To maintain the good health of your puppy, food is an essential ingredient. Like all living creatures, a dog should not be fed just anything. You will have to follow a few rules and watch Its diet so that Its growth takes place in the best conditions and that It avoids some inconvenience.
Your puppy needs a balanced diet, depending on Its age, breed, weight, and physical activity. Be careful not to vary your puppy’s diet too much. Its digestive tract is not the same as yours, and It can’t stand the sudden changes.
The puppy’s nutritional needs
Before becoming an adult, your puppy will need a diet that takes its nutritional needs into consideration.
- The need for calcium and phosphorus must counterbalance the loss of immunity transmitted by its mother. Its natural defenses must not be weakened. Its energy needs are twice as high as an adult dog. Thus, it will need to ingest a certain level of high-quality protein, as well as high levels of essential minerals.
- It is up to you to promote its food transition between the time the puppy leaves its mother to join you. A smooth transition to avoid digestive disorders and adapt Its intestinal flora to your new food. If you want or have to make It change food, you will have to mix the old and the new for ten days in this way: ¾ of the old and ¼ of the new for 3-4 days, then half-half for 3 to 4 days and finally ¼ of the old for ¾ of the new for 3-4 days.
- You need to control Its rations. Up to 6 months, it is recommended to split Its daily rations into 3 meals. Try to feed It at regular times, in the same bowl placed in the same place. If after twenty minutes your puppy has not finished Its ration, do not force It to finish and add the rest to the next ration.
- Avoid carbohydrates that the dog cannot digest (potatoes, legumes, cereals, sugars, etc.). Carbohydrates are also responsible for overweight and many health problems such as cardiovascular disease, kidney failure, and diabetes among others in dogs. Carbohydrates have an excessive effect on the dog’s blood sugar levels and therefore It produces too much insulin. Their composition in the kibble packets should not exceed 25 or 30%. The ideal is to have less than 20 or 15% of it for high-quality foods. Many brands have developed grain-free foods for adult dogs, but also for growing puppies.
Food preparation according to age and breed
You should know that your dog is ready for weaning at the age of 6 or 8 weeks. Solid foods will come to It out of curiosity from 3 or 4 weeks when It will eat either kibble lying around or that of another dog. When it comes to dry foods, it is best that you wet them a little beforehand to make them softer for the puppy. You can gradually reduce the amount of water until the dog reaches 8 to 10 weeks old.
The growth of a puppy is totally different from one breed to another. The length of time a puppy grows to full size can range from 8-10 months for a small dog, 12 months for a medium dog, or 18-24 months for large dogs. The development of your puppy can therefore be dazzling and you need to be careful to provide It with all the elements necessary for Its good growth.
How Much Food to Give Your Puppy?
For small puppy stomachs, force-feeding is dangerous. Even if they have a big appetite, be sure to feed your puppy small amounts on a regular basis depending on Its age. The frequency will decrease as it ages. For example, up to 4 meals per day for puppies aged 2 to 3 months, 2 to 3 meals for 4-6 months, and 2 meals for over 6 months.
Make it a habit to follow the advice indicated on the packaging of the food product in terms of quantity. You will avoid obesity and health problems for your dog, but also waste.
In addition, for Its well-being, be sure to take the following precautions:
- Never feed It at the table or while you are cooking.
- Avoid feeding it before or after exercise with an hour-long beat.
- Firm, crunchy foods are best, as they strengthen your dog’s teeth and keep them healthy.
- Avoid changing your brand of food just because you want to. Change Its food only if your dog is having digestive problems or if It’s no longer eating. Always go for premium food.
Control your puppy’s weight
By respecting the quantities prescribed on the packaging, you will allow your dog to develop at a normal pace. With the help of your veterinarian, you will control your puppy’s weight throughout its young life. You will thus draw its growth curve in order to check that it does not put on weight too quickly, under penalty of being a little overweight.
Your puppy’s weight shouldn’t be more than 50% of its estimated adult weight. Too much weight could have harmful consequences on the future health of your puppy and therefore on its development.
Under what conditions should you feed your puppy?
In order for your little furball to enjoy its meal with serenity, it is advisable to feed it in a quiet place and away from your dining room. Even if your dog is well educated, take care that children do not disturb It during Its meal. When eating, dogs can have aggressive reactions to the outside elements. Indeed, children could be seen as predators just like the presence of other dogs.
For the meal itself, the food should be served at room temperature to preserve all of its flavors and smells. Finally, always put freshwater at Its disposal.
Adapt the diet to your puppy’s growth
Over the months, your puppy is going to need more energy to respond to the rapid growth spurts and muscle gain that It’s going to experience. The calorie requirements increase continuously and significantly between 2 and 6 months. By the age of 6 or 8 months, small dogs usually finish growing. However, their digestive system remains that of a puppy. We will therefore have to wait a little longer before switching to food for “adult” dogs. For large or giant breed dogs, growth can be up to 24 months! It is therefore important to follow the recommendations on the food bag or to seek advice from your veterinarian.
Always Provide water for your puppy
Always keep a bowl of water available for your puppy. Clean and fairly cool water preferably. Your puppy, like children, should not skimp on Its hydration. Dog kidneys are not as efficient as those of humans. Stay alert, some puppies take the water supply for a game and have fun with it. If this is the case with your puppy, offer It small amounts of water frequently.
Avoid Making This Mistake
The temptation to “please” your puppy is great. Would a few treats harm your puppy? Yes. This does not promote Its nutritional balance and could have repercussions on Its digestive system. In addition, its weight may vary significantly and its development may not go as planned. The treats designed for dogs are to be reserved for the reward during Its education.
In addition, avoid raw meat, full of bacteria, and forget foods such as chocolate, salt, milk, or even avocado, which are toxic for It.