How Do I Know The Puppy Food Will Meet My Dogs Needs
The Association of American Feed Control Officials sets nutrient guidelines that most pet food manufacturers follow. Check the package label for a statement saying the food is formulated to meet AAFCO nutrient guidelines for complete and balanced nutrition, or that feeding trials following AAFCO guidelines have substantiated that it provides complete nutrition.
Along with that statement, the label should give the life stage the food is suited for. Puppies should be eating food labeled for growth or for all life stages.
After a month or 6 weeks on the food, assess your puppyâs health. They should be playful and energetic, with a shiny, thick coat. Formed brown feces are a sign that your puppy is digesting most of the nutrients in the food.
Make Ground Beef And Veggies
Brown and crumble 3 lbs of ground beef in a large skillet. Place in a large bowl with the drippings.
Chop, shred, or process all the veggies. My dog is a small dog and prefers the veggies finely shredded in a food processor. You can use a knife or a box grater works too.
In a large pot , briefly saute carrots, broccoli, and sweet potato until just soft for a few minutes on medium. Place into the large bowl. In a large bowl, add the cooked ground beef, warm rice, warm sauteed veggies, and fresh spinach. Mix well with a large spatula.
A General Guideline For Preparing Homemade Dog Food
My DIY dog food recipe is more of a general guideline, rather than an exact meal plan that I follow each week. My dogs diet changes the same way ours does, depending on what we do and what we buy or grow.
However, we almost always stay with this basic formula:
- 50 percent cooked protein
- 25 percent cooked complex carbohydrates
- Fats and supplements
Protein is always meat and usually chicken, though weve also used turkey, pork, and beef. We feed any and all parts of the animals, but most commonly, we saute chicken breasts or chicken thighs in coconut oil and ground turmeric.
Coconut oil has a host of health benefits for dogs, such as improving the skin and coat, increasing energy, aiding digestion, reducing allergic reactions, promoting wound healing, preventing yeast and fungal infections, and supporting arthritis or ligament problems.
Turmeric has long been studied for its powerful medicinal properties, including its use as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
We add it to the coconut oil since it is fat-soluble, and use it to support our pugs joint health.
Speaking of dark meat, we feed thighs and breasts interchangeably. While well remove the skin from poultry and trim off excessive fat from red meat, we dont worry about buying the leanest meat possible for our dogs.
A little fat is necessary for a well-rounded diet.
They tend to be the leftovers in our produce bin, so we never have to buy, say, a whole head of cauliflower just for the dogs.
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Moving On From Puppy Food
If your puppy is a little older, you may be wondering whether to try them on adult food. Its important to wait until your puppy has finished growing before you change them to adult food.
This is because puppy food has an important blend of nutrients to help aid your puppys growth.
Puppies mature at different speeds, with smaller breeds generally maturing faster than large and giant breeds.
If youre not sure about whether your puppy is ready to make the transition, speak with your vet.
Dog Feeding Guidelines: How Much Food Should Me Dog Be Eating
It makes sense then that your dog should only eat what is good for it and in quantities that wont result in it developing health problems later in life.
Feeding guidelines on dog food can be a good starting point when assessing how much dog food is the right amount, but as Dr Lowe told K9 Magazine:
feeding guidelines on dog food packaging are extremely useful but should serve as a starting point only when assessing the right amount of food in your dogs daily diet.
Working dogs will need more food for the energy that they will expend in the course of the day but a dog that lays around the house all day and doesnt get any exercise will not need to eat the same portions of food.
You should weigh your dog on a regular basis and see whether it is gaining or losing weight and adjust the amount of food it is eating accordingly.
You know, its quite incredible the amount of people who have literally no idea how much their dog weighs or indeed any idea of how much they should weigh. Simply getting to grips with this information can literally extend your dogs life, in some cases for a considerable amount of time.
Many experts argue that there has been a general decline in the general health of dogs that correlates with the widespread introduction of certain types of processed dog foods.
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So What Should I Feed My Puppy
For a healthy, growing puppy, we recommend our Raw & Fresh Complete Beef Recipe. This recipe is complete and balanced for all life stages, including for large breeds. It has been specially formulated to exceed the requirements of the AAFCO food guidelines. You can read more on the Complete Beef product page.
Puppies will eat similar raw ingredients to adult dog food. However, the nutrient ratios will change with their requirements as they grow.
Raw & Fresh Beef Complete for Puppies
My Puppy Is Still Hungry
Sometimes, you will follow advice on how much to feed a puppy perfectly, but your pup will still act hungry!
Many puppies will eat everything as quickly as possible and beg for more, especially before they are used to a regular feeding routine.
Your puppy may act hungry because they dont know when theyre next going to eat. As we mentioned earlier, some puppies will just keep eating until theyre sick if given the chance!
Use your puppys weight as a guide. Check with your vet to see if your puppy is underweight and needs to eat more.
Alternatively, your puppy may just need to slow down. Buying slow feeding bowls and mats will slow down his food intake, and can become a fun problem solving game!
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How To Transition Your Puppy To New Food
Transitioning from mothers milk or formula to solid food is a gradual process.
Breeders start puppies on a mix of solid food and mother’s milk as early as 3 weeks. Using the same high-quality food that the mother is fed can aid the transition. This is blended with a puppy milk replacer and warm water.
For orphaned puppies, weaning begins around 3-4 weeks of age. Small amounts of high-quality soft foodformulated to support healthy growthare added to supplement their milk formula, this transitions pups gradually to solid food by 5-6 weeks of age.
When can puppies eat wet food?
When to start feeding puppies wet food will depend on the weaning process outlined above. Puppies usually transition to solid food at around 3-4 weeks of age as they start to need more calories than they can obtain from their mother’s milk or milk replacer. Most puppies are weaned and enjoying a solid food diet by around 6 weeks of age.
What The Experts Say About How Much You Should Feed Your Dog:
Here weve summarised a series of tips from credible dog nutrition sources to help you answer the question how much should I feed my dog:
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Transitioning To Homemade Dog Food
Most dogs dont have a problem making the switch to homemade food. If yours is prone to digestive issues, start slowly by mixing a little bit of the homemade food with the commercial food.
Over the course of a week or two, gradually increase the amount of homemade food while decreasing the commercial food.
If your dog vomits or has diarrhea, try introducing only a couple of new ingredients at a time until their systems are well adjusted to the fresh diet.
For dogs with health issues, please consult with a veterinarian if you arent sure what kind of supplements are needed. Use your best judgment, the way you would when feeding yourself or your family.
The Results From Feeding Our Diy Dog Food
Back to the story of Bug
After only a couple of weeks of feeding her a homemade diet, the hubby and I were blown away by how much her mental and physical health improved. And we wholeheartedly believe she was able to bounce back because of her new food.
She went from an ailing, exhausted, incontinent, tail-down dog to a happy, energetic, curious, communicative pup. While she isnt miraculously walking again, her hip dysplasia also hasnt progressed or caused her any pain.
Weve learned to watch for signs that she needs to relieve herself as weve realized she knows when she has to go, she just cant get there without our help.
We feed both of our pugs the same food, with the hope that we can stave off any potential health problems for our older one.
When we travel, well bring their homemade food on the road in a cooler. On occasion, weve even ordered their dinner from a restaurant when we ran out of food .
If were camping, well usually just feed them whatever were cooking in camp they love corn on the cob, hobo packs , and the whole assortment of tri-tip, sausages, and ribs that weve usually got going on.
As you might imagine they lovecamping trips!
Homemade dog food gives us the flexibility to fine-tune their diet as needed. Im forever grateful for the extra time we were given with our beloved Bug as a result of the food we chose to feed her.
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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.
Weeks 6 Months: Feeding Puppies At 8 Weeks
If you’re feeding your pup a ¾ cup of food twice a day, instead feed ½ a cup 3 X per day. Sticking to smaller meals will reduce the risk of digestive medical conditions and maintain energy levels.
It’s also important to follow the guidelines at the back of the dog food bag as these are the most accurate for the specific brand that youre feeding your pup.
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Feeding Puppies From Birth Through 4 Weeks Of Age
The best puppy food for your puppys first month of life is their mothers milk, which has the best balance of nutrients for a growing puppy.
If you are raising puppies yourself without the mother, or you need to supplement puppies for another reason, a formula specifically made for puppies is the best option.
Puppies should be weighed daily. While a pup may not gain weight the first day , there should be steady weight gains after that. If a puppy loses weight or fails to gain, contact your veterinarian.
Puppy Food At Various Ages
Feeding a puppy isnt as straightforward as you might think. Puppies have very different nutritional needs to adult dogs, and cant eat big portions from a young age.
Newborn puppies dont even eat solid food. So, lets take a look at what puppies eat from the time theyre born, to the time they are considered adults.
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Filtered Or Distilled Water Only
The kidneys main function is to filter out the toxins in our bodies. Since tap water can be loaded with chemicals and contaminants it is best to only give your dog clean, filtered water to drink. If you have a dog living with kidney disease like we do, you may also want to eventually invest in a slow water feeder. Dogs with kidney disease can get quite thirsty and will actually start drinking water too fast which causes its own unique set of problems.
How Much Homemade Dog Food To Feed Your Dog
Making a homemade diet for your pup is a great alternative to commercial kibble if you do it right. However, it is NOT that easy to determine the proper serving size of homemade dog food for your canine. For this reason, it is highly advisable to check with your vet to plan a nutritionally-balanced homemade diet.
Many factors must be kept in mind while calculating the nutritional requirements of your dog. Some of the most important elements among them are listed below.
After analyzing all these aspects, you will have a better understanding of the nutritional needs of your companion. Therefore, it will help you to figure out a suitable serving size for your pup.
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Should I Feed My Puppy Raw Meat
Whilst this is not our current view, we do understand that many people prefer to use raw food to feed their dogs. We would encourage you to question where your puppy food comes from and whether it can be trusted as a healthy option for your furry friend!
Raw meats are very high in protein but also low in fibre, and can often open up the possibility of bacterial contaminants to their diet.
Our diets have been formulated to provide a developing puppy with a specific amount of micro and macronutrients to foster healthy development. Be careful of raw diets that don’t consider such things.
How Often Should You Feed A Puppy
Wondering whether or not is it ok to feed a puppy twice a day? Here are some general guidelines:
If you have a mama dog with puppies, you can start offering free-grazing puppy food as early as three weeks old. If you feel your puppies are overeating, limit the free-grazing to a couple of hours twice a day.
However, once they are weaned, or if you get a puppy thats 2 months old or older, put food out at regular intervals. In general, four times a day is ideal.
PRO TIP: Stick to regular intervals when feeding puppies. If youre feeding 4x per day, offer food every 6 hours. That probably means youll be feeding puppies late at night and early morning, but it will keep them properly fed and healthy.
When your puppy reaches 4 months old and is starting to teeth, theyll do great feeding 3 times a day and should be eating the best puppy food available in Australia. Then, once theyre 6 months old, you can switch them to an adult schedule and offer just 2 meals a day.
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Vet Approved Puppy Feeding Guide
These are exciting times! As you prepare for your new family member and all the fun times ahead, many of your questions will involve feeding time. Feeding is a crucial factor in your pups current and future health. As puppies are growing, they require different quantities and nutrients than adult dogs, getting it right will allow them to develop in the healthiest way possible. To help you find your way, we consulted our team of veterinarians to prepare this puppy feeding guidebut first, remember to follow you veterinarian’s advice.