Puppies are literally some of the cutest things on earth. To so many people around the world they are no less than their own little babies. As a family member a puppy needs to be well cared for.
Here we are with some basic and most essential tips on how, what and when you should feed your puppy.
1. Choosing the Right Food
The pet food market is teeming with hundreds of varieties and brands each claiming to be the best.. When choosing the right dog food for your puppy for the first time you need to be careful to read the details of ingredients and other aspects of the food you’re going to give him..
For strong bones, for example, they need animal based proteins. To keep healthy skin and coat, your choice should contain energy rich fatty acids. Just like choosing other foods, you shouldn’t be tempted by low-cost foods that so many of them might offer with alluring advertisements.
Most cases, they don’t contain optimal nutrition and cause digestion problems which would, in turn, cost you much more than what you saved from the cheap food.
Pick the product with most natural ingredients that you recognize and as less processed as possible.
You might put this in your research and buy a healthy food for your puppy.
Feeding Her for the First Year
- 0-6 Weeks: Mother is the best for the puppy during this period. Mother can provide her puppy the best care and her milk can supply the best nutrition and antibody to protect her from most of the future diseases.
The only exception is, however, if the mother suffers any diseases herself (eclampsia or mastitis) the puppy should be kept and, if not possible, at least, fed separated.
- 6-12 Weeks: For large breeds growing pups should be fed puppy foods and NOT adult food by 9 or 10 weeks.
For small ones the starting time is generally by the 8th week. During this time the best food routine is 4 times a day.
If there are some health issues, however, the frequency might very well be changed according to what the vet recommends..
- 3-6 Months: Sometimes in between this period the frequency of feeding should be decreased from 4 to 3 times a day.
You don’t want the puppies to get too chubby and you need to aid them in maintaining the right weight. So be sure to feed only the recommended amount. Premium foods contain high quality proteins. Although they are a bit more costly, you can feed them lesser volumes with the same nutrition result.
- 6-12 Months: The frequency should be another step less, i.e., twice a day. Gradually you’d switch from puppy food to adult food. Smaller breeds can undergo the change a bit earlier (at 7-9 months) than the larger ones (from 12-14 months).
2. Setting up a Mealtime Area
Puppies, like children, will need a nice clean feeding area.. In a quiet, clean place, preferably in your kitchen, place two bowls, one with food and the other with fresh water.
3. Feeding Schedule
As stated above, start with 4 times a day and gradually reduce the frequency to 2 times. And also the timing should be spaced out as perfectly as possible.
Like humans, puppies have the same biological clock that craves their meals on specific times of the day..
The best timing might be with your breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Meal time should be short and to the point. They may whine for more food, but do not give more than the recommended amount. Ideally you will put all the food for the meal in one bowl and put away the rest of the food before giving the bowl to your puppy. This way as you are putting away food, the puppy won’t beg for more.
You need to maintain a chart of your puppy’s growth in terms of age and weight and compare it with a standard chart frequently. This will keep her growth quite under control and safeguard her from so many unwanted health issues.
There is a very helpful chart here. Print it out and keep it available whenever you need it.
4. Dry or Wet Food?
For teething puppies semi wet food is perfect. Mixing some water sometimes makes the food little more tasty.
Dry foods are easy to clean. After the puppy has teethed dry food is always better with some exceptions for any inevitable situations.
5. Foods to Avoid
The plea in her eyes— it’s really hard to ignore.
Nevertheless you cannot give your puppy table scraps. Do not allow anyone to introduce human foods from the table to the puppy. That way they won’t even know if the food smell they smell is tasty. Instead, offer a favorite toy or a walk or a game to easily alter her mind.
If, sometimes, you have to give him some meat or fish make sure the meat is not raw and there are no little chips of bones. They might create major problems.
There are some well defined food not to give to your puppy. They are as follows:
- Raw meat
To learn more about the foods to avoid this page might be of help.
6. Don’t Ignore Exercising Your Puppy
Just like your own little kid, a puppy needs exercising, along with good food, to be in good health..
Here are some tips to exercise him:
Don’t overdo the walking. If you are an avid walker, they will not be able to keep up with your daily walking exercise. Carve out dog walking time and keep it within the time and distance recommended by vets. . They need their exercise not yours.
The perfect schedule might be like that: for every month of age 5 minutes and twice a day. For example if your puppy is 6 month-old you need to walk her for 30 minutes and twice a day.
Although play time is generally short, they can be super fun. Engage with them and be part of the play so they bond and start to learn your commands and body language..
There are so many toys for puppies. Buy them some of the toys and they’ll easily get engaged and on the move that would enable them to digest foods easily.
For some more tips on what to do to get them engaged this page has some good tips.
To Get the Best out of It
When you get a puppy and search the internet for advice there will be a tonne of advice – very detailed and and can sometimes be overwhelming. Don’t panic.Keep it simple. You will get in the groove to care for your puppies. Just keep the basic tips above at hand and enjoy the puppy stage of your dog.
Good luck with your puppy!