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Vegan puppy food?
weigand Posted at 2014/06/02 2:36pm reply to

weigand
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They like each others dog foods, because dogs like variety. So that's why the puppies like the dog food, and the dogs like the puppy food. It's only temporary, though. They'll re-like their own food after a week or two.

Oh, and you can try staggering their feeding schedule. Feed the adults at different times of the day than the puppies. Separate them to make sure they're not trying to steal food out of each other's bowls.

One thing you can do to increase the palatability of their food when they're bored of it is to simply add water. Sprinkle it on the food, and they'll go crazy. No need to soak it, just sprinkle. (You still want the crunchiness so that it scrapes their teeth more, preventing tooth decay over time. ) You can also warm up the water (separately) in the microwave first to give their food some heat. My dogs flip when I do this after a long period of serving them cold, dry dog food.

I looked it up. V-Dog has 24% guaranteed protein, with independent analysis showing 26% (by calorie). That's pretty good. More protein than Natural Balance (18%). Puppies need between 22% and 32% protein, depending on the breed and how active they are. A good number to target would be 28%, from what I gather out there. Adults don't need as much (15-25%, depending on breed and activity level).

Since you're already at 24% with V-Dog, it's not a huge leap to get to 28%. You can probably just include a very small amount of high protein foods, such as cooked edamame, tofu, or textured vegetable protein.

There are also mock meat products out there that might be acceptable. They tend to be very high in protein. But watch out for garlic and onion, which may be harmful to dogs.

Lightlife's "Gimme Lean Ground Sausage" is about 50% protein by calorie and doesn't list onion or garlic in the ingredients (but you might want to ask them first just to make sure). They also have a "Smart Deli Baked Ham" that is about 70% protein and doesn't contain garlic or onions. You can feed these to them as a treat if you don't want to mix it up with their regular dog food. They'll go crazy for these mock meats, by the way.

If it's a small amount, it probably won't cause them to eat less of the regular dog food. But if you do find them eating less of their regular dog food, try mixing it in with their regular dog (cut it up into tiny pieces so they can't just pick it out), and also add a little water.

So this is a really minor thing to worry about. You really don't need much extra protein. And most puppies would be fine with just the V-Dog. It does depend on how active they are, though.

After the puppy stage (typically just 6-9 months), you can go back to just feeding regular dog food and not worrying about anything really. All you worry about at that point is their body weight, so they aren't getting fatter over time. Aside from that, you just let them self-regulate and eat as much or as little as they want.

- Steve
lazy smurf Posted at 2014/06/03 11:07am reply to

lazy smurf
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Thanks so much Steve!!! That really helps. They try and steal each others food even when it's the same food, it's so ridiculous. I think Willow must have lived on the street for a while because she is such a scavenger and now the puppy is starting to pick up all of her bad habits.

I will start feeding them at different times, that should solve the problem. And give the puppy some veggie ham happy
weigand Posted at 2014/06/03 12:27pm reply to

weigand
Posts: 539
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Happy to help, Lazy Smurf. happy

One other thing about feeding. I forgot to mention crate training...

Something many dog trainers recommend is to feed your dogs in their crates (if you have crates) . The crates are their home. It's a nice, safe place. So when you feed them in their crates, they feel safe and remain there eating their own food. It also reinforces the good feeling they get about their crates.

So what we do with our two dogs is to tell them, "Dinner time! Go in your crates. " They know what "Go in your crates" means. And they know what "Dinner time" means (separately) . Combining both phrases prompts them to go into their crates to receive their dinner bowls. Then once they get in, we place their bowls down in front of them and close their crate doors. They eat. When they're done, we praise them for eating their dinner, then open the crate door and let them out.

Give them 5-10 minutes to eat their food. If they haven't eaten anything by then, simply open the crate door and take the food. Don't leave it around on the floor for them to eat later. Just take it away. They learn that they must eat their food in their crate as soon as it is given to them. Otherwise, if they don't eat, it means they're not hungry. We have twice a day feeding times (once in the morning 7AM and once in the evening 7PM) . This gives them two chances to eat each day, and often times they don't eat anything. It just means they're not hungry. They self-regulate.

Crate training is something I recommend for all dogs. A lot of people misunderstand it and think you're "jailing" the dogs. No, it's their home, and they feel really secure there. It's where they sleep and eat. It's also how we transport them when we go for car rides, which helps to mellow them down during the trip.

And we also used the crate training for when we were potty training them. They'll hold their bladders when they're in their crate. So you put them in their crates over night, and then let them out and take them for a walk first thing in the morning. When they go outside and pee, you praise them like crazy for being such good dogs. You can even use treats to reward them. They learn through this positive reinforcement that they're praised and rewarded for going outside to pee/poop. Later on it becomes instinctive, and they no longer want to pee/poop indoors.

Highly recommended.

Otherwise, what you're doing by just separating them and feeding them at different times is fine. The only problem there is keeping the non-feeding dogs from going crazy at the sound and smell of another dog eating in the house. And it's somewhat more work and inconvenient for people to stagger their dog feeding schedules. Crate training allows you to feed them all together, in separate crates. More convenient for you, and more secure for them.

Of course, there are ways around everything. If you're not using crates and the non-feeding dogs go crazy when the other dog(s) are feeding, you can give them treats for performing a "sit" and "stay". If they get up off their sit/stay, you say, "Eh eh! " , and block them with your body from walking into the same room as your other feeding dog(s) . Then you present the treat and kind of put it right up to their nose to make them more aware of it. Eventually they calm down and start to realize that they're getting treated. They'll then sit and stay. And over time, repeatedly doing this, they come to expect it and will sit and stay nice and polite whenever the other dog(s) are being fed. It's all through positive reinforcement.

- Steve
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