What should I feed my puppy?
Which food type is the best fit? Which brand should I pick? Whom should I ask if it’s appropriate? How much should you feed your puppy and when? When should you stop feeding puppy food? Here are a few guidelines to get you started:
A puppy’s nutrition needs are very different from an adult dog and need to be monitored every few months.
First Six to Eight Weeks
During the first six to eight weeks, you should allow the mother to nurse the puppy. This is really important as the mother’s milk provides the best nutrition and provides antibodies to help protect your puppy from disease. However, sometimes this is not possible and in those cases milk replacers and bottles especially designed for puppies can be used.
Weaning Your Puppy to Solid Food
From around four to six weeks of age, you could slowly start weaning your puppy onto solid food. The weaning process should not be an overnight task but ideally take place over two to three weeks.
The type of food options you could go for:
- Commercially packed dry food
- Commercially packed wet food
- Home-cooked meals.
Whichever option you choose, it is recommended that you consult your vet to make sure that your puppy is receiving a balanced diet suited for its growth and development.
If you do opt for commercially packed food, there are several options ranging from various brands like Orijen, Acana, Farmina, Royal Canin, Pedigree and so on. There is specific puppy food as well as food which may be labelled as “suitable for all life stages”.
There are also breed specific puppy foods available for example, large breed puppy food helps bigger pups grow at a rate gradual enough that they have time to develop strong bones and joints. Small-breed formulas provide concentrated nutrition in small, bite-size kibbles that meet a smaller puppy’s high metabolic needs. Whichever option you choose, it is recommended that you consult your vet to make sure that your puppy is receiving a balanced diet suited for its growth and development.
Dry versus wet puppy food
Many puppy foods are available in dry or wet varieties. Both are healthy and tasty options. As long as your puppy’s daily nutritional intake is under control and appropriate, you can feed them with wet or dry food or even a combination of both!
How Often to Feed Your Pup?
At around eight to 12 weeks of age, puppies should be fed three to four times a day. Smaller meals are easier to digest for the puppy and also helps maintain energy levels throughout the day.
At around six months, you can gradually change this to feeding twice a day.
Remember, if you do opt for commercially packed food - read the label to determine the correct portion sizes. Most packages would have a recommended daily serving, and depending on the number of portions provided you may need to split this serving size accordingly.
While Petsy is here to help you make an informed decision about your pet’s diet, it’s always advisable to consult a veterinarian regarding your puppy’s diet and nutritional requirements.