Posted in Puppy

Essential Puppy Feeding Guidelines You Should Know

Essential Puppy Feeding Guidelines You Should Know Posted on 20/10/2018

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Are you planning to bring in a puppy into your home in the near future? If so, you must really be excited by the idea of having a canine companion. Puppies areadorable and very lively; am sure you’ll grow to love yours with all of your heart. One of your responsibilities as a dog owner is to ensure that your young dog gets the right amount of nutrition at the right time. But if you’re a first-time dog owner, this responsibility may not be easy for you.

That’s why we’ve come up with the following feeding guidelines to take you through the first year of your dog’s life: The First 6-8 Weeks It’s important that puppies stay with their mothers during the first 6 to 8 weeks of their lives. Just like in humans, puppies need to feed from their mother’s milk directly to get the best nutrition and antibodies that will protect them from diseases.
But sometimes, this may not be possible, especially, in cases where the mother has died from natural causes, has been hit by a car or has mastitis. If you have a very young puppy without a mother to feed her, milk bottles and replacers designed for puppies can help. You can buy them in most pet stores.

Weaning

Just like in babies, puppies need to be weaned to solid food. This should begin between the age of 4 and 6 weeks. Weaning should happen slowly over the course of 2-3 weeks and not overnight as some people do. Start by choosing the brand of food you want to feed your young dog. If you’re unsure of what to buy, consult your vet immediately. Generally, puppies require foods that provide them with calcium, protein and calories. Also, make sure that the brand of food you choose is of high quality since puppies have high nutritional needs. Once you’ve selected your puppy’s food, make a gruel by blending the food together with the milk replacer. If you have no idea what quantities to use for making the gruel, ask your vet. Give your puppy the gruel 3-4 times daily, gradually lessening the amount of milk replacer you use.
Doing so greatly helps young dogs to adapt to solid food, which in turn minimizes their chances of getting gastric upset.
The Frequency Of Feeding Your Puppy Experts recommend that you feed your puppy 3-4 times a day. This is because smaller, frequent meals are much easier to digest for puppies. In addition, it provides stable energy levels that enable them to go through their day comfortably. For convenience purposes, you can start feeding him 2 times daily by the age of 6 months.

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Moving On From Puppy Food

Since puppy food has high nutritional supplements and calories, you shouldn’t give it to your pet longer than necessary, as this might lead to obesity or even orthopedic problems. So when is the time to make the switch to adult food? There’s no set age for this, but generally, you should do so when your young dog approaches maturity. This greatly varies with breeds.
Usually, smaller dog breeds mature around the age of 10-12 months, while medium breeds reach maturity between 12-16 months. On the other hand, large breeds may take up to 2 years to reach maturity. When you notice your pet gaining too much weight or eating less of his puppy food, then know that it’s time to switch to adult food.
Note that switching to adult food should also be done over the course of 1-2 weeks. Feed your dog a mixture of puppy food and adult food of your choice, making sure you decrease the amount of puppy food gradually to lessen the risk of getting gastric upset.

Don’t Let Him Get Too Fat

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Lastly, don’t let your dog get chubby obviously because of the numerous health problems that come with obesity. So, ensure that you follow your vet’s instructions with regards to feeding him. However, if he’s already overweight, your vet will help you come up with a suitable diet and exercise plan to keep him healthy and fit.
Have a happy feeding!
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