A small breed of dog mature quicker (in just 12 months they are now a young adult dog) than a large breed (up to 24 months to become a young adult). Puppies grow fast, they are small now but they are growing in a very short period of time that you won’t notice they are full-grown adult dogs, because they are growing physically and mentally very quickly they need plenty of foods that will support their growing needs, Puppy Food is the one that can sustain that need!
Nutritious food is very important for growing puppies, it plays an important part in taking care of their health, helps build strong bones and teeth, and provides all the energy that puppies need in learning and playing. Everything you need to know about feeding your puppies is below so keep reading.
What is Weaning?
Weaning is the transition of a puppy’s diet from their mother’s milk to solid food. The transitions start by gradually introducing the wet/solid food while slowly withdrawing the supply of the mother’s milk.
The following are everything you need to know on feeding your puppy!
When should puppies start eating food and drinking water?
Puppies should get their very first puppy food and water around 3 to 4 weeks old, at this age you can start slowly wean the puppies from their mother’s milk so they can become more independent.
What to feed your puppies?
There are dozens of puppy food in the market but finding the right food for your puppies is a different topic. In choosing the right puppy food for your puppy there are tons of things you need to consider, you can ask your vet for recommendations of the best puppy food they usually had experienced and to match the needs of your puppies.
Find a dog food that is specially formulated for puppies to make sure they will get the complete and balanced nutrients they need to grow healthy. The following is what you should look for in choosing the best puppy food:
- High-calorie – puppy foods have usually higher calories than adult dog food it is because puppies need a lot of energy for all the growing they have to do, they also explore and play more than an adult dog.
- Protein – puppy foods also have contained a higher amount of protein, it is good for development and tissue repair, healthy hair and skin.
- Fat – 10-25% of healthy fats is a good source of energy for puppies.
- Calcium – the right amount of calcium plays an important part for puppies to grow, have a healthy bone and teeth, proper muscle building and function, a strong heart, and a healthy nervous system.
- Magnesium – is important for the energy production of the puppies
- Iron – it is important for your puppy’s body to perform well. Iron’s main function is to carry oxygen in the hemoglobin of red blood cells throughout the body so the cells can produce energy.
- Zinc – is also important for immune system function and thyroid function. Puppies are prone to many infections so giving them extra protection is very important.
- Vitamin D – plays an important part to develop properly or maintain the healthy muscles and bones of your puppies.
- Digestible carbohydrates – No specific amount of digestible carbohydrates have been identified as optimal for growing puppies, but it is suggested that 20% on a dry matter basis may maximize their health.
Puppy food is always & must be in small kibbles sizes to make sure the puppy can easily chew and swallow the food.
What is best for puppies to eat dry food, wet food, or both?
Both dry and wet dog/puppy food is made with special formulas to cater both large and small breeds so either the two is best to feed to your puppies. However dry food and wet food have their own benefits.
Dry Food or Kibbles
It is the most convenient dog food to buy in the market, it can be stored in a long time without being refrigerated. Kibbles has different sizes too that is suitable for small, medium, and large dogs.
Kibbles can be fed exactly as it comes from the bag, many dog owners prepared this food for their lovely pets because they believe it has an oral-hygiene advantage because the friction produced helps to keep the gums and teeth healthy.
Wet food or Canned food
Wet or Canned food is costly than dry food/kibbles, it is the most expensive dog food that you can find in the market. Dogs/puppies find canned dog food more palatable than dry food it also has a complete set of nutrients that are dog needs.
Wet or canned dog food needs to store in ref to longer its shelf life.
What food is not safe for puppies?
The cute sweet looking begging eyes of puppies are very hard to resist but as much as you love them you have to be strict in given them food that is not formulated for them, it is very important to maintain their healthy balanced diet.
The following are some foods that you should never ever feed to your puppies:
- Raw meat
- Green tomatoes
- Blue cheese
Table scraps and titbits are very no to make sure to follow your dog’s healthy diet to avoid any health problem. You can ask your vet for a full list of toxic food for dogs and puppies.
How Much Puppy Food to Feed to Your Puppies?
The exact amount of food your puppy needs can vary depending on their age, breed size, medical conditions, and how energetic they are (ex. playful puppies will burn more energy, so they need more food for fuel). You can ask your vet for advice on what and how much puppy food will best suit your puppies.
Always read the feeding instructions on the puppy food packaging you bought to make sure you can give your puppies enough serving they need for their age and size.
How often you should feed your puppies?
Like babies, puppies need many small meals a day to sustain the energy and the nutrients they need while growing. In general, when your starting to offer solid food to your puppies for the first time (usually 2 months) you should give them at least 4-6 meals a day, from 3-4 months you can reduce it by 4 meals a day, and from 4-6 months 2-3 meals a day, at 6 months you can give them 2 meals a day depending on their breed size. After age 1 most owners feed adult dogs two half-portions a day.
Try starting with a tablespoon of food about five times a day while your puppies is still feeding on their mother.
Note: It is normal for the puppies to want to eat more but you should never overfeed them because it might cause stomach ache, obesity (can lead to some serious health problem), vomiting, and diarrhea.
How to Switch from Puppy Food to Adult Food
When your dog passes the age of puppyhood they must now eat adult dog food to maintain good health. In switching from puppy food to adult food you should do it gradually over a period of a few days, you can add a small amount of adult dog food to your puppy food and gradually adds amount each time (10% adult food & 90% puppy food of total food of your puppy in a bowl, next 25% adult food & 75% puppy food of total food of your puppy in a bowl, next 50% adult food & 50% puppy food of total food of your puppy in a bowl, next 75% adult food & 25% puppy food of total food of your puppy in a bowl) until you reach 100% adult food of your total dog food feeding to your now (previews puppy) dog.
It is recommended to slowly change your dog’s food because a sudden change may cause stomach upset or diarrhea in your dog. It is advisable to consult your vet about how to properly change your puppy food to adult food and what’s the best adult dog food he/she can recommend.