Being a puppy owner is exciting, as you get to have a lot of fun, all while helping a wonderful dog grow. However, this is also challenging, because puppies have their own set of guidelines when it comes to the food they need and what they should eat. With that in mind, here are some tips related to puppy feeding.
The first 6-8 weeks
During this time puppies need to be with their mother. While you can find milk for puppies at the local store, the truth is that their mother’s milk is the most nutritious and it has the antibodies they really need. However, in case you can’t have their mother nearby, get some milk bottles and replacers from your pet store, that will help.
Switching to solid food
Switching from milk to solid food is not always going to be a walk in the park. This process needs to happen gradually, it should take 2-3 weeks. The idea here is that you will need to introduce your puppy to solid food alongside his milk bowl. Now you have to gradually reduce the milk amount and replace it with solid food. You want to avoid doing this all at once because it will upset their belly. Thankfully, by the time your puppy has 8 weeks of age, he will be accustomed with solid food.
When should you feed your puppy?
It’s very easy to go and feed your puppy whenever he asks for food. What you want to do is to feed your puppy 3-4 times per day. ¾ of a cup per every meal should be more than enough. The meal size matters, however 2-3 times per day will be ok for puppies. Talk with the vet here, he should be able to offer you some guidelines in this situation.
Stepping away from puppy food
When you need to switch to adult food, you must complete this process gradually. You can do this when your pet reaches a year to a year and a half. The idea here is to gradually add more and more adult food to his meal, all while lowering the amount of puppy food. It might take a few weeks to complete this switch, so you have to be patient. It won’t happen right away.
What foods should you avoid?
Normally you want to stay away from foods that have meat by-products or corn as the first ingredient. Instead, meat should be the first ingredient there. When should you switch to adult food? You will notice that your dog eats less of the puppy food. Either that, or he put on too much weight.
It’s important to use these puppy feeding guidelines if you want to keep your puppy fed, healthy and fit. Switching from milk to puppy food and then to adult food are things you need to do gradually. If you see any potential issues, it’s a very good idea to call the vet, as he can help with any guidelines and support!