Solid health foundations are built upon feeding puppies right during their all-important first year. Considering human takes twenty years to reach adulthood while puppies take about one year, that's alot of growing up for a very short time!
Quality commercial puppy food is available and an ideal choice for most owners/puppies especially if you are new or have a busy lifestyle.
The single best advantage of choosing manufactured food is knowing what your puppy will be getting and thus, the ease of putting together a balanced diet.
For starters, use the feeding guidelines printed on the package and adjust to your puppy's need gradually.
Feed her puppy-specific food for a year (or a little longer depending on breed) then switch to adult (dog) food.
Home-cooked vs raw Food..
To ensure your puppy gets sufficient nutrients for their growing year; Feed approximate proportions of 20% grain, 20% vegetables, 30% muscle meat and 30% organ meat.
Adjustment has to be made in terms of cutting down as your puppy reach adulthood. Too much of a 'good thing' (nutritional speaking) will do more harm than good once they pass that growing up stage.
Feed your new puppies four times a day until she refuses a meal, cut down to three meals while maintaining the same quantity of food for each feed.
Cut down further to two meals when she rejects her third. Two meals a day, rather than one not only put less stress on her digestive system but also allows for better nutrients adsorption.
Emphasis is usually place on the fact that over-feeding leads to unhealthy puppies, the same can also be said about under-feeding. Here's a guideline if you choose to feed home-prepared meals.
• 1-2 cups per day for puppies weighing up to 10 pounds.
• 2-7 cups per day for puppies weighing 10-35 pounds.
• 5-7 cups per day for puppies weighing 25-50 pounds.
• 7-9 cups for puppies weighing 50-90 pounds.
As a rule of thumb, feed your new puppy what she was getting from her previous owner/breeder. New foods and a new home will put tremendous stress on her tiny body and mind.
There are no fast rules on the best time to switch over to a new diet but it's safe to give her at least a week to adjust to her new home before making the switch..gradually.
Start by mixing a quarter of the new food with three-quarters of old food. Increase the ratio of new food by a quarter every week until the switch is complete.
Don't be surprise during this period your puppy suffers occasional diarrhoea. There are a couple of reasons for diarrhoea aside from her body adjusting to the new food (which is the least of worried).
Not every dog/puppy is made the same (even if they are of the same breed), the same type of food will have varying reactions from puppy to puppy.
Identify any particular food(s) that gives her constant diarrhoea and stop using that food.
Rule of the thumb is never let diarrhoea go on for longer than a day; puppies can quickly dehydrate! Consult your vet immediately if diarrhoea persists.
Losing weight correctly
Should your puppy dog needs to loss weight, cutting down food too drastically and too quickly will have negative impact especially on young puppies who still have lots of growing up.
The 'sweet spot' number here is 15% less.
For example; If your 3 months old puppy needs 1 cup of food daily which weight 200g, a deduction of 15% means feeding her 170g of food instead.
Understand that 15% is approximate, a benchmark, not an absolute. From there monitor her weight weekly and adjust the amount of food.
Feeding puppies right
In nature, animals rarely over-feed themselves when they get enough nutrients from their diet.
Puppies or dogs for that matter have that same sense of 'self-control' too. The main reason so many dogs suffer obesity today is the lack of nutritional diet or owners using poor quality but commercially success manufactured dog/puppy food.
Feeding puppies right not only rewards you with lean and healthy dogs for life. It will also save you alot of time and money by keeping the vets away!