet helps to ensure that my puppies start out with the best nutritional support for their growing bodies. My dogs and puppies all LOVE these vitamin tablets....it is like a daily treat for them. I send a sample of NuVet Plus vitamins home with each puppy. For families that plan to continue giving them vitamins, I recommend ordering NuVet prior to bringing puppy home. If you call 800-474-7044 to order, they will ask for my order number 36603.
“Doggy breath” is never a problem in my house. My girls and puppies mostly chew on Himalayan chews. I also give raw bones occasionally. Chewing is a healthy habit that helps to maintain lifelong oral health. Professional cleanings may still be necessary, but they are not needed as often with healthy chewing habits. I do not recommend rawhides for treats or chewing. Rawhides can cause an obstruction in the intestines.
Plain canned pumpkin is very healthy for the canine digestive system. Puppies can have sensitive systems with the stress of going to their new homes. Please read Stress and Poop. Pumpkin helps puppies with stressed digestive systems maintain a healthy stool as they transition into their new homes. Some puppies lose their appetites with the stress of switching homes. Plain canned pumpkin, goat milk, or plain yogurt help to stimulate their reduced appetites. FortiFlora is also an excellent product to help support digestive health. When necessary, I use probiotics and pumpkin to help puppies with developing digestive systems when they transition from milk to solid food.
Stainless steel bowls are best for dog dishes. They are easy to sanitize, and they are durable. Avoid using a plastic bowl for water. Plastic bowls can discolor nose pigment. Some dogs enjoy interactive puzzles and food dispensing toys, such as a Kong Wobbler. Food dispensing toys sometimes help puppies that loose their appetite when they first go to their new homes.
When offering food and treats outside of commercial dog food, please be aware of the foods that are poisonous to dogs. It is also important to ensure your home and yard does not contain plants that are poisonous to dogs. One of my puppy families had a sago palm tree in their yard. Unfortunately, they were not aware that the sago palm nuts are extremely poisonous to dogs. Their dog ate part of the nut and died from liver damage several months later. The following articles regarding toxic food and plants were published by the ASPCA: