is it best to feed my puppy mince beef or puppy food?
we are trying to wean our 3 week old hand reared puppy, we know this is early but have been advised to do so from our vet and our breeder, the only problem is they have different opinions and we are confused!!!
the breeder has told us to use frozen mince beef that has been brought up to body temp, which she has been eating for the last 24 hours and she loves it and has improved dramatically.
the vet told us this morning not to use the mince but use good quality puppy food as it is more balanced but she doesn't seem to like this. please help us as we don't know whose advise to take and want to do the best for our little puppy.
It's fine to start weaning at about 3 weeks, the momma dog naturally begins the process at around this age.
If she has had any health problems or is underweight etc., I think it's important for her to eat, and as she likes the minced beef that's a plus. But I definitely agree with your veterinarian that it's not a balanced diet and won't provide all the nutrients she needs.
If I were you I would get the best of both worlds and buy a high quality puppy food (see my pages on dog food and feeding puppies for help here) for her. Before feeding it to her, soak it in warm water for 10 mins or so, then mix in a handful of the ground beef, and serve it to her that way - of course, make sure it's cool before you give it to her.
Soaking the puppy kibble will make it easy to mix with the beef and will serve two purposes...
1. She will be getting more of the nutrients she needs.
2. She will still like the taste as it has the ground beef mixed in.
Over the next couple of weeks I would then gradually reduce the amount of beef, and increase the amount of kibble until eventually she's just eating the kibble. Most puppies are picky eaters at first and it generally doesn't really matter if they eat as much as you would like because nature won't let them starve themselves!
It's basically your responsibility to provide her with a good, nutritionally balanced diet.... and it's her responsibility to eat it :o)
Anyway, I hope this helps some and I wish you the very best of luck with your little girl.
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