How to Feed Your Puppy
You’ve brought your furry bundle of joy home, and now you’re wondering how to feed your puppy. There are several tips that a new puppy owner can use when it comes to feeding their fur baby. One of the biggest mistakes that new puppy owners make is to overfeed their pet. Read on to learn how to feed your puppy properly, and some things you should avoid.
8 Tips for Feeding Your Puppy
- Puppies (less than 4 months of age) Should Eat 3 Times Per Day: Make sure that your new puppy eats about three times a day. Speak with your vet to understand portion sizes as each breed will vary. After four months, and with permission from your vet, you can cut back your puppy’s feeding to twice a day.
- Fresh Water: Ensure that your dog has clean and fresh water every day. You may have to change their water throughout the day. Dogs carry bacteria in their mouth that gets into the water. Eventually, a thick film may form on their dog bowl that can lead to illness. Be sure to keep the bowl clean, too. This also applies when they are outside.
- Choice of Dry Food: Choose your dry pet food wisely by selecting a premium brand dry food. This will ensure that your puppy is getting balanced nutrition (some dog foods do not contain all of the nutrients your puppy needs and include fillers and animal by-products). Properly storing dog food will maintain its freshness longer than moist dog food. Dry dog food is also more conveneint, is gentler on their bowels, and is easier to clean up when your puppy dumps his bowl (and they probably will a time or two).
- Use of Treats: We love to give our new puppies treats, however, they should be used sparingly. Use treats that your veterinarian has recommended. Training and praising your dog is important. It is also important to use those treats in moderation. Overfeeding your puppy with treats can lead to unhealthy weight gain. This can also lead them to prefer their treats to their normal dry dog food.
- No “Human” Food: You’ll want to ensure that your puppy does not eat human food. Some human food can be harmful to your dog (check out the list here from the ASPCA). In addition, filling up your puppy on your food will keep your puppy from getting all the nutrients they need that are baked into their puppy food.
- Designated Eating Area: Give your puppy a clean and quiet spot to eat where they won’t be interrupted. In many cases, this may be the kitchen. You may want to raise the dog bowls as they get older, and place an easy-to-clean rubber mat underneath for spills.
- Schedule It: Keep your puppy on a feeding schedule. Some puppy parents find that this works well when coordinated with their own family meal times.
- Limit Feeding Duration: To help keep your puppy on a schedule, remove their bowl once it has been available to them for about 30 minutes. If there is any food leftover, this will keep them for coming back from more (which they may not need) and helps to keep them from overeating. Even though as puppies they want to chew all the time, it is important that they do not snack like a human would. To soothe their need for chewing, incorporate several toys for them to gnaw on.
If you follow these tips, you’ll not only be a great new puppy parent, you’ll ensure that your puppy grows into a healthy dog.
Before implementing these tips, confirm the suggestions of the writer with your veterinarian.