How to Feed Your Puppy the Right Way
You just bought the cutest puppy in the world and brought it home for the first time. You’re looking forward to sharing your life with it but have some questions. How do you feed it, how much should you feed it, and what’s the best drink to give it? These are questions you may not know the answers to yet, but don’t worry because after reading this article you will know how to feed your puppy through its early stages of life through adulthood.
When Can my Puppy Eat Solid Foods?
For the first 4 weeks of the puppies life, they should be getting milk from their mother, if for some reason that is not possible then you will need to use formulated puppy milk which you can purchase from a pet store or your vet. After 4 weeks your puppy can be slowly introduced to food. The best way to do this is with wet dog food that the puppy can lap up with its tongue.
The first thing to consider is to not to rush the process, You will need to first teach the puppy how to lap things up with its tongue, you have to remember that the puppy has been nursing from its mother and so does not know how to use its tongue yet. You can teach your puppy this by putting a bit of water in a bowl and dipping your finger in. You then let your puppy lick the water off, and pretty soon it will start lapping up water by itself.
Once your he or she is able to lap up water the next step is to slowly introduce wet food. You can use canned puppy food and formulated puppy milk for this, but you will need to mash it up and be sure it’s a soup like consistency. If you don’t have puppy milk you can also use fresh water for this.
Over the next several days you need to slowly thicken the food up, until it reaches a porridge-like consistency. If you are planning on feeding your puppy wet tinned food then you just slowly use less and less water or puppy milk until its eating just the canned food. If you are planning on using dry puppy food then you will probably need to grind some down in a blender and use that to thicken up its meal until your puppy is eating the dried food on its own. After the puppy is 6 weeks old it should be fully weaned onto solid foods. Be sure to check out our guide on how to bulk your dog up here: https://tcp-sa.org/best-dog-food-for-weight-gain/
What Should I Feed My Growing Puppy?
Your puppy can eat wet canned food or dry food, and even homemade foods. It will depend on what your preference is, and also if your puppy takes to the type of food you have chosen for it. If you decide that you would like to feed your dog homemade food then you will need to research the right ways to do this. You will also need to talk to your vet who will help you decide if this is the right choice for your puppy.
When buying food for your dog you need to make sure it is medium priced food at the very least. Cheap dog food has ingredients in it that do not need to be there, they are just cheap fillers to pad the food out which keep costs down and generate more profits. These unnecessary ingredients can play havoc with your puppies stomach and may even give them diarrhea. You should always try and buy the best food you can afford.
When you change foods you will have to slowly introduce the new food to your dog’s diet so as not to upset their belly. The best way to do this is to slowly add a bit at a time to your dog’s current food until all its eating is the new food.
There are certain foods which you should never feed your dog because they are dangerous and could make your puppy severely ill, these include Chocolate, Grapes, Macadamia Nuts, Raisins, Garlic, Chives, Coffee, Alcohol, Cheese, and also Raw Bread Dough that contains Yeast.
How to Feed a Puppy?
You should be feeding your puppy three to even four times daily with small amounts of food. Around six months of age, you can drop down to two feedings a day. You can keep feeding your dog twice a day for the rest of the dog’s life from that point on. Some dog owners do cut down to one big daily meal, although I would recommend twice daily so your dog does not get too full which could cause an upset stomach.
You will know if your puppy is getting the right amount of food by how it looks and behaves. If your dog is lively, full of energy, and its fur looks nice and glossy, then you are feeding him or her the right amount. Your dog’s feces should also be firm and brown, if they are wet and sloppy then you may be overfeeding your puppy.
Puppies go through a growth spurt in the first five months of their lives. Through this growth phase, your puppy may appear to be thin but don’t worry as this is quite normal. at this age, you should be able to feel their ribs and they should also have a visible waist when viewed from above. After around 5 months your puppy should start filling out, all of this also depends on the breed and size of your dog.
As pet owners, we do have a tendency to spoil our animals with treats, and although it perfectly fine to feed your puppy treats, you will need to keep an eye on the amount you feed it. The best rule of thumb regarding treats is to make sure that only five percent of its daily calories come from treats. You will know by the dog’s feces if you are overfeeding your dog treats or food.
What do Puppies Drink?
If your puppy is under four weeks old then it will need to drink its mother’s milk or formulated puppy milk. After that, it should be drinking fresh clean water. Dogs are lactose intolerant so you should never give them cows milk.
I hope that after reading this article you have a better understanding of how to feed your puppy. Always remember that if you are ever unsure if you are feeding your pup the right thing to go and see your local vet who can then advise you.