We feed all of our dogs Petsmart’s Authority Dog food. We had fend Costco’s Kirkland brand for about 11 or 12 years. We started having problems with our dogs not coming into season, not getting bred and often when bred not carrying litters to term. After research we learned that Flax seed is a natural contraceptive in dogs. Peas also affects fertility. With the changes to “grain free”, most dog foods have added flax seed and/or peas to their ingredients. Petsmart was one of the few that we found that doesn’t have flax seed or peas and easy for new owners to purchase. We send some home with puppies so people can change to their brand if they have a preference. Since changing to PetSmart we have also noticed better growth in our Bouvier puppies.
Puppies here and leaving our home:
-Miniature Pinscher Puppies: They start eating their mom’s dry food around 4 weeks and naturally wean themselves onto it so we do not use canned food, formulas, etc. Exceptions are tiny ones that need supplements early or if a puppy has problems eating while teething. They will be weaned for at least 1 week on dry food only when they leave our home.
–Bouvier Puppies: They start mouthing mom’s dry food after walking but we found they do best with some hot water on their food and a little bit of canned food mood mixed in with it for a while but goal by the time they go home is to be weaned for 1 to 2 weeks and on dry food only.
Protein under 30%:
-Miniature Pinschers: I have heard several sad stories now over to much protein. Ranging from buying the food being demonstrated at a pet store (puppy would have died if hadn’t gone to the vet), a dog grabbing a roast off the counter (died) and many others that have commented theirs died young from kidney, pancreas, etc. issues gave a lot of treats. Some treats are very high in protein especially chicken jerkey. Not sure if this is true or not but someone said their vet commented on increased issues of diabetes due to sweet potato being a main ingredient in some foods.
-Bouviers: a lot of controvery over puppy food or not puppy food. My opinion, what your vet feels is best. One reason for not feeding puppy food is because of higher protein. You do not want your puppy to grow to fast is one of the many causes of health issues such as hip dysplayscia, bone pain, etc. Believe it or not, all of our Bouvs – puppies and adults – have done best on PetSmart’s Authority brand chicken and rice SMALL breed food. Pups grow better and our adults carry their weight better.
How Much and How Often: Your puppy has always had puppy kibble available while here. You may start working on feeding them 3 times a day but watch to make sure they are eating – see hypoglycemia below. For potty training, it is easier to have a set time that works for you. Min Pin puppies at this age do not eat much. Some snack and just eat a kibble here and there. The amount varies on growth spurt, size, metabolism, what you feed them, etc. Some try to say a certain amount but dogs are like people. They have different builds, metabolism, activity level, etc. DogFoodAdisor has a calculator you can use. As puppies, I prefer to give them as much as they want.
-Miniature PInscher puppies do not eat much and varies through growth spurts. They are often “snackers”. The key is to watch their bellies as do not want it to look sunk in at the waist. I found that pups generally do not eat more than they should. I generally keep a little in the dish and add to it morning and night. I do not measure it, but watch the puppies waist, if their pooping, etc. Adults on the other hand need a waist. Mine get 1/2 to 1 cup a day and occasionally a few get over that but the average is 3/4 cup a day. My short, plump ones only get 1/2 cup and still can’t get the weight off; however, Trevor along with Sailor and Brandy need at least 1-1/4 cup in the winter and when active. In the triple digit weather 1 cup is plenty for them. Some Min Pins do fine with food available all the time but as adults I found most eat to much and I see more over weight Min Pins then proper weight. Treats pack the weight on too.
-Bouviers are unique as one day they barely touch their food and the next day they will have ate 2 days worth. Their amount also depends on growth spurts. However, as puppies you want to see them growing. It is okay, actually good, to feel the ribs on Bouvier puppies as you do not want them to grow to fast. As puppies, they always have dry kibble available. As adults, most of mine are free fed and get about 4-5 cups a day; however, I have a small one that at 3 cups a day is very over weight. She is also food aggressive with other dogs. Speaking of food aggression: occasionally a Bouvier pup can be food aggressive and needs to be taught at an early age that it is UNACCEPTABLE. This is how children get bit. I have known of older puppies becoming food aggressive when they are in growth spurts and the owner did not increase the food amount for it so the puppy was “hungry” and protective of all they could get.
Hypoglycemia: Hypoglycemia is when puppies don’t eat and their blood sugar gets too low. This was a very common problem with Yorkies and we have seen it occasionally with Min Pins as it’s common in toy breeds. If they act sluggish, drunk, can’t get up or their neck go stiff to the side then they may have hypoglycemia. I have even seen them start to do a clear vomit too as their stomachs are empty. Get a little bit of Karo syrup or sugar/water in them immediately and then consult the vet. Most of the time, you’ll just need to add something to their diet to help them want to eat like boiled chicken – their favorite. Also, something to have before your puppy comes home, especially if you know it is a smaller one is Nutri-cal which can be found at pet stores, feed stores, etc. However, I do not recommend the GNC brand. Puppies do not like it.
Treats: Remember their bellies are tiny and all it takes is a treat or 2 and you’ve reached a whole meal. I like the tiny Botanical treats at the pet stores as they are small and you can cut into smaller pieces.
DogFoodAdvisor is a website that gives information about most foods you will find available including their rating, ingredients, pros and cons of ingredients, etc. You can also sign up to be on a Food Recall list on their website. I have been on it for years and they have only e-mailed me about recalls, no solicitation.