As the proud owner of a new puppy, you may feel a little lost or overwhelmed because you aren’t sure what to feed him. While you may not know your puppy’s nutritional needs, you realize that he needs special attention and care. When you bring a puppy home, you are responsible for offering the right amount of food, enough nutrition and the right amounts of vitamins and supplements.
Once you know the right way to feed your new little friend, you can also ensure that he develops the right eating habits. It isn’t too difficult to feed a puppy once he has been weaned from his mother, usually once the dog is eight to ten weeks old, for best results. Separating them from their mother too soon can lead to a weak immune system and a very depressed puppy.
Usually, puppies get the nutrition and antibodies they need for a good start in life from their mother’s milk. While nursing, they can smell their mother’s scent, which makes them feel secure. Once they leave their mother, you are responsible for their health, happiness and security. Below, you will find a complete guide on how to properly feed your new puppy.
Choosing the Right Food for Your Puppy
The most common forms of dog food found in pet stores and online dog boutiques are: dry, semi-moist and moist. While semi-moist or moist dog foods are the easiest to chew, dry kibble is the best choice to feed your dog. This is because semi-moist dog food contains about 55% water and there is a lot of added salt and sugar to aid in preservation. So, you can just image how much water is in moist dog food.
Usually, moist dog food contains more than 80% water, which is far too much. Moist dog food, like the semi-moist, also contains too much sugar and salt, which are not good for your dog’s health. You can be sure that dry dog food has less water in the ingredients and because it is easy to preserve, large amounts of salt and sugar are not needed.
While dry dog food is better than the other choices, it is difficult to make further decisions because of the innumerable pet food brands available on the market today. Generally speaking, cheaper brands are made of the cheaper materials and ingredients, and better brands offer better quality ingredients and materials.
In order to help your puppy gain a good appetite and a healthy digestive tract, it is necessary to choose a good quality dog food. You can ask other dog owners and your veterinarian for advice on choosing the best brand for your new puppy. However, do not trust all of the information given on the package, as the manufacturer will not tell you all of the important information you need, especially the shortcomings.
Developing a Feeding Schedule for Your Puppy
Puppies that are less than six months of age should be fed at least three times daily, and after six months have passed, this can be decreased to twice daily. Actually, a puppy’s meal schedule should be strictly controlled by you to ensure that your dog develops good eating habits.
For example, puppies need to be fed three or four times per day. While most people feed their puppies three times per day: breakfast, lunch and dinner, you might decide to feed your dog his last meal around five p.m. so he can digest his food and eliminate timely before going to bed.
As time goes by, your dog will eventually need to be fed only twice a day. Remember, your puppy will experience teething and lose his appetite at some point before you can feed your dog nutritious food only twice a day. Do not romp and play with your puppy right after he has eaten a meal, or he might get an upset stomach.
How Much Should I Feed a New Puppy?
As a general rule, puppies need a large quantity of food that is high in protein and other nutrients because they burn more calories and need energy to support normal growth and development. In general, you should follow the guidelines on the dog food packages you purchase, adjusting the amounts up or down, depending on his size, activity, metabolism and living environment.
Puppies grow the fastest in their first five months, so it is important to provide enough food to support your puppy’s rapid growth. At the same time, feeding your puppy too much will lead to a pudgy pup, bone abnormalities or other health issues.
Why Can’t My Puppy Have Table Scraps?
As mentioned in several other dog related articles, never give your puppy or dog table scraps. As you know, table food is bad for your dog’s health. Table scraps can fill your puppy up without providing the nutrients and energy he needs for his rapid growth requirements. This can also cause several other problems.
For example, table scraps contain a higher number of calories and protein levels, which can lead to an unhealthy imbalance. Table scraps can also cause diarrhea and other gastrointestinal problems. If you become accustomed to giving your puppy food from your plate, you might not realize that you have taught your puppy the very bad habit of begging for food.
Feeding your puppy table scraps will welcome many other troubles such as greater difficulty in house training, begging for food, taking food from strangers, and the most troublesome one You will never be able to enjoy your dinner without those big eyes… watching, waiting and begging.
Without proper training and research, you won’t know how to properly feed and care for a puppy. Knowing how to provide the right food (not always the most expensive one) can help ensure that your puppy grows up to be a happy and healthy dog. In addition to his food supply, you should also pay attention to his water intake, offering fresh, clean water every day.
Puppies need to drink large quantities of water, which is the most important nutrient of all. Before taking your puppy outside to eliminate, give him some water to drink. After eliminating, play a little game with him. Your puppy will feel much more comfortable and you can enjoy his trust and love.