What Do You Feed Your Annoying Fuzzball Yappy Things that Will One Day Grow Up to be Dogs?

I’m taking a poll.  Unscientific as ever.

But first I have a confession:  I don’t like puppies.  When I say “don’t like”, I don’t mean to give the impression that I actively dislike puppies or wish them harm or anything.  I should perhaps reword my sentiment to say “I prefer adult dogs”.  So although I have raised a number of puppies over the years, including several litters I bred, I try to have puppies around as infrequently as possibly.  Er – I prefer to have adult dogs around as often as possible… whatevah.

So it’s been awhile since I’ve had a puppy in the house and I wanted to poll readers on what they feed their puppies.  Please share your feeding regimen, whether it consists of table scraps or expensive kibble or whatever edible combination of stuff you use.  I’m interested.  And looking for ideas too as so far, my scaredy-cat pup will only eat if I’m sitting next to her, and even then, not as much as I’d like.  It’s probably a lot to do with anxiety and hopefully will improve over time.  But options would be good.

41 thoughts on “What Do You Feed Your Annoying Fuzzball Yappy Things that Will One Day Grow Up to be Dogs?

  1. We always use Kirkland (Costco brand) puppy food.

    I laughed when I read your thing about puppies. We’ve fostered some over the years and they’re infinitely more work than adult dogs. Last time I joked with my wife that making puppies so cute was God’s way of keeping people from wanting to strangle them for being a pain in the butt — in a figurative sense of course.

  2. I’ve had good success with Eukaneuba puppy brands, size appropiate and styles until the last one. It was doing ok, just not great. Switched at the recommendation of a friend to the Eagle Holistic and pup really blossomed.

    I tend to not give puppies *additions* to food. I think it messes with the balance too much and if they are fast growing you can end up in trouble. If I do add a little something/something it’s usually a dollop or two of the canned version of what I am feeding.
    Just my experience and mileage, your’s may vary.

  3. I wish i could help but my new puppa “Shelby-2” won’t
    eat hardley anything, and when he does it’s Ceaser
    puppy in a little white can. I had to fly him here from Florida, plane ticket and all. He loves Kraft
    singles and baked chicken but i will not give him that anymore, I had to put my Shelby -1 to sleep at the age of 8 because of only eating table food.
    He is a small American Eskimo Spitz with a heart larger than 10 people put together, loves every and anyone. a lady told me boil hamburger, white rice and eggs, then mix together. No Way, I’m stuck too!
    Good luck with the puppy, be nice, it will only be small for a short time, Enjoy……..

      1. Any unbalanced diet will eventually cause medical issues, whether it’s a raw diet, a home cooked diet, a diet based on table scraps, or even a kibble or canned diet.

        Or, an idiot vet who immediately pegged the reason for a diagnosis on the table food when the word “table food” popped out of the owner’s mouth.

        Same thing happened to me when my UTD kitty ended up at the ER and had a panic poop on the table – a raw poop. Apparently the vet had never seen such a thing and accused me loudly in the middle of the waiting room of purposely killing my cat. Yeah.

        On the other hand, the healthiest pets I’ve ever seen are those that have real food in their diet – the worst and unhealthiest pets I’ve seen, believe it or not, are NOT those on the crappiest kibble, but rather those on the most unbalanced home made diets. For example, I once had a gentleman bring in a Rottweiler whose red fur (a sign of iodine deficiency at best) was coming out in clumps and the dog could barely hold up it’s back end. It was a year and a half old, and he came in our store to talk to us because he was pissed that his vet was blaming the dog’s problems on it’s diet.

        He was feeding cooked hamburger and carrots. That’s it. That’s all this dog had been eating since it was seven weeks old. I had to leave the room, my co-workers were afraid I was going to attack him.

        Now, on the other hand, I once met a 22 year old yorkie who, other than the beginnings of a cataract in one eye you would never guess was over 12 that ate, according to the owners “whatever we eat”. The owners were very elderly, everything was home cooked with lots of variety, they weren’t in to spices, and every once in a while they gave the dog a teeny little quarter of a child’s vitamin just to make sure that it was getting everything it needed. The dog was amazing.

        No, you don’t need a degree to feed your pet properly from your table, but you DO need a little common sense – and some real information doesn’t hurt either.

  4. Ahhh puppies! I love them but whenever I foster them I am remonded of how nice it is to have big dogs! The pups in my house get Merrick Puppy Plate (kibble and can) along with a little bit of the raw meat and veggie mash that the big dogs get. They love it!

  5. I fed my puppy the exact same thing I feed my adult dog – combination raw (just be careful that any bones are small enough for his little puppy teeth to handle – chicken wings and similar) and high quality all life stages kibble.

  6. Celeste grew up on a raw meat diet, starting at 8-weeks (when I got her). But I never had to convince her to eat, she was and remains a ravenous eater. We did mainly ground meat w/ organs, eggs, yogurt and added small bones, like chicken necks over time.

  7. The puppy here will be a year old this month and she has thrived on Wellness “Just for Puppy” dry food with a spoonful of the canned added. She is not a fussy eater, but the other dog is, so the puppy has also had cottage cheese, plain yogurt, hard boiled egg, shredded cheese, carrots, celery, broccoli, chicken, bacon, sweet potato or green beans added to her dry. No problems with stomach upsets or diarrhea.

  8. we fed buckley the beagle mix with solid gold wolf cub when he was 13 weeks old. we mixed it with their canned tripe. It gave him MASSIVE GAS so we started making a puppy meatloaf for him. I wasn’t as concerned about growth stuff since I knew he’d be a small dog. So I loosely based it on his projected adult weight and used the 2006 numbers for dog requirements with calcium, protein, fat, etc.

    I used ground turkey, ground beef, canned salmon, whole eggs, carrots, peas, spinach, applesauce & oatmeal. sprinkled with garlic. yumsie.

  9. I feed raw, because it’s less expensive than a good quality kibble or canned diet, and my puppy has grown up beautifully on it. I started with ground (bones and all) when she was younger, and as she got better at chewing the bones and built her jaw strength, we eased out the ground. One thing that is great about it is that I can *always* pick up some meat on sale, so I never run out of food. I try to give a variety of different foods, because I think it helps them learn to eat different things.

    I also looove puppies, as long as they live somewhere else for the most part. The adults are just so much easier to deal with, and less work. I can’t imagine dealing with raising a whole litter of them, I think I’m getting too old for that. Haha!

  10. I weaned the last litter on satin balls — which worked beautifully — and raised them on raw.

    I highly recommend mixing up a batch of satin balls for the little gremlin — if you have a poor eater, wormy, underweight, it’ll cure what ails him.

  11. haha. I HATE puppies too. but alas I’ve had them in a pinch. it does become a bit overwhelming. I think the opportunity to mold a wee furball is important. I always homecook for puppies…it gets too messy with puppy-dom and raw. If I had the dedicated space I would. It doesn’t “ruin” them when they finally get adopted out. When they start teething you can home bake some hard cookies and mix them in for the crunch factor. I don’t think any of my adult dogs miss out on crunch since they get bones. I usually screen potential adopters and ask them about their current feeding regimen then if needed guide them to better kibbles and facilitate the transition over a week before the puppy goes out.
    Worse eater I’ve had is when the said puppy started eating everyone had to FREEZE or the puppy would get distracted and stop. We tried handfeeding, spoon feeding, flat plate, puppy bowls, or just the floor too. after 2-3 meals I would change it up again if the pup seemed stable….until eating turned into a loud happy occasion. Something that has never worked for me is leaving the pup alone with a pile of food for 10-15 minutes. maybe I didn’t wait long enough? dunno. good luck!

      1. nothing fancy or precise. some dry material. eg cooked steel cut oats (my fav), grits, or any hot cereal 2 cups precooked. binding agent usually 2 eggs…sometimes I skip and rely on the oatmeal to bind. add some protein eg 1 lb of ground or finely shredded turkey or 2-3 generous scoops of peanut butter (when I’m lazy). mix. flatten on a 1/2 sheet pan with parchment on the bottom or if you can get one of those nonstick mats. I usually score the top so when it’s baked hard I have a guide for the crumbles. bake at 400 for 45 minutes. then turn off the oven and leave it overnight. if it seems too wet you can add more uncooked dry matter. if it’s too dry add some broth or another egg or even pureed any misc leftover veggies

  12. we feed our dogs grain free, and have tried a lot of different foods that had a great list of ingredients with high palatability. If we could swing raw we would, but the lack of fridge/freezer space, and the cost so far has been a deterrent.
    Up until a year ago we fed Wellness Core Ocean. But we when we got the new (large) pup, we wanted something that wouldn’t break the bank so much. We found Taste of the Wild. it’s for all life stages (so puppies through seniors) and has 4 great alternative protein formulas (bison, water fowl, salmon, lamb). And it costs us somewhere around $40 for a 50lb bag- almost 1/2 as much as Wellness. And the dogs love it!
    My parents have moved from Blue to Taste of the Wild, and an aquaintance changed from Iams to Taste as well- both dogs have also shown a marked improvement in appetite/excitement for dinner, and have better coats and energy

    so there’s my plug :-)

    Heather- i’ve never heard of Satin Balls, but now the google results have me intrigued…

    1. It’s a feeding plan based upon raw meat and bones. There are many different styles – for example some include grains, while others exclude grains.

  13. We feed Gus Natural Balance Potato and Duck. It’s the only food so far that is okay with his allergies. We fed homemade food for years until he was no longer tolerant :( It’s been great for the past couple years though, so we hope it continues to work!

  14. I got my first foster puppy a couple months ago.

    For the first couple weeks she ate raw like everyone else. One night she stopped eating.

    A friend suggested boiled boneless chicken.

    I am vegetarian and not much of a cook anyway, but I put some chicken in a pot, boiled it for a good long time, and that puppy ate as much of it as I would give her.

    So for a dog that won’t eat, boiled chicken gets my vote. Fortunately a few days later she got back to the same diet as everyone else which is cheaper and easier. Raw hearts and gizzards, primarily.

    For dog nutrition my favorite site is dogaware.com

    1. I had my dog put down two years ago from just eating boiled chicken, he would not eat chewy’s or anything other than chicken, his teeth got so bad they poisoned his system. Also when you say Raw does that mean you don’t cook any meat. I never heard of this before. I probably should try it on my new puppa before he starves. If i give him cheese that’s about all he will eat.

      1. Donna do check out dogaware.

        There are raw, cooked, all sorts of recipes. I feed raw because all my dogs will tolerate it and it is easy, but cooking and serving leftovers is not much worse.

        I think it is run by one woman, Mary Straus, who is well apprecited by many pet lovers.

        She also used to run this Yahoo group which is still very active and well moderated.


  15. Thanks, I will look it up when I get home, I really need to find something my little guy will eat.

  16. Thank You very much Erich, When i got home last night I boiled Ground Round, Rice, Eggs, then mixed it together, Puppa loved it but this morning wanted
    Nothing to do with…

      1. Donna –

        Be sure to check out the K9 Nutrition List posted a few posts ago.

        There are a lot of people who like to help others and can provide advice and moral support.

        The hardest part for me as a pet owner – not a pet expert – is finding people willing to listen and with good advice and that list is very active for all food and nutrition issues.

  17. Thanks again Erich, I will look up all I can for my little boy. He is just so dear, MY thing is making something he will eat all the time and maybe even freeze in single small bowls, The way I work and my girls “2 Cats” I don’t have alot of evening time, My Shelby is taken to a sitter every morning because he hates to be alone, and the girls moreless sleep all day.

  18. There are a very small number of rules that are involved when feeding puppies over adults (at least, when you feed them the way YOU do – that is, with nutritious, high quality real food).

    The first is that puppies can not regulate their calcium intake until about four months of age. Excess calcium before this period is important – so it’s not just about ratios, but also about mg/kg.

    Secondly, as I’m sure you already know, many many small meals throughout the day. As for amounts, well, you know what a skinny puppy looks like (great!) and what a fat or emaciated puppy. They’ll go through all the phases, and for the first few months I like to keep them a bit more on the chubby side, but after that I like them skinny.

    Third, is that if your dogs are not already receiving a diet of at least 30/20 protein/fat (or balance out to be) just make sure the puppy is (again, over time). The only thing I may suggest to add to your diets (or at least the one’s you’ve posted) is some meat. Canned turkey is super easy, throw a teaspoon or tablespoon in every meal.

    Finally, this is controversial, but I do like to use a REALLY good quality vitamin, something made by a company that promotes home and raw feeding, just to be sure that we’re getting everything in there. If the puppy is getting lots of raw bones, I prefer one without calcium, or with minimal calcium. If the puppy is not eating raw bones, I prefer one that includes calcium at a reasonable level.

    I have to agree with you on the distaste for puppies. It’s kind of like my distaste for children. I think they’re great, and adorable, and there’s nothing better than an hour of working them up and then handing them back to their parent. ;)

    That being said, my last three dogs were puppies. One simply because my dog at the time wouldn’t accept an adult, and after that simply because we wanted to raise two dogs of specific breed mixes that we could raise to assist me in both my day to day life as well as rehabilitating rescue dogs. We chose one that is extremely submissive and one that is extremely dominant and outgoing so that our clients have to meet three very different personalities. We do rescue privately, and have for five years, so I don’t feel any shame in purchasing puppies – but every time we brought one home I spent six months going to “oh my GAWD, what did I get myself into?” – and I train dogs for a living!

    I also want to note that the above recommendations are the way we raised our first pup, a rott mix, and the way I generally recommend for clients.

    When we raised our two cattle dog mixes, we raised them on a mixture of kibbles – Orijen, Acana Grain Free and Instinct, as well as home made and raw food (and yes, the dreaded *table scraps*… ewwww!) ;O)

    They grew up well proportioned, well muscled, enjoyed their food and came back with great bloodwork at every turn. To my clients of grown-up dogs, I recommend the kibble(keep in mind the majority of them are feeding whatever is on sale), and provide them a handout on the benefits of adding home cooked or switching to a HC or strictly raw diet (and yes, I direct them all to Mary’s site first and foremost – the dogs of the world owe her a great debt of gratitude).

    I used to be a “just throw it in the bowl!” kinda person… and then spent five years in a pet supply store where I saw things I wasn’t seeing ten years before when I worked in a vet clinic. Nutritional deficiencies.

    Generally they were idiots and making obvious mistakes for long periods of time, but nutritional deficiencies are rarely symptomatic until they are severe. After enough of them came in, my level of caution increased. I have no judgment for those who feed simply – or for those who feed cheaply. Do I try to change their minds? Sometimes, sure. But for the most part, it’s what YOU are comfortable with.

    All that said, there’s nothing like knowing where all your dogs quirks came from, puppy breath, puppy snuggles, puppy play, or sitting beside your crotchety old dog and looking at her puppy photos together. So… she official yet? ;O)

    1. You have a good memory Kim! I have indeed been giving her extra protein and you have reminded me to go look up the NRC’s calcium requirements for fuzzballs.
      Definitely NOT official but… there aren’t any no kill shelters w/space for her in the area and obviously we would never take her to a kill shelter. She’s still very fearful and will bite so of course wouldn’t pass any sort of “temperament test”.
      There is one pretty neat thing though: She treats me like a rock star. Billy, the one in the family who traditionally “has a way with pets”, is jealous. Puppy hasn’t warmed up to him yet and he keeps commenting, “That dog loves you to DEATH!”. She is a good sleeping buddy, I have to admit.
      Oh and we’re calling her “Mulder” by the way. (Thinking initially that her face looked like a fox.)
      But just to reiterate – NOT official… :-O

      1. By the way, you know the only thing worse than puppies? TEENAGERS. So, after six months you’ve got 12-18 months of that to look forward to.

        Funny, our latest rescue, Olivia, I little 2lb chihuahua, has latched on to me like mama bear. Usually the dominant ones to for me, either because they assume they can take me down or because they have been begging FOR ANYONE to take over and get rid of the pressure. Jeff on the other hand, my hubby (who is so animal prone the guys still bug him about a duck following him around like mommy and then kissing his boot before he left – a very, very wild duck) She remains standoffish.

        Have you tried him taking over some the feeding and potty duty? Stuffing his pocked with yummy bits of carrot or chicken and only rewarding her when she comes over immediately. No reaching, no grabbing, wait until she digs in his pocket and rolls over – then provide the treat with one hand while the other slowly moves gently in a petting motion. VERY IMPORTANT – if the dog jumps or snaps, or starts to look uncomfortable, stop all stimulus until she is comfy again, then given her a few seconds to relax before introducing the food again.

        Extra special pats mean extra special foods. Now, is there a possiblity they’ll never like each other? Yup. But I would have some men over enjoy the end of the season, maybe they could play cards and every time one of them gets up from the table they have to give her a piece of chicken. After a half dozen visits by strange men, she’ll have enjoyed her treats and accomplished a great feat (if all goes well). But set up like this, suddenly here comes familiarity, regardless of what package it’s in. You may even find that not only have you forged a bond between mulder and your husband, but also the the dog look towards the human as if to say “whatcha got” instead of “what are YOU going to do with me?”

        By the way, if there are like a zillion typos in my name over the next while, it’s because I got very ill and literally coughed so hard my right lung popped out of the cartilage that holds it in place and every breath, stretch, move twist, cough and sneeze is excruciating. Therefore, some extremely powerful opiates have been mixed in with some other meds that I have been taking for a long time for pre-existing condition – so please, bear with folks. And if a word is TOTALLY wrong, just insert the most likely word, and keep reading.

  19. Not so much memory as repetition. Next to the owner of Dogwise, I have an animal story/science library that puts some people who study this stuff to shame.

    I once tried to catalogue it all (it’s all over the house, but only the favourites are in my room for quick reference) When I got to 250 I started to get a little crazy and my hubby made me quit. I’m afraid to even consider starting again for fear I might find out the real number and lose my mind thinking about what I’ve spent. I figure I’ve spent at least a thousand dollars a year, per year, since I was… 13 or 14? All copies were brand new unless out of print in which case I will go to the ends of the earth to find one.

    Not official, huh? Hope someone took a screen shot of that. :O

  20. I’m a raw feeder myself – however, if you are going to go with any kibble (including the quality ones) be aware that they routinely overstate the portions. When I got my French Bulldog, I was feeding him Orijen puppy, and he was pooping every 20 minutes. I cut his food in half, and his output became nearly normal.

    Also, if the bag says AAFCO approved for All Life Stages, you can feed it to a puppy. I have seen some foods that specify they are only for adults.

  21. One interesting thing about feeding raw, the cost per pound is less for me than a quality kibble, but in terms of portions, by size, i.e. one cup, I think I feed more raw than I did kibble, perhaps because the kibble is dehyrated.

    Just a guess. I prefer to feed raw because I know what is in the food, but there can still be problems.

  22. I can’t speak on food and nutrition, but what about looking into calming influences in puppy’s environment? Plug in or spray on some DAP (I have not personally tried it but the feline version does wonders), and set aside some time where you massage puppy. There are websites and resources out there for shy dogs. I can’t remember any off the top of my head but there are some out there. Perhaps if this puppy feels calmer she will feel better about eating.

  23. I have to admit, mine go more or less straight onto whatever good quality adult kibble I’m feeding (frequently a performance formula.) I do supplement some with homecooked and raw, but I worry about nutrition-over-time with growing puppies in a way I don’t with adults or mostly-grown teens.

    Probably should also admit that mine are annoying yappy fuzzballs all the way through their lives. :D

  24. I feed all my dogs raw meat, bones, and organs. Oh, and green tripe!!! Can’t forget about the green tripe, or that awful smell. No veggies or grains for us, and all the dogs are doing fantastic!

    I was lucky enough to find a supplier that sells grass fed meats from farms that raise their animals humanely. I am a vegetarian myself, so I can’t stand the thought of supporting factory farming, but my dogs eat what they are supposed to, and they are happier and healthier than ever. If anyone is interested in checking it out, the company is Raw Basics (www.rawbasicsllc.com). The woman knows her stuff, and has really helped us a lot. Just tell her Spanky sent you, lol. She’ll know who it is.

Leave a Reply