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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 16 weeks old female Labrador, and I am currently feeding her Royal Canin Labrador puppy food, and adding NatureDiet wet food, how long should I still feed her with these for? Could I possibly move on to some home made meals as well such as; rice, chicken, pasta etc?

How could I approach this? Or, it is healthy for her to just stick with the food that I am providing her with right now? Or, shall I add home made human food into her diet?

Thank you for your time my friends...
 

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Hello again Ozzy! I'm running out of time for today so will leave any more on this one to others :)

But I would say that home made meals is a hard thing to get right. Manufactured dog food is reasonably guaranteed to be a "complete food". This means it has all the right things (protein, fats, minerals, vitamins) that a healthy dogs body needs in the right proportions. You will have to do some SERIOUS home work to ensure home made food is giving them what they need. It could be many months of years later you figure you did it wrong and they suffer from vitamin deficiencies, liver failure or god knows what! (forgive the slight exaggeration there!)
 

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Well to be honest you don't actually need to give both RC and Naturediet as both are complete foods on their own. Is there any particular reason why you are?

Yes you can cook for your puppy but be aware if you keep chopping and changing their diet you might upset their tummy and cause sickness and diarrhoea, as you also can if you feed too much or too many treats. If you use human food then ensure you know which ones are toxic and must NEVER be given to dogs like raisins, chocolate, onions and so on. Plain rice, chicken, pasta, tuna, boiled white fish, mashed potatoes (no salt) are usually well tolerated and often advised as a bland easily digestible diet when dogs are poorly.

Read this, it is a long thread but well worth it http://www.labradorforums.co.uk/34-...ng-your-labrador-puppy-personal-overview.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hello again Ozzy! I'm running out of time for today so will leave any more on this one to others :)

But I would say that home made meals is a hard thing to get right. Manufactured dog food is reasonably guaranteed to be a "complete food". This means it has all the right things (protein, fats, minerals, vitamins) that a healthy dogs body needs in the right proportions. You will have to do some SERIOUS home work to ensure home made food is giving them what they need. It could be many months of years later you figure you did it wrong and they suffer from vitamin deficiencies, liver failure or god knows what! (forgive the slight exaggeration there!)
Hello John_n_Gemma again, thanks for all the advice,,,

I understand what you mean, however, should I forever feed her with these complete foods? Evidently, without using any home made meals??
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well to be honest you don't actually need to give both RC and Naturediet as both are complete foods on their own. Is there any particular reason why you are?

Yes you can cook for your puppy but be aware if you keep chopping and changing their diet you might upset their tummy and cause sickness and diarrhoea, as you also can if you feed too much or too many treats. If you use human food then ensure you know which ones are toxic and must NEVER be given to dogs like raisins, chocolate, onions and so on. Plain rice, chicken, pasta, tuna, boiled white fish, mashed potatoes (no salt) are usually well tolerated and often advised as a bland easily digestible diet when dogs are poorly.

Read this, it is a long thread but well worth it http://www.labradorforums.co.uk/34-...ng-your-labrador-puppy-personal-overview.html
I bought my puppy when she was around 9 weeks old at a pet store, and they where feeding her there own brand of complete food and also the wet food mixing with a bit of warm water. I bought the same one but that finished therefore when I took her for a vet check to the vet once I got her the vet said I could carry on doing so, but if a brand like RC or Hills..

Yeah I am aware of certain things such as chocolates etc, salty and sugary things can upset her stomach, but I just wanted to know, some days I want to cook for her, so I'd evidently want to give a home made meal such as rice and chicken (now and then, providing her with home made meals) would it be a bad idea to do that?
 

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Dogs don't actually need "cooked" food......you're better off nutritionally wise, to stick with the Royal Canin, or if you prefer a more natural way of feeding, a raw diet.......
 

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Complete dog food is just that - complete, its been tested and approved to ensure it is nutritionally complete and provides the dog with everything it needs. You don't need to put two together as you are doing, but some people do and there is nothing wrong with that.

My vet hates raw feeding with a passion - he says he has seen far too many dogs that have picked up things like salmonella and botulism from raw food - and as I have a very poorly dog, raw feeding is banned for us - though Brambles breeder fed raw at the time I bought him (she's now moved onto feeding a mix of raw and Orijen). I am not averse to raw feeding, but like the home cooked diet it needs an awful lot of research and thought and planning to ensure that it is nutritionally complete. Bramble's breeder went to huge lengths to make sure her dogs diet was properly balanced.

I'm going to differ from the other posters and say you can feed a home cooked diet - my vet prefers this to raw as it kills off bacteria that can make your dog ill. Again you need to make sure your diet is nutritionally balanced and that your dog isn;t lacking in any vitamins or minerals etc. I asked my vet for a decent text book on the subject - you can buy loads of recipe books but I am never sure that these are good for the dog as opposed to making us owners feel good and good for the writers pocket!! My vet said that Hills have done a manual on dog food and that the chapter they wrote on home cooked diets is one of the best out - so you could ask your vet if they can let you have a copy of the relevant chapter - its a veterinary book and I don;t know what its called.

But if you want to cook for your dog, it is possible - you need to make sure she gets everything she needs vitamin, protein etc wise - and its what is right for her rather than what looks good to us.... Just be aware it will be a lot of work...

Let us know what you decide
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Complete dog food is just that - complete, its been tested and approved to ensure it is nutritionally complete and provides the dog with everything it needs. You don't need to put two together as you are doing, but some people do and there is nothing wrong with that.

My vet hates raw feeding with a passion - he says he has seen far too many dogs that have picked up things like salmonella and botulism from raw food - and as I have a very poorly dog, raw feeding is banned for us - though Brambles breeder fed raw at the time I bought him (she's now moved onto feeding a mix of raw and Orijen). I am not averse to raw feeding, but like the home cooked diet it needs an awful lot of research and thought and planning to ensure that it is nutritionally complete. Bramble's breeder went to huge lengths to make sure her dogs diet was properly balanced.

I'm going to differ from the other posters and say you can feed a home cooked diet - my vet prefers this to raw as it kills off bacteria that can make your dog ill. Again you need to make sure your diet is nutritionally balanced and that your dog isn;t lacking in any vitamins or minerals etc. I asked my vet for a decent text book on the subject - you can buy loads of recipe books but I am never sure that these are good for the dog as opposed to making us owners feel good and good for the writers pocket!! My vet said that Hills have done a manual on dog food and that the chapter they wrote on home cooked diets is one of the best out - so you could ask your vet if they can let you have a copy of the relevant chapter - its a veterinary book and I don;t know what its called.

But if you want to cook for your dog, it is possible - you need to make sure she gets everything she needs vitamin, protein etc wise - and its what is right for her rather than what looks good to us.... Just be aware it will be a lot of work...

Let us know what you decide
Thank you for the advice Eve,

Just to be clear, do I have to always feed her with these complete foods that are manufactured forever? It seems like quiet a bit of work to ensure that my lab would get all the nutrients, protein and vitamins etc, I'm not too keen on doing that, however, I just want to know if I can just give her some home made meals now and then? Would that be OK for my puppy?
If I don't give the two RC and naturediet together then how should I give them? I'm kind of confused because I've provided the Royal Canin and NatureDiet together with a little warm water which she seems to really enjoy, are you recommending that I give the two to her seperately?

Are there also any other human food which could be useful to the puppies diet, and that is good for their health?

Thank you for all the advice Eve.
 

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Just to be clear, do I have to always feed her with these complete foods that are manufactured forever? It seems like quiet a bit of work to ensure that my lab would get all the nutrients, protein and vitamins etc, I'm not too keen on doing that, however, I just want to know if I can just give her some home made meals now and then?
I think you have this back to front my friend.
Manufactured complete foods are already complete. The manufacturer has already worked out the right balance of nutrients, vitamins and proteins! You have no work to do at all apart from take it out the packet, measure and serve!

Only if you want to make home made meals must YOU work out how how on earth what you are making provides a well balanced diet for them.

If I don't give the two RC and naturediet together then how should I give them? I'm kind of confused because I've provided the Royal Canin and NatureDiet together with a little warm water which she seems to really enjoy, are you recommending that I give the two to her seperately?
Just give RC kibble by itself (it's a complete food)
or Natures Diet by itself (it's a complete food)

No need to mix them. I suppose there's no harm in mixing them but I don't know how you will know how much of each to serve per meal so you might end up with weight problems. The feeding guidelines on each product assume that is all you are giving them.

If you really want to I guess you could serve one meal of just RC kibble, and the next meal just of Natures Diet. That's not without it's downsides though. This could encourage your pup to become a fussy eater, he might refuse the kibble completely thinking nah I don't want that, I want that wet meaty stuff instead!

Are there also any other human food which could be useful to the puppies diet, and that is good for their health?
Largely, there is simply no need. Dog food and dog treats will do them just fine. Carrots are a good human food though. High fibre, low calorie, and nice and crunchy which is good for their teeth. But if you're serving a whole one or a big piece you must supervise the whole time. A big piece could be bitten off and they could choke on it.

Anything else at your own discretion. Make absolutely sure it's something safe and not on this list. And ask yourself how good is this for my dog? Something loaded with sugar or salt, carbs or fat is not great for humans and not great for our dogs either.
http://www.labradorforums.co.uk/16-general-lab-chat/26136-human-food-poison-our-dogs-pg7-update.html

Some good chew toys such as Nylabones are also great for giving the teeth a workout and scrubbing. Raw bones too but I'm not into that so can't advise. But I do know you must be VERY careful what types of raw bones you use, the wrong ones could splinter and injury the mouth or throat or be a choking risk.
 

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As John and Eve have said you don't have to provide a cooked diet, you don't have to feed complete food your puppy is your puppy and it is entirely up to you.

Yes you can give your dog homemade now and again without issue, people often do for birthdays or after operations or when the dog has been poorly - chicken and rice or white fish and mashed potato being particularly popular.

You can meet your puppy's nutritional needs using either home cooked or complete diets. You can chop and change if you wish but if you do then be aware that some dogs do have sensitive tummies and may get poorly with change and foods they aren't used to. Dogs are not like humans they don't think its boring to have the same food at every meal. They are better if they do have the same as that's what their tummy is used to.

There is quite a long list of foods dog's shouldn't have but you can easily find that information online, the link John gave is good, the dogs trust website also has a list and there is an app called om nom for your phone.

Some people believe that certain human foods like manuka honey, eggs, fish oils or certain herbs etc have health properties for dogs but the evidence is either sketchy or non-existent in a lot of cases and the dog doesn't NEED them, they may enjoy them though and you can still give them as extras if it makes you feel good to do so.

Some people do feed complete wet and complete dry together and it is common to add warm water to kibble for pups but you don't have to. Some dogs are fussy and wet is often preferred to dry which is why they get into the feeding both bit, it makes it more complicated than it needs to be though so if you want to continue then yeah you can but don't feel you should because you really don't need to.

Personally I feed tinned chappie, yep its a cheap food but its an old favourite, really good for lots of different health conditions and easy to digest and my two adore it, one has serious health problems and this works for him which is why I changed to it, the other did have kibble but coveted her brother's dinner so I put them both on the same. In the past I've fed various kibble (on its own). I have fed a home-cooked diet for months. I have fed specialist expensive vet foods. All worked for the individual dog at the time so were right for then, I have no regrets. That is all you ever need - feed whatever works for YOUR dog at THAT time, not what anyone else says or what works for them and not worrying about forever.

Just as an aside I hate raw feeding like John and Eve's vet because of the risks so mine have the nylabones that John was talking about - they currently have peanut butter flavour bones, bacon flavour ones that look like tree branches, beef ones that look like bones and minty dinosaurs so it's worth experimenting to see which your pup likes. Ours are very well chewed and seem to keep their teeth looking lovely. :)
 

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As you've seen, when talking food you will get as many different answers as there are people on the forum!

I'm rather past the first flush of youth, and had dogs during the time of food rationing which followed WW2, when pet food was hard to come by. In those days my dogs, as did most at that time, lived pretty much on table scraps.

Even now, although I use a complete food as the basis of my dog's diet, I still feed a little of any suitable table scraps. (mainly meat and veg based scraps) (Amy has a particular liking for Spag Bol and Chinese Sweet and Sour!!!) One by product of this is that my dogs have cast iron stomachs, they are so use to eating different things that they take changes of diet in their stride. Remember, the wild dog is an opportunist feeder, it eats what it finds when it finds it. Dog food manufacturers would tell you that you must feed their foods, but then, they have a vested interest in maintaining a captive market.

Yes, dogs, like humans, need a balanced diet. But it aint rocket science! Tell me, when was the last time you measured the protein and carbohydrate levels of your own dinner? Mostly, feeding a human or a dog is a matter of common sense. A little bit of sausage and some peas or even cabbage added into a slightly reduced amount of their normal food. (cooked cabbage has little food value for a dog, because their stomach does not break it down properly) Little of no onion because it tends to lower the haemoglobin level in the blood (but it takes quite a bit to cause trouble, so don't worry overly about a little creeping into the bowl!) NO CORN ON THE COB!!!! Their stomach cannot break it down so it passed into the bowel undigested and can cause a blockage!

But remember, your puppy is only 16 weeks old so make sure there are no large lumps in it. Pups have a habit of swallowing their food without chewing it.

Regards, John
 

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I completely agree with what Paws and John have said - its very sensible.

the one thing I would say is that various foods are sold as being nutritionally complete and have passed all the tests they need - but are known for not being good quality - Bakers for one - google the reviews and what the dog food website says - http://www.allaboutdogfood.co.uk/, that has some very interesting assessments.

At the end of the day its a case of what suits you, your pocket and your dog. Like Paws I have fed a home cooked food on vet advice for months because like her I have a special needs dog (!!) and he is on a specialist veterinary prescription diet but with liver problems I am not comfortable about moving away from this. I will tell you Bramble was fine on his homecooked diet - and loved it.

I would slightly disagree with Paws that dogs don;t get bored with the same food - Bramble definitely does. Paws knows that I have to go through all sorts of hoops to get him to eat the kibble - sometimes its because he is ill and liver problems make them feel nauseous, but sometimes its because he is that way out and he KNOWS if he holds out long enough I will cave - so will my vet. I commented to Jim the other week that Bramble had me well trained in the food department - Jim replied that he had us both well trained and that he also would just cave in to Bramble's desires!!!!!

Bramble is doing very well at the moment - but he gets fed Purina EN - expensive but actually cheaper than Orijen - together with a variety. Sometimes like this morning he gets kibble only, last night he had kibble and ham, sometimes, rarely because of the fat he gets kibble and cheese and quite often he gets cooked added which consists of either fish and potato and some of the stock or mince and potato and stock. This has emerged as a result of Brambles illness, if he doesn't want to eat he won't - and we have got to a stage on several occasions where my vet has said "I do not care what you give him - just get some calories into him" and often when we are at a down cycle Jim will often abandon the kibble and tell me to give Bramble home cooked - we vary the meat/fish and that works really well.

In terms of home cooked, my two always get a Christmas Dinner - the works - turkey, gravy, boiled rather than roast potatoes, all the veg except red cabbage - and they wolf it down.

My dogs, even Elsa, the lab who will literally eat anything and everything - not that it likes her very much - much prefers home cooked to kibble. She looks at me sadly when Bramble gets his mince and potato and looks meaningfully at his bowl before eating her own - and when she gets some veg or some of Bramble's cooked dinner that disappears before the kibble.

So as you can see there aren;t any right or wrong answers - if your pup is doing well on a mix of kibble and wet - carry on! You can give one meal of one and the next of the other or both, it doesn;t matter. If pups poos get loose then something needs adjusting or if they go the other way. If she gets fat or too thin again something needs adjusting.

If you want to try a home cooked diet - again as John said it isn't rocket science but you do need to make sure it is balanced and gives a growing pup what she needs - try it and see how she goes. I'm sure she will love it, but keep an eye on poos and condition - that will give you most of the answers you need...

I half feel that I ought to set what I have said about Bramble and his diet in context - so if you want me to I am happy to explain..
 

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I would slightly disagree with Paws that dogs don;t get bored with the same food - Bramble definitely does. Paws knows that I have to go through all sorts of hoops to get him to eat the kibble - sometimes its because he is ill and liver problems make them feel nauseous, but sometimes its because he is that way out and he KNOWS if he holds out long enough I will cave - so will my vet. I commented to Jim the other week that Bramble had me well trained in the food department - Jim replied that he had us both well trained and that he also would just cave in to Bramble's desires!!!!!

My dogs, even Elsa, the lab who will literally eat anything and everything - not that it likes her very much - much prefers home cooked to kibble. She looks at me sadly when Bramble gets his mince and potato and looks meaningfully at his bowl before eating her own - and when she gets some veg or some of Bramble's cooked dinner that disappears before the kibble.
I know what you mean Eve it's just that I have quite often met people who had several bags of the same kibble but in different flavours so they could give their pup say wainwrights salmon for dinner, wainwrights duck for lunch and wainwrights turkey for tea or chicken on tuesday, pork on thursday and so on - you get the idea, they made it so hard for themselves just by trying to be interesting so that's what I mean OP you don't need a bag of each flavour :)

Now Eve I am shocked Elsa let you get away with that! Jess would not. No she is a determined little soul with an expert ability to stare at me sadly. She would outright refuse to touch her dinner and instead just stand behind Sam and wait then lick his already clean bowl and stare at it at which point he'd probably go and 'help' me out by eating hers up... I'm well trained... ;)
 

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Now Emma, who said I let Elsa get away with it??!! Shes a lab - soooo much easier to stand firm on the food front - in fact its probably nano seconds before she decides she can;t wait any longer!! :)

She goes and looks longingly at Bramble's bowl when its got home cooked in and then immediately turns and tucks into her own bowl... she does do the whole licking of Bramble's bowl thing though like Jess - and looking at me clearly telling me what he has had is sooooo much better than what she had!!!!

I have to confess - I have thought of doing that with kibble as Bramble is so difficult, getting differing flavours and mixing them up so he never knows what he is getting, purely to get the little horror to eat but of course now he is on the EN that isn;t an option, whether it would ever have worked I do have my doubts. Bramble is speshulll!!!! Definitely not normal!
 

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This is just a personal thing for me but....

I wouldn't give Lilly 'human food' unless she has an upset tummy. A few weeks ago the vet advised me to give her weetabix for breakfast and supper as the dog food she is on (Beta) was causing her to have loose stools because she was getting 3 meals a day. I now give her one dog food meal one day and two the next using weeetabix for the other meal.

I don't want Lilly to become used to 'human food' and then not eat her own because she likes ours better!!

I know this isn't much help
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hello friends
I have seen all comments and I have spoken to the vet, it is perfectly normal to feed my dog with both RC kibble and also NatureDiet wet food with adding a bit of warm water to it.
I have been feeding my pup with this ever since I've got her, and according to the vet it's a choice of preferenc to server both items as long as measure it properly and don't overfeed her resulting in over weighting problems..

Human food can be given as a extra but the complete foods are ideal as long as she doesn't upset her stomach or any other situation like that
Thought I'd share with you guys, thanks for all the advice...
 

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I find it bizarre that your vet suggested Weetabix for a puppy with loose stools :confused: Weetabix is high fibre, fibre makes your stools softer, so not sure what the logic of that was ?? Why not suggest chicken and rice or scrambled egg ? Maybe he has shares in Weetabix and recommends all his clients to feed their dogs on it !!

Chloe
 
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