Feeding your puppy with healthy and well-balanced food is a very important thing you should definitely do, especially at such a young age. Puppies are very similar to kids. They need constant care, good nutrition, attention, and of course, lots and lots of love. Today’s article is about the right way to feed your puppy. Make sure to read the whole article and gather all the info we have to offer.
How Much Food Should You Allow Your Puppy?
Dogs love food but puppies are on another level. They really love to eat until their tummies hurt but that is not how it’s supposed to be. While they’re constantly growing more and more each day they have to have regulated and controlled meals. So, what type of food should you feed your pup, and how much is too much?
Dry food is the classic way to feed your dog and at the same time to get a balanced diet and all the proper nutrition that they need. The thing is, that little puppies can’t really stomach adult dog food that much and therefore should be given only the puppy kibble.
I always feed my dog three times a day (plus treats) on a regular feeding schedule. The routine started when she was a two-month-old puppy and she got used to it pretty quickly. I started her with dry puppy food(four meals a day) that you can buy anywhere in any store really.
Wet or canned food is so much more expensive to buy on regular basis. So if you’re on a budget, I would recommend sticking with your kibble or homemade dog food. Or, you can variate your dog’s meals and give them a treat of canned food every once in a while.
Wet food provides all the nutrients and it’s a nice balanced meal that you can give your pup. Again, if you’re buying wet food for a puppy, make sure to get the wet puppy food that is strictly for developing puppies. Puppy food is usually labeled, you can’t miss it.
[Related Article: How Is Dog Food Made(Dry vs Wet Food)]
Puppy Feeding Chart
As your puppy grows you need to make sure to give them less food so they don’t get overfed. So, we made this timeline to help you properly feed your pup as they grow.
At this age, your puppy is the most vulnerable and has the most sensitive stomach. That’s why puppies should only be given puppy food, that’s much richer in nutrients that will help your puppy to develop and grow up healthy.
Giving them adult food will malnourish them and will rob them of so many important vitamins and nutrients they so desperately need for their growth. Start off your puppy with four meals a day so you can meet their nutritional demands.
Also, make sure you do your research depending on what breed and size your pup is. If the breed is large then they should probably eat more since they waste so much more energy. [Source]
This is the period that you should start keeping a close eye on your puppy’s development, how much your pup eats, and also start giving them 3 meals a day or decrease their feeding.
This is because puppies lose their potbelly 12 to 13 weeks. This means that your puppy is starting to grow and develop to become an adult dog.
6 months-1 year
At this point, your pup is indeed still a puppy but you begin to really see their growth. They’ve become more mature, patient, and obedient. So, this is the time that you should stop feeding them puppy food and make the switch to an adult one.
Also, you should start feeding them twice per day and yes, this is a hard part. I just know that my dog thought that she was being punished for something when I began feeding her twice daily and I just couldn’t help but feel bad for doing that.
But believe me, this is for the best of your pup. Giving your puppy or dog too much food because you feel bad for them is never an answer and it can actually lead to having very serious consequences like heart issues, kidney problems, and liver failure. You don’t want an overweight puppy, believe me. You want them to live a long, healthy life.
Small puppy breeds can switch to adult food at 7 months and bigger breeds from up to a year. Larger breed puppies waste more energy and are longer in the growth phase so naturally need their puppy nutrients longer than small breeds. [Source]
Putting Your Puppy On A Raw Diet… What To Expect
A raw diet is all the talk amongst veterinarians and dog lovers as well. Feeding your dog with raw ingredients such as raw meat, eggs, veggies, and milk can be a little intimidating to some people but it’s actually very healthy for your pup, and here’s why.
- Shiny Coat- Raw food gives your pup a shiny, glorious coat.
- Dental Hygiene- Raw food intake can help with your dog’s dental hygiene and will give them much stronger teeth.
- Higher Energy Level- It’s true, once you start feeding your pup frequent meals of raw food, you’ll notice that their energy will rise to the roof.
- Smaller Stools- Another thing you’ll notice is that your pup won’t have as big of a stool as they normally had when they were on dry kibble or wet food.
- Balanced Nutrition- Of course, your puppy will also get balanced nutrition with other types of food, but this way they really get all the nutrients and energy requirements they need. [Source]
Just a side note. Not all pups will react well to switching to raw food. Some dogs have different digestive systems and raw food can cause stomach problems. So please consult with a doctor before switching your pup to a raw diet.
Also, make sure that your pup always has fresh water on their side when eating raw food as it can get pretty heavy.
[Related Article: Freeze-Dried Dog Food Brands(Which Are The Best Now?)]
Having a puppy is the best thing in the world but it does come with many responsibilities and hard work. Make sure to always give your pup a balance of nutrients when feeding them.
Just like kids, puppies need healthy food so they can grow up to be strong, energetic dogs. Start off your puppy with the type of food that is made only for puppies. Puppy food is available in every store in the dog food aisle.
What’s the difference? Well, puppy food(no matter if wet or dry) has more nutrients and vitamins in it so it can help with their development.
When the time is right (usually when they reach 9 months) you can switch them from puppy to adult food.
When dogs are little they require more food so you should feed them four times a day. When the time is right and your pup isn’t really a pup anymore, you can start feeding them only two times a day with a healthy diet.