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Hello,

I've been taking notes and preparing for new puppy arrival sometime around December. Searching old posts have been incredibly helpful. So, I will probably be posting a lot of questions in the next few months :D

I've come across a post which talked about mental stimulation for dogs which are home during the day.

Mikey posted a link to interactive toys (Clean Run: Interactive)

My question is which interactive toys are best for puppy vs. older dog, and when to switch the puppy to the older dog toys.

My plan is to have many different toys and treats to switch up randomly to help with mental stimulation. Our pup will be in the crate while we're at work during the day, about 7 hours. My husband will be home for about an hour for lunch and will be able to give play/potty breaks.

Another question, when is it safe to introduce new treats into a puppy's diet? The plan is to have really healthy treats for most things, along with rare special treats.
 

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I'd recommend leaving a TV on in the room the puppy is in for visual and audio stimulation.
 

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The thing is with most of the interactive games I have seen I would not trust a dog much less a puppy with unsupervised. You need to stick to toy that are virtually industructable such as kongs or a buster cube and or similar treat dispensing dog.
You need to make decision on interactive toys based on the dog, what kind of chewer it is, does he like to destroy things etc. It is very individualistic and no rule of thumb is going to be effective.


Our pup will be in the crate while we're at work during the day, about 7 hours.
Actual if you were to put a camera on the dog while you ere gone you would find it was sleeping the vast majority of the time. For younger pups roughly they are active 15 -20 minutes for every 4 hours of sleep if You come home in the middle of the day you can see how that fits right into this pattern. playing with the dog at noon leaving a single toy like a kong should be plenty. Also remember as the dog ages and becomes more trustworthy you can increase the space it has access to.
 

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playing with the dog at noon leaving a single toy like a kong should be plenty.
thanks Mikey, this really puts mymind at ease:)

As for leaving the tv on, that would involve moving the crate between work time and bed time. Should I do that? If not I will leave the radio on instead.

Murraysmom, i LOVE the idea if using the Kong as a special crate toy!

Thank you all for your replies
 

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Another question, when is it safe to introduce new treats into a puppy's diet? The plan is to have really healthy treats for most things, along with rare special treats.
Anty time you want. There is a myth that has been perpetuatied by virtually all the major manufactures and even the minor ones as well that their dog food is 100 complete and balanced. Whe can not claim this with human food and there is a heck of a lot more detailed knowledge of human nutrition than that of canines. There is simply not enough know, nor are the study AAFCO feed studies acurrate at determining if a dog food is complete and balanced. I feed a variety of foods for this reason.

The feeding of A single food lead to other problems as well. The flora and Fauna in the gut becomes specialized to digest just that food. Any change, new ingredient and it can not be handled causing GI upset. A dog fed a variety has a more blanced flora and fuana in the GI tract and can adjust to new and different ingredients without a problem. It is not that variety that cause GI upset in dogs but feed the same thing over a prolonged period of time and then trying to change. If you feed variety from the get go you will not have a problem.


from Wysong
FWIW I do not feed wysong but their learning section does provided use info on a bunch of dog food myths but they do promote some of their own as well. like the nutrional superiority of raw.

Why Intermittent Feeding
Wysong believes strongly in food variety and distrusts “100% complete and balanced” claims. Although some of our diets are fortified to match regulatory "complete and balanced " standards, others, which for one reason or another do not match those criteria, and are labeled for intermittent feeding (examples: Vegan™, Au Jus™ Canned Diets, Stew Canned Diets™, Archetype™, et al). Our view is that all diets, regardless of claims, should be fed intermittently. Nobody has complete knowledge of nutrition and therefore nobody should be making clamis of "100% complete and balanced" about processed pet foods. No processed pet food should be fed exclusively.
The Myth of "100% Complete and Balanced" Processed Pet Foods


just an example of the inadequacy of AAFCO standards take note of what I highlighted in bold in the second link. If nothing dispells the 100% complete and balanced myth than AAFCO expert panel owns words.

The Association of American Feed Control Officials Dog
and Cat Food Nutrient Profiles: Substantiation of
Nutritional Adequacy of Complete and Balanced
Pet Foods in the united​


the National Research Council (NRC) as its "recognized authority on animal nutrition" with respect to the levels of nutrients that constituted a complete
and balanced dog or cat food (NRC 1974, 1978, 1985, 1986). This reliance became problematic with the most recent of the NRC publications. The 1985 and 1986 editions reflected more recent knowledge of canine and feline nutrition, but their recommendations were not in a format readily usable by AAFCO or the pet food industry. As a result, AAFCO elected to continue to use the outdated 1974 and 1978 recommendations[/url]
pet Food
Generational studies conducted by researchers at University of California, Davis have shown that some foods that pass AAFCO's feeding trials are still not suitable for long term use and estimated that of 100 foods that pass the nutritional analysis, 10 to 20 would not pass the feeding trials.[14] Although maximum levels of intake of some nutrients have been established because of concerns with overnutrition, many still lack a maximum allowed level and some contains large disparity between maximum and minimum values.[15] The NRC accepts that despite ongoing research, large gaps still exist in the knowledge of quantitative nutritional information for specific nutrients.[16] Some professionals acknowledge the possibilities of phytochemicals and other vital nutrients that have yet to be recognized as essential by nutritional science. With such broad guidelines and loose feeding trial standards, critics argue that the term "complete and balanced" is inaccurate and even deceptive. An AAFCO panel expert has stated that "although the AAFCO profiles are better than nothing, they provide false securities."James G. Morris and Quinton R. Rogers Assessment of the Nutritional Adequacy of Pet Foods through the Life Cycle. J. Nutr. 124: 2520S-2534S, 1994.


 
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