Advice on feeding
Experience has taught that most dogs cannot measure their diet if given unlimited feeding. The table on page 24 therefore gives an average guideline. For any guidelines the following always applies: use your eyes and observe when feeding, because no two dogs are the same. A good starting point is that you should be able to feel the ribs of your dog, however should not (in the case of breeds with a smooth coat) be able to see them. However never give more than 25% more than the stated guideline. This is because dogs have a short intestine (relatively speaking seven times shorter than that of people). Through the large amount of food that your dog receives, it can be that because of pressure, food cannot be properly digested in your dog’s intestines, and the dog will lose weight because of this. Ensure that there is always unlimited drinking water available for the dog (s)!
Growth phase 1 (puppies to an age of approximately 3 months)
In the phase up to approximately 3 months, puppies develop very quickly. Good feeding is important to lay a stable basis for the further development of your dog.
“Without a good intestinal flora, there can be no good health” is a slogan, which in our experience, is becoming increasingly important. We often see diarrhoea and other intestinal problems (and not just amongst puppies) as a result of poor intestinal flora. We talk about poor intestinal flora when there are too few different bacteria colonies present in the intestines. If this is the case then food is not sufficiently digested and rotting and fermentation take place within the large intestine, with diarrhoea as result.
For this reason it is the first priority that a stable intestinal flora is built up by your puppy at a very early stage.
Three facts deserve extra attention in building up a good intestinal flora!
- Puppies are born without any type of intestinal flora.
- During the puppy phase the flora has to be able to form via the diet by taking in ‘good’ bacteria.
- Dry food (also Farm Food HE) is by definition sterile and therefore will not build up intestinal flora.
With the above facts as a starting point, we have been giving the same advice for years on how to approach the feeding of puppies. Namely; in addition to providing food, a puppy’s diet should also be focused on building up a stable intestinal flora. More and more breeders are following our advice in the meantime and have also become convinced of this, and pass this advice on to people buying puppies.
Should it be necessary (for example if the mother has no milk or not enough milk), give Farm Food No.1 puppy milk. It has become apparent that this patented milk replacer, based on full goat’s milk, is the best replacement for mothers’ milk.
From an age of 3 to 4 weeks you begin giving puppies supplementary food. Apart from in exceptional cases, giving porridge is not to be recommended (remember that in nature no “puddles of porridge” exist).
It is above all essential for puppies that their first solid food does not just feed them, but also helps build up a healthy, balanced intestinal flora.
Therefore we advise in the first weeks, in addition to mother’s milk, to only feed with Farm Food Fresh fresh meat or as an alternative a complete fresh meat diet containing at least 60% of green (dirty or unwashed) tripe (make sure it contains all the required vitamins, minerals and trace elements). It is a good idea to begin with Farm Food Fresh Beef Complete or as an alternative a complete fresh meat diet based on beef (make sure it contains all the required vitamins, minerals and trace elements). When the puppies are five weeks old gradually switch to Farm Food Fresh Tripe and Heart Complete or the alternative meat diet with tripe.
In the period from 6 to 8 weeks you gradually change over to Farm Food HE. During these two weeks feeding with complete fresh meat is slowly reduced and you give more Farm Food HE (spread out over at least five meals per day).
Give the buyers of your puppies the following dietary advice if the pups are fed in the nest with Farm Food Fresh and HE: from eight weeks to 8 months replace Farm Food HE two days per week with Farm Food Fresh Tripe and Heart Complete or the alternative meat diet with tripe. You can also mix a bit of Farm Food Fresh Tripe and Heart Complete now and then in with the pellets. In this way you also build up a stable intestinal flora (50 g Farm Food HE is approximately equivalent to 100 gram Farm Food Fresh Tripe and Heart Complete).
Years of experience have taught that the combination of Farm Food HE and fresh meat containing at least 60% of green (dirty or unwashed) tripe delivers the best results. For this reason we have Farm Food Fresh Tripe and Heart Complete. Should the excrement still not have the desired consistency then it is preferable to give your puppy Farm Food Fresh Tripe and Heart Complete and to gradually change over to Farm Food HE later.
Transition to the new owner
Puppies that are going to a new owner have a lot to get used to. They experience a lot of stress because they miss their mother and litter mates, the new environment with the strange smells and noises but along with it, the new “pack” etc. This stress has a great deal of influence on digestion. The advice is then to take account of this and to feed the puppy “carefully” for the first few days.
Because the intestinal flora of the puppy needs to be (further) built up it is important to begin with (or to continue) with Farm Food Fresh fresh meat. If your puppy did not receive Farm Food Fresh from the breeder the best way to do this is to only give your puppy Farm Food Fresh Tripe and Heart Complete for two weeks or as an alternative a fresh meat containing at least 60% of green (dirty or unwashed) tripe. Afterwards you can mix Farm Food HE with Farm Food Fresh. Then over a period of two weeks you can reduce the Farm Food Fresh meat and increase the Farm Food HE (50 grams of pellets are equivalent to 100 grams of Farm Food Fresh). After a month you can give Farm Food HE five days a week. In addition to Farm Food HE we advise feeding with Farm Food Fresh Tripe and Heart Complete two days a week to further build up the intestinal flora and keep it at a satisfactory level.
Growth phase 2: (up to an age of seven or eight months)
Most puppies have reached three quarters of adult weight at the end of this period. You give Farm Food HE five days per week and on the other two days Farm Food Fresh Tripe and Heart Complete (or every day a bit of Farm Food Fresh Tripe and Heart Complete mixed in with the pellets). Feeding is spread over 3 to 4 mealtimes per day.
Growth phase 3: (young adults/adolescent, up to an age of 18 to 24 months)
During this period we encounter the fact that, with increasing age, the food requirement per kilo of body weight reduces, so that in this growth phase the amount of food required per day remains more or less constant. Depending on how active your dog is (and/or the owner) the amount of food during this period is approximately the same as the amount your dog will need later when it is an adult.
Until the age of 10 months give your dog two days per week Farm Food Fresh Tripe and Heart Complete in addition to Farm Food HE. Up to 10 months the amount is spread over three mealtimes per day, after which over two mealtimes. During this period you can also replace the fresh meat days by regularly giving a bit of Farm Food Fresh Tripe and Heart Complete mixed in with the pellets.
Adult and/or working dogs
The amount of Farm Food HE required per day is totally dependent on the activity of the dog. Some dogs have the tendency to be changeable in their eating habits, whereby for some days they eat more than is necessary and the following days, less. This is a natural eating pattern that you should not be concerned about, unless the dog loses weight; then the dog might be sick. Depending on the condition of the dog you determine how much food he/she receives each day. By using your eyes and observing, you can establish the quantity your dog needs per day on average. The daily quantity is divided between two meals. We always advise to also give your adult dogs a fresh meat day once per week (Farm Food Fresh Tripe and Heart Complete), to maintain healthy intestinal flora.
Pregnant and lactating bitches
During the first five weeks of pregnancy the mother needs no extra food. From the sixth week you can gradually increase the amount of food to approximately one and a half times as much as the original quantity.
Lactating bitches need a great deal of food, 2 to 3 times the original quantity. Divide the daily amount of food over several (2 to 4) mealtimes per day and give both pregnant and feeding bitches a bit of Farm Food Fresh Tripe and Heart Complete regularly (ideally with each mealtime). Do not give anything more in addition to this complete diet like calcium or food supplements etc. You can supplement the diet of both the mother and the pups with Farm Food No.1 Puppy milk, based on full goat’s milk.
Experience has taught that pregnant bitches have difficulty during the last week of pregnancy taking in the required amount of Farm Food HE. If this is the case you can give her Farm Food Fresh Tripe and Heart Complete on its own, several times per day, and continue this during the first couple of days of the milk feeding period.
Because seniors, as they get older, need relatively less and less food this means that in addition to less energy amongst other things, they receive less protein per day. When, as often occurs with so-called ‘special diets’ the protein content is further reduced, the danger exists that there are insufficient amino acids available to maintain healthy resistance and immunity. This is why senior dogs should also just be given normal Farm Food HE to eat. The amino acid pattern of Farm Food HE is of such a nature that also seniors remain in top condition. It is not without reason that we often see senior dogs that are given Farm Food HE for the first time at an older age, beginning their “second youth”.
The intestinal flora of senior dogs also deserves attention. The better this is kept in condition by giving the dog so-called fresh meat days, the higher the dog’s resistance remains.
Extra attention after treating your dog for worms
Both the intestines and the intestinal flora can be seriously affected by a worm infection, with all the consequences this implies. A worm infection is not always visible in the faeces. The worm larvae can spread through the entire body. It is therefore important to regularly treat your dog for worms. For the correct worm treatments and schedules of treatment you should consult your specialist pet shop or vet. However it is important to use a different make (with different active ingredients) now and then to prevent build up of resistance.
Because a worm infection can also have a negative effect on the intestinal flora of your dog, we advise a treatment to build up the intestinal flora following treatment for worms, by giving your dog Farm Food Fresh for several days.
Please note: Farm Food Fresh is not yet available throughout whole of Europe. Where Farm Food Fresh Tripe and Heart Complete is mentioned you can change 20% of Farm Food HE with the double amount of raw unwashed tripe and mix it with the Farm Food HE to stimulate the intestinal flora.
So if you would give a dog 100 grams (example!) Farm Food HE per meal you can give 80 grams Farm Food HE and 40 grams raw unwashed tripe (you doubled the 20%).
As an alternative to Farm Food Fresh Tripe and Heart Complete or the raw unwashed tripe a complete fresh meat containing at least 60% of green (dirty or unwashed) tripe can be given.