How Many Calories Do Puppies Need
When you are considering how many calories your puppy needs a day, you should understand how to calculate your puppys resting energy requirement or his RER.
The RER is the amount of calories a dogs body needs for basic organ function, like the brain and heart and it is not affected by dog breed.
You can calculate this by multiplying your dogs body weight in kilograms to the three-fourths power by 70.
If your puppy weighs 3 pounds, he will need about 88 calories based on his RER, but if he is under 3 months of age, that number needs to be tripled.
If your puppy is over 4 months of age, the number doubles because puppies require more calories than adult dogs do.
Switching Dog Food: Should You Do It
There are a few situations in a dogs life that may justify a food change.
- A transition from puppy food to dog food
- A transition from dog food to a senior dog food
- A transition from kibble to a canned version
- A transition to a veterinary-recommended prescription diet
Many pet owners will switch from a puppy-specific formula to an adult dog food formula as their puppies grow up. A food change may also be recommended when dogs enter the senior phase of their lives as nutrient and calorie needs change.
If your dog was born with a medical condition, or develops one during their life, a change in diet prescribed to address the condition may help your pet to feel better and even live longer. For instance, if your dog has digestive problems, your veterinarian may recommend switching to a dog food for sensitive stomachs. Wellness CORE Digestive Health recipes support a healthy microbiome.
Puppy Feeding Chart By Weight
Looking at a puppy feeding chart by weight, you will notice right away that the charts are referring to the weight as weight at maturity or adult weight.
That means that we are focusing on the estimated weight that your dog will have when he is fully grown.
You might need to consult with a growth chart in order to have that number and you should also know that it is trickier to gauge when you have a mixed breed pup.
Using the chart, you will compare the weight at maturity to the age of your puppy, in months. The amount of food that you should give your puppy is measured in cups.
If you are not sure about your dogs breed and size, just check the growth chart again or as your vet.
Looking at a puppy feeding chart by weight, you can see a dog that weighs 3 to 12 pounds at maturity, making him a small or toy breed of dog, he will need ½ to 1 cup of food a day if he is between 6 weeks and 3 months old.
It also means that you still need to give your puppy between 4 and 6 small meals a day, so that 1 cup of food will need to be divided into equal parts throughout the day.
Looking at a puppy that is 6 months old and will weigh around 110 pounds when he is fully grown, you will see that he needs 6 1/3 cups of food a day, but will also need an additional 1/3 cup of food for every 10 pounds of weight over the 100-pound mark.
That means at if your dog will weigh 110 pounds, you know he needs 6 2/3 cups of food a day.
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Monitor Their Response Carefully
Lastly, the best way to judge whether the new dog food is working for your dog is to keep a close eye on their response to these changes. Once your dog has accepted their new food and are eating it exclusively, you will need to wait for 6 to 8 weeks before you can fully evaluate how it is effecting your dogs health.
A good dog food that is providing your loyal companion with optimal nutrition will help support an ideal body weight and condition, will promote healthy skin and coat, and should resist in consistent and normal stool volume. If you switched over to a more therapeutic diet or one for a particular health condition, then you will also want to schedule regular visits with your vet to ensure your dogs body is reacting properly to the new food or diet.
No matter what food or diet you chose for your dog, you need to make sure that you provide them with free access to fresh and clean water. Additionally, you will want to make sure to maintain a consistent feeding schedule and to check your dogs body weight and condition. If necessary, make adjustments to the amount of dog food offered, their feeding schedule, and exercise level to ensure they are as healthy as possible.
Why Transitioning To A New Food Is Important
Many pet parents question why its necessary to transition to a new dog food? After all, humans eat a variety of foods and dont require any special precautions . That ingredient variety is part of the reason humans can get away dining at a deli for lunch and enjoying dim sum for dinner with few issues. In contrast, our dogs typically eat a narrow selection of food ingredients for months to years. Sure, we offer the occasional table yummy or daily treats, but our dogs mainly eat a prix fixe menu. This fixed menu is the foundation for needing a proper diet transition. But why?
Whenever you change a dogs diet, you change their food ingredients and nutrient formulation. Most dog food companies have feeding philosophy that guides how they make their diets. At Wild Earth, we believe a plant-based diet is better for our dogs, the environment, and other animals. Other companies favor different protein sources, lower-fiber or higher-fat formulations. That doesnt mean one is necessarily better than another, it just means pet parents have more choices on what to feed their pooch .
If you suddenly feed a full meal of a higher fiber food, the chances are good your dog will experience some GI upset. The same goes for different proteins, fat content, and even nutrient formulations. The reason this happens turns out to be deeper than the food bowl.
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Best Probiotic With Fiber
Eliminate the fear of switching dog food by keeping a can of Fruitables Switch on hand. Touted as the just-right balance of soluble to insoluble fiber, Switch supports a healthy gut to ensure a smooth transition to your dogs new food. We love the transparency of this products, as its one and only ingredient is pumpkin. Pumpkin is safe for humans and dogs, and the pure pumpkin in Switch contains no additives or preservatives.
- Tasty pumpkin base is a flavor most dogs love
- Helps decrease the risk of loose stool or digestive issues when changing foods
- Made in the USA and developed by a veterinarian
- Easily replace 30 percent of your dogs current food with Switch when transitioning
- Can be used after transitioning for a daily fiber addition
Things to Consider
- Unused portion must be refrigerated after opening and remains fresh up to seven days
- Contains 4 calories per tablespoon
- Consult with your dogs veterinarian first if your pet has a medical condition or takes medication
Create A Rotational Diet For Your Dog
A revolving diet also known as a rotational diet is all about taking a well-balanced approach to your dogs diet.
Instead of feeding him the same food every day, rotate recipes so your dog gets a range of proteins into his diet. This can help reduce the likelihood of your dog developing food sensitivities.
By rotating in Cricket Crave or Good Grub you can also reset your dogs gut microbiome which is so important for your pups well-being. Choosing a food that helps feed those microorganisms is a great way to promote overall health .
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How To Feed Your Dogs Growing Needs
As your dog grows, their dietary needs change. Each blend of Just Right is uniquely crafted to support your dogs lifestage or lifestyle, so you never have to worry if you are missing an important dietary milestone.
Follow these tips for feeding your dog at each lifestage:
Puppy food should help support areas like healthy brain and vision development, proper bone and muscle growth, and a strong immune system. · Now that you know when to switch from puppy food to adult dog food, keep in mind that adult dog food should help support their unique nutritional needs and lifestyle.
Consider your dogs activity level, skin and coat health, body condition, and digestive health.
As your dog grows, their metabolism changes can lead to weight gain or loss of lean body mass, so calories and type of diet should be adjusted accordingly.
Dog food designed for the nutritional needs of your dog from puppy to senior should help support areas like bone and joint health, strong muscles, and changing activity level.
Ready to switch dog food? Create your dog’s personalized blend of dog food that grows and changes as your dog does. Start your dogs unique blend today.
Schedule For Changing Your Dog Or Cats Food:
Day 1: Feed 1/4 cup of the new food mixed with 3/4 cup of the current food
Day 2: Feed 1/2 cup of the new food and 1/2 cup of the current food
Day 3: Feed 3/4 cup of new food and 1/4 cup of current food
Day 4: Feed 1 full cup of the new food
Assuming there are no negative reactions, by the end of the week, your pet should be fully transitioned to their new diet. Congrats, you two!
Reasons To Switch To New Food
If your dogs current diet is treating him just fine, then theres no reason to worry about switching to new food. However, there are a few reasons why you may need to transition your dog to new food:
- Food allergies or sensitivities
- New life stage
- Pregnancy or nursing
- Needing to gain or lose weight
- Refusing to eat current food
- Changes in activity level and/or nutritional needs
- You are preparing to bring home a new pet and need to accommodate the new pets diet
Some people choose to switch their dog to a new diet because of the overall health benefits. For example, feeding your dog a raw diet may lead to healthier skin and coat, cleaner teeth, increased energy, improved digestion, and a more muscular build.
However, keep in mind that whats right for one dog may not be right for another. Kibble and wet food can also be perfectly fine options. Whats important is that your dogs diet is vet-approved.
Foods Not Safe For Dogs:
The most important thing to know when making homemade dog food for your dog are the foods they should NOT eat.
You can do a quick google search for an all inclusive list or buy a doggie cookbook for reference. Heres a list from the Humane Society of foods that can be poisonous to pets. Be sure to take the necessary precautions if you plan to start cooking for your dog, but also know, theres really not that much to worry about!
Here are some common human foods that should not be fed to your dog:
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Is It The Right Time To Transition My Dog To A New Food
There are a couple different reasons you might want to transition your pup onto a new food. The first is that you just brought your new bundle of joy home either from a local shelter or from the breeder and youd like to start them off right on a new food your feel comfortable with! The second is that you are looking to transition to a new food due to your pup getting older and maybe you want to move them onto adult food. The third is because you are looking to use food to help control symptoms of a certain medical condition such as allergies, kidney disease, heart disease, liver disease, urinary disease, etc. The fourth is that you are looking to try a new brand just because you think the diet will fit your pups needs or lifestyle better than the food you have used previously!
Now I know jumping straight to the transition might be appropriate in some cases , however in some situations it may be best to take a step back and ask ourselves if NOW is even the right time to transition our pet to a new food.
When looking to transition a puppy to an adult food its important to take into consideration not only the timing of the transition , but other factors related to their current needs. For more information on this transition check out my article on when to transition your puppy to adult dog food.
Why You May Want To Transition Your Pet To A New Food
Just like you may have to make some adjustments to your own diet to keep yourself at your healthiest, you may similarly have to change your pets diet to keep them in tip-top shape.
Has your picky eater suddenly decided that they dont like their kibble? Has your kitten grown up into an adult feline? Consult your vetthey may recommend that its time to transition your pet to a new food. In addition to an unexpected dislike of their old food or transitioning into a new life stage, other reasons why your veterinarian may recommend changing your dog or cats food can include:
- Your pets current food causes gastrointestinal upset, like gas or diarrhea
- Your pet is overweight and needs a weight-loss food
- Your pet has allergies that may be alleviated through a specialized diet
- Theyre suffering from aliments like dull haircoat or poor energy that can be alleviated through additional nutrients in their diet
- Your pet has been diagnosed with a health condition that requires a specific diet to help treat
- Its otherwise been determined that their nutritional needs arent being
You may also find yourself considering a diet change-up if you want to purchase a food made and sourced in the United States, or be forced to find a new food if your pets old grub has been recalled or discounted. Just be sure to keep your vet in the loop: You should always consult them before making changes to your pets diet.
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A Guide To Transitioning Your Dogs Foodand Why Fasting Can Be A Healthy Option
- Though dog owners are traditionally advised to slowly transition from one pet food to another over several days to avoid gastrointestinal distress, theres no evidence that switching food in itself causes stomach problems. Most dogs can switch to a new food without an extended transition period.
- We recommend a 24-hour fast before you feed your first fresh-food meal to your dog.
- Fasting isnt starving! And it has numerous benefits for dogsit can boost immunity and detoxification, and promote overall health.
- A short fast is easier than you think. If you feed twice a day, give your dog their existing food for their morning meal. Skip the evening meal and provide only water until the next morning. If you feed once a day, no change is necessary!
- Dont fast if your dog is under one year old, pregnant or lactating, or has diabetes or another serious health condition. Contact our customer service team if you have any questions.
Fasting has been shown to have numerous health benefits for humansstudies have linked temporary periods of not eating to everything from decreased inflammation and reduced risk of cancer to improved brain function and longevity. Unsurprisingly, the benefits of fasting apply to other animals, including dogs.
And when it comes to transitioning from kibble or canned to fresh food, for healthy adult dogs, fasting can act as a much-needed reset, making a fresh dietary start even fresher!
A more direct way to transition dog food
Why fasting is a healthy option
Dont Worry About A Missed Meal
If your dog is especially finicky about their food, you may find them picking out the old food and leaving any new food you may have tried to mix in. In some cases, you may even find your dog picking out the new and leaving the old. No matter what the case, a dog can miss one or two meals or eat less of a meal without consequence.
However, if your dog does end up missing quite a few meals, you may want to consider switching over to a different dog food. The missed meals could mean that there is something wrong with the new food that is causing your dog to be extra hesitant. Additionally, it wouldnt be a bad idea to contact your vet to ensure your dog is healthy.
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How To Switch Dog Food Safely
Our staff gets this question a lot How to Switch Dog Food Safely? While the answer can vary, there is a way to do this, so your dog doesnt end up with an upset tummy. We like to refer to this as our 7-10 day transition, but this can also be extended into a more extended schedule if you have concerns or if your dog has a sensitive stomach. One excellent resource on transitioning a dog to a new food is the podcast by Theory of Pets.
How To Choose A Senior Dog Food
If you and your veterinarian decide that switching to a senior dog food is correct for your dog, choose a senior dog food with the guidelines below and follow the diet transition guidelines above according to their intestinal sensitivity.
Guidelines for choosing a senior dog food:
- Look for an AAFCO label stating that the food is complete and balanced
- Consider staying with the brand of food that has worked well in the past
- Consider a formula that includes joint support for arthritis
- Look for ingredients you feel comfortable feeding
- Find a senior dog food that fits within your budget
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