Our Cairn Blog

You'll find helpful information about the Cairn Terrier breed, breeders, care and training, and current happenings at Crooked Creek Cairn Terriers.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Feeding Your Puppy

Because of rapid growth and development, puppies require twice as many nutrients as an adult dog. Therefore, it is necessary to feed puppies a formulation developed for puppies. All puppies should be fed a puppy formulated dog food until 1 year of age. Since Cairn Terriers have most of their growth by 7-9 mo of age, I have had individuals gain too much weight and I switched them to an adult formula at 9 mo of age. As a breeder, we feed free choice, leaving dry food out and available at all times. Puppies will eat when they are hungry and this reduces over eating. However, it is helpful upon bringing your puppy home to feed scheduled meals since it aids in potty training. Eating stimulates the puppy's bowels and it's a prime opportunity to take them potty and have a successful trip. Puppies should be fed 3-4 times a day. How much food should you feed? This will vary with brand names, but check the side of the dog food bag. It will give a chart of puppy's weight and how many cups are to be fed per day. For example, for Diamond Brand Dog Food a 3-5lb puppy at 6-11wks of age needs 3/4 -1 1/4 Cup per day. Divide this total daily amount by the number of feedings, and that is how much they should be fed each meal. If your puppy doesn't eat, allow them 20-30min to eat and take what is left away. By the next meal they should be hungry. It is not necessary or even recommended to add peanut butter or other things to "make them eat". My friend once had a customer that complained that their puppy wouldn't eat unless she put peanut butter on the food. Guess what!? The puppy "Trained" her owner to put peanut butter on her food!! These tiny puppies eat less than you think and as long as they are gaining weight, voiding, stooling, and have normal activity, they are fine! If they are lethargic, not gaining weight, drinking, voiding or stooling, take them to the vet immediately. The adult Cairn Terrier may tend to gain weight easily. Watch the amount of treats you're giving, don't feed table scraps (don't start this bad habit and you won't have to fix it later), and alter the daily intake to manage their ideal weight. I feed my adults free choice and they maintain their weight within a normal range. I have only had overweight issues with 2 of my adults out of a total of 15 over the last 4 1/2 years.

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