The first question that comes to mind when happy owner brings his puppy home, is how to feed him or her? Future appearance and health of your adult dog is highly dependant of what you feed your puppy with. Tibetan Mastiff is a strong, massive, heavy dog, and it is needed to be well educated concerning feeding patterns, otherwise chances to successfully rise a puppy to a strong healthy dog are not that big. Usually puppy of such a large breed daily put on weight up to 200 g. During his quick growing stage, little Tibetan Mastiffs requires exact dosage of vitamins and minerals, so that he will have healthy strong bones and body structure.
Although the simplest way to raise a puppy properly is to feed him with a Super Premium quality dry food, we highly do not recommend to rely solely on it, and later we will show differences in Puppy’s development when feeding your dog with Dry Food or Natural Food. Certainly, for those, who has a limited time for preparation of natural food, or limited access to organic products, Dry Food is surely the best solution, although it should be obvious for a new owner that Tibetan Mastiff – a very expensive dog, and not only by its price, but also by its keeping: expenses for either natural or premium dry food start from 150 EUR monthly, exclusive supplements and snacks. If the decision not to feed the dog with Natural Food comes from the thoughts of saving money on it, Tibetan Mastiff is certainly not the breed one should have been chosen. All dogs in Mandarin kennel are fed with combination of Super Premium Dry and Natural Food.
In order to be consistent, let us first to consider the feeding with Dry Food.
It’s needed to decide, what brand to choose: it has to be the best quality food and consist all necessary elements, as well as your dog should like it. Among a large number of Premium food producers, we have been chosen those, who specialises on a production of only pet products, has opened detailed list of ingredients and ensures the quality of its food, by location of their facilities in places where a strict control can be exercised. This companies have very strong scientific basis, technologies and quality of organic ingredients (one can visit their facilities to see how the food is prepared and see the ingredients). This producers are not using grains among ingredients.
Here are the brands that we recommend in a priority order:’
– Royal Canine, France – this super premium food is produced in wide range of options for breeds of different sizes and types. It’s main advantage is a sustainable quality and good taste.
– Lupo Natural, Germany – this super premium food is produced only in Germany with the use of fresh regional ingredients, never frozen or exposed to heat or chemical preservatives and distributed around the world by online-shops and distributors’ network. Cold pressed and free from genetically modified (GM) ingredients, chemical colorants, synthetic preservatives and flavourings. Here you can find all the information about this manufacturer: http://luponatural.de
– Orijen, Canada – this super premium food is produced only in Canada with the use of fresh regional ingredients, never frozen or exposed to heat or chemical preservatives and distributed around the world by online-shops and distributors’ network. Here you can find all the information about this manufacturer: http://www.orijen.ca
– Acana, Canada – this super premium food is produced only in Canada with the use of fresh regional ingredients, never frozen or exposed to heat or chemical preservatives and distributed around the world by online-shops and distributors’ network. Here you can find all the information about this manufacturer: http://acana.com ( Together with “Orijen” brand belongs to the “Champion Perfood Inc.”, Canada ).
– Taste of the wild, USA – this super premium food is produced in USA with the use of fresh regional ingredients, and distributed around the world by online-shops. Here you can find all the information about this manufacturer: http://www.tasteofthewildpetfood.com
For a puppy 6-18 months it’s needed to choose a product for Large Puppy, or Junior Large Breed, as its specially developed for quick growing heavy dog’s and has necessary amount of vitamins and minerals in composition.
Don’t forget to place the clear fresh water (if you give a water from the tap, let it stay for a few minutes before giving to the dog) near the bowl with dry-food and clean the bowl regularly – each time when you place another portion of food. Never leave the bag with a food in the place where the dog can reach it easily and certainly do not leave it opened purposely instead of filling the bowl. Food must be fresh and bag should be kept closed all the time, otherwise lipids will oxidate and it will deteriorate.
As Tibetan Mastiffs’ puppies may not eat all portion of dry food, plus its very hard for an organism to consume dry granules of food ( you can try to eat 500g of dried bread to compare the feeling) so it is better to have the bowl full all the time, and allow him to chose when and how much to eat. Dogs of this breed will not eat more than its needed for them.
Following feeding time pattern is suitable and for Natural Food and for Dry Food:
2-6 Months old: 6 times a day
6-8 Months old: 4-5 times a day
8-12 Months old: 3 times a day
more than 12 Months: 2 times a day
By our opinion, feeding with dry food has its own advantages, but only for the owner. It saves a time that one spends for preparing the food, buying special products and balancing the ration. Presently, its hard to сonvince people, that natural food is the only healthy and appropriate food, and the very comfortable concepts are developed to save a time of the people who feed their dogs with fresh food. Its the same, if we compare home made food with fast food. It is not that hard to save time on feeding if make it wisely and later we will show it.
Dry food consists most of the vitamins that dog’s needed and not needed, even with excess. It allows them to grow quickly and often too quickly, at one year they already at all their size although in nature it is more normal that food is not all the time presented and not always consists all necessary elements. When food is natural, growth is more slow, but lasts longer and organism has a time to build all the tissues and musculoskeletal system in accordance to physical activity and load.
Apart of it, dry food is not biologically appropriate food for the dogs, thats why there are many ferments and lactobacteria added, in order to ensure that unnaturally prepared food ( meat is definitely not raw in granules – it backed or dried with all other ingredients, that ensures loosing of most vitamins, water-related natural structures and necessary vital bacteria ) will be digest by dog’s organism.
It is known, that after 2-3 generations of dogs were feed with only dry-food, their progenitors can’t digest meat and other naturally appropriate products – and this is not a good sign in terms of many generations of dogs with allergies, digestive and other problems. Tibetan Mastiff – aboriginal beautiful breed, and we must not ruin it’s characteristics by adjusting their life to our circumstances. Feeding with Super premium Dry-food will not save money, as it has almost the same cost as natural food does, and hardly saves time. Think about Dry-food as an additional snacks, but not as a main meal.
Let us consider the Natural Food feeding program. We rely in this program on what wild ancestors of this dogs may have eaten, and what will choose dog by itself when left in natural environment. Don’t forget that Tibetan Mastiff is an ancient breed which is not affected to much by civilisation, so natural feeding is much more suitable for it than Dry-Food feeding. There are 3 important basics in this program: composition and ingredients, their quality and quantity; vitamins and mineral balance; amount of consumed food. We will also show a simple way to save a time for preparing the food.
So its very important when choosing ingredients for natural feeding program is that they have to be fresh, regional, without additives and preservatives, grown naturally without hormones and other chemical stuff, raw. Presently it sounds difficult to find products totally clean from any chemical pollutions and so on – what we call BIO doesn’t mean that no additives were added. So the only right choice is to go to the local farms, markets, sea-ports or acquaintances, or grow up your own vegetables or poultry, and so on. It sounds difficult, but most of Tibetan Mastiffs are acquired by people living on countryside because of breed size and purpose. Sometimes you can get a very good deal with local farmers to have not the 1st class meat ( meaning the type of the meat, not the freshness ), bones with cartilages and inners, which is usually cheaper than clear muscle meat. All this must be cut for portions, packaged in a plastic bags and frozen deep and quickly in the fridge. It is possible to make a mix of different meat products which makes it more nutritive for a dogs. So what are Basic Ingredients for natural feeding program?
– Raw meat or fish, by-products
– Vegetables and fruits
– Cultured milk food
– Bran and other cereals
– Oils and butter
– Vitamins and Minerals
This is a main component in the ration of the dog. Beef meat hasn’t be the first class, but has to be lean, fresh, locally produced and preferably from the farm. When buying meat for your dog, ask also for by-products the producer could have. Its not needed and even harmful to feed dog with only fillet, better if meat has veins and even attached to the bones. Its possible to feed dogs also with lamb, poultry, rabbit. Pork has to be excluded from the ration as there сausative agents of some diseases as Сanine Distemper сan be present. Apart of it, pork is too fatty for dog’s digestion. As for poultry, its needed to control if your dog’s organism reacts normally to this product, although usually TM’s don’t have problems with it. Any meat has to be given after complete freezing, and cut to relatively large pieces, depends of the age ( about 4-5 sm for an adult dog ), its not needed to mince it.
By-products: beef tripe, kidneys, cartilages, hearts, tongs, tailings; poultry throats, liver. All by-products has to be given raw and after complete freezing ( it kills most of possible harmful organisms in it ). Most of by-products are not so nutritive as meat, but play very important role in ration of the dog. Unpiled raw beef tripe is the most valuable by-product, although it also doesn’t replace the meat. Different types of meat and by products can be mixed in one meal, but its needed to control the reaction (diarrhea or vomiting) of dog’s organism to one or another ingredient , and add them to ration one by one.
When buying meat from local farm or proved supplier, there is almost no chance that you dog will get any disease or worms, as concentration of hydrochloric acid in dog’s stomach more than humans’ and sufficient to carry out disinfectant functions towards raw meat and fish. Apart of it, raw meat is much more nutritive for dogs, than thermally treated. When it is determined, what will be the dog’s meat diet of, its better to follow it day by day. The simplest way is to buy large amount of meat products at once, cut, package in plastic bags as portions and freeze. Then in the evening is enough to get one serving out of fridge and the next day it would be ready for use.
Components of MILK and MEAT must not be mixed in one feeding, they should be divided between 2 or more daily feedings.
This component should not replace the meat in ration, but complement it. It has to be ocean fish and be fresh, frozen the same way as meat, and given raw. After the freezing all vermin dangerous for dogs die. Its needed to pay attention that there are no many fishbones. Salmon, Trout, Chum Salmon are best for feeding. Very often in markets or shops you can buy cuttings of this fish that are sold with good discounts, so it will not be very expensive. Apart of it, its not needed to feed with large amount of fish, its good to give about 100-150gr per day (adults). River fish is better not to give because of bones and parasites.
VEGETABLES and FRUITS
There are many vegetables that could be added to TM’s meal raw: carrots, beet, radish, pumpkin, spinach, cucumbers, young pea pods, leaves of different lettuce, edible herbs. All given vegetables should be grown locally. Its needed to finely chop, mince or grate them. Following vegetables should be given slightly stewed and crushed: white cabbage, eggplant, bell pepper, vegetable marrow. Once per week dog can get one slice of garlic. Following vegetables are better to exclude from dog’s diet: avocado, onion ( any types of it ), pea and any leguminous plants, all exotic vegetables – this vegetables can be dangerous for dogs. As for locally grown tomatoes, they can be added in small quantity if dog likes them. As well most of dogs eat grass in summer and in some warm regions in winter – it gives them most of needed vitamins. In spring it is very good to add fresh leaves of young nettle, scalded with a boiling water for a few seconds, there is a fair amount of natural calcium contained in.
Fruits and berries should be added carefully, because most of them contain sugar. But small pieces of apples, pears, plums (without seeds), as well as grapes, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, cranberries can be given if dog likes them. Be careful with citrus fruits, they are not appropriate for dogs and can cause allergic reactions. Don’t give any fruits with big stones, take them off in advance. All fruits have to be grown locally as well as vegetables. Exotic fruits are better not to be given as its hard to predict a reaction of dog’s organism at the risk of dog’s life.
Good idea is to buy necessary amount of different vegetables at once, prepare, cut, package in plastic bags as portions and freeze.
Due to the fact that in Tibet dogs were often fed with milk, most of TM’s don’t have a problems with eating milk all their life. The best solution is a fresh goat’s milk from the local farm. If you buy milk in a shop, be careful with all the brands that do not guarantee that their products are made from fresh whole milk. Fat-content of a milk have to be about 2-3,5 %.
Cultured milk products such as kefir, sour clotted milk, fermented baked milk, whey, home-made yogurts, ( fat cont. 3,5%), cottage cheese (fat cont.5-9%) are good replacement of milk in a dog’s diet. It’e needed to pay attention to quality of product, brand, suitability to your dog, absence of sugar and any other additives or fruits.
At some age dog can refuse to eat milk products totally, it should be replaced by other products then.
Components of MILK and MEAT must not be mixed in one feeding, they should be divided between 2 or more daily feedings.
Cereals are the source of cellulose and some vitamins of B group. They play major role in laxation and cleaning of the digestive tract. Following cereals are suitable for the dogs ( in a priority order ):
– wheat bran
– oat bran
– oat flakes
First three types of cereals are most preferable and can be only filled with boiling water and left for 15 minutes to swell. Last two cereals should be boiled in water for at least 10-15 minutes. It is possible to mix different types of brans in one feeding. All cereals bought should be without additives, fruits, sugar, salt or spices. There is a very good and proved concept that dog doesn’t need cereals at all, but should receive brans to form probiotic environment in digestive tract. We follow that concept, but sometimes adding some of cereals in order to diversify diet.
OIL & BUTTER
It’s important to add different types of oils to the meat feeding: sunflower seed oil unrefined, olive oil, lin oil, pumpkin oil – up to one tablespoon of any of those. Oils help to keep dog’s fur and skin healthy and beautiful.
Natural fresh milk butter is good for TM’s, especially in cold weather because it provides with additional animal fats and vitamins. Better to give it with a slice of brown bread ( about 25-50 gr).
Quail or chicken eggs have to be given 2-3 times a week raw or boiled, and to puppies and to adults. Raw eggs better to add to a milk feedings, and boiled eggs give separately or mixed with bread.
Beef Bones are the most important source of calcium and phosphor, as well as cartilages are source of glucosamine and chondroitin. As Tibetan Mastiff is a massive dog, the best solution is to give raw large beef bones (or bone endings) with cartilages on the bone’s end and some meat on it. Usually dog consumes it all without the trace. Better to give such bones after dog changed the teeth (after 6 months). Before this time is better to give a bone meal (for calcium and phosphor), big bone cut (for chewing), and cartilages – beef ears, tails (for glucosamine, gelatine and chondroitin ).
Poultry, rabbit bones must not be given, although it can be that nothing happen when you give it raw, there is still a risk. Cooked bones must not be given at all(!). Chicken wings and throats can be given freely, if raw, in necessary amount.
2.VITAMINS & MINERALS
When feeding your fast growing heavy puppy with natural ration, adding some necessary vitamins and minerals plays sometimes major role in this process. Here you will find all necessary information about these important ingredients.
3. Amount of consumed food:
Approximate total daily volume of all food given to TM is calculated by the following formula:
up to 6 months: 6-7% of puppy weight;
after 6 months: 3-4% of dog’s weight;
Calculated daily amount of food is composed from approximately 50% of milk products and 50% of meat ( including by-products, poultry and fish ). Vegetables, cereals and minerals are considered as supplements and their amount can be calculated from total daily food volume:
Vegetables: 10 % ( if dog is willing to get more vegetables, increase the amount);
Cereals: app. 5% ;
Vitamins and minerals: as per formula;
The duty of the owner is to observe the state of the dog and adjust quantity of given food in order to keep the dog in a best condition. Most important is a fast growing stage (2-12 months), when puppy’s weight is increasing fast but locomotive system cannot sustain it yet. If your puppy is active and happy, he is not fat, his legs are strait and parallel, his appetite and excrements are good – then you feed him correctly. If you see that puppy is moody, or he is to fat or heavy for his age, his legs become bowed – any of this situations is a first alarm to reconsider the feeding pattern. Its needed to decrease an amount of food up to 20% if his weight is not appropriate to his skeleton and if he is loosing activity. If he has problems with a stool or appetite – its needed to reconsider components of his diet, their origin and freshness.
There is a simple rule that helps to understand if you give your dog enough food: if you place a bowl and after 15-20 minutes there remains some or all given food, then its needed to decrease amount proportionally. Tibetan Mastiffs can decide to have fasting days ( 1 or 2 ), if activity and overall appearance of the dog is good, there is no reason to worry about it. But if dog refuses to eat more than one day and looks depressed, one should immediately take the dog to a vet, because this can be a sign of many dangerous diseases. Some dogs can eat more, some less, appetite can depend on activity level, age and conditions of living, pregnancy, lactation, or personal dog’s tastes. With a time it will be easier to understand how much food your dog needs. Try to feed TM same time every day and take out the bowl after 20 minutes, and it will be easier to feed him as well as adjust necessary quantity of food.
Don’t forget that some products can be not suitable specifically for your dog.
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