Hello, I need some help,
I bought a 9wk old Yorkie puppy and she is on Purina Puppy Chow. I want to put her on a healthier puppy food, preferably Orijen Puppy. How long do I let her get accustomed to me and a routine before I introduce her to the Orijen Puppy Food and in what increments do I mix them so that I don’t stress her and shock her system? It has already been called to my attention that the breeder shouldn’t have let her go to her “forever home” until she was at least 12 weeks old. So, this is a worry to me and I need your advice,
Thanks for your help,
Puppies can be separated from their litter at 8 weeks old, but it’s very important to begin socializing immediately to other puppies and people. I recommend enrolling in a puppy class or playgroup that allows the puppies to interact off leash for a good portion of the class, this is how puppies learn proper doggie etiquette and important things like bite inhibition, by play biting and practicing their body language with each other. It’s also very important that puppies get to interact with all different breeds and sizes of puppy, puppies that do not look like their littermates, to prevent them from having shyness issues with other dogs in the future. That’s just my little tidbit of training advice, I can’t resist, being a trainer myself.
And on to the food: When changing a dog’s food, it’s recommended to slowly replace the old food with the new over the course of 4 weeks, in 1/4 portion increments.
The first week, you will replace 1/4 of your puppy’s normal ration with the new food, and use the old food for the other 3/4 of the ration.
The second week, you should be replacing 1/2 of the normal ration with new food, and 1/2 with old food.
The third week, you can probably guess, would be 3/4 new food and 1/4 old.
The fourth week, the puppy should be on just the new food. Monitor your puppy’s stool and bathroom schedule. If it has diarrhea and is going more frequently, you will want to reduce the new food amount until the stool becomes normal again. Canned pumpkin (NOT the spiced pie filling) is known to help settle an upset tummy, and it wouldn’t be a bad idea to mix in a dollop with the food while you are transitioning to help prevent digestive problems. Don’t hesitate to go back to the previous step if your puppy seems to be having tummy issues after increasing the amount of new food, and remain on that step until the stool is normal again.
Good luck with your new pup!
Congrats on the new pup! How cute is she?!
I actually was told recently when I thought it would be better to wait until 12 weeks, that if much time is spent with their siblings beyond 8 weeks, pups can start to develop a pack mentality. I brought home my Golden at 8 weeks and believe that’s the norm. It’s when I read about people bringing home a 5 or 6 week old puppy from a “breeder” that I get concerned. Your little girl is totally fine at 9 weeks, whether or not you have other pets, look for a puppy class ~ ask your vet if they have one.
As far as food is concerned… I’d give her a week or two to adjust and then begin the transition. Basically adjust the amount of the old food down and the new food up over a period of time. It shouldn’t take long. At each change in proportion, allow enough time for any stool issues to correct and then move forward. If she gets a little loose stool (most puppies seem to) add a spoonful of plain canned pumpkin to her food. It helps a lot with both loose stool and constipation. Orijen is great food, and the puppy formula is the only one I haven’t used ~ if it’s a little big for her soften it with some water or chicken stock or give it a whirl in the coffee grinder.
Thanks guys for the quick response! I feel so much better now! If I can figure it out, I will post a picture of her here later 🙂
8 weeks is what I’ve been hearing now too. Back in the day it was always 6 weeks. So you are fine as far as the age.
Some people do recommend leaving a puppy with its littermates until 10 weeks because it is illegal in so many areas to take it before 8 weeks, but from 7 to 10 weeks is a fear period.
Amicus (made by Horizon) is a tiny kibble. http://www.horizonpetfood.com/amicus
Hound Dog MomParticipant
It’s illegal in some areas to take pups before 8 weeks? That’s interesting, I never knew that.
Here it’s illegal to sell any animal before 8 weeks. There isn’t much enforcement and I’m sure they didn’t mean to make it illegal for people to buy pinky mice and small crickets and all the other animals that are commonly sold younger than that, but that’s what they did.
Hound Dog MomParticipant
I hate when I hear of breeders selling pups at 5 or 6 weeks of age. It’s just not right and it’s unfortunate some people don’t know better than to buy animals that young. We had some people come into the shelter once looking for a kitten and they were upset when they saw our kittens they said they wanted a “little kitten.” Several of our litters had just turned 8 weeks and gotten their surgery that week and they said that was too old. We tried to explain to them that we do not adopt out kittens or puppies under 8 weeks and how crucial it is for the kittens/puppies to remain with their mother and litter mates until this time and they got very upset and said they were going to check the free-trader. Ay yi yi…
Some people refuse to be educated!! Thoose kittens that were taken from mom too early will end up being the ones with no bite or scratch inhibition, so will end up being thrown out a second time.
Here in NH, it is illegal to transfer ownership before 8 weeks, too.
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