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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-02-2009, 09:56 AM Thread Starter
 
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Switching New Puppy to New/Better Food

I plan to switch my puppy to Nature's Variety or a similar balanced raw prepared food as soon as possible after I get her, but I figured I should leave her on the food she is used to eating for a a short time while she is adjusting to her new surroundings. The breeder feeds and recommends Science Diet, but after all I have read about it here, I'd prefer to phase that out sooner than later.

When do you think the appropriate time would be to start transitioning her to the NV, or should I try a better kibble that approximates Science Diet (so as not to upset her system too much) but with less fillers, no wheat/corn, etc., and then go to the NV after a period of time? If that's the case, which quality kibble would you guys recommend that wouldn't be too huge of a switch for her tummy? I've done a lot of reading and keep coming back to the idea that raw is best and hopefully that works for us, but I'm not ruling out alternatives depending on what my holistic vet says and how my dog takes to it. I know Tom King mentioned a food he was using and liked (I think it's Life Abundance), and I know of another breeder that likes it as well.

I read an old posting here that Kathy Ambler was weaning her puppies on NV (though I'm not sure if she still is due to the cost), which was very encouraging that a good Hav breeder felt confident enough about that food to put her young puppies on it. In that case, they went straight from mother's milk to raw, but in my case the puppy will have been on kibble, or maybe canned depending on how much her teeth have come in.

In a nutshell, how soon can I put her on raw, and should I substitute a different kibble before starting the raw?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-02-2009, 11:03 AM
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I would start your new puppy on raw once you bring her home. Let it be part of her new routine. I wish I would have started Beamer on raw when we got him at 14weeks old. (he WAS soooooooo fussy with his food)

Ryan

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-02-2009, 11:08 AM
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Why switching her to another kibble, then to raw, if you are planning to switch her to raw at the end? YKWIM? Just switch her once (to raw).
If you don't want to switch her to raw yet, then I would stay with whatever kibble the breeder is giving (she'll probably give you a small bag of food anyway) and then switch to raw once you think is time.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-02-2009, 11:12 AM
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Honestly, although I shudder at the thought of SD, I would recommend you give her SD for the first 2 or 3 days she's with you and then switch her to the raw. I think puppies need to adjust for a few days and it's best to keep her on the same food she was on previously. I know you dislike SD, but if she's been on it for so long, a few more days are certainly not going to hurt (ask the breeder to give you enough for those meals so you don't have to buy a whole new bag). Also, I'm not sure as I don't feed raw, but I thought that the raw switch was supposed to be immediate (not gradual) as you shouldn't feed kibble with raw at the same time? I could be wrong of course. Regardless, I still think give her 3 days then switch her over to the raw. Just my opinion.


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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-02-2009, 11:14 AM
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I agree with Ryan, you definately don't want to switch twice, first to a better brand then Science Diet then again onto raw. How old will your pup be when you get him? I think that going directly to raw will be fine if he is currently on kibble, and trust me the bones and meat will feel very good on her teeth.

I have heard that the Innova Evo Chicken small bites is a kibble close to raw, thats what I bought but decided to keep Baloo on raw, so I have a whole bag at home not opened...I guess I could take it back (sorry off topic, just talking out loud to myself...haha)

Getting a new pup reminds me of getting ready for a baby, all these important decisions and different products, brands etc. It is so hard to choose.

All you can do is research and make the best decision for you!! Good luck.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-02-2009, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by HavaBaloo View Post
...All you can do is research and make the best decision for you!! Good luck.
Just like with kids, they don't come with instructions!

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-02-2009, 11:40 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks you guys, that was my gut feeling - straight to raw after a short environmental adjustment period, but I have read some dogs turn their nose up at it because it's so different from what they are used to, and didn't want to continue the SD if she went on a hunger strike against the raw. Like doesn't kibble have flavorings that have much stronger smells to entice the dogs to eat it? The raw smells like - - nothing, at least to my human nose. I will see if the breeder can give me a little of the SD so I don't have to buy a whole bag and end up tossing it.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-02-2009, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Petaluna View Post
Thanks you guys, that was my gut feeling - straight to raw after a short environmental adjustment period, but I have read some dogs turn their nose up at it because it's so different from what they are used to, and didn't want to continue the SD if she went on a hunger strike against the raw. Like doesn't kibble have flavorings that have much stronger smells to entice the dogs to eat it? The raw smells like - - nothing, at least to my human nose. I will see if the breeder can give me a little of the SD so I don't have to buy a whole bag and end up tossing it.
That's funny because Todd was such a picky eater as a puppy but when I put a raw medallion down in front of him he ate it in seconds and begged for more..lol
He loves his raw and really looks forward to having it a few times a week...especially whole chicken thighs and wings..YUM!

Eva, Mom to Todd....2 year old short hair Havanese
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-02-2009, 12:19 PM Thread Starter
 
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thanks, Eva. they must know what's good for them. Hopefully mine will love it too and I'll have no problem with the transition. My vet is pretty open minded about diets, she says in her experience raw works great for some dogs and not for others, she's all about tailoring a program for their individual needs, so while I tend to lean toward raw as being the most logical choice, I am trying to be open minded too that if it's not working for us, I'm not going to force it and would look for the best quality kibble or canned with maybe some home cooked in addition.
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