NOTE from Shannon: What follows is a guest post from Shay Quincy about feeding puppies, something I think we can all use a little more of.
When you’ve taken on a new dog, it’s important to find out as much as you can about canine diet and nutrition. This applies whether the canine you’ve welcomed to your home is a puppy herself or is an adult capable of producing offspring. It’s essential that your pup is eating the right things from day one – just as with humans, those early few weeks and months make all the difference in building up their immune systems and setting them up for a healthy, happy life.
How many meals per day should puppies eat?
Generally, young puppies need around four meals per day, given to them at regular intervals. However, there are a number of options for exactly when the food should be dished up. Some owners opt for free choice, where the food is available at all times. Others go for time-limited feeding, where the meals are left out within a set window of time. And there’s also the option of meal feeding, which is where a measured amount of food is made available at specific meal times each day.
What should you feed your puppy – and how much?
While there’s the option of creating your own foods, it’s recommended that most people go for the safer option of buying pre-prepared and packaged products when feeding puppies. It’s also recommended that you weigh your puppy to determine how much food she needs – you’ll be able to find out more from vets and feeding guides about what should be in her diet based on this information. You can also evaluate your puppy’s physical condition using an online growth tracker chart. As your puppy gets older and grows bigger, you can adjust the amount you feed accordingly.
Can you switch dog foods?
It’s important that any changes to your puppy or dog’s diet are made gradually, as switching too quickly can cause health problems. For example, it’s recommended that if you’re switching your puppy to Hill’s pet food, for example Hill’s Science Plan Puppy, you should do so over a 7-day period.