Proper nutrition is key. Do you want to know a little more about how to feed your little glutton? Keep reading because the amounts and frequency with which you have to feed your new friend vary depending on different factors.
In this complete guide, we will explain about nutrition from birth until your puppy is one year old. Feeding our puppy is fundamental for his correct development.
In a natural way, puppies feed on breast milk until about three months old, when weaning occurs and they can begin to eat specialized food for puppies.
However, not all puppies are lucky enough to be able to be fed by their mothers until weaning. So, we will explain how we should feed our puppy from birth, without the help of the mother.
Puppies cannot eat solid food because they do not even have their teeth formed, nor is their digestive system prepared for it. That’s why we should feed them only with special milk for puppies, which we can find in veterinary clinics.
We cannot feed a puppy with cow’s milk because they do not tolerate lactose well, it would cause serious digestive problems and even intestinal parasites, causing death.
Only the special milk for puppies is valid for feeding, they sell it in powder to dilute it in water or already bottled. We must temper it without it getting to burn so that our puppy does not take it cold.
A puppy will need to drink milk with the help of a bottle between four and six times a day.
When our puppy is about three months old, we should begin to insert solid food. However, it cannot be in an abrupt way since his digestive system has to start adapting slowly.
How many times do I have to feed my puppy?
This is a very recurring question because you have to find a balance in nutrition. This is because you do not want your puppy to be either hungry or overfed. This balance will be marked by the frequency in which you divide his daily ration during his development stage.
The most advisable thing is to feed your puppy several times a day. It is not good to leave the feeder for puppies all the time so that he gets used to it and learns a schedule. As a general rule, follow these guidelines:
-Transition from weaning to solid feeding (usually 8 weeks): 4-6 meals a day.
-From 8 weeks to 3 months: 4 meals a day.
-From 4 to 6 months: 2-3 meals a day.
-After 6 months: 2 meals a day (depending on the breed).
How to feed a puppy during the first weeks
During the first six to eight weeks of life, the best is that the puppy stays with the mother. The mother’s milk in addition to offering the best nutrition provides antibodies. These antibodies will help your puppy to be protected against diseases.
Sometimes it is not possible to keep a puppy with the mother for the first eight weeks. In that case, you should look for milk substitutes and specially designed bottles.
How to feed a weaned puppy
The transition from weaning your puppy to solid food should not be a change overnight, but it should take place over the course of two to three weeks.
First, select the food brand for puppies with which you will feed both the puppy and his mother. At this stage, both the puppies and the mother have high caloric and nutritional needs. The selected food should be a high-quality one, containing protein, calcium, and calories. Blue Buffalo offers a great option with antioxidant-rich ingredients.
When the puppy is between four and six weeks old, it is time to start him in the solid food making a transitional porridge, mixing the food with a milk substitute. When he is eight weeks old, your puppy should already eat solid foods.
How to feed a puppy from 3 months
So your puppy has already begun to eat solid and his teeth are starting to come out.
His diet should attend to other circumstances besides age, such as the size of his breed.
Feed a large-sized puppy:
Large-sized puppies need slow growth to help prevent orthopedic problems, such as hip dysplasia. Whichever brand of food you choose, do not overvalue the levels of protein, fat and calories it contains since the development of the puppies of these breeds can be prolonged until 2 years of age. There is no hurry at this stage. The best is to adjust to the nutrients and the amount recommended by the manufacturer. Royal Canin Maxi addresses the needs of the large dog throughout its lifetime.
Feed a medium-sized puppy:
Medium-sized puppies have slightly higher metabolic rates than large-sized puppies. This means that a medium-sized puppy will reach its adult weight in about 12 months.
Medium-sized breeds also need a low-calorie diet because they are also prone to hip dysplasia. To ensure that your puppy is receiving optimal nutrition to protect and maintain health and well-being, include animal protein in his diet, as this will help your puppy create new body tissue.
In short, it is important to give a food according to its medium size so that his metabolism receives the right measure of nutrients. Royal Canin Medium helps these dogs maintain natural defenses throughout their life.
Feed a small-sized puppy
Small-sized dogs eat more compared to those of large-size because the metabolism of small-sized is faster and they need a higher calorie intake.
Keep in mind that at the age of 10 months most of the small breed puppies will have completed their development.
Another special feature of puppies of small breeds to consider is the size of their mouths and stomachs. Therefore, when choosing a food for your puppy, make sure that your animal can chew the croquette without difficulty. Royal Canin Mini provides them with all the nutrients they need.