What is the Best Food & Diet for a Puppy?
Have you welcomed a new puppy to your family and are wondering what exactly is the best food & diet for my new friend? The best diet for a puppy consists of a high-quality puppy food which is appropriate for your puppy’s age, weight and breed. If you are feeling concerned about what to feed your puppy, here are our tips to help you make sure you are doing the best for your young dog and that you are feeding him or her exactly what they need to be happy and healthy.
When to Wean Your Puppy
When puppies are born, they get all the hydration and nutrition they need from their mother’s milk. However, after about three or four weeks, they can start to transition to solid food. This is called ‘weaning’. You can soak a high quality, dry, puppy kibble in warm water and canine milk replacer and put this down for the puppies several times a day. Avoid giving cow’s milk because puppies can be lactose intolerant. A puppy should be fed four times a day until they are four months old and three times a day until they are about six months old. After six months, you can feed your young dog twice a day. Space the meals out evenly throughout the day and make sure they have fresh water to drink.
Tips on What to Feed Your Puppy
You should choose a commercial puppy food to ensure your puppy’s well-being. Their bones, muscles, joints, internal organs and immune system are still growing and developing, and puppy food is designed specifically for their nutritional needs at this time. If you are not sure which brand to choose, ask your breeder or someone you trust who has experience in raising puppies. Don’t mix brands as you could end up with a puppy with an upset stomach.
Treats for Your Puppy
Reward your puppy with puppy treats only – not human treats. You can also feed your puppy fresh, human-grade raw meat such as diced up pieces of raw lamb, raw chicken wings, and raw meaty bones. Your puppy’s permanent teeth will erupt at around 12 weeks of age, so this is a great time to give them a raw meaty bone to chew. Just make sure the raw bone is large enough that your puppy won’t fit the whole bone in its mouth or swallow it whole, and supervise them to make sure they don’t get into difficulties.
How Much Should You Feed a Puppy?
Quantity-wise, read the back of the packaging for guidance. You may need to feed a little more or a little less than the recommended amount depending on your dog’s breed and nutritional needs. Keep an eye on their weight, ask the vet if your dog is a healthy weight if you’re not sure, and check that their stools are healthy and well-formed.
Encouraging Good Eating Habits Teach your puppy good eating habits from the get-go. You’ll be glad you did! Don’t feed them food from your plate as it will encourage them to beg. Don’t give them sweet or sugary treats as these are unhealthy. Feed your dog at the same time every day and let them eat undisturbed. A puppy should be fed puppy food until they reach 80 percent of their expected adult size or until they are about a year old. Remember that puppies are like humans with different appetites and preferences. You will soon get to know what he or she likes and how much they need for a healthy weight.
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