This section is from the book "The Dogs Of Great Britain, America, And Other Countries. Their Breeding, Training, and Management in Health and Disease", by John Henry Walsh (Stonehenge). Also available from Amazon: The Dogs Of Great Britain, America And Other Countries.
Whether at home or out, puppies require the same kind of food, and the more regularly this is given as to quantity and quality, as well as the times of feeding them, the more healthy they will be, and the faster they will grow. Many people consider milk to be by far the best article of food for growing puppies, and undoubtedly it is a good one, but it is not superior to a mixed diet of meal and animal food in proper proportions, and occasionally varied by the addition of green vegetables. Indeed, after three months, or at most four, puppies may be fed like grown dogs as to the quality of their food, requiring it however to be given them more frequently the younger they are. Up to six months they require it three times a day, at equal intervals, and after that age twice; for although there is a difference of opinion as to the propriety of feeding the adult once or twice a day, there is none about the pappy demanding a supply morning and evening. In all cases, they should be encouraged to empty themselves (by allowing a run, if they are confined to kennel) just before feeding, and for an hour or two afterwards they are best at rest.
If milk is given, it may be thickened by boiling in it oatmeal or wheat-flour, or both together, or biscuits may be scalded and added to it; but no flesh is needed in addition, bones only being required to amuse the dog and to clean his teeth by gnawing them. With these any dog may be reared very well, but the plan is an expensive one, if the milk has any thing like the ordinary value attached to it, and if it has to be purchased, the cost is generally quite prohibitory of its use. Besides milk, various other articles are employed in feeding dogs. Of these, Indian meal is by far the best in proportion to its price (being quite equal to anything but the very best wheat-flour, which is perhaps slightly more nourishing), and, being so much cheaper, is, on that account, to be preferred. It requires to be mixed with oatmeal, in about equal proportions, or less of the latter if the bowels are at all relaxed. Oatmeal is considerably dearer, though the grain itself is cheaper; but the quantity of meal obtained, owing to the amount of chaff, is so small, that when this is got rid of the meal is necessarily sold at a higher price, according to the season.
But a much larger bulk of thick stuff, commonly called "puddings," is produced by oatmeal than can be obtained from any other meal in proportion to weight, the absorption of water being greater, and also varying in different qualities of oatmeal itself; so that, after all, this meal is not so expensive as it looks to be, when comparing an equal weight of it with barley or Indian meal. The real coarse Scotch oatmeal yields the greatest bulk of puddings, and is to be preferred on that account; besides which, it appears to agree best with dogs, and altogether is a very superior article; but in any case it ought to be nearly a year old. It may therefore be considered that meal or oatmeal is the best meal, unless the price of wheat-flour can be afforded, when the best red wheat should be coarsely ground and not bolted, and in this state made into biscuits or dumplings, or used to thicken the broth.
If corn meal is employed, it must be mixed with the water or broth while cold, and then boiled for at least an hour, stirring it occasionally to prevent burning. If it is intended to mix oatmeal with the corn meal, the former may be first mixed with cold water to a paste, and then stirred in after boiling the latter for three quarters of an hour; then boil another quarter, reckoning from the time that the contents of the copper came to the boiling point a second time.
Wheat-flour should be boiled from fifteen to twenty minutes, and may be mixed with the oatmeal in the same way as the corn meal.
Oatmeal pudding, and porridge, or stirabout, are made as follows: the first name being given to it when so thick as to bear the weight of the body after it is cold, and, the last two to a somewhat thinner composition. In any case the meal is stirred up with cold water to a thick paste, and, when quite smooth, some of the broth should be ladled out and added to it, still stirring it steadily. Then return the whole to the boiler, and stir until it thickens, ladle out info coolers, and let it "set," when it can be cut with a spade and is quite solid. The directions as to the length of time for the boiling of oatmeal vary a good deal, some preferring at least half an hour's boil, while others are content with ten or fifteen minutes, but for most purposes from a quarter to half an hour is the proper time, remembering that this is to be reckoned from the moment that the water boils.
The animal food used should be carefully selected to avoid infectious diseases, and the flesh of those creatures which have been loaded with drugs should also be avoided. Horseflesh, if death has been caused by accident, is as good as anything, and in many cases of rapid disease the flesh is little the worse, but though in foxhound kennels there is little choice, yet for greyhounds those horses which have been much drugged for lingering diseases, and those also which are much emaciated, are likely to do more harm than good. Slipped calves and lambs, as well as beef and mutton, the result of death from natural causes, make an excellent change, but are seldom better than bad horseflesh. Still, as variety is essential to success in rearing, they should not be rejected. Whatever this kind of food is composed of, it should be boiled, with the exception of paunches, which may be given raw, but even they are better boiled, and I think an occasional meal of well-kept horseflesh is rather a good change. The flesh with the bones should be boiled for hours, until the meat is thoroughly done; then take it out and let it hang until cold; cut or strip it from the bones and mix with the puddings or stirabout according to the quantity required.