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 Lake Tahoe Wolf Rescue

Feeding Your Puppy

Puppies - Mother's milk is the best food there is, so use these recipes as a last resort. Sometimes a female cannot or will not nurse all her young adequately, or dies. In such cases you can keep the babies alive with a formula designed to mimic the mother's milk as closely as possible. A dog's natural milk is 33.2 % protein, 44.1% fat, 15.8% carbohydrate, and 6.9% ash. This mixture contains 33% protein, 43% fat, 21% carbohydrates and 3% ash. You can buy commercial products but if you want to give the babies the benefits of raw fresh foods, use the formulas that follow. More details can be gained by obtaining the books Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats, or The Complete Herbal Handbook for the Dog and Cat by Juliette de Bairacli Levy both of which have been consulted for these excerpts. Always consult with your veterinarian to be sure you are on the right track. There are also some very good organic canine puppy formulas found at quality pet food stores, that can be substituted or used along with the following formulas.

Make sure you feed each puppy separately, from his own bowl. This prevents fighting which leads to food aggression and "resource protection," as well as feeding anxiety with the shyer ones. It also ensures each puppy gets sufficient nutrition.

Scroll down to the corresponding age of your puppy. The infomation on diarrhea and constipation applies to all puppies.

Puppies up to 6 weeks old. This is the age-old recipe we used for many years but now quality puppy formula can be found. Ust this until you can get some species-appropriate formula:

1. 3/4 cup half-and-half (Organic milk and cream)

2. 1 cup whole milk (Organic goat milk preferred, or Organic raw milk)

3. 2 large eggs - definitely free range/Organic

4. 1/2 tablespoon protein powder (buy an unflavored powder that contains at least 80 percent protein (dry weight basis) and lists its proteins from animal sources: casein, lactalbumin, and egg albumin. Unlike soy proteins, animal protein powders will meet the special amino acid requirements. Check out health food stores.) Avoid high sugar content.

5. 1/2 teaspoon of Bone Meal [about 700 mg. calcium with about 350 mg. Phosphorus). Do not use bone meal from oyster shells.

6. 1-2 days' worth of dog vitamins (adult dosage) powdered, liquid or crushed. I recommend Fidonutrients.

Mix ingredients well and warm to body temperature. Using a pet nurser or doll's bottle, feed only enough to slightly enlarge the abdomen but not distend it.

Schedule: 0-2 weeks old - every 2 hours (approx. 2-4 tablespoons)

3 weeks old - every 3 hours (approx. 4-6 tablespoons)

4-5 weeks old - every 4 hours (approx. 6-10 tablespoons)

6 weeks old - 3 times a day (approx. 8-12 tablespoons)

After each feeding: Gently massage the puppy's belly to stimulate a bowel movement and swab the genital and anal areas with a tissue moistened slightly with warm water. Mama normally licks these areas to stimulate proper urination and defecation.

Important - After 2 weeks of age, you can begin to add a high protein dry cereal, such as baby cereal or rolled oats [raw, not toasted] to the formula, or a little bit of finely ground up raw liver or kidney [organic, free range preferred]; wean them from the bottle at 4-5 weeks of age. A great "Super Health Puppy Food" can be made by adding a half cupful of powdered barley flakes (not pearl barley) ... grind the barley flakes through a hand-mill or coffee grinder to make a powder. Add a heaping teaspoon of powdered slippery (red) elm bark. (This is a dark or beige powder, very aromatic). Add one teaspoon powdered almonds and one-half teaspoon crushed anise seeds. If flaked barley is not available, use flaked oats (not toasted). Mix well, make into a paste with a heaping teaspoon of raw honey. Then add an approximate teaspoon of warm water (not too hot to kill the life in the honey). Finally, stir in slowly one cupful of warm goat's milk or raw milk. This should be only two of the meals the puppy gets a day. When adding the raw meat to the puppy's meals, ration for the first meal should be approximately one teaspoon, twice a day. This should be increased every three days, until, at eight weeks of age, the puppy (average sized breed) is having two tablespoons of finely shredded meat twice per day. Do not mince the meat as they will tend to swallow whole rather than chew off pieces.

The biggest challenge to health in young puppies is diarrhea that results from inappropriate formulas or over feeding. Be especially cautious about giving too much milk formula until you gain some experience (pasteurized cow's milk should not be used - it's meant for cows). If diarrhea does develop, stop feeding the formula until it stops and instead give electrolyte fluid, such as Rebound, or Smart Water, to replenish lost fluid. You can also prepare a Chamomile Tea and let it steep for 15 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon of Sea Salt for each pint of liquid. Let cool. Give a "dose" (a couple of minutes of nursing from the bottle) three times a day. In between you can give the electrolyte solution. Make sure the tea is not to hot, but tepid.

The other major problem is constipation. This can be a result of not enough formula, or perhaps inadequate stimulation to produce a bowel movement after nursing (which is your job!). Puppies suffering from constipation will have rounded bellies (like they are full), but become listless. (Such behavior, or if a puppy crawls away from its nest and feels cold to the touch, is a sign of illness.) The easiest thing to do is give an enema with warm water, but consult your veterinarian before attempting this for the proper instructions. If this is not sufficient, the Homeopathic remedy Nux vomica 6C or 30C given once will usually suffice. With such little mouths, it is easiest administered by dissolving one pellet in some pure water and dripping a few drops into the mouth.

Puppies from Weaning [4 weeks] to Four Months

Check out frozen raw patties and nuggest like venison, lamb and free-range chicken (brands like PRIMAL, STELLA N' CHEWY'S and INSTINCT)

  Feed 4x day:

For average breed puppy. For big breeds and toy breeds, increase or decrease accordingly. It is impossible to give exact quantities as all puppies differ in appetite capacity. No puppy should be given anything other than the dam's milk before four weeks of age [unless the mother refuses to nurse or is not available] to ensure all the proper nutrients and antibodies from the mother's immune system. Never give hot food or refrigerated cold food. Tepid is natural. Hot food damages the stomach and intestines and can cause irritation and cancer. Always provide plenty of fresh drinking water day and night. Do not heat food in plastic dishes as toxic chemicals called dioxins are formed. It's best to avoid plastic dishes altogether, even for water, as the dioxins leach out into the water. I use ceramic, glass or stainless steel bowls.

The following recipe is for puppies who were nursed by their dam until at least 4 weeks of age:

8 a.m. - Fluid meal of RAW cow or goat milk [found in some health food stores], NOT dried or canned or long-life milk [Homogenized/pastuerized] if possible. Strengthen this with honey, a little cooked oatmeal and cabbage water.*

12 noon - Whole-grain flaked barley or flaked rye, or rolled oats, or a combination of these flaked grains. I obtain mine from Raleys or Winco where the [Organic] combination is found in bulk form. Barley flakes are the most digestible of the cereals and should be used for weaning if available. Soak overnight in cabbage water* [it's alkaline and best] - or - cook just before feeding. Add a few finely chopped, softened dried cranberries, a teaspoonful of desiccated coconut. You can also soak the flakes in buttermilk. A perfect cereal for growing puppies is two parts barley flakes to one part oat flakes [such as sold in packets for porridge making], soaked in fresh cold milk. Use one large handful of flaked cereal. [When ready to serve, be sure to warm in a microwave for about 20-30 seconds. Test temperature, it should be tepid, or room temperature, not hot.] With this meal, two or three slices of stale multi-grain bread should be given for munching. Use only chemical-free or organic breads and cereals. Finely grated apple is a healthful food, it should be mixed in with the cereals and milk. Add a teaspoon of oil. This is especially needed for long-coat breeds, but all breeds need some oil. The best and safest oils are sesame, corn or sunflower.

4 p.m. Meat: approximately two ounces raw, shredded not sliced or chopped - cow, mutton or chicken [always try to get organic free range]. The large, soft mutton bones may be given to chew on [always raw] but not eaten. Meat should never be minced, pups' powerful stomach muscles should be used for meat digestion; after ten weeks of age, meat should be given in pieces about the size of a dime, increasing in size to pieces as large as a walnut after four months. Raw, finely cut herrings or sardines sprinkled with flaked oats can be fed once or twice weekly as a change from meat. Scald the fish well to soften it before cutting.


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