Your New Puppy and His Diet
“Help! I just got a new puppy and I don’t know what or how to feed him!” If you just got a new puppy or you are in the planning stages of getting one, that probably sounds familiar to you. First of all, bravo! I think it’s great that you recognized that a puppy’s dietary needs are quite different than an adult dog’s. Many people simply don’t understand how important a puppy’s diet is. Unlike an adult dog’s diet, a puppy’s dietary needs are based on growth. Makes sense, right? After all, your puppy has a lot of growing to do! The proper diet will be the basis of his development of strong bones, muscles and organs. So, “where do we begin?” you’re probably thinking. Keep reading as we explain how often and how much you should feed your puppy.
How often should I feed my growing puppy?
It is recommended that you feed your puppy three meals each day. It is best to feed your puppy his three meals at the same time each day. Routine is very important to your puppy’s training and development so try and stick to a schedule. Try and fed him every five hours or as close to every five hours as possible. Adhere to this schedule until your puppy reaches the age of six months or until your vet recommends that you alter this schedule. Once your puppy reaches six months, you can switch to two meals a day. It’s important to stick to a schedule because remember, you will be working on house training your puppy at the same time. Eating and potty breaks go together. Not only that puppies tend to have issues with low blood sugar so it’s not safe for him to go longer than five hours without his meal.
Unfortunately, when it comes to quantity a one size fits all approach will simply not work. There are a few things that come into play when considering exactly how much to feed your puppy. First, a high quality dog food will require you to feed your puppy a lesser amount as it will be packed with the nutrients that he needs. A meal loaded with the proper nutrients will sustain your dog for longer and provide him with the energy he needs. Low quality dog foods have a lot of unnecessary fillers that are not only bad for your dog but will require you to feed him more as they lack the proper nutrients and vitamins. Fillers will only temporarily sustain your dog and then be quickly eliminated as waste. The amount of food you feed your puppy will also depend upon the size and breed of your dog. Your vet can be a great resource to answer this more specifically but you can expect to feed your puppy any amount from ¼ of a cup all the way up to 4 cups. Always be sure to follow the instructions on the food labels of the food you have chosen unless otherwise directed by your veterinary professionals. Most puppies will eat until they are sick (like many humans) so don’t allow him free reign to keep eating!
Keeping a puppy on a strict schedule of feeding and potty breaks is essential, especially in those early months. If you have a schedule that makes it difficult to feed and walk your puppy every five hours, please call us. We’d be glad to help you lay the ground work for a proper feeding schedule for your new puppy.
Dawn the Pet Nanny can be reached at 610-716-7716 or on the web at www.dawnthepetnanny.org. We can also be found on facebook at www.facebook.com/dawnthepetnanny.