A mother’s milk provides a puppy with all the nutrients and antibodies they need for the first four weeks of their lives. You can introduce soft or moistened puppy food around the age of four weeks. This will be introduced to the puppy as he or she continues to nurse.
You may feed the puppy this type of twice a day as long as they are still getting enough of their mother’s milk. Whenever they are finished nursing, which will be around the age of seven to eight weeks, the amount of dry food feeding will increase.
It is still advisable to moisten their dry food with warm water for a few weeks until they have adjusted to it. Unless your breeder or vet advises, it is not necessary to add canned puppy food to your puppy’s dry kibble. The dry puppy food is sufficient as long as you use a high quality food with a lot of vitamins and nutrients specifically for puppies.
Giving your puppy the right nutrition will provide him or her with a healthy beginning for a healthy life. During a puppy’s first six months, they will need a highly digestible diet consisting of a lot of protein and fat.
A puppy is usually fed three to four small meals a day until they are about four months old. The amount at each feeding will be determined by the brand of food and the advice of the breeder and your vet.
It is very important not to over feed the puppy as this may lead to obesity and other problems later in their life. Along with the vet, your breeder will be able to guide you on the proper feeding plan of your new puppy.
When the puppy is four months old, you may start feeding him or her three times a day. Once again, the amount of each feeding will be determined by many factors including brand of food, breed, size and the advice from the breeder and vet. Around nine months of age a puppy is fed twice a day.
Some vets recommend feeding a puppy once a day when they reach a year in age. There are some who think you should continue feeding a dog twice a day; just feed them smaller amounts in the morning and evening. This will help avoid gastro-intestinal problems, especially in large breeds. This varies of course and should be discussed with the vet and breeder.
There are many commercial pet foods available for puppies and the quality of these foods vary. Normally the higher quality foods cost more as they use higher quality ingredients and less fillers such as Eukanuba and Blue Buffalo which you can buy at chewy.com. This means your puppy will be able to get more nutrients while consuming less food.
During a puppy’s growing stage, it is important to not go for cheaper pet food or to feed your puppy table scraps. A quality puppy food will have all the necessary vitamins, proteins and nutrients they need.
Also, it is not necessary to give your puppy extra vitamins or supplements if the animal is on a quality pet food unless your vet advises you to do so. Along with quality puppy food make sure your puppy has fresh bottled water at all times.
Large breed puppies actually need less calories and calcium in their diets. A puppy who consumes too many calories and too much calcium may develop joint problems. Large breed dogs have a slower metabolic rate and actually reach their adult weight later then smaller breed dogs.
It is essential that large breed puppies don’t grow too fast or put on too much weight as puppies as this could cause developmental skeletal problems later in life. Large breeds are usually kept on puppy food longer then smaller breeds; sometimes from one year to eighteen months. Ask your vet or breeder when the large breed puppy should be switched to adult dog food.
As discussed before, table scraps are not recommended for dogs. Any human food that contains salt, sugar or other additives may upset the puppies or dogs gastro system and can be toxic to your dog. They should not have and do not need salt or sugar in their diet and human food is loaded with these ingredients.
Good nutrition for your puppy is the stepping stone to a healthy and happy dog. A well cared for puppy is easier to train and will make an obedient and trusted member of the family.