A new puppy’s boundless energy will require some serious puppy chow as soon as they arrive at their new home. However, because a new puppy’s nutritional needs are very different from an adult dog’s, they may need some extra special care in their feeding. While every new puppy should be fed from their mother for at least the first four to six weeks, by eight weeks they should be ready to eat on their own.
In order to ensure that owner’s of new puppies are prepared to feed their new pet, the following guidelines have been designed to explain the basics of new puppy feeding.
Do Check the Labels
All types of puppy chow are not equal. Many contain useless filler ingredients that do little to support a growing puppy’s needs. Therefore, it is important to ensure that puppy chow provides complete nutrition for puppies. Additionally, a dog’s natural diet is meat. Therefore, the best foods for a puppy are ones where the first ingredient is some type of meat.
Do Not Feed Table Scraps
While there are special dog food recipes that can be prepared to create delicious and nutritional foods for dogs, the average human diet contains too many fats and unnatural ingredients that can be dangerous for a growing puppies health. Therefore, it is important to stick to only the properly prepared foods that are designed for growing puppies.
Do Feed Twice a Day
Puppies younger than eight weeks old will need to eat approximately three to four times a day. However, once they reach eight weeks, they are able to begin to eat twice a day as an adult dog would. It is best to stick to feeding at the same times each day so that they will be able to rely on a regular supply of food.
Do Not Feed With Other Dogs
Dogs are pack animals and have a hierarchy that determines who eats the most food and who gets the first chance at food. This honor will usually go to the leader of the pack which can lead to a puppy missing out on a meal. Therefore, each puppy should have their own bowl as well as a food that is specially designed for a puppy’s needs. This will eliminate fighting and ensure that each dog is getting their recommended amount of food.
Do Be Observant
A puppy’s appetite will vary depending upon how they are feeling. A puppy that suddenly stops eating may be ill, or it could be having a reaction to their food. Additionally, puppies tend to be teething during their first couple of months. This can also cause a puppy to suddenly become finicky or refuse to eat their food. Soft foods may be helpful during this time.
While puppies may look like miniature adult dogs, their nutritional needs are vastly different. Young puppies require a nutritionally balanced diet with extra calories in order to keep up with their natural energy and growing bodies. Being aware of a puppy’s unique needs and remaining observant of any changes in their diet is essential for providing a puppy with the nutrition that they need to grow up healthy and strong.
Author bio: Liz is a blogger, freelance writer and recent college graduate. She currently performs market research for an online marketing firm when she is not providing complete nutrition for puppies at local dog shelters around town.