Remember The Pet Food You Give To Your Puppy Should Be Based On Various Factors
Dog nutrition experts views on when to switch from puppy to adult dog food
What Food Is Best For A Puppy
So long as the food is nutritious and suitable for puppies, it should be sufficient to help your puppy grow properly. There are a whole host of different types of dog food available to choose from: wet dry grain-free food with fish, rice and vegetables and food for small, medium and large breeds. James Wellbeloved offer a whole host of different puppy foods which will encourage your puppy to build a healthy appetite and to grow up fit and strong.
How Long Do Puppies Eat Puppy Food
Dont overlook the importance of planning and allowing for a transitional process when changing dog food. Imagine eating the same meals every day. Then, suddenly, you switch to something completely different. Youll probably experience a tummy ache or other gastrointestinal problems.
The same thing goes for your puppy. Remember that its a process that should take a minimum of six days, and sometimes longer . Heres a video that highlights the transition process so you know how to properly change your puppys food.
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Choosing The Right Method Of Feeding
When learning how to feed a Labrador, youll realise there is more to feeding a dog than just the contents of his food bowl. Your family needs to be considered as a whole. The feeding method you choose needs to fit in to your lifestyle and current circumstances.
I fed raw to my dogs for many years. But I did not do this and could not have done this, when my kids were little. Nowadays, I sometimes feed kibble, if circumstances demand it. But prefer to feed raw whenever I can. Remember, many dogs thrive on kibble, and many dogs thrive on raw. Choosing the best dog food for Labs may also depend on your own circumstances.
The Disadvantages Of Kibble
Kibble itself doesnt smell too bad. But what comes out of a kibble-fed dog smells very unpleasant. That is partly because kibble is full of fillers. These are additional bulking agents that are not fully digested and that pass through straight through the dog.
These fillers mean that kibble fed dogs produce much greater quantities of poop and much smellier poop, than dogs fed on raw meat and bones. Kibble fed dogs may also need their teeth cleaning on a daily basis. There may also be a small increased risk of bloat in susceptible dogs fed on a dry food diet. You can find out more about this in our article on bloat.
Kibble fed dogs may also be more likely to snack on their own poop than raw fed dogs. Well look at the best way to feed your dog on kibble in a moment. But first lets take a quick look at what is involved in raw feeding.
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Planning Your Labs Diet
There are so many different brands of Labrador food available! And so many different opinions on dog food generally. Not to mention the alternatives to commercial food. But weve put together this Labrador feeding guide to help you out. Feeding your dog is a big topic so youll find links to more information in the green box below.
Jump straight to the section that interests you most from here:
Im going to help you choose the right diet for your dog and answer your feeding questions and concerns about how to feed a Labrador. If your Lab is under six months old, youll probably want to visit our puppy feeding page for detailed information on feeding your Labrador puppy. This includes how much to feed a Lab puppy.
Read Dr Kristy Conns Advice:
Congratulations on your newest four-legged addition to your family. I understand the excitement and trepidation that comes with bringing home a furry ball of joy. You want to do right by her and that includes making sure she is getting the correct amount of nutrition. This is a popular time of year for bringing home puppies so Id like to take the opportunity to review basic puppy feeding guidelines for the first year of life while covering your question which may also answer any future questions you or other readers may have.
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How Long Should A Puppy Eat Puppy Food
Puppies grow oh-so-quickly. But not all puppies reach full maturity at the same time, which begs the question, how long should your puppy eat puppy food?
The answer depends on the breed. Large and giant breeds reach full maturity in two years, while a toy breed can be fully grown in as little as seven months. Knowing your pets anticipated full-grown size is the best place to start when it comes to planning your puppys meals.
With the help of this guide, you can plan a balanced diet for your puppy and know when theyre ready to make the switch to adult food.
Puppy Food Has Nutrients Growing Dogs Need
Puppy food has a lot of extra nutrients and protein that adult dog food may lack.1 A growing dog thats building muscle and bone needs more nutrients and calories to maintain healthy development. Puppies, especially those of a larger breed, need the right amount of fatty acids, fiber, and protein, along with controlled amounts of calcium so bones grow at the proper rate. They also need certain omega-3 fatty acids for proper development.2 This is why puppies need food formulated for their nutritional needs, rather than adult dog food.
AvoDerm Natural dog food offers two formulas created especially for puppies. The canned Puppy Chicken & Rice Formula has chicken as the first ingredient to help any puppies with food sensitivities to other proteins. Its also made with avocado, which is rich in antioxidants that can help promote a healthy immune system.
If you prefer dry kibble, AvoDerm Natural dog food offers a Puppy Chicken Meal & Brown Rice Formula. This has just the right balance of protein, fat, and nutrients that puppies need. Its also corn- and wheat-free, which is great for puppies with more sensitive stomachs.
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What Cant A Puppy Eat
Unfortunately, while some human foods can be consumed safely by puppies in small quantities, there is an exhaustive list of toxic and even life-threatening foods which should be avoided at all costs. Here are just some of the more common ones:
- Heavily salted or sweetened food
It is best to only give your dog food which has been specifically manufactured for dogs to avoid any potentially harmful foods and be careful of leaving toxic food and drink where your puppy can reach it.
You can find more information on what dogs can and cant eat here.
When To Only Feed Puppy Food
During the first 12 months of life, a puppy should be fed strictly puppy food. This refers to a diet that is specially formulated to meet his nutritional needs. Puppy food usually comes in the form of dry kibble but is soaked or mushed until gradually the dog is given plain dry puppy food.
Smaller breeds begin this transition at about 7 to 9 months. Larger breeds of dogs can do it at 12, 13, or even 14 months. After a dog has reached the age of one year old, most dog owners are already feeding their puppys adult food in adult portions. Just keep in mind, do not rush this procedure. It is always best that puppies stay on puppy food a bit longer than not long enough.
When Do Dogs Stop Feeding Their Puppies?
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Can Rice And Chicken Constipate A Dog
A chicken and rice diet should not cause your dog constipation if you are giving them the correct recipe, that is the white meat of chicken and white rice. Brown rice can be difficult to digest and therefore cause constipation.
If your dog is becoming constipated on a diet of chicken and rice, drop the rice and just give them shredded chicken. You can also give them a few tablespoons of cooked pumpkin each day, which is full of fiber that will help fight constipation.
How Do I Protect My Dogs Paws On Long Hikes
If youre going to a place with soft, grassy hiking trails, you neednt worry about your dogs paws as much. But rough terrains will not be a friend to your dogs paws, so its best to pack essentials like dog boots and HUFT Organic Healing Balm to keep paws protected. We also recommend the HUFT Fresh Paws Sanitiser to keep your dogs paws clean.
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Dry Food Wet Food Or Both
Many pet-food companies have worked with canine-nutrition scientists to develop special formulas for both large- and small-breed puppies.
- Canned food is the most expensive to feed, and dogs often find it most palatable. Be careful of all-meat claims, though. Your dog should have a complete, balanced diet to fulfill nutritional requirements. Meat alone may not do it.
- Semi-moist food is available in one-serving packets. It is usually made to look like hamburger.
- Kibble is the most economical, and the major makers offer a complete and balanced diet for dogs of all sizes and ages. Dry food can be fed exactly as it comes from the bag.
Some dog owners say there is an oral-hygiene advantage in hard kibble because the friction produced helps to keep the gums and teeth healthy. Kibble can be moistened, either with water or canned food. Although unnecessary, that addition may make food tastier.
Senior Dog Feeding Guide
Similarly to adult dogs, senior dogs can eat one or two meals a day. However, your senior dog needs more heart and joint health support than an adult dog, so you will need to adjust their diet to match. Our recipes for senior dogs are supplemented with:
- Taurine, to support heart health
- Omega oils, glucosamine, chondroitin and herbs, to support older joints
- Vitamins and minerals, to support overall health
For a complete guide to how much to feed your senior dog, read the food packaging carefully or check the specific guidelines for each product online:
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Tips To Maintain A Puppy Feeding Schedule
Youre well on your way to feeding your pup a perfectly healthy diet. Just dont overdo it on treats. Keep in mind that treats should take up no more than 10% of your puppys total food quota for the day.
Finally, pay attention to your pups cues and always keep the following in mind:
- Stick to dog food and skip the table scraps some human foods can make your dog sick.
- Keep fresh water out along with any food, and clean both food and water bowls regularly.
- Dont start a medical diet or supplements without a prescription or recommendation.
- Always consult a veterinarian with any questions you may have.
How Much Chicken And Rice To Give Your Dog By Weight
When giving your dog their chicken and rice, you need to make sure you are giving them the right amount.
The dish may be higher in calories than the food that you usually give your dog, so you may need to give them less of the dish than you might expect.
A standard chicken and rice meal prepared in the way described above will contain between 350 and 400 calories per cup. As a general rule of thumb, dogs need between 25 and 30 calories per day per pound of their body weight.
Heres a table of how much chicken and rice to give your dog by weight based on our general rule of thumb:
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How Much To Feed A Labrador
Recommended quantities can be found on kibble packaging and these will vary quite widely from brand to brand. They are also often on the high side. If your dog is a little overweight, feed about a third less than recommended for a few days and then re-assess his appearance.
Your dog may well need less food than you think. If you have concerns about your dogs weight check out our article Fat Labrador for weight loss and feeding information. For raw feeding quantities check out: Feeding your dog a raw diet.
Basic Puppy Feeding Guide
The following information is general advice, but as each dog is an individual, seek veterinary advice, particularly if your puppy has any special dietary needs or has a reaction to a standard diet.
The basis of your puppys diet should be a high quality balanced premium commercial puppy food that is appropriate for their life stage and health status. By reading the label, you can check that it complies with the Australian Standard for the Manufacturing and Marketing of Pet Food AS 5812:2017 .
You can also offer some natural foods to provide variety. Natural foods include fresh human-grade raw meat such as diced up pieces of raw lamb. Avoid feeding too much raw meat off the bone while the pup is growing. This is important to prevent certain nutritional deficiencies during growth. Natural foods include raw meaty bones. Always check with your vet first that raw bones are suitable for your particular puppy .
We recommend you choose only human-grade raw meat and raw meaty bones because some raw meat products marketed as pet food contain preservatives to keep them looking fresh, but these can be detrimental to the dogs health. There have been many pet food safety incidents linked to sulphite preservative-induced thiamine deficiency, which can be fatal. You should avoid sausages, sausage meat and cooked manufactured meats as they can also contain sulphite preservatives.
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Is My Puppy Overweight
Puppies are far more likely to overeat than to not eat enough, which is why it is so important to evenly space out their recommended daily food intake via smaller portions throughout the day. If your puppy often eats too much, too quickly, it can lead to them developing long-term weight problems. Equally, even if you stick to a strict diet plan, if your puppy doesnt get enough exercise or you give them a few too many treats, this will also cause obesity issues.
Obesity in dogs is just as dangerous as it is in humans, and can lead to a number of health problems for your puppy, including:
- Diseases like diabetes and heart disease
- Arthritis due to nutrient imbalance and extra strain on the skeleton
- Respiratory problems
- Lowered immune system
- Increased risk of developing tumours
All of these can lead to a poor quality of life and a shorter lifespan. So, rather than risk these diseases, take your dog out for regular walks, stop the treats and table scraps and, if necessary, speak to your vet about switching to a lower calorie diet.
So, given how easily puppies can become obese and how bad that is for their health, here are the signs that your pet is overweight:
- You cannot easily feel their ribs and spine
- Placing your hands on their sides, you still cant feel their ribs
- They have an oval body shape, rather than a tapered waist
- Your puppy might also show hip and neck fat, although this is very rare in young dogs.
Can Small Dogs Hike Long Distances
Yes, small dogs can hike long distances, but not as much as big breeds. Start off with a short hike and increase your pace and distance. Again, irrespective of your dogs breed or size, consult your veterinarian on your dog’s overall fitness before embarking on the journey.
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Dry Vs Wet Puppy Food
Although dry kibble is a popular choice, its not the only option. As you walk the dog food aisles, you may see both dry and wet puppy foods.
This can make it harder to decide what to feed your puppy. Fortunately, as long as both the wet and dry formulas are complete and balanced for growing puppies, you can feed either one to your pup with confidence.
You and your puppy may have a preference when it comes to dry versus wet. Feeding a combination of the two is also an option.
According to Purina Nutritionist, Allison Millican, PhD, If youre feeding your puppy a combination of wet and dry food, it is extremely important to ensure the total caloric value does not fall short or exceed their daily energy requirement. Use the calories reported on the package to understand how much wet food will replace the dry and vice versa. This allows you to calculate the amount of each product needed to meet your puppys nutritional requirements.
For example, Millican explains, one thirteen-ounce can of wet puppy food may contain four hundred and seventy-five kilocalories and replace approximately one cup of a dry puppy formula with a similar value of kilocalories per cup. In this scenario, you could substitute a thirteen-ounce can of wet food for one cup of the daily dry food recommendation.
The brand websites and your veterinarian are great resources and can help you develop a feeding plan specifically for your puppys needs.