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We had a litter of 14 Great Danes this fall.  They are beautiful, healthy pups.  We have been feeding them Chicken Soup for large breed puppies.  It is taking us longer to find forever homes for these pups than we anticipated.  Since we are now into the 30 pound range, it is costing us more than we can afford to feed them.  We are feeding 11 pups and 2 adults.  I don't want to jeopardize their health, but need to cut costs somehow.  What could we mix their kibble with to make it go further ?  The pups eat 3 times a day and almost 2 cups of kibble per pup per meal.  We add canned puppy food to one of their meals every day.  Do you have any tips for us first and only time 'breeders'?  (I use that word with tongue in cheek.)  Thanks for any advice you can offer.

Answer
Hello,

I feel for your situation. We are big believers in adopting and not shopping as their are so many in need of homes. We rescue as many as we can and find homes.

I do understand the urge to breed beautiful dogs and find good homes for them. However I'm glad to hear this will be your last time.

Keeping good quality food in their diet is of up-most importance. This is their foundation for the rest of their lives.

Chicken Soup is a good food and one of the less expensive premium foods. There is another one called Skoki that is a little less. It's not a puppy food but if you can add some omega's to their diet like some sardines once a week, they will get the omega's needed.

If you haven't, try working a deal where you buy your food. When someone comes to us wanting 5 bags or more, we give them a bigger discount.

If you have a small time produce grocer in your area that sells mostly fruits and veggies that are right at the end of ripeness, you can add 10-15% of these veggies to their diet for short term.

Canned food is obviously better than dry food but you have to do what you can. Again, I would try to strike a deal for buying so many cases at once.

Try to get on the manufacturers websites and request coupons as well.

You may also try to co-op with other breeders in your area. Some of the bigger ones purchase pallets of food at a time. They also get kick-backs from the companies if they promote their foods to the buyers. Just make sure it is a premium food they are offering.

If there are some bigger breeders in your area, I would talk with them about your predicament. Maybe they could even help broker your pups for a fee.

You can reach out to local people at the dog parks or social groups. You might find temporary fosters for some of the pups while you are finding homes. They of course would enjoy the company of the dog but will be asked to feed them.

Some of the local rescue groups might be of some help as well. Get to know them. Some, like Second Chance Companions and others, foster dogs in their own homes. They may be of some help fostering or with food supply.

If there are any Great Dane rescue groups anywhere near you, call them and ask for assistance.

I hope one or more of these suggestions are able to help you. If you should have any further questions, please feel free to ask.

Good luck with them and I'm so glad you don't want to compromise good health to save a few dollars. The pups will have a far better life for your efforts.

Roger

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Roger McLeskey

Expertise

Can answer all nutritional information for all dogs. Common problems with food, supplements, weight control, allergies, fleas, etc. Questions regarding raw food, homemade food, skin & coat issues, ect. Can't and/or will not do medicinal type questions that the vet takes care of.

Experience

I am certified in Dog Nutrition. Over 6 years now I've owned a natural pet food retail store. I've worked with hundreds of dogs and there owners to achieve better health. We promote a healthy balanced species related diet. This is the way nature made your pet to thrive. Fortunately for those who cannot or wish not to feed a raw based diet, there are alternatives with supplements and cooked food. Just don't let processed food be there only diet. Food is the most powerful medicine. Heal the core of the animal and the rest will take care of itself. We've turned the lives of many dogs around. There parents come back into the store and comment to us on how there dog acts like a real dog again. Our business is thriving and we continue to help many.

Organizations
We work with Second Chance Companions, Must Love Dogs, members of ASPCA, HSUSA and started our own personal "Red Head Rescue" (non chartered) for stray dogs and rescue dogs from high kill shelters. We've been able to heal the many health ailments these dogs have and place them in good homes.

Publications
Dog Food Decoded - How To Choose A Health Diet For Your Dog and Your Budget - Available on Amazon in Kindle format or Paperback. Various articles for in store and web.

Education/Credentials
Certified - Canine Nutrition Level Three. Last 7 years I've been working with veterinarians, holistic veterinarians, attending seminars and best of all, real life experience with hundreds of customer dogs and cats. I've seen what works and does not work. Feeding a proper species appropriate diet works for most ailments. We've taken away our petís natural diet and caused most of todayís problems.

Awards and Honors
None.

Past/Present Clients
Many satisfied pet owners coming to our store for nutritional help and advice.

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