When you have a new puppy, it’s hard to know where to begin….
You have to figure out where he’ll sleep, where he’s to stay when you’re not home, how to get him to go potty outside, how to train him to come, how to give him a bath, and when to get his shots. It’s a little overwhelming, isn’t it? One of the most immediate issues will be concerning the feeding of your new puppy…. In this article we’ll cover what to feed your puppy, how often, and how much.
First of all, puppies should be with their mother until at least eight weeks old.
During this time they should get everything they need from their mother so we won’t worry about that here. Once the puppy is weaned from his mother and you bring him home, this is when your tour of duty starts.
Puppies need puppy food, not adult dog food. Check the ingredients on the package and make sure the first ingredient is meat. Skip the brands that list grains or meat by-products as the first few ingredients. This is not what your puppy needs for healthy growth, plus the grains may upset his little tummy.
Stick with puppy food for at least the first year. After that, it could depend on your dog’s size. Larger dogs may need to stay on puppy food longer, but ask your vet to be sure.
A dog’s stomach usually doesn’t like a lot of variety and you’ll notice some diarrhea or throwing up if you suddenly change dog foods. If you are going to change the brand or flavor, do it slowly by mixing the first brand with the second and increasing the second over a period of time so their stomach can handle it.
If you’re looking for some good quality puppy food we recommend clicking HERE
Very young puppies…
may need to be fed three or four times per day. Sometime after 8 weeks you can switch the feedings to twice per day. Feed your puppy at the same times every day and be consistent with this. Imagine how you would have felt if it was dinner time and your mom didn’t feed you until 2 hours later.
PS. we don’t recommend giving your Puppy a fresh cup of coffee and biscuits…that is a big No No..
Dog food packaging should list feeding amounts based on the dog’s weight. If you are unsure, or if it doesn’t seem right to you, ask your vet for their recommendation. Of course you don’t want to starve your pup, but you also don’t want to over-feed him either.
Now you have the what, when, and how much regarding the feeding of your puppy. If you have any problems, your vet’s office is just a phone call away.
Spend a little time doing research in the beginning and find a dog food that is right for your puppy. You can find quality products in pet stores and also online. Check the first five ingredients on the dog food packaging. They should be things you would want to eat yourself like vegetables and meat; not by-products and grain fillers that can be hard for your puppy to digest.
2. Puppies need a lot of exercise but will also need periods of rest as they grow.
This varies from breed to breed, if you are walking your puppy and they stop and refuse to go any further, they have probably had enough. Try not to over exercise you puppy as this can cause problems with joints while they are developing. This is crucial to their well-being. They need physical exercise, such as running around and playing with other pups and they also need mental exercise like learning to retrieve a ball or play hide and seek. Also keep in mind that a bored puppy is a mischievous puppy who can get himself into trouble.
3. Constant fresh water is a must.
Puppies get thirsty and they need fluids to aid in good health and growth. Keep an eye on the water bowl at all times and keep it filled.
4. I’m sure you’ve figured it out by now that puppies are like two year olds.
They need to have a safe place to be when you’re not around to supervise them. They’re also like young children in that they like to put things in their mouths that they find laying around. Keep your valuables up and out of reach of your puppy until they’re old enough to control themselves.
5. Take care of your puppy’s teeth by brushing them
and/or giving them safe, hard bones. Get them used to teeth brushing, nail clipping, and brushing when they’re young.
Find a good vet upon recommendation and take your puppy in on a pre-determined schedule. Most vet offices will send you a postcard reminder when the next appointment is due.
7. Lastly, it probably goes without saying that a puppy needs lots of love for both physical and mental wellbeing. This shouldn’t be so hard to do because you fell in love with him before you even brought him home.
If you take care of your puppy’s health requirements, such as keeping him safe, sticking to a schedule of checkups and vaccinations, and feeding him quality food, you should have many years of happiness with your new best friend.
Specialist diets are generally more expensive than ‘standard’ dog foods.
Those designed to keep down your pet’s weight can mostly be avoided by being careful with their diet in the first place and maintaining a strict exercise routine. Therapeutic diets are normally sold via vet practices, but are increasingly available on line. They are formulated to help with specific health problems such as diabetes and renal failure.
Cow’s milk should be avoided all together as this can cause stomach upsets. More importantly, fresh water must always be available to avoid dehydration.
Supplements are subject to much debate. Manufacturers of many prepared foods would argue that their scientifically balanced formulations do not require additional supplements. It is probably safest to assume that if your dog is enjoying a healthy diet there is no need for anything else. If in doubt, check with your vet.
When you bring a new puppy home, there’s nothing you want to do more than shower her with affection. But the little ball of energy is more vulnerable to illness than vaccinated dogs with mature immune systems. As a new dog owner or a pet sitter, you may not yet know the signs that you have a sick puppy on your hands. However, there are about seven common puppy illnesses to look out for, including: intestinal parasites, Parvovirus, Coccidia, Canine Distemper, Heartworm Disease, Kennel Cough and Hypoglycemia.
Many puppies get intestinal parasites, such as roundworms or hookworms, early in life. Symptoms include loose stool and an upset stomach. The vet can offer an oral drug to paralyse the worms and enable your puppy to pass them in his poop.
The virus is highly contagious and can be caught from direct or indirect contact with contaminated feces. Look for bloody diarrhea, vomiting and a loss of appetite. If you notice those symptoms, offer comfort care and get antibiotics to prevent secondary infections.
This parasite, which is usually found in standing water, can infest your puppy’s gastrointestinal tract and the cells inside. Symptoms include diarrhea, blood in the stool or dehydration. The vet can offer a drug to kill the parasite. Looking to avoid this illness altogether? Keep your puppy’s water and environment sanitary and squeaky clean.
If a pesky mosquito bites a dog with heartworm several houses down, it can pass the worm on to your pet if the bug then bites your dog. It takes up to six or seven months before your puppy shows signs of illness. Heartworms can cause heart failure and lung disease and are potentially deadly.
Your dog will have a persistent dry, honking cough. See your veterinarian for an antibiotic, offer supportive care (no stress or junk food for your little guy!) and keep your sick dog away from his puppy friends until he’s better. A vaccination is available.
Small dogs can end up with low blood sugar if they don’t eat enough. If your dog has hypoglycemia, she may show signs of lethargy and possibly have seizures. When caring for your suffering dog, offer a proper diet and possibly diabetes medication provided by a vet.