Puppies may be loads of fun and cute as a button, but as they grow it’s important to make sure that they are fed properly because they need an essential range of nutrients to ensure they grow up to be strong and healthy. The special nutritional needs of a puppy are different to that of an adult dog because of their rapid growth and development. In this blog we’re going to look at how to get the best nutrition for your pup.
Life Stage Feeding
Dogs of different ages have different nutritional needs, so your dog will require a different diet when it’s a puppy, and adult or a senior dog. This is called life stage feeding and ensures your dog has the right balance for its age. Never feed your puppy food designed for adult maintenance.
Feeding your Puppy
Puppies are ready for solid food after 5 weeks and need about 4 meals a day until 12 weeks, when they should have their meals reduced to three a day. After 6 months they should have two meals a day, which will be the same for the rest of their life.
Types of Food
The main types of dog food are dry, wet and raw. Most owners in the UK use complete foods. They contain every nutrient need by dogs in the right amounts. Complimentary foods and mixers don’t contain a full range of nutrients and will need to be mixed with wet or raw food to give your dog the full range of nutrients.
Dry foods are popular because they don’t require special storage and preparation. This type also helps your your dog’s dental health.
Wet food are also popular but are high in water, so you have to feed your dog more if it relative to dry food.
Raw foods are a new trend and are regarded as the most natural way to feed your dog. These raw foods tend to come frozen and require to be stored and defrosted before feeding them to your dog. They too have a high water content.
If you’re not sure what to feed your puppy, a mix of wet and moist food brings benefits of both types of food.
Puppy food is designed to assist their rapidly growing and developing nature. This is because of the different needs of growing puppies compared to adult dogs. For example, puppy food will have a higher r content and a different mix f vitamins and minerals, required for healthy growth. It is recommended that dogs are fed puppy food until they reach about 80% of their adult size. It is also hugely important not o overfeed your puppy, because this can cause a host of health problems.
Treats should not make up more than 10% of your dogs calorie intake. This isn’t much in small dogs. Treats should be used to reward good behaviour, so don’t overdo it with them. It’s also a good idea not to give your dog any food scraps off your plate, this will lead to bad habits, so if you do want to give your dog any leftovers, make sure they go into their bowl so they won’t come whining at you at the table or eat things off your plate.
Water is he most important nutrient a dog can have and if they are eating dry food they need plenty of it. It’s not the best idea to leave out water for your dog all the time, as your puppy will drink more than hey need and this can cause house training issues, but still allow them what they need to aid digestion and help their growth.