Basic Feeding Guide For Puppies you should follow
Feeding Guide For Puppies : Puppies require an engaging feeding schedule. This is the time that the puppy is growing and developing hence a proper diet is a must. It involves knowing what type of food to feed your puppy, how regular the meal time should be, the ingredients in the feed and what to avoid in the feed. A puppy requires a diet rich in high levels of minerals like calcium, phosphorous, vitamins, energy foods and protein. Therefore the feed given to a puppy should include these higher levels of nutrients than in an adult.
During the first four weeks of puppy's life, the puppy feeds exclusively on its mother’s milk. This milk is rich in all the nutrients and antibodies the puppy requires. After these four weeks, a moistened dry dog food should be introduced. This dog food should contain the proper balance of nutrients to help the puppy grow.
As the puppy is still suckling, this food should be given at least twice in a day. After weaning, which could be from around seven to eight weeks, increase the ratio of dry food. This will ensure a proper development in their dental formula. However, it is advisable to moisten the food with a little warm water to help with the adjustment.
The meal should be highly digestible in the first six months. It should be high in proteins and fats to ensure your puppy grows properly and health. Take extreme care not to overfeed the puppy at this time. This is important as you do not want your puppy to become overweight. Avoid canned foods as they contain a high amount of salts and sugars which are harmful to your puppy.
- After attaining the age of four months, implement three times a day meal. This feeding timetable should be properly followed to allow a regular feeding schedule. Avoid giving the puppy snacks in between meal times as this will only upset the feeding pattern and lead to excessive weight gain.
- If you are switching from one dog food to the other, it is important to do this in an orderly manner. Start by mixing a large portion of the old brand with a smaller portion of the new brand. This will help the puppy adapt the new brand with ease. This is very important as puppies have a keen sense of smell as compared to us humans. A puppy can distinguish from sweet, sour, salty and bitter better than we can. Hence the transition is very important to the puppy.
At the age of six months, the puppies’ meal times should reduce from three to two times in a day. This should be followed by a meal once a day after the puppy reaches the age of one year. However, this may vary with the puppy’s activities, size and breed.
- A more active puppy will require more meals than the one that is less active. Large breed dogs have a lower metabolic rate hence should be monitored carefully. They should not be allowed to put on too much weight. This would cause problems in their skeletal development. These large breeds require fewer calories and calcium as they may develop joint problems. It is advisable to keep large breeds puppies on a puppy food program longer than the smaller breeds. These Foods would help.
- Ensure your puppy has access to fresh and clean water. Change the water regularly to avoid water borne infections. Train your puppy to have its meal at a designated place. Always place the food and water at that same location. This will go a long way into helping your puppy acquire good eating habits.
When looking for a commercial feed for your puppy, go for the high-quality ones. They may cost more but they use high-quality ingredients and less filler. This ensures that your puppy gets more nutrients while consuming less food hence lowering the risk of excessive weight gain. These quality feeds contain the necessary vitamins, proteins and energy foods needed for the growth and development of your puppy. This will translate into saving money used to buy supplements for the puppy.
When making the transition from being a puppy into an adult dog, ensure that the process is gradual. Start by including large portions of the old puppy food with smaller amounts of the new food. Increase the rations of the new feed with each new day. By following this process, it will ensure a healthy digestive system during the transition.
A healthy dog starts with a healthy puppy. Practice good nutrition for your puppy to develop a long happy life for it.