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Wellness for Puppies Dry - Questions

October 26th, 2008, 06:54 PM
I am currently switching my choc lab/golden retriever puppy from Iams large breed to Wellness for puppies. I have been switching her very gradually. I know that she is extremely picky even when she was on the Iams and has weird habits.

Tried a couple of different sample pouch and she seems to enjoy the just for puppies. I have found that she is less hyper - less sugar? Also, I have been getting her 4 cups a day. As well, even before the switch, she didn't eat all her food in one go. I feed her twice a day and during the week she is in her crate. She has treats in her cage, which occasionally she will eat. When I am home I will leave the food out all day. In addition, some evenings, I will add a little bit of cooked steak, chicken, etc - just the meat nothing else. Loves a bit of cooked meat.

Anyway, should I leave the food out until it gone. I do bring the food into the bedroom when we go to bed and when she is hungry, she eats. Usually it is gone in the morning.

1)4 cups a day - 6 mth 50 lb pup? Is this a good weight so far for her breed?
2)Leave the food out, or take away after a certain amount of time.
3)Should I switch to something else
4)Treats - extremely picky, it almost like she gets bored if she has the same type for too long and there are some she hates like Zukes. Any treat suggestions.

She gets tons of exercise - mostly fetch. She looks skinny, but she is getting long and I think it is just her growing.

Any info would be great.

October 26th, 2008, 09:48 PM
The amount of food and her weight all sound good, but check with your vet if you are concerned re: her weight. It's not surprising for pups to get skinny at that age though. They're growing up and out and take some time to fill in.

Wellness is a very good choice for food and congrats on switching off of IAMS! You may find your pup is a bit picky about it for a while since it doesn't have added fats and fake flavours, so it may seem less tasty at first. The addition of some meat is a great idea! :thumbs up

IMO, I would avoid free-feeding. I find that tends to promote pickiness and it is harder to monitor how much is getting eaten. It's also not really heahty for a dog to eat in the middle of the night when they're not active, just for the sames reasons humans don't do it. When my pup was being stubborn about eating I stopped free feeding and put his food down for 15 mins. in the A.M. and 15 in the P.M. He was very stubborn and it took awhile, but he eventually learned to eat at scheduled times!

Some dogs don't really like cookie type treats....and others hate soft ones :shrug: My dogs go nuts for anything edible, so I can't really relate. But I can tell you they especially love Old Mother Hubbard cookies, cheese, peanut butter, apples, carrots, broccoli, and frozen melon balls.

October 26th, 2008, 09:56 PM
1)4 cups a day - 6 mth 50 lb pup? Is this a good weight so far for her breed?
There should be a feeding chart on the bag for your dog's weight. You can tell if she's under or overweight just by feeling her ribs. If you can feel her ribs and there is no layer of fat, she's too skinny. If you can feel the ribs with just slight pressure (a slight layer of fat), then she's okay. If you can't feel her ribs, she's overweight. Also look at her body from the top - does she have a defined waist? If so, that's a good sign. Look at her from the side - does her tummy tuck in or is there no defined tuck? If there is a tuck, she's fine, but if her tummy sags, she's overweight. If she's okay in weight, check the feeding chart on the bag for a 50lb dog. Feed her the amount it says - for example, if it says 3 cups, feed her 1.5 cups twice a day. Try this for 2 weeks. If it looks like she's gaining weight, lower the amount of food by a 1/4 cup. If it looks like she's losing weight, add a 1/4 cup to the daily amount. It depends on how active your puppy is; the feeding chart is just a guide.

2)Leave the food out, or take away after a certain amount of time.
Some people free feed their dogs and have no problems. However, your pup being a lab, a breed that gains weight easily, this may cause a problem if food is available at all times. Personally, I'm not a big fan of free feeding because it tells the dog that he can get food whenever he wants. But again, it depends on the dog. In your case, since she's not eating all her food, it may be because she knows it will always be there. She may also not like the food but try this for now: Put the measured amount of food in her bowl and set it down. After 20 minutes, if she hasn't eaten all or any of it, put it away until the next feeding. Dogs will not starve themselves.
3)Should I switch to something else
Like I said, try the above and see if she starts eating the food more readily. If she still doesn't, try switching to a different protein source.
4)Treats - extremely picky, it almost like she gets bored if she has the same type for too long and there are some she hates like Zukes. Any treat suggestions.
Are you just giving her treats whenever or are you making her work for them? By this I mean, do you tell her to sit, lie down, wait or look at you before you treat her? She might just know that she's going to get treats so why bother eating them when you give them to her? SHe knows she'll get them another time. If it's to get her used to the crate, try getting a Kong and fill it with peanut butter. I've never met a lab who doesn't love peanut butter. Or you can also fill them with plain yogurt and freeze them for a lower calorie treat. The good thing about labs is that they are easily trained because they are very food motivated. Also try Wellness Pure bites (they're grain free) - they're great for training. Just make her work for it. (same goes for her feeding, make her sit before you put the food down).

October 26th, 2008, 11:10 PM
I agree with the advice from the others :thumbs up.

As for treats, my yellow lab will eat absolutely anything but my black lab is much pickier and much less food obsessed (but still has healthy appetite). He still has a healthy appetite and always eats his dinner but I work a bit harder to find super tasty treats for training.

Four cups might be a bit to much food for her as well. I would guess closer to 3.5 cups but every dog is different. You can adjust that going forward depending on her appetite and activity levels. Adding good healthy food (meat, veggies etc) to her kibble is IMO great as I think it is healthy to add quality "human" food.

October 27th, 2008, 09:09 PM
Tks for the info.

Weight & Food amount - it is right weight & food amount for her. Vet thinks she is fine. Plus as per FlipGirl 4 - she is the perfect weight.

Free Feeding - it is mainly in the evening when she gets free feed. After breakfast she is put in the crate with a couple of treats. Also, she gets exactly 4 cups per day - no more.

Treats - some days she prefers hard treats and other days soft chews. She does work for them. She plays gets a lot of exercise mainly fetch. She goes for a walk, but it is not her favourite activity, plus it is hard to walk her - high traffic volume, lots of litter, and distractions.

Could her eating be related to her growth spurts. I know when she has a growth spurts she is more sleepy/tired more than other days. Could her teeth still be bothering her. They look like they are all out, but they might still be growing?

Kongs - she has one, but not fussy about it. Rather her tennis ball. Not fussy about peanut butter too. She loves yogurt.