How much do you feed your new little ball of black fur? This is a great question, and one we hear quite often. It is somewhat tricky for us to answer due to several factors.
1. We are feeding a litter of puppies at once and monitoring their weight gain. You will be feeding one puppy, and most likely won't be weighing him/her very frequently.
2. We are feeding the puppies 3 times a day, and we recommend that you transition the puppy to 2 times a day by 3-4 months of age.
3. We feed the puppies over a transitional time in their lives from milk to solid food. You will get the puppy already on solid food.
So, I say all that to say, I will give you a feeding guideline. Along with the help of your veterinarian, you will soon have a feel for how much to feed Fido.
My guideline is feed your puppy 1/3 to 1/2 cup of food three times a day when you pick it up at 8 weeks. There is no need to soften it with water; the puppies are already eating dry food.
A few other things to keep in mind....
-Do not make any abrupt changes in your puppy's diet. If you wish to switch to another brand of food, transition slowly by mixing in the new food with the old. Gradually increase the new food while decreasing the old food.
-Always have fresh, clean water available. (When house training, some sources advise to take water from the puppy 1-3 hours before bed time. We did do that, but be extremely careful in the summer heat! Never withhold water from a thirsty puppy.)
-Don't be alarmed if you puppy doesn't finish his/her food the first few days; he/she is going through some big changes!
-Do not feed your puppy table food or scraps.
-Feed your puppy on a schedule to aid in weight gain and house training.
-Do not feed your puppy free choice (leaving food out all day).
-Diarrhea and vomiting are two conditions you will want to pay attention to and report to your vet if you have any concerns. One tip we picked up at obedience school is to feed a dog with an upset stomach pureed pumpkin (again, report the condition to your vet if you are concerned). It seems odd, but we did it several times and it worked great! The amazing thing is that our dog liked it.
Remember, we will be giving you a small bag of Purina puppy chow to feed your puppy.
The above pictures feel like they are worth more than a thousand words to me. Photographing puppies is fun...and challenging! Especially as the puppies grow and become more energetic. In addition, our puppies LOVE to play outside. So, take them outside with a football and sit them down, and they stay for...
...a very brief time in which I try to capture their cuteness. I thought you might like a chuckle today, so I'll share with you my puppy picture bloopers. (To see the good ones, check out the available puppies page.)
First, all my girls decided to investigate the flower. Some of them even tried to eat it.
Picking up a new puppy is about snuggling it and getting some puppy kisses. However, there is some necessary paperwork that also has to be completed. We try to minimize paperwork time and maximize puppy time by letting you know ahead of time what to expect. So, here is a run-down of the paperwork you will see at pick up time. You will be receiving a folder with these papers. We recommend taking the whole folder along to your first vet appointment.
1. Puppy Information Page - This is for you. It has information such as the breed, birth date, collar color, etc.
2. Health Records - This page is for you and your vet. It has the puppy's birth date, weight record, vaccination record, and deworming record.
3. Health Certificate - This is for you and your vet. It is from our vet stating the puppy was found to be in good health.
4. Puppy Contract - Please read this document carefully! You will be asked to sign two copies at pick up - one for you and one for us.
5. AKC Registration Papers - We completed our part of the registration papers. At pick up time, please be prepared to fill in the new owner information (name, address, and phone number). You will need to know who is going to officially own the dog. You can add a co-owner for an extra $10 fee to the AKC. You are not required to ever mail the AKC registration papers. It will cost $30 to register your puppy. Also, as our website says, we make a distinction between limited (pet) registration and full (breeding) registration. If you have not requested full registration, you will receive limited registration. (Full registration costs more, and we grant it at our discretion.) Limited registration simply means that your dog is AKC registered, but if he/she would produce any puppies, they would not be eligible for registration. Limited registration does not mean that you must spay or neuter; however, we recommend that you do if you are not getting full registration.
6. New puppy information - We give you a packet of papers with helpful tips on training your new puppy.
7. Photo use permission - We like when families keep in touch with us with photos and updates on their puppy. We have a page on our website with "past puppy photo updates" where you can share pictures of your puppy with others. We never want to post photos here without permission. Therefore, you may fill out this OPTIONAL form that allows us to post pictures you send us. If ever there is a specific photo you do not want to be shared, you can always note that when you send it. You are not required to fill out this form.
Let us know if you have any questions!
Vanessa from Russell Homestead. Follower of the Lord Jesus, wife of my knight in shining armor, mother of 5 wonderful children, and joint-keeper of the Russell homestead. Thanks for stopping by!
Independent Field Representative