When it comes to man’s best friend, the fluffy tails and wet snouts of our beloved puppy come to mind. And because of that, we always want what’s best for them, from the things they do, to the things they eat.
But because our four legged friends are slightly different from us, then that means the things they can eat and how much would be different as well, especially when your puppy isn’t an adult yet.
What Should I Feed my Puppy?
So why can’t you just have regular adult dog food? Well, because puppies are still growing, they would need all the vitamins and nutrients they can in order grow up well.
You can start feeding them solid food at around 4 weeks to 6 weeks, as this is when they will no longer be able to get enough calories from their mother’s milk. Most puppies are weaned after 6 weeks, and it isn’t a process that happens that quickly.
Weaning your puppy from breast milk to dog food should span about two to three weeks, and should start with you mixing the dog food with the milk replacement, gradually increasing the ratio of food to milk after each day, so that the puppy can get used to solid food and will less likely have stomach problems.
Now that we know when and how, now we need to answer the question, what CAN we feed our puppies?
There’s all kinds of puppy food out there, and as the puppies grow up the fastest in the first 6 months, the nutrients they could need would keep changing.
This is why the best place to start in figuring out what would be good for your puppy, is to consult your veterinarian, who would have lots of experience on what would be ideal.
You should also make sure to check the labels of the food brand that you’ve chosen, to make sure that everything that is listed not only contains all the right nutrients, but should also be well suited for the age of the puppy.
There are usually 3 choices when it comes to puppy food; Canned, Semi-moist food and Kibble. All three of these have their own characteristics. For example, Canned food may be the most expensive, however it is the most palatable to dogs.
While kibble is the most economical, however you might need to moisten the food as it is quite hard, in order to make dogs enjoy this type more. Semi-moist food is a balance between these two types.
Although these characteristics will be important when choosing your dog food, always keep in mind that it’s what these foods contain that are most important, and to always follow the guidelines mentioned before, such as looking at the ingredients that are contained.
Afterwards. Make sure to observe your puppy for the first month. A healthy puppy should be active, playful and energetic, and their coats must be shiny and thick.
Poop that is well formed and brown is a good sign as well, as this means that your puppy is digesting the food well
How Often Do I Feed My Puppy?
Puppies while you’re still weaning them off of the breast milk, should be fed at least three times a day in small portions, and when your puppies have grown from about 6 months, you can lessen it to about 2 servings a day.
A good rule of thumb is to feed them at the same time as we eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. However, puppies can also easily adapt at this stage, so it’s alright if you are unable to feed them for the whole 3 servings.
The most important thing when it comes to feeding schedules, is consistency. This way, your puppy can easily get used to a routine. However, puppies grow quickly.
In fact, all dogs grow the fastest in the first 5 months, and so this is an important time and they need all the calories they can get.
It’s recommended that in this period, that you should feed your puppy twice the amount that you would give to an adult of the same breed.
What Foods Are Dangerous For My Puppy?
Now knowing what foods are good for your puppy are pretty important, but just as important is knowing what aren’t good for your pet. Refrain from feeding your puppy anything you wouldn’t feed a grown dog.
This includes chocolates, raisins, avocadoes, grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, and raw dough that contains yeast. Also refrain from giving overly salty food such as junk food, and spices and ingredients such as onions, garlic and chives.
There are a lot of foods that they cannot eat, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any human food that you can give if you really want to. However, these foods have their own conditions and things to remember if you want to give it to your puppy.
Some food that your puppy CAN eat, include chicken, pasta, rice and raw carrots, and may even be helpful if your puppy has a stomach ache.
But there is a very big condition here, in which it must only be this food by itself, without any other sauce or spices, as this is what is toxic for your pets, causing problems such as salt poisoning, obesity or other more serious problems down the line.
Are Dog Treats Good For My Puppy?
In the case of dog treats, these are a special kind of food that is special for dogs, and are encouraged to train your furry friend.
However, it’s important to note, that although it is safe for dogs, that the nutrients and calories do not beat an actual meal, and therefore should not be a replacement for their dinner.
A good rule to follow when it comes to treats, is the “90/100” rule. This means that 90% of their daily calorie intake should come from proper food.
The other 10 can be reserved for the treats you give your pet.
Final Thoughts - Feeding Guide for Puppies
It might seem intimidating at first, but if you’re ever unsure about the food you can and cannot give, it is never a mistake to ask advice from your vet or someone who is knowledgeable on the topic.
It’s also important to note that all of the food that can be eaten that was listed and that is even encouraged due to the health benefits, must be given in moderation.
When a good thing is given too much, it might cause the opposite to happen instead.
If you keep this in mind and make sure to encourage a healthy lifestyle into your pup, you’re sure to see your little puppy grow into a big, strong and healthy dog to keep you company through its adult life.