We have prepared this diet sheet as a recommendation for you of what to feed your puppy. We feed our dogs on the principles as advised by Dr Ian Billinghurst B.V.Sc (Hons), B.Sc.Agr. Dip.E... in his book "Give Your Dog a Bone". A more detailed description of his recommendations can be gained through reading his book.
We recommend a diet based on raw, natural foods to promote maximum health. We rarely feed processed foods and if we do they are of the highest quality e, g. Pro Plan Puppy food for large breeds. We do not recommend puppy growth or complete adult foods as they are far too high in protein and calcium causing accelerated bone growth, which leads to skeletal deformities. If you are going to feed processed foods ensure they are premium foods that are specifically designed for large dogs.
We base our dog's diet on RAW, meaty bones. This accounts for a large portion of their diet. We predominantly feed raw chicken bones, for example, wings and necks for little puppies and frames/wings for adult dogs. We also feed minced frames. Meaty lamb bones are also fed as well as beef, pork and roo and fish. However chicken is the heart of our feeding program as it contains all ten essential amino acids for dogs and is readilly available and economical. Note ALL BONES MUST BE FED RAW. NEVER FEED COOKED BONES TO YOUR DOG. They are indigestible and can easily become lodged in your dog's gastrointestinal system.
We do not recommend feeding your dog on a meat only diet. A meat only diet is highly un-natural and highly unbalanced. It is deficient in essential nutrients including calcium and by itself would give too much protein and phosphorous.
We also feed organ meats such as liver, heart, kidney, tongue and green tripe. Organ meats are fed once or twice a fortnight.
Once or twice a week we feed a vegetable meal. This consists of whole, raw vegetables that have been prepared by juicing or placing in a food processor. You can also lightly steam vegetables if you wish. Vegetables must be prepared in this way so dogs can digest and absorb them. They are unable to digest cellulose so unless properly prepared 99% of the vegetable material you feed to your dog is not digested! Your dog's raw veggies should resemble the contents of a sheep's intestines. We feed spinach, broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, green lettuce leaves, sweet potato, carrots, celery, potatoes (not green), peas, beans etc.
Other useful dog foods are- dried and very ripe to over-ripe fruit, raw of course, but do not feed rotting fruit in case of botulism. Do not feed grapes, raisins or sultanas as they can be fatal to dogs.
raw eggs including the shell
The only additives we recommend are kelp powder or granules, Brewer's Yeast, cod liver oil and Linseed oil (nutritional grade). Under no circumstances do we recommend calcium supplements. If you feed your dog on the diet we advise you will not need to add calcium. Added calcium to the diet of your dog will only cause skeletal damage leading to disease such as canine hip dysplasia and elbow disease. Dr Ian Billinghurst states that 60 % - 80% of all Canine Skeletal Disorders are secondary to environment, specifically poor diet and over exercise. This is the current Veterinary statistics.
We recommend feeding your puppy three to four times per day until the age of three months, two to three meals per day from three to six months, two meals per day from six to twelve months and one meal per day after twelve months of age.
Important guidelines to follow are: - Do Not grow your puppy at the maximum growth rate
- Always leave your puppy a little hungr
- NEVER, EVER allow your puppy to become fat and rolly polly
- Always keep your puppy slim, healthy and athletic
Your puppy will grow to its correct size if you follow these guidelines. You do not have to grow your puppy at its maximum growth rate. Doing this will only lead to joint and skeletal problems.
Below is an example of a diet we recommend. This is only an example based over a two-week period for your adult dog. You can use this as a guide and add or subtract, as you like. The important factors are that you base the diet on raw, meaty bones and that you feed a vegetable mix every week. You can add kelp, Cod liver oil, Linseed oil and Brewer's Yeast to meals.
Monday - chicken frames/wings
Tuesday - offal (liver and kidneys)
Wednesday - vegetable mix, natural yoghurt and cottage cheese with an egg
Thursday - lamb necks
Friday - chicken frames/wings
Saturday - vegetable mix, natural yoghurt with baked beans and a can of sardines
Sunday - chicken necks
Monday - kangaroo tail bones
Tuesday - heart
Wednesday - meaty lamb bones
Thursday - chicken frames/wings
Friday - minced chicken frames, cottage cheese and natural yoghurt
Saturday - vegetable mix and an egg
Sunday - chicken frames/wings.
Diseases such as canine hip dysplasia are not only genetic in origin. It is true that canine hip dysplasia and elbow disease are caused by the presence of many genes (polygenic) but many environmental factors lead to its development in an individual dog.
Factors such as nutrition and exercise play a major role in the development of these diseases. We advise the feeding of the diet we have supplied you with and at all costs to avoid a diet with high levels of protein and high levels of calcium as is found in many processed foods. These diets only accelerate growth and lead to skeletal problems.
Let your puppy play in the garden but never force your puppy to exercise. We recommend you avoid sustained exercises for the first twelve months of your puppy's life. This includes jogging or long walks with owner, running with owner on bike and vigorous sustained activity such as agility training and trialing.
It is best to prevent your puppy from any kind of jumping for the first year or so of life. This includes jumping in and out of a car or Ute, jumping up and down stairs and on and off furniture. Avoiding slippery surfaces is such as polished wooden floors or shiny tiles are also good practice. Do not allow your puppy to play unsupervised with larger, heavier dogs no matter how gentle you think them to be. It only takes a small mistake on the part of the larger dog and your puppy may suffer from irreversible damage such as a broken leg! Do not exercise too strongly too early as such exercise can interfere with proper growth of joints, leading to joint and skeletal problems and early arthritic changes.
You will need to start your puppy on heartworm prevention when he arrives home. You can use daily or monthly treatment, whichever is more convenient. Discuss different types of prevention with your vet.
You will need to worm your puppy at three months of age and then monthly until six months of age. Continue to worm your dog every three months for the rest of his life.
You will need to vaccinate your puppy at twelve weeks. Continue to vaccinate your dog annually for the rest of his life.
If you notice any changes in your puppy's health please do not delay in seeking veterinary treatment. Delaying treatment could mean the difference between the life and death of your dog.
This is one of the most crucial things in your puppy's life. To become a happy, confident adult he must be socialised to everything he may encounter as an adult. From the day your puppy arrives home it is vitally important that he meet lots of different people and experience lots of different situations.
The socialisation window for a puppy is a finite period of time. The universally accepted socialisation period is from four to twelve weeks. It is during this period that your puppy should be exposed to potentially fearful stimuli in the environment such as children, vets, postmen, cats, street noises, vacuum cleaners, other dogs, livestock etc. and this process should continue through the socialisation period and on into adulthood. If pups are not actively socialised during this time it is much more likely they will become excessively excitable or excessively inhibited. They will be poor learners and try to avoid stimulation. They will be generally nervous and fearful of strange environments.
Dogs that are not well socialised to people are anti-social, nervous, difficult to train and dingo like in their behaviour. Dogs that are not actively socialised to other dogs during the socialisation period and beyond are fearful, make poor mothers and are terrified or over-aggressive when meeting other dogs.
Play activity during the socialisation period is also extremely important. Pups that do not play with other pups at this stage can become excessively or abnormally attached to humans and very fearful of other dogs. Remember to encourage your puppy to play with other dogs but be very careful if the other dog is older, heavier or larger.
We encourage our puppy owners to take their puppy along to a puppy pre-school. This should be a well-run puppy group that is run by someone with demonstrated knowledge of canine behavior and working dogs. We advocate motivational training using food and other rewards and are very against people who promote punishment and physical abuse. NEVER allow someone to physically punish your puppy, even if they justify this by saying the puppy is too dominant and needs to be put in its place. We do not subscribe to the dominance theory of training and believe it leads to abuse and fearful, unmotivated dogs.
ALL dogs can be trained utilising motivational training methods and relying on a reward based training system. There are many good books regarding dog training that do not rely on traditional training methods based on force and punishment. Avoid dog trainers who teach dogs through punishment and corrections.
We recommend that you never allow dogs and children to play together without adult supervision. Children can easily be knocked over and injured by a playful dog. Even the most gentle, loving dog is capable of biting under the right circumstances.
Please contact us if you ever have any questions about your puppy or are seeking advice. If we are unable to help we will be able to put you into contact with someone who can.
"Don't Shoot The Dog" - Karen Pryor
"The Dog's Mind" - Bruce Fogle
"The Culture Clash" - Jean Donaldson
"Grow your Pups With Bones" - Dr Ian Billinghurst
"Give Your Dog A Bone" - Dr Ian Billinghurst