Click on the blue italic links to access items on Amazon.
I think it might be a good idea to start thinking about what you will need for your future bundle of joy. This is a long list of many suggested items, by no means not required. Except for the 2 FOODS (Royal Canin & Farmina), everything else is only a suggestion and up to you to ease the transition of a new puppy going into your new home, and as we all know, the most important item that you will need is LOVE!
PS: I will also strongly also suggest that you get items in red below: the GOAT MILK POWDER to help them transition, a PEN (or 2) to have a safe place to put your puppies when leaving the house in the first two months (I myself do NOT encourage you to get a crate, too small and claustrophobic with no area to play and potty), PROBIOTICS, PUMPKIN POWDER, 2 GRASS PADS or the PINE LITTER BOX, an x-small HARNESS, some SHAMPOO/SOAP. These will greatly ease the transition into your new home… the rest is up to you.
HAVE FUN SHOPPING!
PLEASE GET BOTH, FARMINA & ROYAL CANIN (both puppy and extra-small/mini). The reason is that at the beginning of the lockdown with another litter I could not get my regular puppy food FARMINA, so I started that litter with ROYAL CANIN and I was very pleased with the result.
ROYAL CANIN is not great, but I discovered that it is easier to start puppies on it because the bites are smaller and easier on puppies’ tummy (very blend/not a rich food). However I would NEVER recommend it as a long-term dry food, this is why after a few weeks I start slowly transitioning the puppies to FARMINA.
Altogether, I would say that there is no great dry food as when they make it they bring up the temperature of food at too high temperatures that destroys a lot of the good stuff, but FARMINA is probably the #2 dry dog food in quality in all dry foods (an unregulated industry) and most people getting my puppies will end up using a dry food as a base, so I should too.
By the time, you get your puppy, I will be halfway done with the slow transition to the better dog food FARMINA, so you will need both. Don't worry what you don't use as dog food, you can always use as treats as you will need a lot of treats for your new bundle of joy!
I'm sorry, I can't rush the transition faster because I am dealing with 1st vaccine, deworming, and the prospect of a puppy being moved from its mother to a new home. I also add to the puppy's food prebiotic and sometimes pumpkin powder to help that transition. When you come to pick up your puppy I will give you both of those if you didn't buy those, to prevent your puppy from getting Coccidia which is brought on by stress. I will also show you how to prepare the puppies' food.
Here are links for the 2 dog foods you need to get and as your puppy gets bigger. I would advise you to add all kind of yummy stuff with their kibbles, like chicken, beef, turkey, salmon, sardine, yogurt, blueberry, eggs, shredded carrots, banana, shredded cucumber… they get bored and like the variety that is very healthy for them; my adult dogs never ever get a meal with just kibbles, it’s only a base for them and after that, they get spoiled.
FOOD #1: ROYAL CANIN PUPPY EXTRA SMALL (I’m putting 3 links as they are having problems with availability)
ROYAL CANIN EXTRA SMALL
ROYAL CANIN CHIHUAHUA PUPPY (works too as above is often backed up)
ROYAL CANIN PUPPY SMALL (works too as above is often backed up)
FOOD #2: FARMINA MINI PUPPY DRY FOOD (chicken or lamb) Ancestral grain or grain-free are both good any of those 3 will be great (AND YOU CAN ROTATE TO AVOID BOREDOM)
FARMINA MINI PUPPY ANCESTRAL LAMB
FARMINA MINI PUPPY ANCESTRAL CHICKEN
FARMINA MINI PUPPY GRAIN-FREE LAMB
If you don't use my links to order food, make sure you buy those brands for PUPPIES and the SMALLEST (EXTRA SMALL or MINI) size kibbles when they are young. Farmina has 3 different puppy brands and I rotate them, so my dogs don't get bored (pregnant girls need to be on puppy food).
After 3 days of having your puppy at your home and feeding them plain soaked kibbles to ease the transition that can be hard on their stomach, you can start adding chicken, beef, eggs, tuna, sardines, yogurt, pumpkin, blueberries... start with a little tiny amount and increase it. They love that and it makes their food so much more interesting and healthier 😋
I feed the puppies 3 times a day, plus snacks and milk in between meals… my adult dogs get two meals a day and little treats in-between :-)
When your dog will be about a year old, you can switch to Farmina adult and they have many different kinds even with fish… it’s nice to keep rotating for variety. For my adult dog, I also switch from mini size to medium, back and forth//they prefer mini overall, even in adult sizes.
I like Farmina as 98% of protein is derived from animal sources. It is overall very meaty as high in protein, low on carbs, and clinically tested through cruelty-free research to have a low glycemic index. It contains no peas, whole legumes (so it is safe for the heart as these fibers could inhibit the production of Taurine which is essential for the heart); it also contains no meals or by-products.
- A good dog food should NOT have too many carbs, especially for older dogs. Of course, most dog foods won’t write on their labels the amount of carb is in their food, but no worries, you can calculate it easily. In case you are curious, here is how to figure it out yourself: Protein + fat + ash (8%) + carbohydrate + water must always equal 100 percent (ignore the fiber content because fiber is a type of carbohydrate). CARB= 100 - 8 - FAT - PROTEIN - WATER
- A good dog food should also NOT have peas, whole legumes as it inhibits the production of Taurine which is vital for their heart).
- A good dog food should be meaty (high in protein) and have lots of organic ingredients, but no meals or by-products.
- Grain-free is great as long as you know what the grains are replaced with. Do NOT buy the ones with legumes and peas that inhibit the production of Taurine with is essential for the heart.
- Grains like ancestral grains are ok too, but I don’t think dog food should have corn as genetically modified, and not easy to digest to begin with for most dogs. In general, I would stay away from grains except for ancestral.
There are other great dog foods: If you can have access to CARNA4 (I can't find it in Big Bear); it's also a very good dog food: rated#1 in Cavaliers groups on Facebook (FARMINA is #2) You should look into it, but make sure you transition your puppy in at least 2 weeks, as their tummy is extremely fragile.
Because Farmina is #2, I add lots of other ingredients in my dog's bowls and one of them is STELLA & CHEWY'S. It's freeze-dried raw food. Very healthy and my dogs love it. It's very pricey so I use it as a supplement on a daily basis -- see link below.
Even better, if you decide to cook for your dog I highly recommend it, as the bottom line is that the dog dry dog food industry is poorly regulated and overheat their product so you lose a lot of the ingredients in the process… In that case, you should join a Facebook group that will guide you on how to balance their meal (very important): HOME COOKING FOR CAVALIERS FACEBOOK GROUP.
Some people are very brave and they feed a fully raw food diet to their dogs and I applaud them. Just make sure once again that you feed your puppy a balanced raw food diet, and that you transition smoothly taking your time. Here is a good group about raw feeding: RAW FED HEALTHY CAVS FACEBOOK GROUP.
(This is a work in progress as I just started on this page many more items to be included on this list like toys, chews, bowls...).