The Place Where Animal Lovers Come Together - Spring 2009

Featured Story | Breeding for Quality with the Help of Exclusive!

Robyn Olive and her husband, Scott, received their first 2 dogs as a wedding gift from her parents 20 years ago! A few years later, they acquired their first pair of Dachshunds, Lacey and Oreo, and have been breeding and showing miniature Dachshunds from their home in Picayune, MS ever since. With the help of their 3daughters, Chelsea, Amanda and Alisha, the Olives have turned their love for the breed into a family business, “Down Home Dachshunds.” In addition to their dogs, the Olives also share their home on 30 acres with 6 horses…this is no doubt one busy family!

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Start Your Puppy Out Right…Tips on Feeding for a Lifetime!
The ability of your puppy to reach his greatest genetic potential begins long before he is born. A sound program which includes breeding, gestation, lactation and weaning starts with providing superior nutrition. Furthermore, proper nutrition of the dam is one important factor within your control that can help your puppy to reach his maximum potential. Below you’ll find some tips to insure that your puppy gets the best possible start in life throughout all these important stages.


  • Start with good breeding stock. Dogs that are not in good physical condition may not have a successful mating. Ideally, the sire and dam should be in excellent physical condition and not over or underweight. Underweight dams, if bred, may have puppies with lower birth weights and higher mortality rates. On the other hand, overweight dams may have very large puppies and a greater chance of problems during whelping.

  • Feed a highly digestible, nutrient dense diet. A complete and balanced nutritious diet should be fed during pregnancy and while nursing to ensure that the dam receives enough energy and nutrients to support her growing puppies and future milk production. Exclusive® Puppy Formula is an ideal choice to meet these demands.

  • Water is the most important nutrient of all! Water is essential for all life stages. A healthy pregnancy and successful milk production require an abundant supply of water for the dam. Puppies require more water per pound of body weight than adults to support the hard work of rapid growth. Fresh, clean water should always be available!

  • Resist the temptation to increase food intake in the first few weeks after breeding. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to feed dams free-choice or double their intake right after breeding. In fact, if the female is at her ideal weight at breeding, there is no need to increase feed intake until the 5th or 6th week of pregnancy. Increased consumption prior to this can cause excessive weight gain and can result in problems at delivery time. Likewise, it is important to insure that she is getting enough food, especially if she was underweight at breeding. In this case, slowly increase her food intake throughout gestation.

  • Gradually increase food intake after the 5th or 6th week of gestation. Puppies will grow rapidly in size during the last 3 to 4 weeks of gestation. In the 5th or 6th week of pregnancy, food intake should be increased slowly so that daily consumption at the time of whelping is about 25% to 50% greater than normal. Puppies will be born around the 10th week.

  • Feed several small meals in the last few weeks of gestation. Smaller more frequent meals will help the dam to take in enough food to support the increased nutritional demands in the final weeks. As the puppies increase in size there is less space in the dams’ digestive tract for larger meals.

  • Feed free-choice or provide several smaller meals during lactation. Depending upon the size of her litter, the dam may require as much as 2 to 3 times the amount of food she normally consumes to meet the high energy demands of milk production. Remember, she’s eating to supply the nutritional needs of her entire litter and herself, so let her have all she wants!

  • Puppies will start eating solid food around 3 or 4 weeks of age. Moistening food with water in the first few weeks will make it easier to eat. An added bonus to feeding the dam a high quality puppy food during pregnancy and lactation (like Exclusive® Puppy Formula!) is that it will conveniently allow puppies to start sampling the kibble as soon as they are ready!

  • Gradually decrease the amount of food provided to the dam after the puppies reach 4 weeks of age. As the puppies start eating more kibble, the amount of milk they consume will decrease. Slowly reducing the amount of food provided to the dam at this time will help you prepare her for weaning.

  • Puppies will be ready to wean between 6 and 8 weeks of age. After weaning, the dam can be gradually switched back to her adult diet fed before pregnancy. Following weaning, feed puppies 3 times per day until they are 6 months of age. Reduce feedings to twice a day in puppies 7-24 months of age.

  • During the first 6 months of life, puppies undergo their most rapid period of growth. They may look all grown up at 6 months of age, but they’re still puppies and have different nutritional requirements than adults. Continue feeding a food formulated for growth until puppies reach their mature size and weight. Large and giant breed puppies should receive a diet specially formulated with the unique needs of larger puppies in mind like Exclusive® Large Breed Puppy Formula.

  • Small to medium size breeds can reach adult size by 8-12 months of age. Gradually transition to an adult dog food like Exclusive® Chicken & Rice Adult at 12 months of age.

  • Large and giant breed puppies usually take between 18-24 months to reach their mature weight and size. Once they reach maturity, gradually switch them over to a large breed adult dog food such as Exclusive® Chicken & Rice Large Breed Adult Formula.

Providing excellent nutrition throughout all the critical stages of puppy development will give your puppy the best odds for reaching his greatest potential. Feeding your puppy a high quality, complete and balanced diet formulated for growth will provide the building blocks which are so essential for the lifelong health and well being of your pet.

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Get to Know Exclusive® Chicken & Rice Puppy Formula

Start Feeding for a Healthy Future!

Exclusive® Chicken & Rice Puppy Formula provides all the essential nutrients required to meet the high demands of growth and development in your puppy. Wholesome, high quality, natural ingredients are combined for a tasty, easy to digest food that promotes exceptional health and appearance in your puppy. What more could you want for your new best friend?

  • Fresh, real chicken provides high quality protein for healthy development of bones, muscles, teeth, skin and coat.

  • Highly digestible formula benefits a puppy’s smaller stomach. Plus, you get smaller stools which means easier cleanup!

  • Wholesome, natural ingredients mean we don’t use any animal by-products, artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.

  • DHA, naturally present in mother’s milk, is added for healthy brain and vision development.

  • Natural flaxseed creates the ideal balance of omega 3 & 6 fatty acids for a soft, shiny coat, healthy skin and a strong immune system.

What you feed your puppy today will shape the dog he becomes tomorrow. Exclusive® Chicken & Rice Puppy Formula is formulated to provide your puppy with superior nutrition so that he can reach his maximum potential. Feed Exclusive® Puppy Formula with confidence in knowing that you are providing your puppy superior nutrition for the best start for a long and happy life!

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Breeding for Quality - continued

Robyn was first introduced to Exclusive® products a few years ago by her local Purina Mills Feed Store, Paul E. Bounds, Inc. located in Picayune, MS. Her dogs had very dry coats and dandruff that was not being controlled by the other name brand food she fed. Her dealer suggested trying Exclusive®, which she did, and the dogs have had soft, shiny coats ever since. She is very pleased with the results she sees in her adult dogs and in the excellent quality and health of her newborn puppies. Robyn says, “Exclusive® is all I feed now, and I will never feed anything else!”

Her adults eat Exclusive® Lamb & Rice Adult Formula in the blue bag, and all her puppies are fed Exclusive® Chicken & Rice Puppy Formula. She moves her bred females over to Exclusive® Puppy Formula about 4 weeks into gestation and notes that she’s never had a problem with them making the transition. Her dams continue eating Exclusive® Puppy Formula until the puppies are weaned, which begins between 4 and 6 weeks of age.

At the Olive home, whelping and caring for the newborn puppies is definitely a family affair. A mortality rate of almost 0 is testimony to the love and care that her dogs and newborn puppies receive. While on Exclusive, her dams always produce plenty of milk to feed their puppies, which wasn’t always the case in the past when she’d fed some other brands. The puppies are started on Exclusive® Puppy Formula around 4 weeks of age. Initially, she moistens the food with water to make it easier to consume, but they are soon eating the dry kibble with ease and enthusiasm. “The puppies love the small kibble,” says Robyn. She has also noticed that the stools of her puppies are smaller and more firm with Exclusive® than when she has fed other products, and that “they are very easy to clean up.”

When asked how she feels that Exclusive most benefits her dogs, she quickly responds, “the health benefits!” Their immune systems are nice and strong, they are very healthy.”

She doesn’t have problems with diarrhea or common puppy illnesses and attributes this to the excellent nutrition and care which she provides to all of her dogs. “I tell everyone to use Exclusive,” says Robyn. A written health guarantee accompanies each of the puppies as they go to their new homes. However, part of the deal requires that the new owners keep their puppy on Exclusive® Puppy Formula for the first year. That says a lot about the family’s confidence in Exclusive® brand products.

Robyn continues to use only Exclusive® products for all of her dogs and puppies because she gets the results she wants, and she states simply, “if it isn’t broke, I don’t fix it! My Dachshunds are not just part of my life, they are my life! All I do is puppies and kids,” says Robyn. “I could not picture my life without all the kids and puppies! They get fed the very best food because they give back to this entire family so much more than I could ever give them.” If you are interested in viewing more pictures of  Robyn’s dogs and puppies raised on Exclusive, she invites you to visit her website at

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