How to Choose the Best Puppy Food When Preparing for Your Pups Arrival

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Golden Retriever Puppy // Healthier Pets Today

Are you wondering what is the best puppy food? Let’s answer that! Although a new puppy brings excitement and wonder, learning how to feed a puppy can be challenging. Our goal is to make the process of feeding your new puppy as simple as we can. First, to create a puppy feeding program, speak with your veterinarian about breed, size, and weight expectations. It helps in meeting the quick growth and dietary requirements of your puppy. We will guide you through every stage of the process, starting from weaning and ending with the switch to adult food.

Feeding a Puppy Starts With Weaning

Two Yellow Labrador Retriever Puppies // Healthier Pets Today

Your puppy typically gets all the nutrition he needs in his first few weeks from his mother, including colostrum, the milk rich in antibodies that boost immunity and contain growth hormones. His eyes are open, and he is exploring the environment by the time he is four weeks old. Mom begins weaning her child at this point because her milk isn’t providing her growing child with adequate calories. If you have a litter of puppies, you will add soft puppy food options to her nursing.

As their intestines become more capable of breaking down solid food, puppies will usually get curious about what their mother is eating, according to Jessica Romine, DVM, DACVIM, a veterinarian with Animal Referral Centre in Auckland, New Zealand. “Real food becomes more and more appealing to them.”

According to VetWest Animal Hospitals, weaning a puppy involves the following steps:

  • Give your three- to four-week-old dog a flat saucer filled with reconstituted puppy milk substitute to lap up. (Liquid and powder milk replacer are available.)
  • When the puppy is five or six weeks old, mix the milk replacer with pre-soaked puppy biscuits or canned dog food that has been broken into tiny pieces. Your dog will eat the crumbled food as he lickshgvhbgfgbvvhgccvghgvcvghygcxh at the thin liquid.
  • Reduce the milk daily until the dog eats puppy food with little to no added moisture.

Weaning takes six to eight weeks on average. A puppy’s baby teeth are usually firmly erected by eight weeks, facilitating his transition to a more substantial diet. However, puppies cannot yet consume what their mothers eat. They must eat nutritionally balanced puppy food for at least the following year.

Follow This Puppy Feeding Schedule

A Person Pouring Puppy Food on the Bowl // Healthier Pets Today

Your vet will establish a puppy feeding schedule based on the following:

  • Breed type
  • Age
  • Size and staged growth rate

During the first five months of life, your puppy’s growth is at its peak, so feeding him in defined portions is essential to maintain controlled growth. Your veterinarian may supply you with a comprehensive puppy growth chart to help you better understand this process and what to anticipate.

While frequent exams usually eliminate the need for weekly weight checks, some pet parents want to do so to ensure their pups are growing as intended. Your puppy is undoubtedly bouncing on the scale at the veterinarian’s office regularly as you work through the suggested vaccine plan for him.

Then something changes. “For average-sized dogs, growth naturally slows at age six months, and for large/giant breeds, it takes 12–18 months,” explains Jenna Stregowski, RVT, the pet health and behavior editor of Daily Paws. With one minor exception, you can see that the quantity of feedings decreases as your puppy gets older in the puppy feeding chart above. According to Romine, puppies from toy breeds, like Chihuahuas and Yorkshire terriers, should have smaller meals more frequently since they are more likely to have hypoglycemia or low blood sugar in the first few months of their existence.

Lastly, most meals come before playtime, exercise, and bathroom breaks, so your puppy may burn off his fortifying nutrition in a fun and healthy way.

How Much to Feed a Puppy at Each Meal

Photo of Brown and White Boston Terrier Puppy Sitting on Grass // Healthier Pets Today

These essential growth elements also determine a puppy’s food intake. A French bulldog will need less food per dish than a Bernese mountain dog. With your veterinarian, you will establish the ideal amount for your dog’s growth by monitoring graduated weight benchmarks, individual metabolism rates, and activity levels.

“Additionally, large breed puppies require a regulated protein intake because overfeeding can contribute to orthopedic issues, such as hip dysplasia,” Stregowski explains. Romine continues, “Puppy food made for large and giant breeds may also contain extra fiber to bulk the diet without adding unnecessary calories.” Irrespective of the breed size, diabetes, heart disease, and other grave health issues can result from early obesity.

The kind of food you feed your puppy will also affect how much you feed them. You and your veterinarian can choose the best puppy food for your pet, considering their needs and the ideal ratio.

Additionally, this frequency will be considered if you’re training using treats. Treats should be at most 10% of your dog’s daily caloric intake. Therefore, your veterinarian may advise you to watch what you put in his dish instead of what he is fed off-hand.

When your dog has the ideal quantity, it will be lively and playful and have a thick, glossy coat. If his feces are brown and well-formed, he will break down most of his diet’s nutrients. He will start to shed his adorable puppy potbelly around week twelve, and by week twenty, he should be at his ideal weight.

What’s the Right Food for Puppies?

Can puppies eat dog food meant for adults? Only once they’ve had a year or more of age. Large and massive breed dogs weighing over fifty pounds at maturity may be ready to transition to adult dog food once they’re one or two years old.

The correct calories and nutrients are added to puppy chow to support growth and meet energy needs. According to Romine, puppy food has the calcium and phosphorus needed for joint health and the essential fatty acids for brain development.

Puppy Food Unveiled

Short-coated White Dog on White Textile // Healthier Pets Today

Verify the product’s label for important information. The diet is “complete and balanced” if it meets the nutrient levels recommended by the Association of American Feed Control Officials. The life stage that the meal is intended to support is also specified on the label. Puppies should eat food designed for growth and reproduction since they require food with more fat and protein. The Pet Food Institute has more information about how to read dog food labels. You might want to explore homemade puppy food too.