My New Puppy Diary 14


majestic puppyWith his head up, checking the surroundings, he looks quite majestic now. Pretty I'd say, do you agree?

Ah, you're concerned about his left ear?

His ears are fine, he's developing. A puppy at age three months is far too young to mess with the ears! Unless you know of an inherited defect or that damage has been done that makes you believe in your individual circumstances that your pup's ears cannot come up anymore, don't mess with German Shepherd ears. I've seen GSD puppy ears that only came up at age 9 months, and then very nicely. Also, note that each ear grows based on its own genetic code, therefore it is entirely normal that the ears look different until both have finished growing.

In my individual circumstances, damage may have been done by passers-by and neighbors who have been so happy to cuddle a puppy that their excited hand movements may have broken the cartilage in the left ear. However, a) I am not sure they have, and b) ear cartilage in a puppy has an incredible healing power naturally - therefore I am not doing anything about the puppy's ears. Conversely, just last night my pup was playing intensely with a five months old Labrador puppy, and the only safety for his ears that I required was: both dogs have to be off-leash. Never let your dog play with other dogs when any dog is on-leash, too much damage can be done when a leash is involved.

Despite the above, I would love to tell people off when their affection is inconsiderate for German Shepherd ears. Only problem: I can't say that in Portuguese, and I don't want to deny them their affection for my puppy either. So, during the first weeks I said nothing. But now at age 3 months it's getting critical to be strict, and so I have started saying to people: "Please don't touch the ears" (in English yes, but surprisingly more than a few seem to understand what I want). When you have a GSD puppy, just make sure you control a bit the socialization and play with people and dogs.

Anyway, do you now agree that my new puppy looks pretty?

Good. :mrgreen:

New topic now. The food this puppy has been getting, starting at age 4 weeks 5 days:

  • puppy mealcourgette/zucchini (steamed/roasted, in meals and in Kong, seems his favourite veg; I stopped it though for now, I saw how much they cost here at the moment: a kilo is €3.69/$4.20 - note that this kilo is 95% water!)
  • aubergine/eggplant (steamed/roasted)
  • butternut squash * (cooked/steamed, without the hard skin, in meals and in Kong; is great: very healthy and costs only €0.95/$1.10 a kilo here; is 88% water in case you wondered)
  • sweet potato (cooked/steamed; raw 1 kg / 2.2 lb for €1.65/$1.84, net raw ready for cooking only 83%, steamed 90% weight left)
  • cassava (once, bought out of curiosity, horrible to prepare and not good enough healthwise)
  • carrot (cooked/steamed; but a piece of raw uncut carrot occupies my puppy longer than a Kong! - raw 1 kg / 2.2 lb for €0.65/$0.73)
  • celery (cooked/steamed; but a small piece raw is fine; raw 1 kg / 2.2 lb for €1.78/$1.98)
  • sweet pepper * (first I always gave it raw in meals and in Kong, he loves it, me too; but it really needs to be well cooked/steamed to be digestible!)
  • cucumber (raw but cut small, in meals and in Kong)
  • puppy mealturnip (raw, in meals and as treat, only two fat slices; but this too apparently needs to be cooked/steamed to be digestible)
  • broccoli (cooked/steamed)
  • cauliflower (cooked/steamed, seems to like least, so do I; raw 1 kg / 2.2 lb for €1.69/$1.88, net raw ready for cooking only 74%, steamed no weight loss at all!)
  • leek (cooked/steamed; must mix with kefir or such to prevent clogging the esophagus, and must not be much as it has anemic properties if fed in bulk!)
  • spinach (first I always gave it raw, but fine-cut; then I learned that spinach must be cooked/steamed)
  • champignons (steamed/roasted)
  • sweetcorn (cooked/steamed; did not digest it at age 7w but at age 11w)
  • red cabbage (cooked/steamed, and from a jar - then must not be too sour, try it yourself first; raw 1 kg / 2.2 lb for €0.65/$0.73, steamed ~ 825 g / 1.82 lb left)
  • green cabbage (cooked/steamed)
  • kale (cooked/steamed)
  • green beans (cooked/steamed)
  • asparagus (cooked/steamed)
  • green lettuce
  • beetroot/red beet (raw from a jar, must not be too sour, very healthy and he likes it, so do I)
  • egg (fried without or little oil)
  • strawberries
  • puppy mealblueberries
  • raspberries
  • pear * (seems his favourite fruit)
  • banana (only a few slices in meals, if a larger piece, he doesn't eat it; must be ripe to aid digestion, but not old)
  • honey melon (loves it)
  • water melon * (loves it)
  • mango * (loves it)
  • avocado
  • plum * (tried a small piece, seems to like it)
  • apple * (I only started with a bit of an apple at age 11w 5d because apple's pH is too low for small puppies)
  • little bit of fresh orange juice in his water (seems not to like it though; little bit because of low pH)
  • pasta (cooked, in meals and in Kong)
  • rice (both white and brown, cooked/steamed; did not digest it at age 5w but at age 9w)
  • pork chunks (roasted or steamed; in meals and in Kong; locally best value for money: raw 1 kg / 2.2 lb for €4.00/$4.50, steamed ~640 g / 1.41 lb left; may last 2 to 3 days for up to 11 weeks old GSD puppy when mixed with veg etc)
  • puppy mealchicken breast (roasted or steamed; in meals, as snack/treat, and in Kong; raw 1 kg / 2.2 lb for €5.28/$5.87, steamed ~720 g / 1.58 lb left)
  • turkey breast (roasted or steamed; in meals, as snack/treat, and in Kong; raw 1 kg / 2.2 lb for €5.73/$6.37, steamed ~625 g / 1.38 lb left)
  • beef chunks (roasted or steamed; in meals, as snack/treat, and in Kong; most expensive: raw 1 kg / 2.2 lb for €6.53/$7.30, steamed ~630 g / 1.39 lb left)
  • beef liver (only introduced at age 17 weeks, see later)
  • salmon (roasted or steamed)
  • hake (roasted or steamed)
  • tuna (once out of can; seems not to like it, nor do I)
  • cottage cheese (loves it, both in meals and as stuffing/binder in Kong)
  • cheddar cheese (as treat/in Kong)
  • local goats cheese (as treat/in Kong)
  • mozzarella
  • yoghurt
  • puppy mealkefir (he loves kefir, both in meals and as binder in Kong, also he always gets to lick out my kefir cup; I mix up to 4 heaped teaspoons into most meals, also helps him to eat rice grains, leek etc; if kefir with fruit, don't give much of the fruit part as this typically has added sugar!)
  • curd (the zero fat one, thus not much as it's "sticky")
  • ham leg slices (as treat/in Kong, reason: locally least salt and best value for money: 200 g / 7.05 oz for €0.95/$1.22; his favorite treat overall!)
  • cornflakes (in meals and as treat: gets a small handful when I have my cereal; loves them, particularly with strawberries, like me; and I love the noise when he crunches them :-) )
  • black olive * (tried a small piece, seems to like olive)
  • puppy mealone peanut puff (wanted to see his reaction: he played with it for an hour before he ate it! Next time "only" for say 5 min)
  • Frankfurter sausage (similar to hot dog; got one when I came out of supermarket and one later, then I read the label how salty they are!)
  • Ziwi Peak lamb (bought one 2.5 kg bag for €55/$70 - thus a kilo at €22/$28.20!! :shock: - for when I can't cook/emergencies; though, I notice I am handing out a lot of that to dogs in the neighborhood locked out on the terrace! - this puppy clearly prefers all home-made food over kibble, even if Ziwi Peak)
  • olive oil (for what gets roasted)
  • parsley and oregano spices (because I use them on my foods)
  • dried coconut snack (a few pieces when I was eating them myself)
  • ice cube in water (seems not to like it yet, but when I make ice cubes from sausage water he loves them, and from age 20w he's unfortunately taking them out and swallowing them!)

* Note: I never give kernel/pit/stone/seeds to a dog; though some seeds are healthy, the short digestion time of dogs negates that. Plus, kernel/pit/stone/seeds can lead to stomach ulcers, kidney failure, etc.

puppy mealAdded (notes):

  • no tomato yet (pH too low for young puppy; but introduced at age 15w)
  • no garlic yet (strong spices not for young puppy; but introduced at age 15w)
  • obviously no milk (will not be introduced: unfermented dairy products should be avoided)
  • no bred (bred contains dough, and industrial bred typically is not fully baked; dogs don't ferment thus they should not be given any dough!)
  • no nuts (small amounts are not toxic, but nuts can give stomach cramps)
  • the poultry listed above was only introduced at age 13w (first it did cost more here than pork, but for me ;-) they lowered the price; poultry is helpful health-wise, see later)
  • the beef listed above was only introduced at age 15w (because I don't eat beef; also, pricey here!)
  • the fish listed above also was only introduced at age 15w - except for a "teaser" of tuna (which he didn't like at all)
  • no innards - I don't like that; remember, my puppy generally shares the foods that I eat (or at least would be willing to eat)
  • no onions (can produce lots of gas if the puppy doesn't relieve soon)
  • no Madras paste (I carefully put it only on my meat, not his)
  • no peanut butter (peanut butter is risky: like people, some dogs are allergic to peanuts, and peanut butter is highly concentrated)

puppy treatSince age 6 weeks this puppy has been getting three or four meals a day, plus a never ending supply of treats whenever I go in the kitchen, because this puppy is always hungry - no surprise, given how fast German Shepherd puppies are growing!

Since age 22 weeks this puppy has been getting FIVE meals a day (plus treats) because he didn't gain enough weight in my opinion (was too slim). Obviously each meal was a bit smaller then - which health-wise is much better anyway (indeed I was getting worried that the ever larger meals could lead to Gastric Torsion).

Each meal is about 1/3 meat/poultry, 1/3 vegetables, and 1/3 fruits and other items (particularly rice or pasta, plus cottage cheese or yoghurt or kefir).

With all the watery veg and fruit he's getting, most days this puppy is drinking only 1 liter (34 ozUS) water a day (to measure it I've been using the small bowl for now which you see on the photos, it takes 400 ml and the pup drinks two-and-a-half of these on average). I try to motivate him to drink more, but mostly unsuccessful.

Added to Added: A few weeks later I am remembering a trick to get the puppy to drink as much as I deem healthy: I then buy glasses with Frankfurter sausages of a different brand that don't contain salt, and when I want the pup to drink more, I add a bit of the sausage water to the drinking water. One day I added too much, and the puppy emptied the 400 ml/ 13.5 oz in one go! Soon thereafter I promptly had to absorb a LOT of watery pee from the living room floor. :-(

Added to Added to Added: Another few weeks later, our spring - your summer ;-) - brings melons onto the biggest shelves, now I am buying those. My new puppy loves them, and obviously melons hydrate best, so now I am no longer worried how little this puppy is drinking.

(End of all Added) :mrgreen:

Remember that the first rice served at age 4 weeks 5 days he didn't digest (rice grains visible in stool). Basically, in the first week I mainly served this puppy small pieces of pork with courgette/zucchini (he digested best), broccoli, sweet potato, and pear (his favorite fruit from the start). The large variety above only started at age 6 weeks. Even at age 11 weeks I still cut all foods small to aid digestion.

steaming dog foodYou got "no time" to feed a varied diet like this?

  1. No need to go that much varied! It's just that we try to eat a varied diet too, and the pup ... shares in the foods that we eat (you remembered, good!) ;-)
  2. You do have the time to feed a fresh homemade diet: In the Interview Review of the fourth Dog Expert Interview (purely on dog health) I show how. - If I can do it, you can do it easily!!

This is a diary (My New Puppy Diary), but maybe you welcome a tip nonetheless? A multi-layered steamer does MAGIC in the kitchen: It gifts you TIME, and taste, and health.

I am currently considering to get another one of these three-layered steamers, so helpful they are! And the coolest thing about a steamer: They cost less than one quality pot. :cool:

Added: I did get another steamer (you'll see later), and it makes food preparation a breeze!


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    Hi Tim.
    Do you separate your puppies food from yours before adding salt? For instance the pork, chicken or fish?


      That's a great question Veronica! I should mention that somewhere, yes.
      So: We no longer add any salt or any spices at all to our foods. :shock:
      It's really about what you are used to, I understand, but we got used to not adding items that actually don't add any nutritional value anyway. Eg I haven't even used (my long-time favorite) Madras paste for a very long time, and I don't even miss it yet! I strongly feel that the reason is the steaming: Steaming just keeps so much more of the natural flavors! All of which we'd miss if I started adding spices again (destroying the many different natural flavors).

      Before you get to this point (thus while you still add items that aren't good for dogs) you'll need to separate out the portion of foods you wanna share with your dog, yeah.

      But on later chronicle pages you'll see all the steamed foods, and NONE of them got salt or spices or anything added! Just the pure freshness, goodness. Whether meats, veggies, or fruits. Only with dairies it's a bit different because the manufacturers unfortunately add salt etc etc! (mainly to keep things "fresh"/within due dates). So there I do look on the ingredients list on the packages and got used to buying certain brands here that have LEAST added stuff.

      Does this answer your question?


    This is great information! Yes you have answered my question.
    Thank you so much. :-)


    This is a huge food list Tim, love it!! this is help&inspiration for all the days where i feel lost what to cook for my family lol! and good to know dogs may eat the same!!!
    By the way, i have to catch up reading through here; our Alfie has been very sick, so my time is very limited right now :(


    Your puppy is very pretty. His ears did the same thing bandits used to but they stand straight up now ?. I never worried about it at all. Other people often commented but I just told them he would grow out of it lol.


    Thank you so much for this food list Tim! I am looking to get Kiera completely off kibble. She doesn't like any of it anyways. I have been vegan for half a year now and this will be so great to shop the same foods for my GSD. I think maybe some people (including myself to this point) have been intimidated by a new learning curve. But DIET IS EVERYTHING I encourage everyone to take that first bold step forward - read your blog and get cooking.


    Thank you for this huge list. I am researching still, puppy will arrive in a week or so I think...
    I have been worrying about feeding her, wanting to feed her good foods and keep her healthy. However I have no desire to touch or look at offal. (have seen many "raw" fed owners promoting so much UGH) If I won't buy it to eat for myself why should I have to for my dog? This list gives me confidence.
    We can eat well together. :)


      Michelle, you made my day! "If I won't buy it to eat for myself why should I have to for my dog?" - in all those years I couldn't come up with this mnemonic, and there it is, you provided it! Thanks! :grin:

      Going forward, I will argue against kibble & co with:

      "If you won't buy it to eat for yourself why should you have to buy it for your dog?"

      Not sure if every reader here will get the message (don't buy crap for your dog that you won't eat yourself!), but I'll give it countless tries, lol.

      And yes, correct, we don't make special arrangements (purchases!) for the dog, Miguel too just gets some of the food we eat ourselves. Sensibly chosen, ie natural foods. Not the crisps and crackers, no wine and beer, no lifestyle drinks, no sweets, and no other nonsense we people waste money on; out of habit, or following the lure of social marketing.

      But the (allegedly) deadly tomato? Nonsense. Miguel too is still alive and kickin'! I only eat cherry tomatoes, and when I feel like sharing he gets one too (and not even always the mushy one that I wouldn't eat). Obviously only RIPE tomato: we can't eat UNripe tomato either (THAT'S what the threat of dangerous should refer to!).
      Deadly onion? Nonsense. Much onions? Obviously not, too much onion causes bloat and anemia, in both of us, but in him much sooner: the dog has half my weight, and dogs don't ferment food.
      Much similar nonsense "Warnings" out there. But strangely, no warnings for kibble & co! So, best is to apply your own common sense.


    Thank you so much for your advice/input/experience! I have a GSD mixed with a Boxer. We have been battling a food allergy for quite some time now. He didn't really develop it until he was about a year and half. I've spent so much money on expensive "all natural" food that has NOT helped. I tried a raw food diet, but that didn't seem to help either. What is your opinion of the raw food diet? Advocates for that swear that cooking the meat is "not natural" and gets rid of nutrients. I am definitely going to try this diet though. The raw one scared me a bit because it's raw meat. I don't care what they say about dogs being able to handle the bacteria better than humans, it still scares me. Also, after switching to this diet, how long do you think it will take for me to see a change? My dog's skin underneath his arms, stomach, and groin area are showing definite signs of allergy (loss of fur, reddish in color, black spots, etc). I'm assuming it will take some time for that to heal and the toxins to come out of his body. Thanks again for your help!!!!


      Melissa, that sounds like a severe immune system disorder. Can you tell me, did he receive
      - vaccinations
      - and/or steroid treatments
      - and/or antibiotics treatments

      As for raw food, I wrote about that before (can't find it now myself, so the "search widget" here seems to fail :cry: and I will have to make a special MENU entry for that soon).
      Quickly for you now: NO, the "raw food diet" is nothing but a fad and fallacy. I explained elsewhere that our domesticated dogs never survived on raw food, in 33,000 years of their history! In fact, it's common sense that throughout ancient history meat was far too precious to leave it to the dogs. What dogs got, and what made them DOGS: leftovers of human foods, and that was a) always NATURAL foods not artificial crap, and b) mostly cooked (and certainly the meat and vegetables), and c) remnants that humans didn't want to eat themselves (mostly certain innards, offal).

      Thus in short: "raw food diet" is purely a modern-day invention of some (initially) marketing geniuses to launch a new income source and find fame respectively.

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