Swissy Feeding Recommendations
Not every dog responds the same to every diet just like not all humans can tolerate the same ingredients and food items. Individual needs must be taken into account when deciding what the best diet may be for your canine friend. In general, swissies tend to do better on a higher quality food, whether it's a raw diet (fresh meats, dehydrated, or frozen products are available) or a grain free or low grain kibble. My pack has done very well on both types of food...
The general rules of thumb when raising a swissy puppy are to keep them lean and fit (no fat puppies!!!) and grow them SLOWLY! Your puppy will end up being the size is was meant to be and it's better to take a while to get there!
Use a premium adult formulation that does not have corn, soy, or wheat in first three ingredients. These ingredients are common allergens and swissies in general seem to do better without these ingredients in their diet. Many dogs do well on a grain-free kibble as well. A swissy puppy does not need and should not be fed puppy food.
Protein levels in kibble should be in mid 20's.
As a puppy, feed three small meals per day. They can start eating two meals per day by the time they are 6 months old.
As an adult, feed atleast two meals per day.
I like to start my puppies on a glucosamine supplement and continue with that for their entire lives. Phytoflex, made by Nature's Pharmacy, is a good product that can easily be mixed with kibble or ground raw meat. Another good joint supplement is Glycoflex-- I start puppies out on the original formula and either keep them on this or switch them to Dasuquin with MSM after about 9 months of age or so. The Dasuquin can be hard on puppies' stomachs, hence starting them on original formula Glycoflex.
Another great supplement to have any dog on is fish body oil. There are many brands to choose from.
If feeding a raw diet,safe cuts are:
Chicken- entire carcass
Chicken - Whole Backs
Chicken - Whole thigh Quarters
Pork - Pigs feet, roasts
Beef- Cow tails, large cuts of meat
Turkey- Necks, drumsticks, breast, whole carcass
Venison shoulder, hindquarter, neck, ribs
(same with lamb)
**Most any meat can be fed safely.
**Chicken and Turkey wings are dangerous to feed because of feather
spurs. I do feed them when I feed a whole carcass and have never had issues. I wouldn't feed them alone.
Processing raw meat- Rinse the meat in fresh water. Then dunk in a solution of vinegar and water (shot glass full in a half sink full of water)
before freezing or giving to your dog. When feeding any wild meat (venison, rabbit, etc) be sure to freeze for several weeks before feeding to ensure the killing of any parasites that were present in the game's muscle tissue.
Thaw out meat only in refrigerator,,, Do not let meat set out at room temperature. Always keep raw meat refrigerated until it is time to feed to your dog.
**Do NOT cut meat up into small pieces for your dog. It can create a choking hazard and the chewing action of the large cuts helps to clean the teeth and massage the gums. This can really help ensure good dental health and eliminate the need for dental cleanings.
**A completely raw diet is another great option and this can easily be done either as a pre-prepared diet or a home-prepared diet. We can discuss this as well if you are interested. If I cannot answer a question, I can find out for you. There are many great resources for feeding a raw diet to your dog.