Puppies are adorable little pets. The major concern of new puppy owners is mostly regarding their feeding. Proper feeding of puppies during their first 2 years of life lay the foundation for a strong and healthy adult dog. Since puppies need twice the amount of calorie requirement of an adult dog, knowing the basics of a healthy puppy diet is essential. This article provides you with wholesome information on feeding your puppies. Your questions such as what to feed a puppy?, how often should you feed a puppy?, What not to feed a puppy? etc are answered in this article.
How Much Food Should I Feed My Puppy?
Mother’s Milk Is The Best
Just like in the case of human beings, newborn puppies too need to be fed with their mother’s milk during their first few weeks in this world. It is the most nutritious food provided by nature to the newborns. Breeders usually wean puppies from their mother’s milk at about the age of 7 weeks.
Mother’s Milk Substitutes
If the mama dog’s milk is not sufficient for her litter or if the pup is an orphan, they have to be fed with something similar to their mother’s milk. Feeding such pups with cow’s milk is not advisable as it may cause diarrhea in them due to the heavy lactose content in it. Commercial formulations are available in powdered form. These can be bought, mixed with water, and heated to a temperature of 38 degrees Centigrade before feeding the puppies with it. Care should be taken that the formula milk is prepared fresh each time. If buying commercial formulations is not in your mind, ask your vet about how to make homemade puppy food.
For orphaned pups, it is suggested that you rub a small swab of moist cotton at their bottoms after each feeding. This encourages them to pass urine as it mimics a mother dog licking its pup’s bottom after each feeding. Once your puppies reach an age of 3 weeks, this can be stopped.
When Should Puppies Be Weaned From Milk?
Puppies should be provided with either their mother’s milk or formula milk until they are about 6 to 8 weeks old. The weaning should be done gradually, as their tiny digestive system would take time to get acquainted to a solid diet rich in protein.
What Are The Different Types Of Puppy Foods?
- Tinned puppy foods: There are quite a lot of tinned puppy foods available at pet stores. It is recommended that you choose a tinned food which has been recommended as easily digestible and provides enough protein for the growing puppy. Make sure that the food is all sufficient, and does not require the addition of other supplements.
- Dry complete foods: Good quality dry foods contain all the necessary nutrients for the developing puppy. Most of them have chicken and corn or rice as their common ingredients so that they suit most puppies. Immediately after weaning, puppies may not like dry foods. If this is the case, then mix some warm water to it in order to soften it.
- Homemade food: Puppies need the right nutrition for their growth and development. So, it is advisable to consult your vet before deciding upon what needs to go into your puppies’ homemade food.
It is advised that you stick to the same type of puppy food; and that you do not make switches between the different types of foods unless you find any food intolerance symptoms in your puppies.
Apart from the regular food, you should also offer occasional treats to your puppies. This helps in the behavioral training of your pets. There are numerous commercial treats available in the market. Be wise to choose the healthy ones for them.
How Much Food Should I Feed My Puppy?
Growing puppies require higher amounts of calories and nutrients than that of the adult dogs. The calorie requirement differs for different breeds and for different sizes. Puppy foods should be fed to them in quantities recommended by the manufacturer. You can also consult your vet in this regard. Once your puppies reach 6 months of age, they can be offered food 2 to 3 times a day, and gradually start the usual adult diet. You can consult your vet to know how often do you feed a puppy and other information, if needed.
Foods That You Should Avoid Feeding Your Puppies
- Scraps from your table
- Cow’s milk
- Animal bones
- Grapes and raisins
- Moldy foods
- Onions and garlic
- Bread dough
How Often Do You Feed A Puppy? – Some Tips On Feeding Puppies
- Water is an important part of your puppy’s everyday diet. Make fresh water available for your puppy throughout the day so that he can consume it as and when he needs it.
- Give your puppy only the quantity of food that he requires so that he finishes off soon without leaving anything over. If left, he may return to consume it at a later time when it has decayed, and may get sick.
- Carefully look for labels on commercial food packets. If the food is marked “complete”, it is enough to provide the required nutrition for your puppy, and if it is marked “complimentary”, it has to be given along with other foods.
- Never feed your puppy with table scraps as they can upset his tummy.
- Do not make abrupt changes to your puppy’s diet as your puppy may struggle to get acquainted. Changes, if necessary, should be introduced gradually.
Rounding it all up, feeding puppies require some amount of knowledge. Hope this article answered all of your queries pertaining to puppy feeding. Please remember that puppies should never be considered as miniature dogs. They have their own unique nutritional requirements. These have to be taken into account while feeding them.