What You Should Feed Your Puppy
12 March, 2012

When you first bring your new puppy home, there are so many questions to be answered.  The first and most important is what and when to feed them.  The tips below should help you get started on a good schedule to comfort both you and your puppy.

Type of food

With puppy food, similar to human food, you get what you pay for. Economy brands are cheap and are made of the cheapest ingredients available. Premium brands use higher quality ingredients from sources with higher biological values. Because better quality ingredients mean better digestibility, your puppy does not need to eat as much and less waste is produced (which means less to pick up in the yard or on your morning walk!). Regular brands, as you could guess, fall somewhere in between.

I like to eat healthy, good quality food!

Feeding the first few days

For the first few days, it is a good idea to feed your puppy the same type and brand of puppy food and continue on the same feeding schedule the puppy was on before he came to you. Then you can slowly start using the food you have chosen based on information you received from your veterinarian. A puppy needs to be switched to a new food slowly to prevent intestinal upset.

Feeding schedule

The puppy’s feeding schedule will be somewhat dictated by your own personal schedule. You should try not to leave food out for the puppy so that he can eat it whenever he wants. You want to be there for his or her feeding so you can put him or her on a feeding schedule. Puppies under six months of age should be fed three times daily and after six months, they may be fed twice daily.

Amount to feed

The amount of food given with each meal should not be dictated by what is on the back of the puppy food bag. That is a good place to start, but many puppies need less than what is on the bag and some might need more.  You will learn to adjust the amount to feed your puppy to maintain an optimal weight. Your veterinarian can help you determine the proper amount to feed him or her.

Try to avoid feeding your puppy table scraps

It is best to start your puppy off on the right paw and avoid table scraps.  Table scraps are usually higher in calories and are not fortified with the vitamins and minerals that growing puppies require. Table scraps could cause diarrhea or other gastrointestinal problems. Table scraps fill them up, but do not provide the nutrients their rapidly-growing bodies need. Feeding them from the table teaches them the bad habit of begging and may make housetraining more difficult for you.

Treats

Treats should never account for more than 10% of your puppy’s caloric intake.  Hard chew treats keep your puppy entertained and may improve dental health by exercising the gums and scraping the teeth. It also satisfies your teething pup’s need to chew.  Further, treats can be used during training to reward good behavior, but be careful not to overdo it.

Water

Puppies may seem to drink large quantities of water. For dogs of any age that eat dry food, water will be needed to rehydrate it in their stomachs for digestion. Puppies also need more water per pound than adults do because they are growing.

I hope all these tips help and that your puppy thrives in his or her new home. Create A Profile For Your Puppy!

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