The new four legged addition really brings excitement and trepidation to the whole family. Being a responsible owner you want to do everything possible for the health of your new companion. At such moments of bliss and consternation one important thing that struck your mind is your puppy’s diet. “What to feed a puppy”, “How often to feed a puppy” and “How much to feed a puppy? “Let’s find answers to these important questions for the lifelong healthy and happiness of our pet buddies.
What to feed a puppy?
During the early phase, the best food for your cuddly pup is mother’s milk. So try to keep the puppy with the mother for nursing. Mother’s milk is considered optimal for a puppy as it contains vital nutrients which protect against infections and also reduce the rates of later health problems.
If due to any reason it is not possible to feed your puppy mother’s milk then you need to be very specific and cautious about the puppy’s diet. The first thing to consider is the brand of puppy food you choose. Puppies have high caloric and nutritional needs, so do not compromise and select high-grade, quality brand of puppy food. Ask your veterinarian about any specific recommendations but generally, puppy food must contain a high amount of protein, calcium, and fats to keep up with their rapidly growing bodies. Also, make sure the brand you choose should meet the standards of AAFCO.
You can also opt for breed formulated food which is specifically designed keeping the breed’s unique and precise requirements in mind. Commercial dog food is available in three forms: dried, canned and semi moist. You can choose any type but dry food is the most popular and economical way to feed. Dry food is usually more concentrated with more calories because of its low moisture content.
How often to feed a puppy?
Setting a puppy feeding schedule is good so that your fur ball knows when to expect food but don’t get too strict with it as every puppy is unique and no one set schedule caters every pups needs. In general, puppies should be fed three to four times a day.
It is best to incorporate smaller meals as they are easier to digest and energy levels stay constant and balanced with frequent meals. After the puppy is six months old you should decrease the number of meals you feed him to two. After he’s one year old, feed her half portions twice a day.
To keep your puppy at a healthy weight, make sure not to overfeed him. If you have any concerns regarding precisely how much food a puppy should be eating during the day, talk to your veterinarian or the breeder as they are professional and experienced so can guide you better.
How much to feed a puppy?
Feeding a new puppy requires some knowledge and if you are a novice and really have no idea about how much food should you feed a puppy you can get an idea with the following method. Measure a half cup of dry puppy food in a bowl and allow your pup to eat. Keep the bowl for 10-15 minutes and after that pick up the bowl and measure the quantity left. Continue feeding in this manner for the whole day. You should have a good idea about your puppy’s requirement and how much to feed.
Another way to look if you are feeding puppies properly is by looking at your puppy’s body. You should be able to feel but not see their ribs, and they should have a recognizable waist when you look down at them. This is true for puppies of any breed, big or small.
You should also read the instructions given at the back of the puppy food about the proper quantity to feed depending on breed and size but remember the information provided is just a general recommendation so take them as starting point because every puppy is different and the actual feeding amount will depend on the puppy’s age, activity, environment and body metabolism. The best thing would be to ask your veterinarian if your puppy is at a healthy weight.