It is important for all puppies to have a diet that is well balanced so that they can grow into healthy adult dogs. So your puppy is no different and if you want your puppy to grow up to be strong and healthy, here are a few tips on how you should be feeding him as a puppy and as he grows.
If you happen to have a litter of puppies or if someone else did, it is common to start trying to feed them some sort of food beginning at 3 weeks old. It is during this time that they begin to learn to eat other things than milk and it is over the next few weeks that their diet will need to be changed slowly. They should be completely on puppy food no later than 6 weeks old.
Once the puppy is to this level it is important that you only feed him food that has at least 25 percent protein content in it and that the package lists AAFCO (Association of American Feeding Control Officials) on the label of the food. You then that the food has been tested and approved to be healthy for your puppy.
You should take the dog food for the young puppy and make it into a gruel by either adding some warm water or a commercial milk replacement product. You shouldn’t expect a very young puppy to be able to eat hard dog food right away. They don’t have all of their teeth and this might lead to malnutrition. You will also need to feed your puppy 3 to 4 times each day and continue to do so until they are around 6 months of age. You can gradually give them the dry food over the next few months until they can finally eat it with ease.
It’s probably a good idea for you to call your vet to find out how much your puppy should be fed each time he is fed so that you will make sure that he gets enough or that he doesn’t get too much. You don’t want to teach your puppy to overeat so that he becomes an obese adult dog.
Make sure that when you buy the food that the food is made for the kind of breed that you have. For instance if you know that your puppy is from a large breed then you need to get food specifically for large breed puppies because they will encourage a slow regular growth of your puppy. Depending upon the breed is how long you will feel them puppy food. Generally though it’s for 12 to 18 months before you switch them to adult food.
Make sure to keep a close look at your puppy over the weeks and make sure that he is gaining about two to four grams of weight each day. This will help him gain the proper weight for adulthood. This generally should be kept an eye on for the first five months of his young life.
Safety Note: Try not to feed your puppy yogurt, cottage cheese or other dairy products. You should also not give him commercial vitamins or minerals because these will not go well with his balanced food diet that you have him on.