AD This post is in conjunction with James Wellbeloved but all thoughts are my own
When you make the decision that you want to add a dog to your family, there are so many things you need to consider. Where will they sleep? How going to toilet train them? Most importantly, what are you going to feed them?
This for us was one of the main conversations we had before Luca came home. The breeder had Luca on a brand of food we had never heard of and we didn’t know what to do for the best.
After hours and hours researching and talking to our vet about it, we made the decision to order some of the food the breeder was using and mix it with some dry natural dog food . We did add a little bit of hot water to the kibble when he was younger as this just made it a bit softer. Now he’s older, we don’t use any hot water in it as he doesn’t need it.
As the weeks and months have passed, we have increased the amount of kibble and decreased the amount of the food the breeder used. We did it this way so it didn’t make him have an upset tummy; we didn’t want him to have any digestion issue because we switched too quickly.
What should be in your dog’s food?
The first thing to make sure when choosing dog food is that it doesn’t contain any cheap bulking ingredients or artificial preservatives, flavours or colours.
All James Wellbeloved feed contains essential vitamins and minerals and high quality, single source protein. Its gentle, highly digestible ingredients makes it perfect for the most sensitive of tummy . James Wellbeloved food never contains dairy, beef, pork, soya, eggs or wheat. This makes finding dog food for different dietary requirements so much easier.
The age of your dog will determine the amount of feeds they will need each day. At the moment Luca is 16 weeks old and he has 3 meals per day, as puppies require more frequent feeds than older dogs. Once he reaches 6 months, we are hoping to transition him on to two meals per day. This will be something we change slowly, not overnight. We’ll reduce his mid-day meals and add that to his morning and evening meal, so that he still has the required amount of food.
This is something you really need to consider before having a puppy. Are you going to be at home enough so they can have their meals and have time to digest them properly? It’s no good just putting it down to what is convenient to you. Having a puppy is like having a baby; your life now revolves around them and your days will be planned around them and their needs.
It’s also important to note that not all human food is safe for dogs to eat. Having small children at home that are messy eaters, this is a constant worry for me. We’ve made the decision not to feed Luca any human food as we don’t want to confuse the kids. However, small snacks of lean meat are suitable for dogs. Check out the James Wellbeloved website for a full list of things you should and shouldn’t feed your dog.
Treats for your puppy
In the first few weeks of having a puppy there is lots of training to be done. This normally results in lots of treats as dogs learn well when rewarded with a treat.
From the start we made a conscious decision to buy the lower fat healthy treats and made sure to reduce the amount of normal food Luca had, so that we didn’t over feed him.
We also found that, as he was only small, some treats were a little big for him. Even some of the special puppy ones he found a struggle to eat. So, we chopped them in half. This also meant they lasted for longer, which saved us a few pennies.
A good tip we were told to help with children and puppy’s bonding is to get the children involved in the training. We were finding that Luca was getting too excited around the kids at times and nips their legs. This is mainly Alby, as he runs around everywhere and to Luca it looks like a fun game to join in with.
When this started to happen, I would give the kids a treat and get them to do some of the tricks he had learnt. Like sit down, lie down and rollover.
I would make sure that I had taught Luca all the tricks and he knew them before the kids had a go at doing them. So I knew he would be successful and get a treat from the kids. This has really helped and now Luca is doing less and less of the nipping. If he does, the kids know they need to focus his mind on something else and do some of his training with him.
Having a puppy and making sure you’re doing everything right isn’t easy. It’s just like having kids; no one knows what they are doing straight away. The best thing you can do for, even before they come home, is to get them the best food possible. Natural healthy dog food that will keep their fur looking amazing and gives them all the essential nutrients they need. In order to grow into a happy and healthy dog.
How did you ensure that your puppy had to best start?