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Hi,

I have a 4 month old female GSD named Queenie and I'm just curious as to what is the proper feeding method for feeding my dog. I'm recently moved to Ghana and there ain't that many choices of processed dog food here. I feed him Diamond Food's NutraNuggets Super Premium for Puppies. I put the food in a large bowl and mix it with water. Before that though, I give him Laughing Cow Cheese with his vitamins. Is this the right way?

Here are some pictures of how she looks...



As you can see, thats his food at the side there. He sometimes doesn't eat it. Only when I put pieces of meat or canned tuna in there.

Thanks,

Carlos
 

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Wow, that's a lot of food. I take it that you allow free-feeding rather than specific meals? I don't know which method is better, but it seems like most people I've talked to feed specific amounts at a time, in a meal. That way you can tell exactly how much your puppy is eating (or not eating) and also the food doesn't get stale or eaten by something else.

Since you don't have great options for kibble, maybe raw would be a better way to go? I don't feed raw, but there are lots of people on this board who can help get you started.

What vitamins are you giving your dog?

Your puppy is very cute, I love the floppy ears!

You came to the right place to ask questions. There's a lot of smart people on this forum who would be happy to help you!
 

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I feed puppies as much as they want three times a day until they are about six months or they start losing the lean look, whichever comes first, unless they are the type of puppy that will eat until they explode . I put their food down for about ten minutes and then pick it up. If they don't eat, they don't eat. I do not add water or anything else with it as that can encourage a picky eater to be pickier.

It's usually not necessary to add vitamins if you are feeding a good kibble, but not sure about your options over there.
 

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@Good_Karma: Yes, I am considering raw. May post some topics on RAW feeding for my puppy. Its true about the food getting stale...usually its eaten by the Boeboel that I have who eats soooooo much! About the floppy ears - I'm hoping that they stand later on in his life. But wouldn't mind if its down for the rest of his dog life...they DO look cute!

@Elaine: How much do they eat? Just a few kibbles? Half of what I've given them? A cup? I don't really know what really satisfies them!
 

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My puppies ususlly start prefering it without water pretty early...like 10 wks or so. Your pup may prefer it dry. I mix canned in with my kibble.
 

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I never added water to the kibble either. And depending on the food, it should say what is recommended feeding for your puppy by weight. Is there any way you can order your dog food online and have it delivered. That way you can get a better quality kibble? Just a thought on that. I agree...feed the amount it says on the bag and then if your puppy doesn't finish it all...pick it up and feed later on. I gave my puppy 3 meals a day which she still gets now.

She is a cutie. I love the floppy ears! :)
 

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Just put down several cups at a time and see how much he's eating, then put down a bit more than that at each meal so he has as much as he wants.
 

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It depends on the puppy but I've found that most will over eat so I don't free feed them. I had one puppy find the bag of kibble and eat, eat, eat. By the time I found him his little belly was bulging. (I thought my DH was watching him while I was cleaning house.) In my experience, puppies don't really know when to stop so you have to know for them.

As others have said, most packages will have feeding amounts listed on the package. I'd follow the recommendations on the bag. If your puppy isn't finishing you can cut back a little or you can add a little if she seems really hungry after eating.

I've never added water to dry kibble either. The dry kibble helps to clean the teeth kind of like bones do.

I've never added vitamins to puppies meals. However, since you don't have the best kibble available you might want to look at the required nutrition for your dog's age and then see what's missing from the kibble your feeding. Then add in what you're missing.
 

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Over eating is much more common in the sporting breeds than in GSDs. As you know your pup isn't a good eater already, offering as much as he wants should be just fine.

As for the recommendations on the bag, I have found them to be worse than useless. Feed however much it takes to keep your pup at a good weight and that's all you need to know.
 

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Over eating is much more common in the sporting breeds than in GSDs. As you know your pup isn't a good eater already, offering as much as he wants should be just fine.

As for the recommendations on the bag, I have found them to be worse than useless. Feed however much it takes to keep your pup at a good weight and that's all you need to know.
I disagree with this advice. :) I've had a few GSD puppies (along with other breeds of puppies) not know when to stop eating. The example I gave above about the little puppy eating was a GSD puppy.

During the growth, it is recommended to feed puppies a measured amount of the food (using 8 oz. measuring cup) to allow better control of body weight and growth rate. This amount can be fed in 2 – 4
meals per day. After 6 months of age, two meals per day can be fed. Free- choice feeding should be avoided in growing puppies unless they are extremely thin. When introducing a new food to your puppy, blend it gradually with the existing diet in increasing amounts over at least 4 days until the new food replaces the old. This process should prevent food rejection and gastrointestinal upset.

Free choice fresh and clean water must be available at all times to your puppy!!
Above quote from http://www.vetmed.vt.edu/vth/sa/clin/cp_handouts/Nutrition_Growing_Puppy.pdf Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinarian Medicine.

A major consideration in feeding GSD puppies (or any large breed puppy) is to be careful and control their growth rate where possible.
 

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Vinnie, let's just take this puppy for now. He already knows his puppy isn't a good eater, so feeding all he wants while he's thin will be just fine. As I said earlier, once he starts to lose the lean look, he needs to cut back to twice a day feeding and then cut back on intake as needed. No one wants a fat puppy and feeding a pup this way will not change his growth rate.

I know there are GSDs that will pig out, with all the puppies that I've had through my house, I have yet to see one. They just aren't that common especially when fed like this from the beginning.
 

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The Italian One
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I know there are GSDs that will pig out, with all the puppies that I've had through my house, I have yet to see one. They just aren't that common especially when fed like this from the beginning.
Guess we have different experiences. :) I still disagree with the advice you're giving on this one. I think it's wrong - but that's my opinion.
 

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Thanks for the wonderful advice!!!

Truth is, the puppy food is expensive as it is here! About $100 or so 'cos its imported. I don't think I can order it and have it delivered here...it would cost me a fortune with the way customs is here.

I will feed him three times from now on and avoid the water mixing. Maybe I should add minced meat? Or continue to give him canned tuna? He seems to like it when I mix the tuna with the dry kibble.

About the vitamins - I'm worried that he isn't getting enough from the kibble. So I add it just in case. It wouldn't hurt him would it? Since I don't give him much bones, I thought the calcium and other things could come from the supplements. I also wanted to know if giving him Laughing Cow Cheese bad for him??? I add the supplements to one triangle and he gulps it down like a pig!

 

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I would stop adding anything to the kibble. I can't advise you about the vitamins and the cheese as I don't know if you are feeding a good kibble or not. If this kibble meets AAFCO standards, which it will say on the bag if it does, then I would not - not that AAFCO standards makes this a good food. If it doesn't, then all bets are off and you have to sort of figure it out on your own.
 

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Vinnie, let's just take this puppy for now. He already knows his puppy isn't a good eater, so feeding all he wants while he's thin will be just fine.
I diagree as well. The fact he ISN'T a good eater is a reason to put him on set meals IMO. If he has food at all times, there is nothing special to look foward to. With set meals, he'll never know when his next meal is which will encourage him to eat what is given to him when it's given.

What I would do is put 2 cups of plain kibble in a bowl in the morning, put it down for 15min and pick up what isn't eaten. Then in the afternoon, do it again. Either put 2 new cups or if the morning meal wasn't all eaten, put down what is left of that. Repeat once again at night. This will give a maximum of 6 cups per day which seems to be fairly normal for a growing GSD pup. If the dog is losing weight, add 1/4th cup to one or two meals. If the dog is gaining too much weight, cut back one or two meals by 1/4th cup. Eventually you'll find the amount of food that works for your dog. Though once the dog is an adult and filled out, his food requirements will more than likely cut back. Once he's around a year old you can cut back to 2 feedings a day if you'd like.

Personally, I don't free feed and don't believe in it unless the dog is sick or something. Meal time is a way for me to reenforce my status as pack leader. Meals are earned in our house, not given. My dogs are expected to wait outside the kitchen while sitting or lying down as I prepare their meals. If they get overly excited or try to come in before they are welcome, they will be the last to be released to go to the food bowl. So this also gives me a chance to work on their obedience as well. Meal time is one of the most important times of the day and I like to be in control of that time.
 

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I'd also still supplement with meats btw once he's eating dry food well. The "fresh" nutrition will be good for him. :)

The puppy formula isn't that great ingredient wise so supplementing would be good for him. If you can get it, the adult Lamb and Rice formula looks much better. :)
 
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