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Old June 2nd, 2010, 04:33 PM
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serenamlambe serenamlambe is offline
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Transitioning from Kibble w/ Water to Dry Kibble

Again, another puppy question for you dog experts out there!

When we got Keely a week ago, the "breeder" told us that she was feeding Purina Puppy Chow with some water on it. Keely was less than six weeks when we got her, so I guess the water was necessary. **See Note

We obviously didn't want to continue feeding her the puppy chow, nor did I want to invest in a whole bag of it just to do the switch, so we tried giving her some Taste of the Wild kibble - just to see if she would get an upset tummy or if it would be fine.

She did great and has been enjoying the Taste of the Wild since we've had her with no issues, crushed and with some water. The pieces were too big/hard for her to chew at first! I would say she's less than one pound.

So, what I want to know is - How do I now switch her to dry food without the water? I have tried offering her the dry crushed kibble at her meal times, but she does not eat it. Do you think she is ready for dry kibble yet?

Today, I left dry crushed kibble in her bowl in her playpen while I went to work... I don't want to leave her the wet stuff, for fear of some bacteria growth or something. My boyfriend is gone to Switzerland for work for two weeks, so he can't feed her at noon... which, up until this point, has been her second mealtime of the day.

With Connor, my other dog, we free feed and its been great for him. I would like to do the same with Keely, but need to make the transition to dry kibble...

Any hints or suggestions would be muchly appreciated!




** Note: I use the term "breeder" with quotations because the lady was obviously not a reputable breeder. I realize that Keely was pretty young to be away from her litter and the "breeder" was anxious to get rid of her. I know most of you don't agree with BYBs and probably would dispute my choice of getting her from some random person. I'm not going to defend my choice; I'm just happy to give her a good home. Just figured I would put that in there, since I really hope this thread doesn't become a lecture.

Last edited by serenamlambe; June 3rd, 2010 at 12:26 PM.
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Old June 3rd, 2010, 12:28 PM
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serenamlambe serenamlambe is offline
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She's still not interested in the dry food. I may try to use less water, though that might be hard, since I'm pouring off the excess anyways... Hmmm...

Could still use some ideas!
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Old June 3rd, 2010, 03:10 PM
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Marcha Marcha is offline
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Our vet recommended that we continue to give our pup soaked kibble until she was at least 13 weeks old, preferably longer. The soaking was mostly to increase absorption and digestion, to prevent the dry kibble from acting like a 'sponge' inside the dog's tummy and intestines, and to prevent dehydration (we had a very hot summer when we got our pup).

While I understand your concerns about bacteria, and you have been having hot weather so the risk is pretty real, would it be possible for you to either have a neighbour or a dog-walker come give some soaked food? Could you temporarily increase your pup's breakfast and dinner while your partner is away, and go back to 3 meals per day when he is back? Or have a breakfast, an after-mom-is-home dinner, and then a later supper?

Personally, we noticed a big difference in Bodhi's ability to digest the kibble once we started soaking it. We got her when she was just shy of 8 weeks old, btw.
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Old June 3rd, 2010, 03:13 PM
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Gail P Gail P is offline
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So you got her a week ago and she was "less than 6 weeks", which makes her not yet 7 weeks now right? She may not yet be ready for hard, dry kibble. With all of my puppies I'd moisten (not soak) their food with warm water when they first came home but would also give them a little dry kibble between mealtimes. Not free choice, just using it more as a treat, getting to know that good things come from me etc. and as a reward for coming. Also as a bit of a game, chasing pieces of kibble across the floor. Usually they start to prefer the dry kibble over the moist as puppy food doesn't take long to become soggy and as they get a bit older they don't seem to like it that way.

I still usually wet my dogs food but it doesn't soak and doesn't get mushy. I just add warm water (sometimes with broth and/or meat) and feed right away while the kibble is still crunchy. I do it to help them stay well hydrated when they're working.
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Old June 3rd, 2010, 03:52 PM
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Marcha - So far, we have been feeding her 4 times a day: 7:00 am, 12:00 noon, 4:30 pm, 10:00 pm. I could easily just bring it down to three times by skipping the noon-time meal. As I have just been leaving dry food down while I am work, which she doesn't eat anyways, it's been pretty much three meals for a couple days now. It seems to be fine, though she's really hungry when I get home!

Gail P - I agree that she's not really ready for the dry kibble yet. I feel like she either needs it crushed or wet in order to chew it. Maybe it's because the TOTW is grain free. It seems crunchyyy!

I guess I'll keep feeding her the wet kibble for a few more weeks then! It's not really a problem to keep giving her three meals, I just wasn't sure when she should start eating the dry food. Thanks for the advice
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Old June 3rd, 2010, 04:33 PM
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I don't see anything wrong with continuing the water with the kibble. Byron (Labrador) is 10 months old and gets 2 meals a day, both soaked in warm water. It stops him from gulping, and he takes longer to eat it all. He seems to have less gas as well (I'm assuming that swallowing without chewing dry kibble isn't the best for his system). It's like a gravy when you add water, makes the food smell better and taste yummier (not that I know *shiftyeyes*)
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Old June 4th, 2010, 10:21 AM
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Caesar my Ridgeback is almost 8 yrs old and still gets enough water to almost float his Orijen kibble at meal time. It also slows his gulping, ensures he is hydrated. I never free feed--all my dogs are fed meals so I know exactly what goes in.
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Old June 4th, 2010, 10:28 AM
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serenamlambe serenamlambe is offline
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Okay, I feel much better about using water now! Hahah.

I tried doing meals with Connor, but it never seemed to work. I can't really explain it, he just never wanted to eat when I gave him his food. And it's not like he was getting anything else!

With free feeding, he eventually set his own schedule. He eats three times a day; after our morning walk, after our 4:00 PM walk, and has a bedtime snack. I tried feeding him meals at these times, same thing... no eating.

He's stubborn. Hahahaha. But meals are working well for Keely (... Though she occasionally steals one or two kibble from Connor's bowl! Hahahah).

I'll keep it up with the water soaked meals for now
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