Once you have adopted and settled in your new puppy in your home and lifestyle. The next step is to ensure he stays healthy and happy. Feeding nutritious and right amount of food is critical to making sure he gets off to a healthy start. Every puppy has different dietary requirements based on his age, breed and allergic reactions. Some puppies are lactose intolerant while some have an allergic reaction to raw food. Some puppies need to consume 3- 4 times a day, while for some consuming food 2 times a day is sufficient based on his age and breed. As a dog owner, you need to figure out “what”, “how much” and “how often” should you feed to keep your puppy healthy and fit.
What should you feed your puppy?
During this time, your puppy is growing and developing, his nutritional requirement is different than adult dogs. You should feed your puppy a balanced diet containing nutrients, minerals and Omega 3 fatty acids. These elements help to strengthen your puppy’s bones and teeth, develop his muscles, and promote clear vision and a healthy shiny coat.
You should consider your puppy’s breed size while feeding him. The nutritional requirement for small breed and large breed puppy is different. Small breed puppy grows at a quick rate in comparison to a large breed puppy. You should feed your small breed puppy more calories per pound of body weight than large breed puppy. This is because small breed puppy has higher metabolisms and energy needs compared to larger breed.
You should avoid feeding table scraps or leftovers from your meals. Such food does not supply balanced nutrition to your puppy. It’s just the thing that gets your puppy fat, constipates him or gives him diarrhea. You should include treats such as hard chew in your puppy’s meal. It helps to keep your puppy entertained, strengthen his teeth and gums and satisfies his teething need. Water is the most important nutrient of all required for your puppy.
How much should you feed your puppy?
The amount of food you feed your puppy can have a substantial impact on his growth and development. Don’t overfeed your puppy, but don’t starve him either. Overfeeding can be bad for his joints to hold the extra weight, while starving can lead to poor brain development. You should feed your puppy based on his size, activity level, age, environment, and metabolism. During the initial stage, it’s difficult to figure out the right portion for your puppy. Start with the feeding instructions on the back of the bag. After feeding for a while, adjust the amount accordingly based on your puppy’s appetite and body condition. Your puppy’s vet can help you identify how much to feed to keep him at optimal weight.
How often should you feed your puppy?
You should establish a feeding schedule to help your puppy get used to regular meals. Feeding schedule helps to train your puppy and regulate his digestive system and maintain his body condition. If your puppy is around eight weeks of age, feed him no fewer than three times a day. Once he turns six months old, switch to feeding twice a day and maintain this until he reaches old age. You can switch back to feeding three times a day when you see he has finished growing. Setting schedule also helps you to predict when he’ll need to go the bathroom and make housetraining easier and faster. You should not leave the food down for more than 10 to 20 minutes. It leads to poor eating habits and will lead your puppy to eat too much or too little.
Bringing home new puppy comes with as many responsibilities as raising a child. “What”, “how much”, and “how often” you feed your puppy now will determine his health for rest of the life. Start with proper food and feeding schedule right from the beginning.