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If you haven’t owned a dog before, understanding how to correctly take care of a new puppy is the first learning hurdle you need to jump over. In this article, we will provide some useful ideas on feeding a puppy to get you started.
How Much Should I Feed My Puppy?
It may surprise you to learn that a puppy doesn’t eat the same amount as a fully-grown dog; despite their small relative size, they’ll commonly consume twice the meal size of an adult dog.
The reasons for this are that they have much development and growth to do over the coming weeks and months. Also, they’ll be continually playing, chewing on whatever they can find, exploring the home and running around your garden.
How Often Should You Feed a Puppy?
The answer isn’t a couple of times a day consistently – it changes as they get older.
Puppies at 8-16 Weeks
Depending on how much food you’re planning to feed your energetic puppy, divide it up into roughly four equal portions for four feeding times spread reasonably evenly during the day. Doing this will provide them with the essential energy required throughout the day in between bouts of sleep.
Puppies at 16 Weeks to a Year old
When your puppy is beginning to mature a little bit and is older than 16 weeks, but still under 12 months old, their daily food allowance should be divided up into three daily meals. Each meal should be roughly the same amount again to give them steady energy and development potential.
Puppies at 1 Year to 18 Months old
Puppies that are now over a year old but below 18 months typically only require two meals each day. This will be a change for them, and it may take a little adjusting at first before they get used to two mealtimes, not three.
How to Tell If They’re Eating Too Little or Too Much?
As a general rule of thumb, a puppy should always have a healthy amount of fat under its coat. This way, you cannot visibly see their rib cage or feel it easily when giving them a loving stroke with your hand.
Every puppy should be active and busy. However, if they have too much weight on them, it will add extra strain and will make them less active than they should be. Therefore, it’s sensible to monitor their weight to ensure it’s in balance with their needs.
Also, you don’t want an underweight puppy. Having some fat ensures that should they get sick; their body still has some nutrients and a source of energy. They inevitably find things to eat, especially outdoors, which will upset their sensitive stomachs until they figure out for themselves what’s edible and what disagrees with them.
A bit of fat on their coat helps them get through days when they’re a bit poorly from having eaten some grass or something else.
Puppy Feeding Guide
Puppy owners have a choice about the type of food they provide to make them big, strong and healthy.
The Processed Food Option
Processed dog food, even those formulated for puppies specifically, is heavily processed and includes a considerable amount of carbohydrates. The glut in carbs leads puppies to often add excessive weight to their small frames and may cause inflammation in some areas too.
Merely regulating the amount of processed food your puppy is given is not enough as they’ll always crave enough food to sustain themselves (and often more). The issue is the lack of overall balance in this type of diet.
Raw Food Diet for Puppies
Feeding puppies raw food provides many benefits over a carbohydrate-heavy diet.
The nutrient-rich approach is much lower in carbohydrate load to prevent developing dogs in their formative weeks and months from becoming bloated. There’s new research that provides backing for adopting a raw diet for puppies to improve their digestion. Their bones, tendons, joints, and brain all get what they need to become strong and well developed. This is because a raw food plan provides the necessary protein, vitamins, minerals, macronutrients, and fat they require.
The Raw Dog Food Feeding Guide for Puppies is a useful, detailed article for puppy owners from Bella & Duke. This respected brand, which provides healthy raw food for dogs, covers the different aspects of puppy feeding to inform new puppy owners. This is a must-read if you want to start feeding your puppy raw dog food and you can have food delivered directly to your door.
For owners who want to take the best care of their scrappy little puppy with his or her boundless energy, getting their diet right is very important. It’s the foundation of their health and ensures that they can mature without developmental problems or weight issues that can cause hip or other mobility difficulties in later life.
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