Some pups get very involved in their eating program!
Providing a high-quality food is one of the most important parts of puppy care. There
are many different brands on the market today...how do you pick a good one?
We fed our poodles
a raw diet. We made the decision to feed this way based on the upheavals and scandals we saw in the pet food industry.
We have, sadly, bounced back and forthbetweenraw and commercial foods, but in the end, raw is really the best as far as we
are concerned. We find that the poodles havecleaner teeth, more beautiful coats,less inclination toward parasites and, when
we have puppies, the pups are healthier, stronger and more disease resistant than pups raised on commercial foods.
Feeding raw can be very simple or very complicated, depending on your beliefs and inclinations. We are very simple andbasic
people, and so the diet we feed our poodles follows that. Depending on the season, the poodles eat venison, chicken, or beef,
sometimes cheese or vegetables, deoending on what we have and the physiological needs of the poodle we're feeding.
Occassionally, we add supplements, also based on the nutritional needs of the poodle at that time.
All of our
poodles love this diet and are very healthy with great weight, healthy coats, strong bones and wonderful temperaments and
attitudes. We highly recommend that you "google" the BARF (bones and raw food) diet, or "feeding a raw dietto
dogs" for more information.
How much and how often to feed? For toy poodle pups, we recommend 2-5% of their adult body weight, which
is generally between 3-6 oz, depending on the size of your poodle. If your pup seems hungry after he eats, offer a tablespoon
or so more. As long as your pup maintains a good weight, adjust the amount you offer to suit him. Supplement your pup's
diet with raw beef bones, chewies and other items that will help him with teething and also keep his teeth clean and free
What do we mean by "maintaining a good weight"? In our experience as breeders, very
young, healthy pups rarely get too fat or too thin. They pretty much eat what they need and no more. However, as they
grow, other factors come into play. Young males may tend to be thinner than you would like if they are exposed to other females,
or are just allowed to be generally excitable. Some may develop a tendancy to be picky eaters. Older pups, 12 weeks &
up, who are eating a raw diet sometimes like to eat just because it tastes so good to them, creating a chubby puppy. Fat or
chubby poodle puppies are NOT a good thing - overweight pups can become more prone to develop joint problems.
tell if your poodle is in good weight, place her on a table, facing away from you. Now, put your hands around her at the rib
cage. Can you clearly feel ribs, as though you could count them? Now run your hand along her spine. Can you clearly feel or
count her vertabrae? If so, you poodle is too thin. Try supplementing her with this recipe for "Satin Balls".
Our poodles LOVE Satin Balls. They are not especially cheap to make, but they are excellent for treats, training and adding
Here is one recipe for Satin Balls...
10 pounds hamburger meat [the cheapest kind] or ground venison
1 lg. box of Total cereal
[or comparable natural brand]
1 lg. box oatmeal
1 jar of wheat germ
1 1/4 cup veg oil
1 1/4 cup of unsulfured molasses
10 raw eggs
10 envelopes of unflavored gelatin
Mix all ingredients together, much like you would a meatball.
Divide into 10 quart freezer bags
Thaw as needed
We make these into meatball size servings - about 1" in diameter. Then
we freeze them in bags of 12. If we have a poodle who needs to put on weight, we give her 2-3 of these a day, plus her regular
food. These work really well as snacks and training treats. You would not believe how fast you can teach a poodle to "sit"
using these as rewards! When we use them as treats for dogs without weight problems, we divide a ball into quarters, since
we are going for taste, not nutrition.
In addition to good food,
be sure your pup has clean fresh water to drink. We do limit water during the house-training phase, but once the pup is house-trained,
we offer unlimited access to water. Also, you may find that if you are feeding your pup a raw diet, there will be less need
to drink excess water, since there is a lot of moisture in the raw meats.