What You Need to Know About Feeding Your Puppies
Taking care of puppies comes with great responsibility. Whether the puppies are ones that you’ve adopted, been given, or the offspring of your family pet, it is important that you pay great care to their diet and what they are eating.
For the first month of its life, the puppies will be on a diet of mother’s milk. If the puppies and their mother have been separated, you should speak to your local vet for suggestions about the best way to replace this milk in their diets.
You should also be carefully monitoring the weight of your puppies. It’s a general rule that a puppy's weight will double after the first week of its life. It should also then be gaining about 1-2 grams per day per pound of the expected weight of an adult (the same breed obviously).
The dog food that you purchase should be specifically for puppies and the correct age group. You will see a wide range available, and if you want help in working out which brand to choose, it's a good idea to get online and search around for things such as wainwrights dog food review , where you can find honest testimonials from people who have purchased and fed their dogs that specific food.
Weaning puppies from mother’s milk
After about four weeks of feeding on mother’s milk, the puppies should then start to be weaned off that and replace their diet with special puppy food. The weaning process can take several weeks, and there are a few things you can do to help the process, such as keeping the mother and the puppies apart from each other for a few hours each day.
This will help the puppies become more confident and independent, though it should be noted that some puppies will adapt quicker than others, so be patient.
How often should I feed my puppies
During the first three months of their lives, puppies are usually fed 4 times a day. The food that you are feeding them should be specially formulated for puppies and include the necessary nutrients and vitamins that will aid their growth.
Between the period of three to five months, the number of feedings should be decreased to 3 a day instead of 4. Usually, a puppy should start losing its baby fat after the third month or so, though this is not a written rule, and different breeds will go through this process at slightly different times.
After six months, the portions should be reduced again down to two portions a day. If the puppies are neutered or spayed, their energy levels will usually decrease, so you could then consider changing from a dog food rich in nutrients to one for young adults, where they don’t need such high levels.
How much should I feed them
The amount of food that you feed the puppies will depend on their breed and age. Different dogs will require different amounts, and metabolisms will vary between dogs, just like they do in humans.
You will usually see a feeding guide on the side of the packaging for you to follow. If you are still unsure, then speak to your local vet who will be able to give you some feeding recommendations. Sometimes you may see that your puppy is not finishing their meals or is not eating at all during some points in the day. Most of the time this is perfectly normal and nothing to worry about, but if you start seeing a pattern with their eating routines, consult your vet.
What type of food should I be feeding them
There are different types of dog food, and a common question asked is “what food should I be feeding my puppies”. The two main types of dog food are dry and wet foods. Dry food is biscuit type food, available in a variety of flavors and sizes, whereas wet foods are served right from the can.
Dry food should probably be avoided for puppies during the first 6 months or so of their lives, as they may find that chewing dry food is not easy. Wet foods are much more easily consumed and are probably the easiest for your puppy to eat.
For puppies, you will want to ensure that the food you are feeding them has the required amount of proteins, vitamins, and minerals. Many dog food companies have a range of food specially formulated for puppies. This is what you should be feeding your pets, and not regular adult dog food, which may contain less of the essentials that your puppies need to grow up healthy.
Sometimes you might see special types of dog food that has been developed for specific dogs or conditions. Some larger breed dogs, such as Dobermans and Labradors can develop problems with their joints, so you may need to switch to a special food that contains lower levels of calcium.
Again, if you are unsure of anything related to the diet of your puppy, the best thing you can do is to speak to your vet. They will be able to give you the best advice and suggest the best types of food for your specific puppy.