Puppy Guide: How To Feed Your Puppy
- Growing puppies require more calories, fat, protein, and essential nutrients per pound than older dogs.
- High-quality, balanced food that provides the right ratios of nutrients, and supplies healthy fats, is key!
- 1-6 weeks: Puppies should be fed by their mother for the first four weeks. At four weeks, you can start introducing soft food.
- 6 weeks to 6 months: Feed your pup three to four times a day. Be sure to feed a diet thats made to fuel puppies growth and development.
- 6 months and up: transition to once or twice-daily feeding and stick with this schedule.
- Be careful not to over-feed. Too-rapid weight gain and growth can cause skeletal problems, and contribute to obesity.
- Weight management is important, even for puppies. Its important to know the right amount of calories your pup should eat. Dont rely on scoops. A fresh food plan makes it easy to feed the right amount, and to adapt as your puppy grows.
When it comes to feeding a puppy, theres no shortage of answers, advice, products, and promises aimed at new puppy owners. While some of it is more marketing than substance, puppies do have different dietary needs than adult dogs, and good food, served in the right amount, is essential for your growing pup. Its important to familiarize yourself with some of the basics, so we provided answers to the big questions here.
What should puppies eat?
What to feed your puppy: 1-6 weeks
What to feed your puppy: six weeks to 6 months
The healthy fat factor
6 weeks to 6 months
How Much To Feed A Golden Retriever Puppy
Golden Retriever puppies should eat three to four times a day until they are six months old at scheduled intervals. They require more calories and frequency at this young age. It is not best to feed them extra food as they could become overweight. They should be lanky with long legs at this stage in life.
What Food Can Puppies Eat
If youre wondering can puppies eat dog food, or can puppies eat regular dog food? These are great questions! Puppies and their adult counterparts have different nutritional needs, so its important to ensure your pup is getting the balance of nutrients they require to grow into healthy and strong adults. By choosing food that is specially formulated for puppies and nutritionally balanced for long-term feedinglike this Chicken & White Rice Recipe thats high in calcium and phosphorusyoull be giving your pup the head start they need.
Can puppies have treats?
Yes! Treats are important and can be used for training but all in moderationand always check with your vet or trainer first.
When looking for good treats for puppies use these tips:
Opt for safe fruits and vegetables or other low-calorie snacks.
If your puppy suffers from medical conditions, check in with your veterinarian to find the treats that work best for their health.
Apples are high in antioxidants and dietary fiber.
Pups love the crunch of carrots and you’ll love the benefits.
Blueberries are an excellent source of vitamins K and C.
Cranberries for dogs provide an excellent source of vitamins.
Green beans are rich in vitamins and dietary fiber.
Broccoli is an excellent source of vitamins C and K.
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How Do I Select A High
Start by asking your veterinarian what they recommend, says C.A. Tony Buffington, DVM, PhD. Buffington is a professor of veterinary clinical sciences at The Ohio State University Veterinary Hospital. âIn the first six months or so, the nutrient needs are changing very quickly. And, they leave the least margin for error.â So asking your vet is a good idea since veterinarians typically recommend diets theyâve had the most experience with.
Remembering To Regularly Check In On Your Puppys Feeding Regime Ensures Your Pup Develops At A Healthy Rate And Enjoys All The Nutrients They Need
Our in-house nutritionists answer frequently asked questions about feeding puppies up to 6 months below
How many times should I feed my pup every day?
Most puppies will happily dine on 3 meals per day until they are 6 months old. Stick to a timely routine of breakfast, lunch and dinner.
How much food does my pup need?
Make sure youre feeding the right amount. A simple rule of thumb is to feed your puppy 20g per 1kg of body weight per day. So, if you have a puppy weighing 5kg, they will need 100g per day.
Why is it important to get feeding right at this early stage?
Making sure your puppy eats the right amount of healthy, wholesome food from an early age helps protect them against developing common health problems later in life caused by being overweight or eating too much of the wrong ingredients.
Help! My puppy isnt eating enough!
If your puppy temporarily loses their appetite or suffers an upset tummy, try not to panic. This is common as they adapt to their new environment. As they settle in and get used to their surroundings, meal times will improve.
Can I introduce treats and extras to my puppys diet?
Be mindful of treats and extras. Using your puppys food as a treat will be adequate at this early stage.
How can I make mealtimes engaging and fun?
Stuffing a Kong with some of your dogs daily kibble is a perfect way to make meal times more fun. Normal dry kibble can be soaked to make stuffing easier.
How can I tell if my pups poo is normal?
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Does My Puppy Need Puppy Food
Puppies have growing bodies and so have different nutritional needs to fully grown dogs. We recommend feeding your pup a labelled puppy food until they are around a year old before moving them on to an adult food. Your vet may recommend feeding a large or giant breed puppy food for longer than a year.
What Food Should An 8
Quality food will help your 8-week old puppy grow and develop better. Puppy food is specifically formulated for growing dogs at this age and contains all the nutrients they require. Make sure you speak with your veterinarian about which food and supplements are right for your pup.
If you need assistance choosing food at the pet store, feel free to ask an associate. The type of food you prefer can either be dry kibble or wet canned food, depending on your preference. For puppies, select a formula that has been specially formulated to suit their needs. The food should be labeled as being balanced and complete with nutrition and it is best when the AAFCO has certified it as such.
If you dont want to shortchange your dog, you should never give it adult food. As a result, they will not receive the right balance of nutrients for their growth spurt and this could even lead to developmental problems.
Take time to research the brands of dog food that are available to you and read the ingredient list. Choose foods with human-grade ingredients or those with whole proteins like meat as the first ingredient. Dont choose anything that contains by-products, fillers, artificial colors, or preservatives because these can be harmful to your pups health over time.
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How Much To Feed A Golden Retriever Senior
Golden Retriever seniors will need about 900 calories or about 20% less than adult dogs to stay at their ideal weight. Golden Retrievers are seniors at about 8 years old. When entering old age, they may benefit from eating a food with less fat and fewer calories.
During the senior years, Golden Retrievers will become more sedentary therefore not requiring as much food as before. They should still be eating two meals a day, but not as much. There are many senior dog foods out there that help them with maintaining a healthy weight.
As your Golden Retriever progresses from old dog to older dog, you may notice them losing weight and requiring more calories in this stage of life. The fat content in their diet may need increased. Talking with your veterinarian would be a good choice if you notice your Golden losing weight.
If your Golden Retriever suffers from arthritis and has trouble getting around staying lean is important. Discuss with your veterinarian the right body weight, food, supplements, and medications to help your senior dog get around better.
There are some senior dog foods that provide the right healthy eating habits for this stage of life. Below are our top choices for Golden Retriever seniors.
How Much To Feed A Puppy
Now you know what to feed your puppy, but just how much food does he need each day? Because puppies grow at such fast rates, they need to start eating a complete and balanced puppy food as soon as theyre weaned, usually between six and eight weeks.
The amount of food your puppy needs depends on how much hell weigh at maturity. A Labrador Retriever will weigh more at maturity than a Russell Terrier, for example. So, the larger dog requires more food as a puppy.
The chart below can help you determine how much dry food to feed your puppy. You should also review the specific feeding instructions on the back of his puppy food and consult with your veterinarian.
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What Is A Good Golden Retriever Feeding Schedule
For a Golden Retriever puppy, the best feeding schedule is once in the morning, noontime, and in the evening. For example, you could feed their first meal at 7:00 am, lunch at noon, then dinner at 5:00 pm.
Planning their mealtimes around your mealtimes will often make it easier for you and the puppy. Make sure to give them plenty of time after eating to got to the bathroom a couple of times before heading to bed. Hopefully, this will help them sleep for a longer period.
After about six months, your Golden Retriever can go down to two daily feedings. This usually occurs once in the morning and once in the evening. They can usually last about 12 hours between meals. If it goes past 12 hours, they could become nauseated.
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.
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Using Food In Training
The best way to use food when training your puppy is to take food from their daily allowance. If your puppy is eating kibble, this will be easy!
If you are raw feeding your dog, you can look into finding some bitesize, frozen meat pieces. Although, you wont be able to just carry these around with you all the time in your pocket!
Dont panic if your dog has barely any, or even no food when it comes to your scheduled mealtime.
Your puppy will still be getting all the food he needs each day, as long as training food comes from his daily allowance.
Training will be spread out through the day anyway, so as long as you arent getting through the food so quickly that your pup is becoming sick, you will be okay.
When People Find Out We Make Our Own Dog Food At Home They Always Ask Us What About A Raw Diet So Let’s Get That Out Of The Way First
There are LOTS of thoughts and theories on feeding your dog a raw diet especially a dog that is living with kidney disease. Our vet however, was personally opposed to feeding a raw diet due to the fact that dogs, just like us, are very susceptible to food poisoning. Besides that, a raw diet can be tricky to get just right! You run the risk of giving your dog a horrible belly ache by mixing a raw diet with cooked treats, so if you decided to go raw it is important to have both raw meals and raw treats planned for your pup at all times. NO MIXING the two! Since raw and cooked foods digest at different rates any combination of the two can wreak serious havoc on your pup’s gut which can lead to some pretty unpleasant situations for you – if you get my drift.
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Puppy Feeding Chart By Weight And Age
Here’s a Puppy Feeding Chart measured in cups. Again, these measurements are guidelines only. Consult a vet to make sure that your doggie’s receiving the right diet for their breed, size, weight, and age.
1 1/3 2 1/2 cups
1 2 cups
1 1/2 2 2/3 cups
1 2 cups
3 1/3 4 1/2 cups
2 2/3 3 2/3 cups
2 2 3/4 cups
4 1/2 5 2/3 cups
3 2/3 4 1/2 cups
2 3/4 3 1/3 cups
How Often To Feed Your Puppy
Weve looked at how much to feed your puppy, and seen that this will change depending on how old your puppy is, and how large he is going to be as an adult.
But, lets take a closer look at how often to feed your puppy.
- 8 12 weeks old: 4 meals a day
- 3 to 6 months old: 3 meals a day
- 6 to 12 months old: 2 meals a day
Puppies need frequent smaller meals to avoid overloading their small stomachs.
Diarrhea is a common symptom of puppies filling their tummies with too much in one go.
Some might not be able to transition from 4 to 3 meals as soon as they hit 12 weeks, or 3 to 2 meals at 6 months old. So, take it slowly, and revert back to more meals if you need to.
If youre having trouble picturing how this will fit into your day, keep reading for a suggested schedule.
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Feeding Your Adult Dog
Adult dog diets are designed to keep your dog at a healthy size and weight once they have grown up. There are many adult dog diets available, so look for one that will suit your dogs individual needs and lifestyle. For example, there are diets designed for working dogs, or dogs that have been neutered. You may also need to feed your dog a specific diet if they have certain medical conditions or need to lose weight. If youre not sure which diet is best for your adult dog, ask your vet for help.
Feeding Your Dog Too Much Food Can Be A Path To Health Problems
We all love our pets to feel full and happy. But going over these food quantities has its risks, especially in obesity.
Congestive heart failure
Heart conditions are very common in dogs that overeat. Some of them even eat the wrong foods which are filled with sugar and salt and in large quantities, these foods lead to minor or serious congestive heart failure.
More than 95% of todays pet owners are unaware of their dogs obesity problems. However, overfeeding dogs is one of the main causes of obesity, together with a lack of exercise. If you still think overeating isnt all that bad, here are just a few health conditions associated with it.
Your pet can suffer from type 2 diabetes by eating too much or by eating unhealthy foods. Osteoarthritis or a condition of the ligaments is also tied to eating too much. As seen above, high blood pressure is also an issue, but it can be a condition tied to other health problems.
Skin disease is common in dogs that dont eat the right amount of food. Most importantly, data shows that overeating decreases life expectancy for dogs by an average of 2.5 years. Given dogs dont live as long as humans, this is a long period to simply overlook.
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Can Puppies Eat Adult Dog Food
Puppies and adult dogs have different nutrient needs. To help puppies grow into adult dogs, they require more protein, micronutrients, and carbs. Puppies also require a high amount of calories to help them grow, so its essential to purchase a high-quality food brand for your puppy.
A puppys mouth is smaller than an adult dogs mouth, which helps explain why their food is not as big as adult kibble. Feeding puppies adult dog food can be dangerous because the kibble is larger and the texture is harder to chew. Giving a puppy adult dog food, it can cause damage to their teeth, jaws, and overall health.
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One site, My Dog Breed, claims that a 60-pound Labrador needs about 4 1/2 cups of food each day, divided into two portions.
Feed one portion in the morning and the other in the evening.
Labrador puppies require four feeds a day and can be given 1 1/2 cups of food each meal, according to the Official Labrador Guide.
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When Can Puppies Start Eating Treats
Puppies can begin to eat treats as early as 2 months old, making 8 weeks a great time to start. However, make sure to start with very small quantities and to pay close attention to how they affect your pup.
An animals General Intestinal Tract undergoes a lot of changes during its first few weeks of life. In the early days of weaning, a puppy needs a diet that provides all the nutrients he needs in each mouthful of food. By giving the puppy treats, you provide more calories than he needs, but fewer nutrients.
For determining whether you are giving too many treats, there is a rule you can use. The 10% Rule states that treats should not have a calorific value exceeding 10% of the total diet. Consequently, if your dogs recommended diet is 500 calories, treats should not exceed 50 calories in calorific value.
Very small amounts of fruits and vegetables are good options for starter treats. carrots, strawberries, carrots, peas, and broccoli are good choices as long as they dont have any seasonings or additives on them.
Avoid treating your pup with chocolate, xylitol, leeks, onions, garlic, grapes, or raisins. These foods are all toxic to dogs and should be avoided at any age.