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The Importance of Good Nutrition and Sourcing Your Puppy from a Good Breeder

By By Sue Williams Bsc. Chairwoman GODT (MT). MCFBA, Canine Behaviourist & Trainer, CEO Guild of Dog Trainers 2 years ago 8246 Views

Just over two weeks ago, with much anticipation and excitement, I collected my new addition- Taggie a working Labrador puppy.

To say I was excited is an understatement. Labradors are one of my favourite breeds. I am sure this love originates from the amazing ones I grew up with as a child. Over the years I have trained numerous labradors, which have gone on to have successful careers in the Police and Prison Service but I have never owned my own, until now.

After a lot of research and seeing several litters I eventually found a breeder who shared the same values and ethics as myself. As luck would have it she had a litter with a puppy available. I am extremely particular and was unwilling to compromise on anything.

The parents had to:

• have outstanding temperaments
• both had to be fully health tested and have excellent results

and the pups had to:

• be brought up in a loving nurturing environment
• be reared in the home
• be socialised and ideally there would be children in the home
• be prepared for family life

I met Taggie when she was just 4 weeks old and immediately she caught my eye. Confident and full of herself, with kind eyes that melted my heart. Everything was right so I reserved her there and then.

Sue meeting Taggie!

The wait seemed endless but eventually, the day arrived when I collected her.

Over the next couple of days my experience and gut instinct told me that something was not quite right. I am extremely experienced with puppies not only have I had many, I have also bred litters and of course I have helped literally thousands of new puppy owners raise and train their pups. Although I knew leaving her mum and the breeder is stressful and that this upheaval can subdue a normally out going puppy during the adjustment period, something just wasn’t right. Taggie appeared well, but  not only did she lack the spark which attracted me to her, there was something else I just couldn’t put my finger on.

Within 12 hours disaster struck, Taggie was unwell. She couldn’t eat, was vomiting and was in pain. I rushed her to the vets where she had an antibiotic injection, this was to cover her in case she had an infection. I was advised if she got worse to take her back. Sadly this was just the start of things and within a few hours she was back at the vets on a drip.

Upon being discharged I thought everything would improve but how wrong I was and a day later I rushed her back to the vets with what appeared to be some sort of allergic reaction! I can tell you that first week was an absolute nightmare!

She barely ate so she lost weight, she spent long periods asleep and the whole unfortunate episode dented her confidence.

It has now been 2 weeks and my bouncy fun loving little pup has returned, she seems to be fully recovered (fingers crossed!) and she is lively and bright.

Her dramatic loss of condition really concerned me and although she wasn’t weaned on to Natural Instinct I transitioned her onto the Natural Instinct Puppy Food and it has been like a miracle! Literally in days she has regained the weight she lost and her coat is starting to shine. I strongly recommend this fantastic food and believe it has contributed to her quick recovery.

Throughout the entire time Taggie’s breeder has been helpful and supportive. The day before collecting her, Taggie had been to the vets with the rest of the litter for a health check  and had her first inoculation. My vets think this may have been the cause but can not confirm whether she picked up an infection or reacted to the inoculation.

 I don’t think I will ever know what caused the problem but the episode has reiterated two of my beliefs-
• the importance of buying a puppy from an ethical, caring breeder.
• the importance of feeding an excellent quality natural raw diet
I’m sure Taggie will continue to recover and with careful confidence building and socialisation she will soon be back to the bold confident puppy I first set my eyes on!
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