How to Have My Puppy Well-Fed
One of the most important things in raising a puppy is fulfilling his nutritional needs by choosing the
right food, the right amount of food given, and the correct feeding regiments. It’s also the one that
many owners do it completely wrong by accident.
The first problem the owners encounter is deciding between millions of feeding options. Especially if you
are a first-time puppy owner, you can quickly become overwhelmed when you initially walk in any large
store stacked with pet supplies. It used to be so much easier when the options were limited back in the
day and no one really cared that much what goes in the dog’s dish.
Luckily, the process of feeding your dog became more involved. Currently, there are commercial dog
foods containing quality ingredients from better sources and specialized breed and category diets that
will make your puppy healthier and happier.
The first thing to do in keeping your pup well-fed is implementing a proper feeding regiment during his
first year of life. The regiment is dependent on the age of the pup. Puppies in development should be
fed a high-quality puppy diet specially formulated to meet their nutritional needs. Using adult food will
rob the puppy of many important nutrients.
Puppies between 6 and 12 weeks of age should be fed four times a day. You should start with dry food
and give it to small breeds by 12 weeks of age and to large breeds by 10 weeks of age. Afterward, you
can continue with dry food or add wet food as well.
The feedings can be decreased from four to three a day when the puppy is 3 months of age. Around this
time they lost their potbelly which means that their bodies are maturing. Some puppies mature earlier
than others, so whenever you notice that pot-belly is gone you can start feeding three times a day. Keep
to this feeding regiment for three months.
Puppies can be fed twice daily
Puppies can be fed twice daily when they are between 6 and 12 months old. Small breed puppies can
start eating adult dog food at 9 months of age, and large breed puppies at 14 months of age. Spaying or
neutering your pet during this period results in lower energy requirements. Giving puppy food rich with
nutrients after the procedure can possibly make the pup gain a little weight, but it’s better to give puppy
food a bit too long rather than not long enough.
Adult dogs can be fed adult dog food once or twice a day, depending on the owner’s choice. When you
need to make the switch from puppy food to adult dog food, do it gradually over the period of a few
days. Add a small amount of the new food in the portion of the old food and gradually increase the
amount of the new one while decreasing the old one each day. You need approximately 5 days to
achieve this without causing stomach upsets.
Discouraging picky habits can be achieved by giving regular amounts of food at the exact same time
every day. Never leave the food in the bowl for more than 20 minutes.
Amount of food
Regarding the amount of food the puppy should consume daily, there’s one universal rule that applies –
observe the dog, not the dish. Portion sizes can be determined by the dog’s body condition. Each puppy
has individual body type and metabolism; therefore nutritional requirements vary between different
dogs. Don’t be worried when your pup skips a meal. It can simply mean that you are either feeding him
too much or he is ready to eliminate feeding.
All brands of dry puppy food have precise feeding guides based on age and weight. For example, your
puppy is 4 months of age and weighs 20 lbs. The table on the pack of food states that the appropriate
amount according to your dog’s age and weight is 0.6 lbs. That means that you should feed the pup 0.2
lbs, three times a day. Don’t be too strict with the measurements. As we said, different puppies have
different needs so always put their body condition in the first place rather than the feeding guides on
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Puppies grow pretty fast and can double their weight within a month. Every owner has to weigh the
puppy weekly for two reasons: 1. recording his progress by comparing to weight charts appropriate for
the breed; 2. adjusting the food intake and ensuring and average growth rate.
During the puppy’s development, many owners are practicing treat-based training. Additionally, they
give other treats and chewable even without the training. This doesn’t affect the amount of food given
daily as long as the treats are given less frequently and in smaller quantities.
Type of food
The market is filled with tons of brands of dry dog food, wet dog food, low grain food, cold compressed
food, and the list just goes on and on… Luckily, the majority of the diets have been developed by
scientists specialized in canine-nutrition.
Dogs find canned food or wet food most palatable. They rarely reject this type of food even when their
bellies are full. At the same time, canned food is the most expensive to feed. One problem with wet
food is that dogs used to it, rarely go back to dry food and will reject it. Second, ‘all-meat’ types of wet
dog food cannot fulfill the puppy’s nutritional requirements. That’s because dogs aren’t strict carnivores
and their bodies require veggies and plants as well.
Semi-moist foods are sold as single-serving packets and are useful as treats rather than a constant
The puppy sees the human as a food provider
Kibble or dry dog food is the most budget-friendly option considering the dog’s diet. Most of the largest
companies in the dog-food industry produce complete and balanced diets for almost all sizes, ages, and
even breeds of dogs. Kibble is served as it comes from the bag. It can be moistened either with canned
food or water, but that’s rarely necessary.
Home-cooked food and raw dog food are becoming more and more popular among the dog owner
community. This may be a good option but it requires a lot of knowledge in dog nutrition and a lot of
experience in dog breeding.
To make things easier for you we would suggest using quality kibble food for regular feeding. Every third
or fourth day you can add a can of wet or semi-wet food. When you give the wet-food portion, make sure that you skip the dry food portion and that at least 4-5 hours have passed since the last portion of
The puppy sees the human as a food provider and uses cunning methods of exploiting the human’s
affection. The eyes of a begging dog are irresistible whenever he sees the chance of getting some table
scraps. Don’t be fooled by this because a dog that begs for table scraps isn’t suffering from an emotional
crisis and isn’t testing your love towards him. It’s just a survival strategy that evolved over time and it’s a
simple and predictable scam. A steady diet of unnecessary table scraps can have harmful results and
lead to many types of diseases.
Feeding a puppy is a serious thing and requires that everyone in the household is committed to the
established feeding regime. If the dog finds someone’s soft spot he will gladly exploit it. Raising a puppy
is a team effort and every member of the team should be conscious of the risks of bad nutrition.