The diet program for pups is more complex, as they are growing rapidly and require frequent meals because of limited stomach capacity.
At two to three months, puppies require four meals a day: a morning meal, which could be minced meat or a suitable commercial ration, particularly a semi-moist type of food, together with a granular dog meal. The midday meal and the mid-afternoon meal should consist of milk with cereal, baby foods or breakfast cereals. The evening meal should be the same as the morning meal, and given an hour before bedtime to encourage the puppy to empty his bowels and urinate on his last trip outside. Water should be available at all times.
From three to six months, three meals a day are adequate; eliminate the late afternoon meal and gradually increase the evening meal. Between six and nine months, when the puppy has nearly matured, two meals a day are adequate: morning and evening.
From nine months of age on, one meal a day is all that is necessary. It is important to realize that at this age the dog has finished growing and its nutritional requirements will change. If the dog is still fed a number of times a day, it will become obese.
Before dogs were domesticated they used to catch their prey and eat the hole of it. It supplied them with a balanced, nutritious diet of bones, muscles and internal organs such as the heart, kidneys, liver and lungs. It also provided various vitamins and minerals from the vegetative matter in ‘le gut of the animal eaten. Dogs had to be fit and slim enough to chase and catch their prey. After eating a large meal they would lie down and sleep it off. If they became obese they would not be fit enough to chase and kill more prey.
Dogs are very adaptable in terms of diet and because of this they have thrived in a wide variety of environments and on a wide range of diets. As result, they are probably less subject to serious dietary disease than most other animals. In the past decade, dogs have benefited from our increasing knowledge of their nutritional requirements and the application of that knowledge to prepared, commercial dog foods. Dog feeding is now much less haphazard than it was in the past, when the dog was dependent on its owner’s variable and often rudimentary understanding of nutrition.
Milk given to young puppies causes worms. This myth has been perpetuated by the fact that puppies begin to drink milk at three to four weeks, at about the same age as they start to pass round white worms (`milk worms’) from infestations acquired in the mother’s womb.
Meat gives worms. Any meat, other than that purchased from a butcher’s ;424 shop, can give worms, even meat from a reputable pet shop. The best approach is to cook all meat bought from a pet shop.
A purebred bitch is ruined for breeding when she has pups to a mongrel or dog of another breed. This is false. Once a bitch has had a litter of pups. the womb is cleaned out and free to accept the next pregnancy. It is biologically impossible for the previous sire to exert any genetic influence on subsequent pregnancies.
More than one father to a litter of pups is impossible. This is incorrect. A bitch may be promiscuous during her heat cycle so that different eggs within her womb may be fertilized by sperm from different dogs, the result being a mixed bag of pups.