We free feed the puppies because of the weaning process. We have pet doors so they can go outside and go potty when they are ready. We don’t expect everyone to put in a pet door before adopting one of our puppies. But time feedings are something that they are not used to. There are two ways to help your pup learn timed feeds; taking and dividing the recommend allowance (on the side of the Royal Canin bag I send home with you) into into thirds and giving it to him/her 3 times a day, or using the 15 minute rule, where they can have all they want for 15 minutes, 3 times a day. The purpose of timed feeds is to help you judge when they go potty. If you know when they eat you know when they need to go potty (usually 15-30 minutes after). Time feeding is crucial to potty training unless your puppy gives you obvious signs of needing to go…circling, sniffing the ground, etc. Not every puppy gives such obvious signs. But it is very important that you see your pup go potty because it will tell you the level of stress that your puppy is experiencing. Hard firm poo is no stress and the acclimation process is going flawlessly. Formed poo but soft is normal stress and most puppies experience this. Then, there is the completely stressed out poo and it is extremely soft to runny and you need to help this puppy deal with it. We recommend kaopectate and get some probios from a feed store or Tractor Supply or Rural King (if runny, get electrolytes as well). If you keep plain yogurt give some of that. Stress does the same to them as it does to us, it tears up our bellies, and can cause us to get sick!
We feed Royal Canin dog food and puppy and always have. That’s not saying that we have not been tricked a time or two by dog food companies who promise a better food with all this protein (that the dog can’t even digest) and no grains, but we always come home to the best. Royal Canin has the track record that just continues to out preform others by a long shot and we highly recommend it.
We do not require you to feed Royal Canin dog food to your puppy to adopt one. Please be mindful of the puppy though, and wait to change his/her food after the acclimation process because that alone is stressful enough. Changing their food during this time will only complicate problems with their stools. When it’s time, make sure you take a week or so and mix the food so that the change is not so abrupt. Mix only a little of the new food at the beginning, midway it should be half and half, then the last couple of days should be mainly just a new food. Consider a good food, remember good nutrition and a healthy start mean less vet bills.