It's important to ask a few baseline questions about your puppy's diet before you bring it home:
- How long did the puppy nurse on the mother dog?
- How much did the puppy weigh when it was born?
- At what age was the puppy switched over to its current diet?
These issues are important to you as proper feeding affects the growth and development of the liver, bones and muscles. Just like a human baby, a puppy’s liver develops in stages to be able to process the food you are “sending down”. You should not speed up the types of food necessary for proper growth and development, particularly if you have another dog in the house on a different diet. If you cut corners, you could be facing Vet bills for stomach issues that could have been avoided. Vomiting or diarrhea will be your first warning signs that your puppy's food is not agreeing with it and should possibly be discontinued.
For information on types of more advanced diets: I recommend a subscription to The Whole Dog Journal: www:the-whole-dog-journal.com. Twice a year they publish information on the best quality holistic kibble and canned dog food.
Teeth will tell you a lot - watch them. About age 10 months if you still have double canines or double incisors, contact your Vet immediately. These extra baby teeth must be pulled out so the adult teeth can grow in properly.
I recommend learning about feeding a raw food diet with bones. Raw food is closer to a dog’s natural diet and can be used as a supplement to kibble. Although slightly more expensive it's a very good diet for any breed of dog. You can use a variety of meats including; beef hearts, whole chicken, turkey, and pork that is not smoked, as long as your dog has no medical sensitivities. Raw food and bones work wonders at keeping your dog’s teeth clean. Even vegetables are good for your little friend. Carrots or a stump of broccoli you won’t eat make a great chew toys. Every once in a while a bit of sweet potatoes. Freeze dried liver treats are great training tools. Keep some in your pocket.
AVOID: grapes, onions, raisins as these are kidney killers, along with cabbage and turnips.