5 Feeding Tips for Raising Happy, Healthy Puppies
The first time you lay your eyes on your new puppy, you’re guaranteed to be smitten. After all, who can resist an innocent and sweet little pup?
But, owning a puppy is a big responsibility. To keep your puppy happy and healthy for the long term, because owning a puppy is a commitment for life, here are some feeding tips you should know.
1. Be prepared
Before your new puppy arrives from the rescue, you’ll need to ensure your home is stocked with all the essentials for keeping your puppy well-fed and satisfied. Luckily, the essentials you’ll need to keep your puppy well-fed aren’t much; puppy-friendly food, plus food and water bowls, will suffice. You might also want to get puppy friendly chews, such as bully sticks.
Puppy-proofing your home will also guarantee that your new pup isn’t letting the curiosity get the better of him. If you can’t provide constant supervision, then secure anything that may be tempting or potentially harmful for your new puppy. This could mean moving electric cords and potentially toxic substances like household cleaners or plants out of reach.
In a new environment, your new puppy is likely to be tempted to chew or try new things. The easiest way to avoid this is to secure potentially dangerous substances or enticing items before your new puppy arrives.
2. Brush up on puppy nutrition
Every breed will have different requirements when it comes to nutrition. To support strong puppy development and growth, take into consideration their size, breed, and age. Their breed will usually be an indicator of their energy requirements as they get older.
Talk to a pet specialist before your puppy arrives. Their years of professional knowledge will be useful in informing what high-quality puppy food would suit your needs, and they can give plenty of puppy nutrition-related advice.
3. Know how much to feed
To help your puppy maintain its ideal weight and to avoid health complications down the line, the amount of food you feed your puppy matters. Your vet and the packaging label on your selected pet food will provide a rough nutritional guideline to follow.
Further modifications will be required depending on your dog’s activity level and recommended diet. Constant monitoring will be needed as your puppy grows and develops to ensure they maintain their ideal weight and energy levels.
4. Feed on a set schedule
As a general rule of thumb, no matter the size or breed of the puppy, they should be fed on a fixed schedule. This means feeding them every day at a specified period of time. A fixed eating schedule helps in several ways.
Feeding your puppy on a set schedule trains them at an early age and prevents resource guarding. It will also show your puppy that you are in charge. A set feeding schedule will also correct separation anxiety, a normal behavioral problem in new puppies that will need to be corrected immediately.
A structured feeding schedule will be determined by the size, age, and breed of your puppy. Typically, the younger they are, the more frequently they will have to eat:
- A puppy that is six to 12 weeks old will need to eat four meals a day
- One that’s three to six months old needs three meals a day
- A puppy that’s six months and up requires only two meals a day
Having your new puppy eat on a set schedule will also make it easier to determine a regular potty schedule.
5. Treat lightly
While feeding is an important way to show love to our puppies, too much feeding can be detrimental, particularly when it comes in the form of delicious snacks. Puppies can’t resist treats, so it’s up to you to carefully manage snack sessions.
Treats should only account for 10 percent of a puppy’s daily calorie needs, so limit treats as part of a rewards-based training program. Small-bite sized treats that are quick to down can still be delicious enough as a reward, yet are properly portion-controlled.
Other general tips
With respect to your puppy’s diet and physical well-being, make sure that your puppy has constant access to clean, fresh drinking water, preferably in a designated area in your home. The food and water bowl should also be cleaned regularly to avoid health-related concerns. If the materials are made of plastic, consider replacing them periodically.
To foster a long and healthy relationship with your new puppy, it’s important to consider all the requirements necessary to support this newfound companionship. Ensure you have the financial resources to bear additional expense related to your dog’s health, such as puppy vaccinations and regular vet checkups, among others.
Whether this is your first puppy or another new member of your growing furry family, a puppy can be an amazing addition to your family, and raising your furry friend can be an immensely rewarding experience.
This guest post was provided by Samantha Vince.
Samantha Vince is the sales manager and animal nutritionist at Pet’s Delight. As an animal lover, Samantha has worked in the pet and equine industry for over seven years. Due to her passion and commitment to ensuring animals are fed a nutritious and tailored diet, becoming an animal nutritionist was a natural choice, and now she provides nutritional and product advice to customers on a daily basis. For nutritional advice specific to your pet, you can contact her on firstname.lastname@example.org.