Feeding Puppies: What, How And When?

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Feeding Puppies: What, How And When?
Feeding Puppies: What, How And When?

Video: Feeding Puppies: What, How And When?

Video: Feeding Puppies: What, How And When?
Video: Caring For A New Litter Of Puppies - Daily Weights And Bottle Feeding 2023, September

Puppies grow and develop very quickly. Compared to older dogs, they require nearly double the nutrient and vitamin requirements. Regular dog food cannot fully meet these needs, so during the first year of life, feed them a food formulated specifically for puppies. These feeds have a high protein content (28-30%), and they are also enriched with fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins, minerals, fats and other substances necessary for your growing puppy.

Chow-chow puppies, puppy feeding, dog photo photography
Chow-chow puppies, puppy feeding, dog photo photography

Feeding in the early days

You took the puppy. For the first days, feed him the same food that he received before he came to you. Then gradually convert it to the food you have selected based on information from your veterinarian and breeder. Take your time with this, or your pet may get an upset stomach.

The transition from one feed to another should take 7-10 days. First, make a mixture of 25% new food and 75% old, and feed it to the puppy for several days. Then make a 50/50 mix. After a couple more days, switch to a mix of three quarters of the new food and a quarter of the old one. As a result, switch to a completely new feed. If your puppy starts to vomit, have intestinal upset or, conversely, constipation, then transfer it to the new food more slowly.

Feed type

As a rule, breeders do not recommend feeding your puppy canned food or jelly, because they contain up to 80% water. If you get rid of 4/5 of the content of the can, which is this liquid, then canned food will turn out to be very expensive. Semi-moist food contains approximately 55% liquid, as well as a lot of salt and sugar for a longer shelf life. Again, you are paying extra for this liquid, and besides, your puppy does not need salt and sugar.

Dry food contains only 9% water, and all other components are of the same quality as in other types of food. By all accounts, dry foods are more economical, easier to use, and better suited to dogs.

Dogs that eat dry food tend to have less intestinal upset and constipation, and fewer problems with excess weight Canned food has no visible effect on the wool and skin of animals. But the biggest plus in using dry food is its positive effect on the condition of the teeth and gums of animals. Dogs that eat soft food always have more oral problems, ranging from tartar to gum disease and tooth loss. All of this causes bad breath.

The only thing that is even worse than canned food is the leftovers from the master's table. We strongly advise not to start feeding the dog with chunks from the table, because once you start it will never end. Most nutritionists believe that dogs that eat good quality commercial food are better supplied with nutrients than their owners. This is confirmed by numerous studies. Table scraps are usually high in calories and not balanced. In addition, they lack the vitamins and minerals your pet needs.

Samoyed puppies, photo dog feeding photography
Samoyed puppies, photo dog feeding photography

There are three types of commercial dog food - dry granular, semi-moist (in sealed bags), and canned food (in cans). Most breeders and veterinarians recommend giving your dog a dry food that lists meat as one of the first two components as a protein source. Dry food is the only thing that removes plaque while eating. It is also the only food that will satisfy your puppy's need for chewing. In addition, dry food is easier to store, easier to use and has a less pungent odor.

When you buy dog food, you usually get what you pay for. Cheap economy food is made with the cheapest ingredients available. They have a lower energy value, the proteins that make up their composition are less absorbed by the body. This means that most of the feed passes through the digestive system without being absorbed.

Premium feed contains quality ingredients with a higher energy value. Since quality ingredients are better absorbed, your puppy needs to eat less food and, as a result, needs to walk less. Typical average feeds, as you might guess, are somewhere in the middle of this scale.

Keep in mind that the food packaging does not give all the information regarding this food, including what percentage of the food consumed will be absorbed by your pet. When choosing the best food for your pet, consult a professional breeder and veterinarian.

Pieces from the master's table

Small puppies should not be given anything from the owner's table, as their digestive tract is not yet sufficiently developed, and any piece can cause diarrhea or other gastrointestinal problems. The leftovers from the table fill the dog's stomach, but do not provide him with the nutrients that a young growing body needs. In addition, dogs develop the bad habit of begging and will also be more difficult to toilet train.

Leftovers from the master's table should not be more than 10% of the total diet of your adult animal. No chocolate, no fatty foods, and no sharp bones!

Cow's milk can cause problems

When it comes to feeding pets, cow's milk is also considered a waste from the table. Cow's milk contains sugar lactose, but dogs lack the enzyme lactase, which is needed to digest it. This is why dogs often develop diarrhea when given milk. In the body of most people this enzyme is produced, but some do not, and such people suffer from intolerance to dairy products. If you see dairy products in animal feed, it means that lactose bacteria were used there to convert sugar into a form that the body can absorb. Remember, dogs don't need fresh milk.

Feeding schedule

Schedule your puppy's feeding based on your own daily routine. You do not need the puppy to eat at will, because you need to make sure that the puppy gains weight as expected. You should be around during the hours when the puppy needs to be fed. Up to six months of age, puppies should be fed 3 times a day, from 6 to 12 months - twice a day, and after a year the puppy can be fed once a day. Growing up, puppies independently switch to an adult diet.

By eating at a specific time, your dog will go to the toilet more regularly, making it easier for you to train him to do so. Get in the habit of letting your puppy rest after eating for a while. Do not let children play with it for the first hour or an hour and a half after eating, otherwise it can lead to serious illness.

Amount of feed

The amount of food you give your dog does not have to be the same as the recommendations on the back of the bag. These numbers can be taken as a basis, but it happens that some puppies require less food, while others may not be enough. You need to calculate the amount of food so that the puppy has an optimal weight. Your veterinarian can help calculate how much food your pet will need. Remember, your dog should always have access to fresh, clean water.

Most often, dog owners, especially those under one and a half years old, complain to veterinarians that their pets eat little. They make this conclusion based on the fact that the dog does not gain as much weight as they would like. Such owners want to somehow make their pet eat more. Don't do this. Growth rates and appetite of young animals are primarily dictated by genetic factors. Don't force your dog to grow faster than it should or to become what it doesn't need to be. This will lead to nothing but problems. Artificially enhanced growth causes bone and joint disease. Give your dog as much food as he wants to eat and let his body dictate his needs.

Treats for the puppy

Treats should make up no more than 10% of all calories consumed. Puppy food is the only nutrient he needs, so don't give him extra treats before eating.

Liver foods are the best treats because they provide nutrients your puppy is unlikely to get from any other source.

Treats that are hard to chew, such as rawhide bones, are also helpful because they satisfy your puppy's need to chew while cleaning teeth and strengthening gums.

Treats can be used as a reward during training, but don't overdo it.

Rawhide Bones

Many dog owners ask questions about bones made from rawhide. Most often, owners are interested in their quality. The best quality bones come from the USA or some of the South African beef supplying countries. However, the country of origin is not yet a quality guarantee.

The second question is, is it good for puppies to chew on rawhides? Several years ago, a study was conducted, the results of which showed that dogs that ate almost nothing from rawhide bones showed no abnormalities in health. On the contrary, chewing such bones removes plaque from the teeth and strengthens the gums. This is a huge plus since periodontal disease is a real problem in many adult dogs. So buy your pets rawhide bones. This will not only satisfy his natural need to gnaw, but will also help keep him healthy.

Feeding puppies, photo photography
Feeding puppies, photo photography


The puppies seem to drink a lot of water. Dogs and cats can, by starving, lose almost all fat and half of their muscle mass and still survive. However, if the same animal loses 15% of its body fluid, it will die. Water is the most important nutrient.

Dogs of all ages that eat dry food require the food to be rehydrated in the stomach for normal digestion. Puppies also need more water than adult dogs because they are growing. Growth occurs through a very active metabolism at the cellular level. At the same time, a large number of decay products enter the bloodstream, which require prompt excretion through the kidneys, which is facilitated by the fluid.

It is important that the water is clean and fresh. Contaminated water sources can contain infectious agents such as leptospirosis, Giardia, E. coli, and Cryptosporidium. Clean water reduces the risk of disease and keeps your pet healthy.

Translation: Zooclub portal