Nine Weeks Old

Firstly, huge apologies again for the really unfortunate luck we have had with Optivet's over the last couple of weeks. I have definitely felt that something has been against us this time round. I know how excited new families are about choosing their puppy and for many of you, it's been a long time coming.


When we set our calendar for the important milestones in our process (joining our 'litter specific' waiting list, puppy choosing, video calls and puppy handover), we always base these events on the dates we book with the relevant vets and specialists that all of our puppies see. Our events are completely reliant on each of the visits proceeding exactly as planned, as much as we try, very occasionally, we may get blown off course and have to re-plan some or all of these dates. As previously mentioned, the BVA eye test, just like the vet visits, BAER hearing tests and faecal samples, are a really important part of what we stand for. I hope that all the pups will be given a clean bill of health, however, I would be devastated if I had to make a call to a new owner to tell them that something wasn't quite right with the puppy they had chosen, resulting in the new owners having to make a difficult, stressful and heart wrenching decision and then not having an option of another puppy as everyone else in the litter had been chosen. As disappointing and frustrating as it is, I promise that the decision in delaying puppy choosing has been done only with the best of intentions. I hope that next week we will have a successful eye test and vet visit and we can finally start to find out which puppy is going home with which family.


We have had a good week here, the pups have been making new friends as I start to let them socialise more with our adult and young dogs that live here.

Everyone is very curious and wants to be involved with whatever you’re doing. One of their favourite games is ‘who can catch me’ as they zoom around the house with an item hanging out of their mouth - yesterday it was with a whole lettuce that they found in a bag of shopping that I hadn't put away quickly enough.

Harriet is choosing to spend less and less time with the puppies. She is still currently feeding them, but it's once a day now and i'm not even sure that she has that much milk any more as the pups seem to lose interest quite quickly. She is also now happy to sleep the whole night in our bedroom with us without going down stairs to check on them. She has been so wonderful with her pups and I have loved watching her over the weeks feed and care for her babies, as well as play and teach her litter what is acceptable or not.

The pups are now having their last dose of Panacur wormer (tonight was night 3 of a 3 day course) with us and will have a faecal sample test when they are 10 weeks old, this again is for everyone’s reassurance. The puppies also have their final health check and DHP vaccination with our vet on Wednesday the 30th of March.

They have been sampling some more food too... other than the lettuce that they were delighted to find, the pups have been eating dried fish treats, raw liver and salmon, as well as broccoli this week - tomorrow turkey necks and gizzards are on the menu. As you are all very aware, we are a huge advocate of the raw diet and we strongly believe that all dogs should be fed a ‘species appropriate’ diet with as much natural and fresh food as possible. We understand the importance of healthy, fresh food for us as humans and it is only right that we do the same for our beloved member of the family.

The puppies will leave us with about 7-10 days worth of food and vouchers to help you on your way. We highly recommend that you stick with the raw food we recommend and treats that the puppies are used to for a minimum of 4 weeks, this will help prevent a very common condition for puppies called stress colitis. 


Next week our questions will be regarding flea and wormers, so please do have a good read of the information we have provided for you on the litters home page.

Emma xx

This weeks activity: For week 9's photos and videos I will be aiming for you all to get a better understanding of pet food and treat labels, to see what goodies or nasties are included.

In a recent study, revealed that 44% of British dog owners said that dog food labels are 'difficult and at times impossible to read' and 30% of British dog owners said that dog food labels in particular 'made it harder to maintain a healthy diet for their dog'.


Over the years I have definitely seen owners of our dogs being recommended or advised treats and food (even by vets!) that not only have absolutely no nutritional value, but are also harmful for their dog. I hope that by sharing this with you, you will quickly be able to read and understand a list of ingredients, so that you can make healthy choices for your dog and not become one of the 44%!

So, let's get started....


Please watch the video we have attached from YouTube and then read the information we have provided below. To enlarge the video screen, click on the 'full screen' symbol which you can find in the bottom, far right corner.


The Manufacturer

There are definitely a number of manufactures I would steer well clear of, so much so that I wouldn't even entertain picking the packet up! A very small selection of these brands are:

Any 'prescription diet' from your vet

Any supermarket brands


Barking heads

Hills Science 




Royal Canin

Labelling on quality products will always show the name of the company that manufactured them, in addition to this, you should be able to easily see an address, contact details and their website just in case you have any questions or concerns. Reputable manufacturers will make it really easy for you to reach them.

Now, let's look at the ingredients list -

Good quality dog food ingredients

Good quality dog food will list all the ingredients by their specific name, rather than vague descriptions of ingredients. Healthy dog treats will have easy to understand labels, the more natural the product is, the smaller the list of ingredients will be - always keep this in mind.


The ingredients list is always listed in descending order by weight

This should make it easy for you to see at-a-glance the relative amounts of each ingredient in the food. Generally, high-quality dog foods tend to contain more meat. The higher up the list of ingredients the meat is, the more it contains. So if you see chicken listed as the first ingredient, you will know that dog food has more chicken than any other ingredient on the list. 


Cheap fillers

Some companies use fillers to help your dog feel full and to bulk up the item, but these contains little to no nutritional value and are more likely to cause stomach irritation / inflammatory. Fillers are any lower quality, cheep, bulky, starchy and carb-rich ingredient that could have been replaced by a higher quality, more biologically relevant ones. Very cheekily companies sometimes split cereals, grains, starch and lentils into different groups. By dividing these ingredients into several smaller groups, they fall further down the ingredients list, as a result the food doesn't look like as if it's made up of these cheaper 'fillers'. Group these ingredients together so that you can work out whether they are in fact the main ingredient. Our recommendation is to avoid all foods containing cereals, grains, potatoes, peas, lentils and other cheap fillers.

Check the Percentages

The percentage of an ingredient component must be listed, so do make note of this percent when looking at any specific ingredient - you would be surprised with how little of an ingredient is needed for a company to use the name on the front of their packaging.

Avoid specific words

We have previously spoken about how specific words are used on packaging to indicate the percentage of the ingredient as well as to specify the quality of the meat. We recommend to stay clear from all dog food that contains the following words -

  • Meal

  • With

  • Flavour

Other ingredients that are a no-no

Sadly the list here is quite long. Below are just some of the words / ingredients that we wouldn't recommend either because of poor quality or very simply because your dog really shouldn't be eating these items.... ever! 

  • Animal derivatives

  • Flour

  • Soy protein

  • Corn Syrup

  • Beans

  • Wheat

  • Tapioca 

  • Rice

  • Oil

  • Colours / food dye

  • Preservatives 

  • BHA

  • Titanium dioxide

  • Propylene Glycol

Words that we just don't understand

This is quite an easy one, a good food item should contain little to no unreadable words. Keep it simple, if you don't know the ingredients don't feed it to your dog.


Relating to all the information above, please answer the following questions for us -

1. Can you name 4 manufacturers that we recommend you stay away from?

2. Generally, high-quality dog foods tend to contain more of what item?

3. Can you explain what a 'filler' is?

4. Can you list 6 words or ingredients that we highly recommend not feeding your dog?

5. Below I have attached 10 well known dog chews and treats, can you identify whether they are suitable for your dog by looking at the packaging and reading the ingredients? Please send me a simple yes or no to the 10 items below.

Click on the images in order of left to right so that you can read the packaging and then the ingredients.

1. Lily's Kitchen - Chew sticks. 

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2. Anco - Chicken feet. 

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3. Purina - Bonio. 

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4. Green & Wilds - Puppy Chew-Its. 

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5. Purina - Dentalife. 

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6. Wainwrights - Puppy Treats. 

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7. JR Pets - Beef Training Treats. 

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8. Mis Fits - Scruffy Bites. 

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9. Deli Dog - Duck Fillets. 

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10. Pedigree - Tasty Minis. 

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