Archive for the “Puppy Info” Category

Ensuring the best possible start in life for young animals begins with the correct nutrition of the pregnant and lactating bitch. The average time of pregnancy in the bitch is 63 days, but it is not until the last 4 weeks of pregnancy that most of the weight gain in pregnant bitches occurs, coinciding with the growth of the puppies.

Overfeeding early in pregnancy can lead to unwanted body fat deposition and may cause problems at whelping. As a general rule, the amount of food for a pregnant bitch should be increased by between 10 and 15% per week from the fifth week of pregnancy onwards. At whelping she should be eating about 50% more than at the time of mating. As the puppies occupy a lot of space in their mother’s womb, the bitch’s stomach is unable to expand as much as normal. Therefore, it is best to feed several small meals a day and to use a more concentrated and very palatable food, so that she is able to consume enough to meet her demands.

While nursing her puppies, her demand for calories and nutrients will increase dramatically. During this time, she will need to eat up to three or four times her normal maintenance ration. This is to ensure that she can produce enough milk for the puppies and maintain her own body condition. At peak lactation (usually at about 3 to 4 weeks), she will be giving between 4 to 7% of her body weight per day to her puppies in the form of milk.

Again, it is necessary to feed her several meals – probably three or four a day – of a concentrated, highly palatable diet, with perhaps a night feed as well. Feed her as much as she needs – she is unlikely to overeat. Puppy food is the best choice of food during this time, as it does not only meet the demands of the mother, but is also ideal for her puppies, once they become interested in food.

Make sure, also, that the bitch has an unlimited supply of fresh water during this critical period.

We recommend and feed all our Dobermanns on Royal Canin Formulas

This information is referenced from the Waltham website which can be located at

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Working dogs, such as sheep dogs, police dogs and gun dogs, can have much higher calorie requirements than adult dogs of the same breed who are being fed for maintenance. The energy needs of working dogs are influenced by a number of factors, such as the level and duration of activity, the nature of work, the environmental temperature and the thickness of the dog’s coat. It is therefore not possible to give strict feeding guidelines for all working dogs. Typically, a true working dog will require two to four times the adult maintenance ration, which is usually fed as one third in the morning and the remaining two thirds on completion of the working day. You can offer your dog the extra energy in his diet by simply increasing the amount of food offered; alternatively you can feed a concentrated food specially designed for very active dogs. This special concentrated diet will allow the feeding of smaller, ‘normal’ volumes as opposed to large amounts, which may make it easier for your dog to eat his recommended ration.

You should aim at supporting and sustaining your dog’s body condition by closely monitoring his weight and development, and making individual adjustments to feeding where appropriate.

It is crucial that fresh water is available at all times, as working dogs tend to have higher water requirements compared to more inactive adult dogs.

We recommend and feed all our Dobermanns on Royal Canin Formulas

This information is referenced from the Waltham website which can be located at

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Surveys have shown that there are now far more older dogs in proportion to the total pet population than there were 10 years ago. Advances in veterinary medicine, the prevention of serious life-threatening diseases and improved pet care including the feeding of healthy balanced diets, have led to our dogs living longer, active and healthy lives.

It is difficult to define exactly when your dog can be classified as ‘senior’, since there is a variation in the life expectancy of different breeds. Generally, medium and small sized breeds tend to live longest, with some breeds living to 17 or 18 years of age. Giant breeds, however, tend to have a much shorter life expectancy, often only living for 7 and 8 years. On this basis, it is best to define a senior dog as one who is in the final third of his anticipated lifespan. A small to medium sized dog is therefore considered to be senior from 8 years of age, whereas a giant dog, such as the Great Dane, is senior from only 5 years on.

As your dog gets older he will gradually become less active. Studies have shown that calorie requirements for senior dogs decrease on average by 20%. You will therefore need to keep an eye on his weight development and, if necessary, cut down his food ration to keep him at his optimum weight. Alternatively, you can feed a diet specifically designed for senior or inactive dogs, which addresses the recommended lower calorie intake. Weight control is especially important in the elderly dog, since a fat body will put more strain on the heart and lungs and also on the muscles and joints, and make him inactive. This can lead to a vicious cycle of weight gain and inactivity, and can predispose your dog to obesity.

There are a number of medical conditions which senior dogs are more prone to, such as obesity, kidney disease, arthritis and heart failure. In many of these diseases, dietary management plays a crucial role in the overall treatment of the patient. Your veterinarian will be able to advise you on a suitable diet for your dog.

Water should always be available for your dog – you should keep an eye on the quantity he drinks and seek medical attention if this increases suddenly, as this could signify the onset of a medical condition, such as kidney disease or diabetes mellitus.

Some old dogs may be a little arthritic in the neck and will have difficulty in bending down to eat. If this is the case, the food bowl should be raised off the floor at a comfortable height or placed on a step.

Dental problems are regularly seen in older dogs and often lead to oral pain and tooth loss. This needs to be treated by a veterinarian, but to help your dog to eat, it may be necessary to offer foods which are finely chopped, moistened or consist of specifically developed kibbles which break more easily.

We recommend and feed all our Dobermanns on Royal Canin Formulas

This information is referenced from the Waltham website which can be located at

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Like other animals, dogs eat to satisfy their requirement for calories. In order to be balanced, a diet must, therefore, provide all the essential nutrients in proportion to the animal’s calorie intake. A balance of energy is important to maintain a dog in good health at all stages of his life. Too little can result in loss of weight, lethargy and poor condition, too much will lead to obesity and all its complications – such as joint problems or respiratory difficulties.

The calorie requirement of your dog will depend on how active he is, if he is kept indoors or outside, and if he is ill, elderly or still growing. Pregnant and lactating bitches also have a greater energy requirement.

When using a prepared pet food, the label on the packaging will provide a guideline as to how much to feed your dog. Bear in mind that these recommendations are a guideline only and you may need to make adjustments according to your dog’s needs. If your dog is very active, he may need more than the recommended amount, but if he is quite sedentary then he will probably need less. Also, don’t forget to allow for any other food he is receiving – the calories in biscuits, treats and other titbits soon add up.

The easiest way to keep an eye on your dog’s feeding habits and general health is to use the evidence of your hands and eyes. If the dog appears alert and bright-eyed and is neither thin nor overweight, then he is probably in good health and benefiting from a properly balanced diet. However, if your dog seems to be getting overweight, you may well be overfeeding him. In this instance, try to establish a balance by cutting down the total amount of food or by reducing the amount of biscuits if you are feeding him a meat and biscuit ration.

Most adult dogs of nine months and older can be given their daily food allowance in one meal, although this can be divided into two or more meals if it is more convenient for you or suits your dog better. Remember that small dogs have small stomachs and may prefer to be fed twice a day.

Similarly, growing and working dogs, bitches that are pregnant or lactating, and dogs that are sick or convalescing will usually need more than one meal a day. Use your judgement to ensure that your dog is taking the right amount of food at the right times.

We recommend and feed all our Dobermanns on Royal Canin Formulas

This information is referenced from the Waltham website which can be located at

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In relation to their weight, the calorie and nutrient needs of growing puppies are far greater than those of adult dogs. The growing pet needs a higher plane of nutrition to fuel his rapid development and to provide the boundless energy, which is so typical of puppies. Additionally, certain nutrients, such as calcium and phosphorus, need to be closely controlled to ensure good skeletal development, particularly in large and giant breeds of dogs. Devising a suitable, nutritionally balanced diet for growth is thus a very complex exercise. Fortunately, feeding your puppy need not be as complicated as it sounds. Puppy and junior foods, which are specially formulated for growth take all the guess-work out of rearing a healthy puppy and provide a balanced and concentrated diet which your dog will enjoy and thrive on.

Feeding Milk

Mother’s milk is an essential source of nutrients for young puppies up to the age of 4 to 6 weeks. Dog’s milk has a very different nutrient profile than that of cows or goats, and it is not suitable to substitute the mother’s milk with cow milk. If the bitch does not produce sufficient milk, please contact your veterinarian for a commercially available milk substitute, which has been specifically designed for dogs.

Milk is not an essential part of a puppy’s diet once he has been weaned. Many puppies and adult dogs cannot efficiently digest the milk sugar, lactose, and this can cause digestive upsets such as diarrhoea. If you are not sure whether your puppy can tolerate milk, dilute it with water before you offer it to him for the first time.


Prior to weaning, puppies obtain most of their nutrients from their mother’s milk. Puppies grow at a rapid rate and will double their birth weight in a matter of days. Therefore they require large quantities of mother’s milk or food. In the early stages of weaning (4 to 6 weeks after birth), the mother’s milk is the most important source of nutrients and the puppies’ digestive system is learning to adapt to new nutrients. At this age, puppies should be encouraged to try food. Highly palatable and concentrated foods, specially designed for puppies are most suitable for weaning, and also an ideal source of nutrition for the bitch. Puppies become fully weaned at the age of 6 to 8 weeks of age, when they will be ready to leave their mother’s side.

Motherless Puppies

Feeding orphaned puppies or puppies whose mother cannot produce sufficient milk is a particular challenge. One alternative to a bitch rearing her puppies is for another bitch to act as a foster mother; however, the chances of finding a suitable foster mother at the right time may be poor – it is best to contact your local breed club and veterinarian for this.

Motherless puppies have two vital requirements, which are a suitable environment and appropriate nutrition. The suitable environment needs to ensure the right environmental temperature, which in the first weeks should ideally be controlled by an incubator, a heating lamp or a heating pad in an insulated pen. Further it is important to stimulate urination and defaecation of each puppy by simulating the mother’s stimulating action of the ano-genital area. This can be done with the help of a piece of warm damp cotton wool at the ano-genital area or abdominal wall during the first 3 weeks of the puppies’ lives.

Puppies under 1 week of age need to be fed 6 times a day, or every 4 hours day and night. Bitch’s milk is very rich and higher in calories, protein, fat and calcium than cow’s milk or goat’s milk. Cow’s or goat’s milk are therefore not suitable alternatives for rearing orphaned puppies. Commercially prepared milk substitutes specifically designed for puppies are now widely available and are based on the same nutrient profile as the bitch’s milk. Milk can be administered with a small syringe or a puppy feeding bottle, and should be prepared fresh for every meal. The milk needs to be fed warm (38o) and slowly, without forcing the puppy.

At around 3 weeks of age, puppies start exploring their environment more and more, and begin to nibble food from a bowl. Young puppies may need 4 to 5 meals a day, and should be encouraged to try wet or even dry food in addition to the milk they receive. Highly palatable, calorie and nutrient dense puppy foods are best used for this, and eventually at the age of 6 to 8 weeks, the puppies will be fully weaned onto puppy food.

Puppy Growth

By the time a puppy is ready to move to his new home, he will be fully weaned onto solid foods. The puppy is now entirely dependent on his new owner to provide a fully balanced diet that will meet all of his nutritional requirements.

A nutritionally balanced diet is crucial for the healthy growth and development of a puppy in order to prepare him for an active, long and healthy life. Puppies thrive on the same basic nutrients as adult dogs, but owing to their rapid growth rate, these nutrients are needed in proportionately larger quantities.

All puppies grow very rapidly in the early stages of their development and, in general, most breeds reach about half their adult weight by four or five months of age. During this early, very rapid growth phase, all puppies should be fed a puppy food specifically designed for growing dogs.

A puppy needs between two and four times as many calories as an adult of the same size – growing is an energetic business! They must have more protein than adults – this must contain all the right building blocks (amino acids) for growth. They also need just the right amount of minerals for healthy bones and teeth. Puppies therefore have to eat large amounts of food in relation to their body weight, but, like human babies, their stomachs have only a small capacity. To compensate for this, puppies at this stage should be fed several small meals a day. It is also helpful if their diet is designed to meet a number of useful criteria:

the food should be concentrated to ensure an adequate intake of nutrients before the puppy’s stomach is full

the food should be easily digested to maximise its nutritive value

the diet must be balanced to provide the right amount of nutrients to meet the puppy’s particular needs

it should also be tasty so that the puppy will enjoy it

All WALTHAM supported puppy foods are calorie dense and contain the right amount of high quality protein, as well as vitamins and minerals at the appropriate levels to ensure healthy growth.

Junior Growth

While all breeds of dogs grow very rapidly in the first 6 months of life, there is a wide variation in adult body weight between different breeds, and dogs mature at different rates. Large breeds take longer to mature than the small breeds. Small and toy breeds may reach their adult weight at 6 to 9 months of age, whereas larger breeds will still be growing at this age. A Newfoundland or Great Dane puppy, for example may not reach his adult size until he is 18 months old.

Puppies of large and giant breeds, in particular, are most affected by the feeding regimen and most prone to disturbances in their skeletal development. It is crucial that they receive the right amounts of calories and nutrients. Puppy owners may be tempted to feed the puppy as much as he will eat. However, many dogs tend to overeat and this could have damaging consequences for your puppy. Overfeeding puppies must be avoided and controlling your puppy’s growth is crucial in order to ensure ideal body development. Puppies who are overfed can produce extra fat cells to store the excess calories as body fat. Once formed, these fat cells stay with the dog for life and the dog is prone to become overweight in adult life. A further risk of over nutrition is that puppies can become too heavy; the extra body weight can then put stress on the skeletal system leading to problems such as osteochondrosis and hip dysplasia.

It is therefore important to monitor your growing dog’s weight and his general condition to be sure that you are feeding the correct amount. Record his weight regularly on a Puppy Growth Chart to check that he is growing at a healthy rate appropriate to his breed. If he has more than a moderate covering of fat over his ribs, he may be getting too fat. Ask your veterinarian for advice if you are unsure about your growing dog’s condition.

Supplementation of a balanced puppy or junior food with calcium or other minerals must be avoided, as this will only lead to an imbalance of nutrients, and an excessive intake of calcium can be just as deleterious as a deficient supply. Supplementation could indeed be harmful.

Devising an acceptable nutritionally balanced diet for growth is thus a very complex exercise. Fortunately, feeding your puppy has been made easy with widely available commercially prepared puppy and junior foods. If you are unsure of how to feed your puppy, you should consult your breeder or veterinarian for further advice.

Remember that since all puppies are individuals, some may need more and some less than the amounts indicated by the feeding guides. Your puppy’s condition is the best indicator of whether you are feeding the correct amount. By recording his weight regularly you will be able to check that he is growing at a healthy rate appropriate to his breed. You can then make adjustments to avoid him becoming under- or overweight.

Until about 4 months of age, all puppies will need 4 meals per day. Feeding can then be reduced to 3 times a day until 6 months of age, when your puppy can be offered his daily food allowance in 2 separate meals. Generally, a puppy should be allowed 10 to 15 minutes to eat at each meal time; after then discard any uneaten food.

As your puppy nears the size and weight of an adult dog, you can gradually introduce him to adult foods. He should be used to an adult food by the time he is fully grown – which may be any time from six months to two years of age, depending on his breed. The Puppy Feeding Chart shows when to change to an adult diet for each breed. The changeover should be done gradually – preferably over a week.

Taking Your Puppy Home

When you take your puppy to his new home, discuss the feeding with the breeder and ask for a written diet sheet. This should give details of the types of food, quantities, and times of feeding to which your puppy is already accustomed. Don’t rush too much to change your puppy’s diet, as changing homes is a stressful time for him and continuity of feeding is important. If you want to change your puppy’s diet, wait until he has settled in, then gradually change the food over a period of three to four days. When your puppy arrives in his new home, he may show signs of stomach upsets and diarrhoea because of leaving his mother and entering a strange new environment. If he does have diarrhoea and this persists for more than 24 hours or becomes more severe, consult your veterinarian.

Make sure that your puppy has his own feeding and water bowls and that they are kept clean and separate from the family’s dishes. Fresh water should always be available. If you notice that your puppy is excessively thirsty all the time you should consult your veterinarian as it may be an indication that your puppy is unwell.

We recommend and feed all our Dobermanns on Royal Canin Formulas

This information is referenced from the Waltham website which can be located at

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Like all other living creatures, dogs need a balanced diet to stay alive and healthy. A balanced diet is a diet, which is nutritionally complete and contains just the right amount of protein, fat, carbohydrate, vitamins and minerals, based on the right calorie intake of your dog. These nutrients must be present, not only in the correct amounts, but also in the correct proportion to each other to provide a nutritionally complete and balanced food. These amounts and proportions may vary depending on the dog’s age, level of activity and physiological state, such as being pregnant or lactating.

A diet of muscle meat alone is not suitable for any dog – the main problem with this type of diet is that muscle meat contains relatively little calcium and relatively high levels of phosphorus, supplying the dog with an inadequate calcium to phosphorus ratio. The ancestors of our pet dogs would have consumed not just the muscle, but whole body of their prey including the bones, internal organs, intestinal contents, skin and hair. These would have provided the essential nutrients which would be missing from a purely muscle meat diet.

Many dog owners like to give their pet treats and snacks. This is not only an important part of the special relationship between dog and owner, but certain snacks can also have positive health benefits, for example the chewing of a specially designed dental chew to exercise the jaw and help to keep teeth clean. It is, however, important that snacks and treats are used for the purpose described and do not exceed 10% of your dog’s daily calorie intake.


As in humans, it is important for dogs to have the right balance between calorie intake and calorie expenditure. This balance is influenced by a number of factors, such as age, physiological state and level of activity. Growing puppies, pregnant and lactating bitches and working dogs need relatively more calories compared to normal adult dogs, whereas inactive individuals will need less.

The best way to assess whether your dog’s calorie intake is appropriate, or too high or too low, is by regularly checking his weight and ensuring that he is neither gaining nor losing weight and body condition. If a dog receives too many calories, these will be stored as body fat and he will become overweight, if he receives too little he will burn his body fat resources and lose weight. Dietary calories are also often referred to as ‘energy’.


Proteins are large molecules, which are made up of long chains of their smaller sub-units, amino acids. There are about 20 different amino acids commonly found within the animal’s body. These may be arranged in many different combinations to give an almost infinite variety of naturally occurring proteins with different characteristic properties. Proteins are essential components of living cells with a number of important functions including the regulation of metabolism, supporting the structure of cell walls and forming muscle fibres. Proteins are therefore essential for body tissue growth and body tissue repair. They are also an important source of calories in the dog’s diet.

Dogs need dietary protein to provide specific amino acids, which their body cannot synthesise at an adequate rate. These are called ‘essential’ amino acids and must be provided in sufficient amounts in the dog’s diet. The dog therefore has a minimum requirement for his overall protein intake, as well as for the intake of the individual essential amino acids, which must be met by the chosen diet. Protein requirements are highest during tissue growth and repair, such as in puppies, pregnant and lactating bitches, working dogs and convalescent animals.

Despite some popular belief, high protein levels can be fed to normal healthy dogs. Some people believe that changing a dog’s diet, specifically his protein intake, can modify his behaviour. However, a recent study of protein intake and behaviour in dogs suggests that changes in the protein levels fed within the range normally found in pet foods does not seem to alter the behaviour of most dogs and is therefore not useful in the treatment of behavioural problems. Changes in behaviour may be seen in dogs, who show an allergic reaction to a food component. Various proteins, such as beef, lamb, fish and others can cause allergies in rare individual cases. In the affected patient, the allergic response can lead to extreme itchiness of the skin. Excessive scratching and licking of affected skin areas may be reported as strange behaviour by the individual dog’s owner.

Historically, there has also been a belief that reducing protein intake, particularly in older dogs, will relieve “stress” on the kidney function and thus may help to prevent kidney disease. Recent research has, however, shown that this is not substantiated and that protein intake in normal, healthy dogs has no harmful effects on the kidneys.


Dietary fat serves as the most concentrated source of calories in the diet and lends palatability and texture to foods. Chemically, fats consist of fatty acids and glycerol. There are many different fatty acids found in foods, such as saturated and unsaturated fatty acids. There is one fatty acid – linoleic acid – which is essential for the dog and needs to be provided in his diet in order to ensure good health. Studies by WALTHAM have shown that the intake of adequate levels of linoleic acid, in combination with the mineral zinc, can also significantly improve the skin and coat quality in dogs. Linoleic acid is found abundantly in sunflower oil, which is a high quality ingredient of many pet foods.

Fat also carries the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, which are crucial for the dog’s health and well-being. As fat is very calorie dense, a high fat level may be appropriate in dogs with a poor body condition or very high calorie requirements, who need a concentrated source of energy. In normal, moderately active animals, fat levels should, however, be well controlled in order to avoid excess weight gain and obesity.


There is no known dietary requirement for carbohydrates in dogs, which means that the dog can live well on a carbohydrate-free diet. Carbohydrates are, however, an excellent source of calories and thus an important ingredient in most dog foods.

Dietary fibres are a specific group of carbohydrates, which are known to play an important role in the digestive physiology and health of humans, as well as pets. Studies by WALTHAM have shown that the inclusion of certain dietary fibres, such as sugar beet pulp, can help to support gastrointestinal health in dogs and therefore play an important role in the dog’s nutrition.


Vitamins are organic compounds, which help to regulate the animal’s body processes. Most vitamins cannot be synthesised within the body and must therefore be present in the diet.

Vitamins can be divided into 2 categories, the fat-soluble and the water-soluble vitamins. The fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K can be stored in the fat tissue within the body and there is therefore less of a risk of the dog developing a deficiency when the intake is limited, e.g. when the dog is in appetent for a period of time. However, because these vitamins are stored, there is a higher risk of accumulation within the body when their intake is excessive. The feeding of high amounts of fresh liver can, for example, lead to an excessive intake of vitamin A with typical symptoms of vitamin A-toxicity. In healthy animals, there is no need to supplement a commercially prepared balanced dog food with further vitamins, there may even be a risk of supplying too many consequently leading to vitamin toxicity.

The water-soluble B-group vitamins cannot be stored over longer periods of time and need to be supplied on a regular basis, ideally daily. Whereas humans require vitamin C in their diet, the dog is able to synthesise vitamin C within his body and does not rely on its dietary intake. Vitamin C is, however, an important dietary antioxidant, which may help prevent cell damage from free radicals, such as seen in the ageing process. The B-group vitamins, such as vitamin B1 (thiamin), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 (cobalamin), are however essential and must be supplied in the dog’s diet.


Minerals are inorganic nutrients, which can be divided into macro- and micro-minerals (also referred to as trace elements). There are many different minerals, which play very different roles in the metabolism and function of the body.

Calcium and Phosphorus

Calcium and phosphorus are the major minerals involved in the structure of the bones and teeth. Both the levels, as well as the proportions of calcium and phosphorus (or the ratio of calcium to phosphorus) within the diet are of great importance. This ratio is particularly critical in growing puppies, and here particularly in large and giant breeds. A deficiency, or an excess of these minerals, as well as an imbalance can cause severe skeletal deformities. Supplementing a diet balanced for growth with bone meal and the like must therefore be strictly avoided. Fresh muscle meat is sometimes seen as a healthy and natural diet for a dog, however, muscle tissue is very low in calcium and relatively high in phosphorus and does not meet a dog’s calcium requirement when fed alone.

Recommended Ca:P Ratio

0.5:1 – 2:1


1.0:1 – 1.5:1


0.80:1 – 1.5:1

The requirements for calcium and phosphorus, in particular the required calcium to phosphorus ratio, change as puppies grow older and become adult. All dog foods supported by WALTHAM ensure that you feed the appropriate calcium to phosphorus ratio during all your dog’s different life stages.

Other Minerals

Other important minerals include potassium, sodium and magnesium. Important trace elements are iron, copper, manganese, zinc and selenium – to name just a few. They play a variety of different roles within the body and its metabolism, and all need to be provided within the dog’s diet on a regular basis.


Water is easily forgotten in the list of nutrients, but is a vital part of the dog’s diet and is indeed essential to life. The need for water is second only to the need for oxygen; life may continue for weeks without the consumption of food, but only a few days or even hours – depending on the environmental conditions – without the supply of water.

Water fulfils many roles within the body; it is a solvent and is thus involved in the complex chemistry of cell metabolism. Water is the principle constituent of blood and therefore plays a crucial role in transporting nutrients to the different body tissues and removing metabolites from the dog’s system.

Water also contributes to the body’s temperature regulation. Firstly, blood transports heat away from the internal organs thereby preventing dangerous temperature increases, redirecting the heat to the skin surface where it is absorbed by the environment. Water also plays a role in temperature regulation through the evaporation of water from the skin.

Additionally, water is essential for the digestion of nutrients, as well as the elimination of undesired substances through the kidneys.

This information is referenced from the Waltham website which can be located at

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Prepared pet foods from reputable pet food manufacturers come with a guarantee of nutritional adequacy, quality and safety. There is a wide array of recipes, varieties and textures to choose from and in all forms they are convenient to use. All dog foods supported by WALTHAM have been developed to provide a balanced diet to meet your dog’s nutritional requirements, and to relieve you of nutritional worries.

Prepared pet foods are either complete or complementary. A complete food provides a balanced diet when fed alone, whereas a complementary food is designed to be fed in combination with an additional, specified food source, such as canned meat and biscuit mixer. The label on the product will state whether the food is complete or complementary. Prepared pet foods are usually presented in three main forms – dry, wet and semi-moist. Dry foods have had most of the moisture removed, and are convenient and economical to use. They may be fed dry or soaked, with water added before feeding. Wet foods, such as canned diets, have the moisture content of the ingredients retained. Semi-moist foods have a moisture content which is somewhere between the two.

Whatever diet you choose for your dog, make sure that he has plenty of water available at all times. Keep an eye on the amount he drinks. A dog that is persistently thirsty may be unwell and need prompt veterinary attention. Give him his own clean bowls for food and water – wash them after use and separately from the family’s crockery.

WALTHAM - The World's Leading Authority on Pet Care and Nutrition

This information is referenced from the Waltham website which can be located at

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Home prepared pet foods require a thorough understanding of the specific nutritional needs of an animal, of the nutritive value of different foodstuffs and of dietary interactions, and methods of preparation and storage which may affect the availability of individual nutrients. It would not be possible to feed your dog a consistent and adequate diet without considerable time, effort and expertise.

Some owners like to prepare at least some of their dog’s meals. If so, only a few different foods should be introduced gradually at any time, to allow the dog’s digestive system to adapt to the new food. Meat, eggs, cheese and bread are some of the foods, which are commonly fed to dogs. If these foods were to form the major part of the diet careful supplementation with vitamins and minerals would almost certainly be required.

To ensure that a pet receives a nutritionally complete and balanced diet, it is essential to have a thorough understanding of the following:

  • The specific nutritional needs of the pet

  • The nutritive value of different foodstuffs and of dietary interactions

  • Methods of preparation and storage which may affect availability of individual nutrients

Therefore it is not possible to feed your dog a nutritionally consistent and adequate diet without considerable time, effort and expense.

WALTHAM - The World's Leading Authority on Pet Care and Nutrition

This information is referenced from the Waltham website which can be located at

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Like all other animals, dogs have a basic drive to reproduce and ensure the survival of their particular gene pool. However, the female will only mate at specific times, usually twice a year, when she is said to be on heat or in season. On the other hand, adult male dogs will mate at any time of the year and, if allowed to roam, may travel long distances to seek out a bitch that is on heat.

The bitch is usually in season for about three weeks, and she becomes increasingly attractive to males during this period. Her own behaviour may also change and she may become restless and more excitable, but it is normally not until the second week of her season that the bitch will allow the male to mate with her. However, all bitches are different and sometimes a male can mate a bitch as early as the first day of her season or as late as the last day. Therefore, be sure to keep your bitch well away from male dogs right throughout her season, unless you wish to breed.

Some bitches will show some of the signs of pregnancy one or two months after a season, even if she is not pregnant or has not even been mated. This is often referred to as a false, phantom or pseudo-pregnancy. Affected bitches may produce milk and display other signs of maternal behaviour, such as making nests and mothering toys or other items. Seek advice from your veterinary surgeon if this occurs.

Some aspects of reproductive behaviour in dogs can be a nuisance for their owners. Neutering, or some other form of reproductive control, may be advisable if you do not want to breed from your dog. Your veterinary surgeon will advise you on the options available.

This information is referenced from the Waltham website which can be located at


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