A breeder nurtures a pup between 7-8 weeks old. Helping him transition from mom’s milk to his first meals. An owner has his pup during many important developmental phases over the next 18 months. Puppies grow about 5-10% per day from the age of 1 week to 8 weeks. How important is choosing the right program for your pups early success? From then on, the growth rate will slow down some but, growing for another 6 to18 months.
Wild predators including lions and wolves often gorge on the internal organs first. Perhaps due the importance of these to their nutritional requirements in providing both fat and vitamins found in and around the gut.
Dogs cannot survive without protein in their diets. Dietary protein contains 10 specific amino acids that dogs cannot make on their own. Known as essential amino acids, they provide the building blocks for many important biologically active compounds and proteins. In addition, they donate the carbon chains needed to make glucose for energy. High-quality proteins have a good balance of all of the essential amino acids. Studies show that dogs can tell when their food lacks a single amino acid and will avoid such a meal.
Essential fatty acids are necessary to keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy. Puppies fed ultralow-fat diets develop dry, coarse hair and skin lesions that become increasingly vulnerable to infections. Deficiencies in the so-called “omega-3” family of essential fatty acids may be associated with vision problems and impaired learning ability. Another family of essential fatty acids called “omega-6” has been shown to have important physiologic effects in the body.
Twelve minerals are known to be essential nutrients for dogs. Calcium and phosphorus are crucial to strong bones and teeth. Dogs need magnesium, potassium, and sodium for nerve impulse transmission, muscle contraction, and cell signaling. Many minerals that are present only in minute amounts in the body, including selenium, copper, and molybdenum, act as helpers in a wide variety of enzymatic reactions. Dogs can get too much or too little of a specific mineral in their diets. A deficiency of dietary calcium, for instance, causes a condition known as secondary hyperparathyroidism. Recognized clinically for many years in dogs fed meals consisting mainly of meat, this disease results in major bone loss, skeletal abnormalities, and pathological fractures. An excess of calcium, on the other hand, may also cause skeletal abnormalities, especially in growing large-breed puppies.
The best health outcomes for your pup are most often obtained by following established, evidence-based food and exercise plans. Despite knowing this, some dog owners choose alternate or less science based health plans. I often hear, “It’s too much hassle” or “Too much time” or “I don’t want to undergo the study of current nutritional studies.” Of course, all dog owners are free to make their own decisions, but if they deviated from optimal health plans, their results may suffer. As dog owners, we cannot choose an inferior course and then blame our breeder for inferior outcomes.
I have never understood why, as a USA breeder, I’m required to provide a new puppy owner with a health guarantee? (I do BTW) I recently read a dog bloggers post, who posted information on a number of breeders, basing their ranking, in part, on whether or not the breeder offered a health guarantee. A blogger judging a breeder is like me lecturing a medical doctor about medicine. Breeders from other countries don’t offer this option. Not because they don’t breed well, because they allow reason to prevail. If I have my health certs complete and the prospective buyer can go to K9 data, OFA and review family histories that should give the new puppy owner ample information for a good decision. Then, we all assume the risk of owning a living animal. We live in a world with sickness and disease. On top of that, I’m supposed to guarantee your new pup when I have no control over his health and wellness program from 8 weeks on? What I can do as a breeder and have done many times on this FB page is provide health and wellness information. Links, sources, topics etc.
It starts with education. Why? Because education has the power to change people's lives. The knowledge gained can be used to shape your future and educate generations to come. It is the key that unlocks the door of opportunity, not guarantees.
Partial Source: National Academies EDU