View Full Version : Advice for a virgin Mum - feeding

18th December 2007, 09:50 PM
Looking for advice on feeding Lucky

Was advised to give 4 meals a day - 2 milky (weetabix or the like), one puppy nuts and one small edible bits (ham, scrambled egg, cheese or chicken).

Have tried this the last 2 days

Day 1 - very enthusiastic for food
Day 2 - not very interested and sleeping a lot - but has taken milk drinks - have watered down the milk a little in case it would upset him

Should I treat like a young baby - sleeping helped my 3 thrive and I didn't go with the "waking up to feed" just because someone said I should.

Should I let him sleep and feed when he looks for it?

DH just tried to have a little chat with him to wake him for a feed and he looked at him as if to say "You're disturbing me - go away" - he is lively and alert when awake.

18th December 2007, 11:12 PM
That sounds awfully (and unnecessarily) complicated and a bit of a hassle for you (I think that isthe single most complicated list of things to feed a puppy I have ever heard of! :) ). Also, while puppies are OK on a little milk when young, they actually lack the ability to digest much of the enzyme in cow's milk and it can start to give them indigestion and diarrhea. I have no idea why some breeders suggest feeding milk but vets strongly recommend getting puppies and kittens OFF milk. Goat's milk can be OK in small amounts.

I would feed a mix of kibble and some of the little additions if you want -- egg or ham or a small amount of weetabix or whatever -- three times daily. Drop the milk. He is at 8 weeks already the age to be on three meals a day and he clearly doesn't want the fourth meal already, so just drop it. Puppies tend to eat what they want and need. Don;t cajole them to eat or that starts them down the path of feeding behaviour problems -- not eating in order to get attention. This is a very common problem in cavaliers.

This is the page I recommend on feeding cavaliers, adults and puppies. Most of the brands apply to the US but the feeding guidelines are excellent and the pictures of waists very useful as one of the biggest health risks for cavaliers is being overweight and most adults will gladly and greedily overeat.


You will find lots of care information in the Library section as well. :thmbsup:

I'd also recommend buying Dr Ian Dunbar's book(s) on raising a puppy -- this will answer basic questions and any dog home should have at least one basic guide of this sort. You can order it through www.amazon.co.uk/. For example:


18th December 2007, 11:38 PM
Aw thanks a mill Karlin - started off offering him water but he just turned his nose up at it and thats why I gave him watered milk.

I, myself am intolerant to cows milk so know how it plays havoc with the system.

He has been ok so far.

Although we did try to "cajole" him into having something to eat tonight he is just quite happily sleeping here.

19th December 2007, 09:46 AM
Oh I agree with Karlin, that does sound quite a drama. It sure doesn't have to be that complicated. Karlin has already given you some great advice, so I'll just add "let sleeping dogs lie" :) Sleep is as important as food for babies (human & canine), so if he sleeps through a scheduled meal, don't frett. It just means he needed the sleep more than the food at that point.

19th December 2007, 12:20 PM
When Sally came home she was a terrible eater and so fussy. In the end we just bought a high quality puppy kibble (James Wellbeloved) and mixed it with a high quality moist food (Naturediet) and she ate the lot. She's been on it ever since and has just moved onto the adult version. I would suggest a very high quality food as this makes training much easier and their poops easier to clean up!! Our vet told us ham can be a bit high in salt and make them wee more and makes training harder don't know how true this is. As treates for house training we gave sally puppy 'Feelwells' they're great and include probiotics. I'm sure there are higher quality foods than JWB but it is good and also good value. They also do treats called 'minijacks'.
I'm sure Lucky will settle in soon and eat regular meals once she knows the routine. It's only been a matter of days so she's probably feeling a little lost. Let us know how she gets on.

19th December 2007, 03:24 PM
Amber has only been with me 5 days now, and she was also very picky and still is but is starting to eat a little better now that she's settling in. Give it time and patience :) Goats milk is great in small amounts, but as others have said - Avoid cows milk.

20th December 2007, 11:34 PM
Thanks everyone - just a quick question re kibbles - our little guy isn't really gone on it - will pick at it and scoffs cooked chicken, ham, cheese and scrambled egg.

I am just wondering about roughage - should I still offer the kibble before the other bits and how long should I leave before giving him what he wants

21st December 2007, 12:04 AM
I would actually stop feeding the extra bits unless you can mash them in really well around the kibble because you are encountering step one in the feeding issues these guys so often start into -- picking around what he wants to eat and ignoring everything else. :rolleyes: A diet of ham, cheese and egg is not a complete diet though so he needs the kibble (nuts) more than the extras. The kibble isn;t roughage, itis the primary source of nutrition in his diet. Actually something liked lightly cooked chicken without the skin is better than ham, which as others have said has lots of salt in it and if it is preserved (eg sandwich) ham, probably has nitrates and other preservatives as well.

Never start giving what the dog seems to want, or this will just progress along with the dog eventually holding out to see what interesting new thing you will feed and enjoying every attempt to try and get him to eat. This turns mealtimes into a drama all about the dog and they will quite happily not eat in order to get the attention, which they generally value even more than food. So you need to make sure mealtimes are NOT about social interaction with people, but about eating his food. He needs to learn the food is only there for a brief period and to eat or go hungry. Same as you'd do with kids.

This is what you do:

First , don't make a big deal out of feeding. Totally ignore him as you get his food dish together. Without looking at him or talking to him, put the dish on the floor. Give him 10 minutes. Whatever isn't eaten gets lifted and put away til the next scheduled meal. Do NOT give any treats or try to feed him again with the uneaten food in the meantime. At the next scheduled time, repeat.

You have him on a good kibble and honestly,he doesn't need all this other stuff. A lot of puppies start playing games over food rather than eating when they are giving lots of other stuff with their food. I feed my dogs a wide range of things and rarely only kibble -- I do a lot of homecooked meals -- but I found sometimes you just can;t do this with puppies or they settle into eating problems. This is probably mainly because they have been removed from siblings and suddenly they have no competition for food so it is more fun to get attention from people.

A puppy won't starve itself and can easily go without a few meals -- and it may take a few meals for him to realise he doesn't have forever to eat. The only way he will learn is by you taking the food away and not providing mid meal snacks.

21st December 2007, 12:31 AM
Thanks Karlin - just needed a bit of reassurance - it really is like having a baby. Will start him on the kibble in the morning when he is good and hungry

The last thing I want is an over feeder - my mum has a Bichon and he is so over weight :-|

He is a joy so far - such a happy little guy and my DH reckons he only has eyes for his new mom :l*v:

21st December 2007, 11:08 PM
I hope the feeding went better today. These little pups know how to train their humans really well, so you always have to be on the look out for those manipulations. Half the time you don't even know they are doing it, the stinkers!