Feeding a puppy
The right nutrition is very important part of the puppy’s healthy growth and development. A growing puppy needs dog food that contains plenty of energy and protein with balanced minerals and vitamins.
The easiest way to feed a puppy is complete and balanced dog food that is design especially for puppies. If you want to feed your puppy mostly with homemade food or raw dog food, you must plan the puppy’s diet extra carefully and make sure the puppy gets all the nutrients needed from the food.
When at least 70 % of the puppy’s daily diet is complete puppy food, the puppy will get enough nutrients for healthy growth.
Usually, you will get some puppy food from the breeder when you bring the new puppy home. During the first weeks the puppy should eat the same, familiar food since moving to a new home is always stressful for the dog and unfamiliar food might cause some stomach issues to the pup. When the puppy is fully settled in, you can gradually change the puppy’s dry food if you want. Tips for changing your dog’s diet.
What kind of dog food for a puppy?
- For your puppy you should choose high-quality complete and balanced puppy food which main ingredient is either meat or fish. Dog foods designed for adult dogs usually have too low energy content for a growing pup and may not have the optimal nutrients to support the puppy’s development.
- Especially with a pup, homemade or raw dog food diet demands very good knowledge about dogs’ nutrition. Meat doesn’t contain all the nutrients the dog needs. Hence, with homemade or raw dog food diet supplementary vitamins and minerals are essential so the puppy’s growth is not disturbed.
- Give your puppy dog food with different textures and protein sources. Then the puppy will get used to many foods and flavours.
- When the puppy eats mostly complete puppy food, 30 % of the pup’s diet can consist of wet food, sausages for dogs or meat. The puppy can eat either cooked or raw meat. Boneless meat is the safest to cook for the dog.
- Dietary diversity is very important for the development of the good bacteria living in the puppy’s digestive track e.g., the gut microbiome. For example, rotational feeding where the puppy’s diet contains raw meat along with the complete puppy food, can help to prevent food intolerances and allergies in the future.
How long the puppy must eat puppy food?
Basically, feeding a puppy means feeding a growing dog. You can switch the puppy food to food for adult dogs, when the pup has gained the adult size. Every dog grows and develops individually, but usually small dogs grow much faster than bigger dogs. Typically, 10–12 months old small dogs have already achieved their adult size. With big dogs the growth can continue until the dog is 1,5–2 years old. After the adult size has been achieved, the dog’s muscles are still developing which keeps energy consumption high for a young dog.
How much and how often a puppy eats?
There is a feeding guide in the PrimaDog Puppy Food packages which you can use as a baseline when estimating the right amount of food for your pup.
The puppy’s daily food intake depends on:
- The puppy’s age
- Assumed weight as an adult
- Activity level
- The amount of daily exercise
- Growth rate
Observe your puppy’s growth and change the daily food intake if needed. The puppy should gain weight steadily, but the pup should not be too chubby.
When puppies are 7–10 weeks old the breeder gives them to new homes. At that time the puppy eats 3–4 times a day until the pup is at least 6 months old. Adult dogs usually eat once or twice a day.
Daily routines give safety for the puppy and help with the pup’s house training. Hence, you should feed the puppy every day around the same time.
Explore PrimaDog dry foods for puppies
PrimaDog has two complete puppy foods: one for all puppies and other designed especially for small dogs. PrimaDog dry foods for puppies have high energy content. They are meaty and wheat-free with balanced calcium, phosphorus, and vitamins to support your puppy’s healthy growth. Also, PrimaDog Puppy Foods are adequate for feeding pregnant, nursing, and lactating bitches.