How do I feed my puppy? What should I feed him? How often should I feed him? Is he hungry or full? Should I give him milk or water?
These questions might seem pretty simple at first glance, but they’re a little more complex than they appear.
A puppy isn’t just a small dog; he needs to be fed appropriately for his tender age.
Feeding a puppy correctly requires some preparation and understanding of the nutritional requirements of dogs.
Here are some practical tips for doing so. As a result, your puppy will grow well, stay healthy, and avoid minor problems.
Changing Your Puppy’s Diet
Your puppy was fed special food at the breeder’s kennels before coming home with you. Now you’ve got to choose the best food for him.
Make sure you’re careful with any dietary transition. If you drastically alter your puppy’s nutrition, he is at risk of developing digestive disorders like diarrhea.
We recommend making a dietary change so the puppy’s intestinal flora can adapt to the new food you’re giving him.
To do this, mix the old and new foods for a few weeks, gradually increasing the amounts of the new food and decreasing the amounts of the old by the same amount.
Combining this meal transition with a specialized food supplement to prevent digestive diseases will make it easier.
Your Puppy’s Frequency Of Meals
For better digestion, it’s preferable for your puppy to be fed meals at fixed times and, if possible, at the same place unless you are traveling.
Recommendations are as follows:
Until five months of age, you can divide the daily quantity of food into three meals per day.
Between six and fifteen months, the puppy’s growth slows down, and you can reduce to two meals per day.
As an adult, you may continue to feed your dog twice daily, especially if he tends to be hungry at meal times.
How Much Should I Feed?
Depending on your dog’s age or weight, these amounts vary. On the food’s packaging, you can discover the recommended directions.
You can weigh your puppy every 8 to 15 days to track its progress and perhaps create a growth chart. It’s a great idea to get your kids involved!
Your puppy will need to be fed age-appropriate food until it reaches 90% of its adult weight.
If there is an overly large increase in weight, you may need to restrict his diet. Always consult your veterinarian for advice.
Your puppy shouldn’t get anything from you at the dinner table. He may try to beg for food during the first few days, but you must never give him any.
Even small amounts of extra food can cause obesity and lead to behavioral issues like aggression.
He should be fed away from the table in a quiet place.
Once finished, your puppy should get used to you approaching his bowl and removing it. However, he shouldn’t become threatening when you do so.
He must eat within 15 to 20 minutes max; if he hasn’t finished his bowl after that time, you need to take away the rest of his meal. You’ll give him the rest of his meal when his next meal comes.
Experts recommend training a puppy during mealtimes.
For example, setting up an obedience routine before meals is good, such as teaching your puppy to sit.
At first, the term “sit” must be accompanied by appropriate hand gestures: press his back at the same time as saying “sit,” so he sits down.
Another method is to stand behind your puppy and offer him a treat while keeping your hand above his head while saying, “Sit.”
Your puppy, while he raises his head, usually to follow the biscuit and ends up sitting down.
As soon as your dog behaves as you want him to, say “Yes” enthusiastically and warmly. To reinforce the effect, accompany the praise with petting and/or treats.
Preserving Your Puppy’s Food
It is recommended to choose food for feeding your puppy for no more than one month so it can be stored optimally.
It is important to properly re-seal any bags of puppy food after use and store it in a dry place away from heat. A storage bin is an excellent idea to help keep your dog’s treats fresh.
Once opened, canned foods last for two days in the refrigerator with an airtight lid.
Some puppies do not like cold food, so always get it out of the refrigerator half an hour before feeding time.
Keep Your Puppy Hydrated
You must provide your puppy with clean, fresh water at all times. It should be changed every day.
It is essential that your puppy drinks regularly and sufficiently because, like children, he becomes dehydrated quickly, especially in the summertime.
A puppy’s kidneys aren’t as efficient as an adult’s, so he needs to drink a lot and urinate frequently.
As your dog grows, he needs moderate exercise and regular activity. However, too much, too intense, or not enough exercise potentially harms his growth.
Your puppy replaces its milk teeth at four months old with permanent teeth. As a result, its gums may sometimes be painful, and it might take longer than usual to eat meals.
At around seven months, the milk teeth will have been entirely replaced.
Puppies often cough. This is normal and disappears when they grow up. So nutrition isn’t at fault.