FEEDING YOUR HAVANESE
Dog food is always a struggle for puppy owners. We stress about assuring to give our dogs the very best nutrition possible. With growing puppies, there are even more concerns. Please DO NOT feed your baby puppy (under 3 months) human food or store-bought treats. Their digestive system is just developing and upsets can happen very easily. To reward good behavior, I recommend freeze-dried lung or liver or small pieces of lean chicken. I feed Royal Canine Small Breed Puppy for the first year and then switch to Royal Canine Yorkshire Terrier Adult because it meets the special needs of a long coated toy breed. This food meets the AAFCO standards and have undergone their own feeding trials.
If you want to change your puppies food please visit this site to be sure your new food meets the following criteria. Please DO NOT switch your puppy's food until he is at least 3 months old and then gradually switch over a couple weeks.
The following information can help you to select an appropriate diet available on the market
Important information to know about dog foods:
1. The FDA has issued a warning about grain free foods and foods made by boutique companies who do not have staff veterinary nutritionist, as many dog foods on the market today do not provide a complete and balanced diet. This is causing many dogs to develop Dilated Cardio Myopathy (DCM), enlargement of the heart which can lead to heart failure and death. This is due to a taurine interruption in the balance of the diet. The exact details are still being investigated and studied by UC Davis. High levels of peas, legumes/bean is one implication, unbalanced food is another even for non-grain-free foods. You can check out the facebook group Taurine-Deficient Dilated Cardiomyopathy for more information. Or you can check out the associated website for TD- DCM, which has all the information from Dr. Stern without all the conversations, just the facts.
2. Most veterinarians at this time do NOT recommend any grain free diet or foods with peas, lentils, chickpeas, beans or other legumes such as alfalfa, soy etc, or potatoes or sweet potatoes in the first 5 ingredients. As well do not recommend any food that has not undergone AAFCO feeding trials. (Formulated to meet AAFCO standards is NOT the same thing.)
3. Just because it has good marketing and sounds good to humans, does not mean it is well balanced for the health of our dogs.
4. Here is the information you need to know if you are considering feeding or are currently feeding your pets a raw diet. Many pets get sick, and some die, because they are fed a raw, unbalanced, and contaminated diets. People can also get sick, and some die, because they are exposed to the pets being fed a raw diet. As a result, we are passionate about following the conclusions of the research here. There is not a single provable benefit to feeding a raw food diet, and there are many proven risks. If you are determined to make food for your dog here is a link to contact a veterinary nutritionist and get their help to formulate a balanced, cooked, species appropriate diet- http://www.acvn.org/
Articles to Read
The following blog is a fantastic summary, written by a veterinary nutritionist that references the overwhelming amounts of research on Raw Diets
As the research is entirely conclusive that there is absolutely zero benefit to feeding a raw diet, and many risks to people around and animals fed raw diets, there are many position statements written about it.
Here’s the AVMA
Here’s the CVMA
Here’s the FDA
Here’s the CDC
It’s also important to know that this doesn’t apply solely to canines. The same risks and issues are present for felines. They are also at an additional risk of taurine deficiency which causes heart disease (and if not fixed), eventually will result in death.
The two articles below are important to read on the subject of dietary caused heart disease. It is written by a veterinary nutritionist at TUFTS. Her primary research is in the nutritional aspects of canine heart disease. She is arguably THE world expert on the subject.
A Broken Heart: Risk of Heart Disease in boutique or grain free diets or exotic ingredients
It's Not Just Grain Free: An Update on Diet-Associated Dilated Cardiomyopathy - Tufts second report on the problem of Nutritional DCM.