We now feed all of our new puppies and moms a wonderful turkey and sweet potato chow from PawTree (you can read about it on our Great Products drop-down and even order it from our website from the provided link), and we couldn’t be happier with the results. We strongly encourage each of our valued clients to use this wonderful dog food for at least the first month after they receive their puppies. Puppies are stressed when they are taken from their mothers and litter mates and sent to their new home, so anything that can be done to reduce further stress is important, and this means not abruptly changing their diet.
If all is going well with your puppy after being in your home for a month or so, you can start transitioning over to another high-quality, small or medium dog puppy or all life stages chow if you choose (although we strongly recommend that you stay with PawTree for the life of your companion). Start the transition by mixing 25% new with 75% current chow for a couple of days. If all goes well, mix it 50/50 for a couple of days. If all is still going well, mix it 75% new to 25% current for a couple of days. If all is still going well, change over completely to the new dog chow.
We have found our Frenchies to be good eaters and not all that particular, so it is important to feed them a high quality dog food which is high in protein (we like at least 26%) and fat (we like at least 16%), which has meat as its first ingredient(s). There are several excellent, reasonably priced dog foods that meet these requirements. We continue to recommend PawTree because of its high quality and convenience (you can order from the link on our Great Products page), although there are many good products from several other established companies.
For our Frenchies (and we believe the same applies to other breeds), corn, wheat, &/or soy, should not be used as fillers in dogs food, all of which are harder on dogs’ digestive systems and organs and can lead to food allergies, gas (and when Frenchies are gassy you will know it), and other ailments. Most Frenchies will handle brown rice, oat groats/meal, peas, garbanzo beans, chickpeas, lentils, and barley without any issues, but if a food allergy arises, generally a grain free dog food, like PawTree’s all-life-stages grain free chows (which contain sweet potato) will do the trick. Chicken is normally good as the source of protein, as is fish, but occasionally Frenchies will have allergies to these proteins. Turkey, duck, and beef rarely cause issues. Only rarely will a raw diet be necessary to resolve food allergies.
Note: it is certainly more convenient to feed your Frenchie a high quality dry dog food than a raw diet, but we know some breeders and some clients who prefer a raw diet (often raw meat mixed with brown rice). There are probably outlets in your area which provide raw dog food if you look for them on the web. We have had clients tell us that they have virtually solved the gas problem with a raw diet, although we haven’t had too much of a problem with the dry food we use which has no corn, wheat, or soy. A raw diet can definitely be good for Frenchies which have food allergies.
The general recommendation is to feed them the daily prescribed amount of high quality, dry food in the morning (or give half in the morning and half in the evening), although fresh water should be available to them throughout the day. If it works better for your schedule, it is acceptable to leave food out all day and let your Frenchie eat when and what he/she wants. Just keep in mind that if you do free-feed your Frenchie, you may have a harder time keeping him/her at ideal weight and it will be more difficult to get on a potty schedule.
Note: Some Frenchies tend to gulp their food which sometimes leads to them throwing-up excessively, and they also get gassier as they are gulping a lot of air with their food. If this is the case with your Frenchie, it is best to give several smaller portions throughout the day.
It is also a bad practice to feed your Frenchie table scraps (although a little piece of meat or cheese as a treat is OK every once in a while). When you feed your Frenchie table scraps, you can never be sure that he/she is getting the proper nutrition and the proper amount of calories, meaning the health of your precious Frenchie could suffer.
If you are feeding your Frenchie a high-quality small or medium adult dog food, you can probably get by without special supplements. However, to be sure that our dogs are getting all of the nutrients they need to maintain strong, healthy bodies and good coats, we have been using NuVet tablets, and his has made a noticeable improvement in our kennel, especially with our pregnant and whelping females.
We were told about this supplement from a breeder friend of ours who obtained fantastic results in her kennel by using this supplement every day with each of her dogs. She said she solved several problems (from skin rashes to low milk production in mothers, along with several other nagging health issues) when she started giving each dog in her kennel one of these supplements daily. We believe you and your Frenchie will also benefit from these outstanding supplements which you can find detailed under “Great Products”. When you use the number provided you can purchase these supplements at a significantly discounted rate versus the retail cost.