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amer September 1st, 2014 03:03 PM

Raw diet for puppy
Hi! We're welcoming a 10 week old Tibetan Terrier to our home in a few days and I need advice on what to feed her.

The puppy is currently being fed IAMS Smart Puppy. I've been doing lots of research and plan to start her on raw when she comes home. I like the convenience of the ready made blends from local suppliers, could anyone review Faim Museau or Raw Paw? Pets 4 Life? Would you recommend other brands/options?

The quantities of the blends seem straightforward, but I know we'll be using lots of treats to train and I don't want to overfeed her. Any advice on how I should adjust her meals to account for the treats would be very helpful.

Any other tips/advice/guidance will be much appreciated! Thanks!

Longblades September 2nd, 2014 06:58 AM

A good breeder will send puppy home with detailed feeding instructions and usually a bag of food puppy is currently eating. It's a good idea to stay with the breeder's food for a couple of months till puppy is settled in. Puppy will be going through an awful lot of changes and food is one you can control and don't have to change right away. Does the breeder endorse switching to another food? Sometimes food is part of your health guarantee. Make sure you know what's in your guarantee. I would discuss any food changes with the breeder.

I'm just looking into raw myself so can't offer anything on that just yet.

amer September 2nd, 2014 09:02 AM

Hi Longblades,

Thank you for your reply. My intuition is to wait for the puppy to settle in before changing diet, but I've read/been told that I should start her on raw right away (obviously by strong proponents of feeding raw). Could you expand a bit on why it's a good idea to wait a couple of months?

My personal thoughts are that the familiar food might be comforting to the puppy, but I don't actually have any experience with "change management" for dogs and for all I know the "better" food will make her happier (more so than the "familiar" food). I've read that coming to a new home might cause her eating habits and digestive system to be upset for a couple of days anyway (she might eat less, have loose stools), so maybe it's better to just get all the readjusting over with in one shot?

You're right, I'll consult the breeder for health guarantee purposes. I'm just not so thrilled about feeding her the IAMS (from their website, the list of ingredients includes, among others, corn, by-products, and salt -- things I do not want my puppy to be eating). So even if I don't start her on raw right away, I would at least want to change her to a dry food that I feel is healthier.

Longblades September 2nd, 2014 10:23 AM

You've already hit on why there is a general recommendation to not switch food right away, try to keep changes to a minimum at first. Same as you do not want to give her rabies vaccinations with all her other shots, just to avoid overwhelming a young system with what might be too much too soon all at once.

Think as well, hopefully you chose a reputable breeder who has chosen the best foods for her dogs and knows what works for them. The breeder is providing you with the health test results on the parents, the ones recommended for that breed. As well the breeder is involved the breed club and shows, or tests, or trials her dogs, whatever it is that breed is known for. If you decided this is the right breeder then isn't the food she uses good too?

I like this site (link below) for learning about dog food ingredients and how to read labels. I know you want to go raw but understanding the make up of the breeder's food might be illuminating. For instance you mention corn, but there is nothing wrong with corn in the right amounts and in the proper place in the ingredient list. And by-products, LOL, lots of raw feeders feed what we consider to be by-products such as offal and chicken feet.


amer September 2nd, 2014 09:42 PM

Hi Longblades,

Thank you for your very thought-out response. I've contacted the breeder and they made some suggestions of the dry food they work with (for the adult dogs), specifically Natural Balance, but she didn't specify any requirements for the health guarantee (nor did she raise any objections to a raw diet). I guess we'll see when my husband actually meets the breeder and goes over the contract.

The dog food project site is a great resource! I'm exploring it and learning a lot. What put me off about the puppy's current food is that the corn meal is the second ingredient and the chicken by-product is the third, 6th is "chicken flavour", 7th is chicken fat, there's also salt, caramel and an "alternative sweetener". I wish I could trust the breeder's judgement on this, but just can't accept that this is the best food I can offer the puppy.

She has been breeding Tibetan Terriers since 1976 and many US breeders' dogs come from her, so maybe the dogs are just that good? (That they do well even on less than ideal foods).

I'm going to wait for the puppy to get here and see how she adjusts before switching her to raw. She'll be seeing the vet on Sunday (a day and a half after she gets here), so I'll discuss with him as well when is the best time to switch her diet.

Dog Dancer September 3rd, 2014 08:20 AM

Welcome amer, and congrats on the new puppy to come. My two malamute puppies were being fed kibble in the morning and raw at night by our breeder. It's an option you might consider. It's only key that you keep 12 hours between the kibble and raw as they digest differently. It's not to say it would kill your dog, just that it could cause tummy troubles if you mix them. A lot of people go the 50/50 route though. Vets are another story altogether. Hopefully your vet will support raw, many don't. My own vet in (past vet now) wanted my pups on kibble until they were a year old. I didn't make it that long. My current vet supports raw - so long as we know what we're doing.

If you are concerned about your dog's intake, weigh his food, including treats, and then ration it out over the day.

Sorry I don't have time to expand too much right now, have to get to work. By the way, I am waiting on a 40 lb order of chicken feet right now. Should arrive today - but they are free range feet if that helps!! lol Feet and quarters on order. My Malamutes are thriving on their raw diet and my vet is tickled pink.

Good luck with your pup, and while you are busy researching your fabulous raw diet, make sure you research titer tests as well in regards to the vaccines.:thumbs up My last vet refused to titer test which was the breaking point for us.

amer September 3rd, 2014 12:38 PM

UPDATE -- I found out today that the breeder we were going to buy from has a very questionable history and so we won't be getting a puppy this week. I wrote a (looong) post explaining what happened, hopefully it can help others not go through the same experience.

The post is here: [url][/url]

We will get a Tibetan Terrier puppy, but we'll have to wait until a trust-worthy breeder has a litter.

In the meantime, I will continue to research and learn so that when we do get a puppy, I'll be prepared to offer her a healthy life.

I am still very interested in raw diets for puppies, so if you have input for my original post, I'd love for you to share it!

On a related note, I'm in contact with Farah from Raw Paw and will be working with her on a raw diet for our future puppy when we find her.

sugarcatmom September 3rd, 2014 06:26 PM

Lots of breeders don't actually feed inferior products like Iams because they truly think it's good for their dogs, but because they get "breeder" discounts and incentives for referring new puppy owners to these diets: [url][/url]

Good luck on your quest for a new (better!) breeder of Tibetan Terriers. And when you finally do get your puppy, raw is definitely the way to go. Maybe not as soon as they get home, but I personally would make the switch within the month. Growing puppies need the best food possible!

amer September 3rd, 2014 10:48 PM

Sugarcatmom: WOW.

I suspected as much, but I never thought they'd be so blatant about it. Thank you for sharing that link.

This is further proof that the breeder we almost went with was not the right one. I can't accept that a caring breeder would choose to save on food costs at the expense of nutrition during such a pivotal developmental stage (or ever!). Specially when we're talking about $2,000 puppies; I trust that in that price range, the breeder has the resources to make sound decisions for the puppies' health. Unless, of course, they're greedy or more interested in making money than raising healthy animals.

I knew not to trust vets' food recommendations for that reason, but I'm shocked that a breeder could be so heartless toward the little creatures they're bringing into this world.

teddym January 5th, 2016 08:10 PM


I'm really not a fan of Iams and if I were in your position I would switch but very very slowly. I switched my puppy to Primal after I got her from the breeder who actually was feeding her "beneful!" I didn't know any better and continued feeding for a month -_-. But as others have mentioned, transition very slowly as the puppy is not use to raw and will take time to adjust.

Good luck!

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