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We are adding a fifth dog to our family, a six month old puppy that we'll be transitioning to raw cold turkey and this blog post shares our plans.

Wow! This is unexpected but I'm excited by this opportunity to not only help a family member but to also introduce another dog to a diet of fresh food. But before I get started, I need to post a warning message. So here goes:

In this post, we'll be talking about a dog that came from what some would call a backyard breeder. This is a person who breeds a designer breed called a Goberian, which is a Golden Retriever, Siberian Husky mix. I respect that there are people who will have strong opinions about getting a puppy from this type of breeder. Please hold your opinions until you have read this entire blog post. Thank you.

We're Getting a Puppy!!!

A family member purchased a puppy from a person breeding a designer mix called Goberian – that's a Golden Retriever, Siberian Husky mix. After a few months, the individual realized that they weren't able to care for a puppy, they gave us a call to ask if we would add the dog to our family. We said yes. We would rather take the puppy than see the puppy end up in a shelter. As a board member of a local rescue group, I'm aware that millions of dogs are euthanized every year to make room in overcrowded shelters in our country. Knowing this statistic, the choice to take the puppy was a no brainer.

The puppy's name is Apollo and I plan to add pictures to my social media pages soon.

This isn't something that we were prepared for or planned. Although I would love a life with lots of dogs, the reality is that four dogs are a lot. My hope is that having a fifth dog won't be much different. #FingersCrossed

Funny text message with my BF as I explained that the new dog will be transitioned cold-turkey from kibble to raw dog food.

Transitioning a Puppy to a Raw Food Diet

The dog is currently on a kibble diet and that will end the moment he arrives in our home. We will be transitioning cold-turkey to a fresh food diet. I was going to start him on Darwin's Pet because that's how I transitioned all of my dogs but ended up feeding him the DIY mix that I made and he did great!

I made a big batch of raw dog food with Dr. Harvey's Paradigm yesterday.

We feed our dogs a raw food diet. This week, I made a pork meal for the dogs that will last at least two weeks for 5 dogs. Human grade pork doesn't have a risk of parasites.
human grade pork doesn't have a risk of parasites

Watch my Facebook Live showing the making of this food.

Feeding Raw to Puppies

When it comes to mix-breed dogs, it's hard to determine what they'll be as adults. I don't know which breed characteristics to expect and I don't know how big he'll big. I'm trying to educate myself about all things about the breed mix so that I'm prepared for everything. I'll be making the following adjustments to Apollo's raw diet:

  • I will be feeding Apollo 3-4% of his current body weight. We have a dog scale, so I can keep track of his weight and adjust how much we're feeding him to avoid inappropriate weight gain or loss.
  • I will be adding more calcium to his diet for the next few months to support his growing bones along with additional Vitamin B via pork hearts or a supplement. My Internet research tells me that this breed mix (Goberian – who comes up with these names?) can grow up to 80 lbs. Wow!
  • I will NOT be fasting the puppy. He'll need all the nutrients he needs as he grows. However, when he arrives, he may not have an appetite, so I have raw goat's milk and bone broth ready for him.

Have a younger puppy? Here are the feeding guidelines by age:

Age in Months% of Body Weight# of Daily Meals
2-4 months8-10%3-4 meals daily
4-6 months*6-8%3 meals daily
6-8 months4-6%2 meals daily
8-12 months3-4%2 meals daily

*I started feeding our dogs twice daily at four months of age.

Supplements for Puppies

The only supplements that Apollo will receive initially will be a digestive supplement and salmon oil (when I'm not feeding whole sardines). I'm most comfortable with the following products:

I don't worry about adding additional supplements until my dog shows a need for something more.

*I also grind up the eggshells from farm raised chicken eggs, however, this is a last option for our puppy because eggshells only provide calcium and not phosphorus. I don't grind grocery store eggshells because I don't know what they were rinsed with to clean.

Feeding Raw Bones to Puppies

I don't feel comfortable feeding recreational bones to puppies until their adult teeth come in, which should happen around 6-7 months old (sometimes sooner for some dogs). Their puppy teeth are too soft for recreational bones and I don't want to risk a dental mishap or any pain that may turn the dog off of bones.

Raw meaty bones, however, are great and I'll be feeding the puppy duck feet (more cartilage than bone), duck necks and duck frames (more cartilage than bone) when he arrives. He'll get these under supervision without the other dogs around until he learns how to eat them and I know that he won't try to inhale them. Once I feel that he has a handle on eating raw meaty bones, he can join the pack on bone days (always under supervision).

Puppy Vaccinations

I do not vaccinate my dogs beyond their first-year boosters. Apollo is caught up on his puppy vaccinations and we'll have a health certificate for his new veterinarian. He will get the annual boosters and then he'll be finished. The reason I go this far is that I am raising rescues and I don't always know their vaccination history.

Going forward, I will have my dogs' titer tested to check their antibody levels.

We will be taking Apollo in for a check-up once he's settled into our home and I'll be adding him to our pet insurance.

Preparing for the Puppy

Diet isn't the only thing that we're concerned about with our new family member.

  • We hired a dog trainer to help with introductions and training.
  • We hired a dog walker/pet sitter to walk Apollo when we're at work.
  • We're considering enrolling Apollo into a reputable doggy daycare so that he can play with other puppies.

He has everything that he needs (eg. toys, crate, blanket, dog dish, leash, harness) and I'll be updating our first aid kit with the following products:

  • Slippery elm – for diarrhea and intestinal parasites; we live in a rural area with small critters.
  • Benedryl – for bee stings (available at the drug store).

My Concerns About the New Dog

My only concerns about adding a new dog to our family are how will our dogs react and how long before they accept that the puppy isn't leaving soon. I'm praying that this will work out. #FingersCrossed

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