One of the most important factors in ensuring that your puppy grows up healthy and strong is ensuring that he or she is fed properly. When the puppy is very young, it will get all that it needs from its mother's milk. However, when he or she reaches about eight weeks, weaning will be complete, and the puppy will be dependent on you, the owner, for its nutritional needs. Follow these tips to ensure that you're giving your puppy the best diet possible.
Choose a puppy-specific food.
Puppies have different nutritional needs than adult dogs. They need more fat to support their growing brains and plenty of minerals for their growing bones. A food made for adult dogs won't have the proper balance of nutrients. You need to choose a food made specifically for puppies. Ask your vet to recommend a reliable brand. Any brand with a longstanding history and moderate price should be sufficient in most cases.
Ask your vet about proper feeding amounts.
The back of the dog food bag should have some basic information about the appropriate amounts to feed puppies of various ages and sizes. Use this information to guide you when you first bring your puppy home. However, your vet is an even better resource for determining how much to feed. When you take your puppy in for his or her checkup, tell the vet what food you're using and ask how much he or she recommends for your puppy. Your vet will base recommendations on your puppy's overall health and how fast he or she is growing, which is more specific than what the feed bag can tell you.
Feed several times per day.
One or two larger meals per day may be sufficient for an adult dog, but little puppies have quick metabolisms and need to eat more often. Experts recommend feeding puppies three meals per day until they are 18 weeks old. The first meal can be in the early morning, the second around noon, and the third around 5 pm. You want the final meal to be early enough that your puppy still has time to digest and eliminate before bedtime. Once your puppy is 18 weeks old, you can eliminate the noontime meal without concern.
Be careful with people food.
It's often easiest to avoid feeding your puppy people food altogether. Many people foods can upset puppy's stomachs, leading to diarrhea and other issues. If you can't resist the temptation to give people food to your puppy, do so in very small amounts only. Some foods that are safe include unseasoned cooked chicken, salmon, cheese, and green beans.
For more information about dog food, contact Surrey Meat Packers Ltd or a similar company.