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Old 11-18-2012, 09:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default question about feeding regiment for very young puppies

Fist off, I want to apologize for how vague this is all going to sound, and make it very clear that I have not acquired a puppy this young or have any intentions of doing so.

But lets assume someone just purchased a 6 week old Maltese puppy from a not-so-great breeder.

Said breeder did not give any information to buyer about how to feed this dog, other than they have been feeding it dry food.

Assuming the buyer is going to keep the puppy on kibble, and also assume its a decent quality brand (Blue/Wellness/Fromm something along those lines), how would you feed this puppy?

Is it acceptable to feed a puppy this young (and small, assume typical wight for a 6 week old Maltese) only dry food? If so, how often/how much?

What frequency should meals be at, should they be scheduled, or should the puppy have access to food at all times?

Are there any risks involved with a puppy this young and small not taking in a certain amount of calories/etc?

I know there are some breeders here, if I could get a detailed description of a GOOD breeder's feed regiment at this age, that would be absolutely amazing. Or if anyone knows a breeder who posts this sort of info on their website/etc, or one who might be willing to discuss it with me via email that would be fantastic.
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Old 11-18-2012, 09:59 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I too have wondered how these puppies even survive. I see ads for puppies this young and even younger, and I wonder if they make it So sickening that people sell underaged puppies, esp. since they're just trying to get top dollar when they're tiny, often lying about the age.
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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It is very upsetting.
Its a shame there are not better laws in place for this sort of thing. Its an even bigger shame there aren't ANY laws, even lemon laws, regarding this in some states
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:24 PM   #4 (permalink)
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No the puppy cannot eat dry food.... Maltese don't get enough teeth in until 8-10 weeks! Most don't get all their teeth in until 16 weeks.

If the breeder (bad one) was feeding dry - the puppy is highly malnourished and should be seen by a vet ASAP to tell you how to properly feed it. Even if it looked healthy, it would still have serious malnourishment.

You'd probably have to make a mush using puppy formula and pulverized (put in a blender) kibble. And may need to supplement puppy formula (in a dish or bottle) for another 2-4 weeks.

If a puppy is abandoned (or mother gets ill or doesn't mother it) -- it is the same. The puppy needs formula.

A good breeder doesn't feed at this age. Maybe a bowl goes down and they lick the kibble, but they don't really eat it and aren't expected to. Their mothers are still providing most of their nourishment. Most Malts are not weaned before 8 weeks. Grace was still nursing at night at 10 weeks.
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thank you so much for the info... is there any published articles, or any detailed info at all that really gets into the specifics of this? Especially about them not having the teeth developed/etc? Like I said, even if its just another breeder's site, I'll take anything.

Or if a breeder/etc would like to write something up, that would be EXTREMELY helpful.
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:36 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I am not a breeder, but I would tell the person you are speaking of to take the puppy to the vet and let the vet tell them what to feed this puppy. Leila had her teeth by 7 weeks, although they had not pushed all the way through and she was eating dry food at that time that was mixed with water to soften it. But I'm not telling you this is what should be done. My vet told me it is ok to free feed the first 6 months and no less than 3 times a day. After she's a little older, I can cut it down to twice a day and only give what she will eat at a feeding, then take it away. (Does that make sense how I worded it?) But she has already cut back on her feedings on her own. She's almost 5 months and only eats 3 times a day at the most.
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:39 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I've always like this link for why it is important to keep a puppy with their mother for 12 weeks:

Why do Maltese puppies need to be 12 weeks old before going to a new home??
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