What to Feed My Puppy

Dog Feeding Basics


Dogs are as individual as people. Large, small, young or old, they all need a well-balanced diet for good health. Good nutrition is no accident; dogs of different ages and sizes have different nutritional needs.         It     therefore     takes     time     and patience   to   learn   what   your   dog   needs   to stay     happy     and     healthy,     as     well     as diligence     and     perseverance     to     make     sure your   dog   eats   what   he/she   should,   rather than what he/she wants. Use the following information   to   help   ensure   that   your   dog gets   the   proper nutrition.

What Kind of Food Should I Feed My Dog?


There are three factors to consider when deciding which food is right for your pet: life stage,   lifestyle,   and   overall   condition. Life stage refers to   whether   your   dog   is   a puppy (birth-1 yr),   adult   (1yr-6yrs),   or senior   (7   yrs   and   older).     Lifestyle   refers to   how   active   or   inactive   your   dog   is normally. Overall condition refers to your dog’s overall health and body weight. In addition   to   these   factors,   the   food   must also   meet   established   nutritional requirements   for dogs.

The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) is an organization that publishes regulations for   nutritional adequacy of “complete and   balanced”   dog   and cat   foods.       Most   dog   foods   on   the   market have a label   claim   of   meeting   the   minimum AAFCO requirements for dog nutrition. The higher quality dog food companies meet the requirements and perform clinical trials to ensure that dogs   eating   their   brand   of   dog food   remain   happy   and healthy.


Does Price Matter When Selecting a Dog Food?


Low   cost   dog   food   may   be   less   expensive   but it   is   not   always   a   bargain.   Lower   quality foods may not provide optimum nutrition   for your   dog.     High   quality   dog   foods   provide 100% complete and balanced nutrition with consistent   high   quality   ingredients;   i.e. from bag   to   bag   or   can   to   can,   your   dog   will get   consistent   optimal   nutrition.   In addition, these dog foods have a   higher nutrient and energy density than the lower quality foods which translates into smaller feeding   portions.       Therefore,   the   premium dog food gives you the best value while providing your dog   with   high   quality nutrition.


How Often Should I Feed My Dog?


Puppies from weaning (generally 6 weeks of age)to 4 months of age should be fed three times daily;   i.e.   you   feed   1/3   of   their   total daily requirement at each feeding. After 4 months   of   age,   they   should   be   fed   twice daily. Most dogs should continue   to   be   fed twice daily throughout their   lifetime (although   some   dogs   will   do   well   on   only once daily feeding). Dogs like routine, so establish   a   feeding   schedule   and   stick   to it. A good time to feed your   dog   is   during family   meals   –   this   will   occupy   him/her while   the   rest   of   the   family   is eating.

How Much Should I Feed My Dog?


The amount your dog needs to eat depends on many factors including life stage, lifestyle, and overall condition (as discussed previously).  Most dog foods will have feeding guidelines based on weight provided on the package.  However, every dog is unique and you have to adjust the amount he or she is eating accordingly.  Body condition score (BCS) is a scale that is used to assess your dog’s overall body condition.  This information can be used to make the appropriate adjustments in the amount you are feeding your dog so that he or she maintains an ideal body condition.

Puppies (Just   weaned  to  3   ½-4   months old):

Feed 1    8oz  cup/5-10  lbs   of    body weight/day.

Feed high quality puppy food based on breed.  Smaller breeds feed a puppy food till 6 months of age.  Larger breeds should be on a puppy food until 9-12 months of age.

When Do I Start Feeding My Puppy Adult Food?

Once your puppy is fully grown, evaluate your puppy’s   nutritional   needs,   and choose   the   appropriate   adult food.

Make the switch gradually over 3-4 days; i.e. on day 1 feed ¼ new food, ¾ old food, day 2   feed   ½ new   food,   ½ old   food,   and   so on, until your puppy is   completely   on   the new

Large breed   dogs   have   special  needs  due to  the  association  between overfeeding and developmental joint problems.  Feed ‘large breed’ formula foods – they contain reduced   amounts   of   calcium,   phosphorus, and   fat.    This   helps control their rate of growth and thus promotes normal development.

Depending on the breed, start switching to adult formula dog food   at   4-6   months   of age.

Adult Dogs 2-6 Years of Age

Based on your dog’s nutritional needs, feed the appropriate high quality adult formula dog

Feed to   maintain Body Conditioning Score of 3

Generally, most normal healthy dogs need approximately 1 8oz cup/25-30 lbs of body weight/day.

Remember that each dog is unique and you may have to adjust the amount of food you are feeding your dog based on his/her specific nutritional

Senior Dogs 7 Years and Older

Based on your dog’s nutritional needs, feed the appropriate high quality senior

Senior diets are formulated to address the specific needs of your older dog; they are lower in fat, salt, and phosphorus, and higher in fiber to increase

Adjust the amount of feeding to maintain as close to a Body Condition Score of 3

Is It Ok to Give My Dog Bones?

Many dogs, especially young dogs, have a natural instinct  to  chew.   However,  you  should  only give  bones   and  chew  toys that are specifically designed for dogs to safely chew such     as     nylabones     and     kong     toys. Bones,       especially       chicken       and   turkey bones,   can   splinter   and   cause   serious problems   such   as   getting   lodged   in   your dog’s mouth, constipation, or even bloody diarrhea.   Round   bones   can   get   stuck   around the   lower   jaw   or   lodged   in   the   esophagus   as well   as   fracture teeth.

Many dogs, especially young dogs,, have a natural instinct to chew.  However, you should only give bones and chew toys that are specifically designed for dogs to safely chew such as nylabones and king toys.  Bones, especially chicken and turkey bones, can splinter and cause serious problems such as getting lodged in your dogs mouth, constipation, or even bloody diarrhea.  round bones, can get stuck around the the lower jaw, can lodge in the esophagus, or fracture teeth.

Is It Okay to Give My Dog Raw Hide

Rawhide is usually the inner layer of cow hide.  Rawhide can give puppies and dogs the ability to chew an acceptable toy while benefiting from the mechanical action of chewing (cleaning teeth, calming the dog, strengthening mouth muscles).  There are a few precautions to take when giving your dog rawhide.  Firstly, if your dog has a history of vomiting, diarrhea, allergies or has special dietary needs, he/she may have a negative reaction to rawhide.  Additionally, it is important that the rawhide be large enough that your dog will not swallow it whole.  Large pieces of hide can potentially get stuck in the esophagus or gastrointestinal tract and require surgical removal.  Pay attention to the rawhide treat that your dog is chewing on.  Once it gets broken into smaller pieces or if the ‘knots’ at the end of a raw hide bone are ready to fall off.  Replace the rawhide with a new one.  Lastly, remember that moderation is key.  Too much of a good thing can be…well…too much.

What Kind of Treats Can I Give My Dog?

Obesity is the number one nutritional health problem in dogs (and people!).  Obesity can lead to serious health problems such as diabetes, pancreatitis, heart disease, and arthritis.  Dog biscuits and treats are generally very high nine fat; therefore, moderation is important.  If you are using treats for training, break up the treat into smaller morsel instead of giving your dog the entire treat as ar award. Alternatively, vegetable (no onions, garlic, avocado or raisins), cooked egg whites, or air popped popcorn are some low fat options for treats.  Just remember to keep track of how many treats your dog is eating in addition to his or her regular diet.  A small 10b dog that gains 1 lb due to too many treats is like a person putting on 15 pounds!

Can I Feed My Dog Table Scraps

Feeding your dog table scraps is not recommended for several reasons. First, table food is generally too fatty   for the digestive system of most animals and can cause stomach upset as well as occasionally trigger pancreatitis (which can be a life-threatening inflammation of the pancreas).   Some foods can even be toxic to your dog!   Second, feeding your dog table scraps in addition to his/her regular balanced diet adds calories and may lead to obesity.     In addition, if your dog fills up on table scraps, he/she may potentially eat less of her/his   regular dog food and thus, your dog will not be getting proper nutrition.   This can also lead to a very finicky   eater which not only can be extremely frustrating for you, but unhealthy for your dog because it will become very difficult to ensure that your dog gets a complete and balanced diet.   If you wish to cook for your dog, there are certain recipes formulated to meet the specific nutritional needs of your dog.  Ask us for the recipe that is right   for your dog if you choose to do the cooking.

Does My Dog Get Bored With The Same Old Dog Food?

Boredom with food is a human trait. Dogs tend to be creatures of habit and are usually happy with one food. If you abruptly or constantly change your dog’s diet, this can lead to vomiting and diarrhea problems and may turn   your dog into a finicky eater.

Do I Need To Give My Dog Vitamins?

If your dog is eating a high quality dog food that is 100% complete and balanced, there is no need to give your dog vitamins or supplements.


Posted on

27 September 2017