A balanced diet of a puppy is a guarantee of the future health of an adult. But how to properly organize the feeding process so that your pet not only gets the necessary nutrients and vitamins, but also does not overload the digestive system?
The answer to this question is given by veterinarians and nutritionists, who have been studying the peculiarities of nutrition and digestion of pets for a long time.
- Basic rules for feeding puppies
- What can and cannot be fed to a puppy
- List of useful and harmful foods
- How many times a day and at what interval to feed
- Approximate feeding ration
- How to transfer a puppy to dry food
Basic rules for feeding puppies
During the first months of life, the animal’s digestive system undergoes a number of changes. This is a gradual transition to solid food, the introduction of new products into the diet, colonization of the intestines with the “correct” microflora.
To make the process of formation as painless as possible, experts recommend adhering to simple but effective rules:
- Bowl location… Do not feed your dog from a bowl on the floor. You should choose a supply that allows the animal to not bend its back at the time of eating. The pet’s neck should be parallel to the floor at the time of eating. This allows you to reduce unnecessary stress on the spine and contributes to the physiologically correct development of the musculoskeletal system.
- Fractional nutrition… The owner’s desire to feed the puppy once a day with a full amount of food has a detrimental effect on his health. The baby’s stomach stretches, and after a short time, the blood glucose level drops. The result will be a strong feeling of hunger, prompting the dog to eat in large quantities. Thus, we get a vicious circle that leads to obesity.
- Uniform intervals between feedings… The pet has a feeling of fullness and gets used to a certain daily routine.
- Should not overfeed… A consultation with a veterinarian allows you to determine the optimal amount of food for different age groups, taking into account the breed characteristics of the pet. For a Great Dane puppy and a Pekingese puppy who is 5 months old, the amount of food will be significantly different.
- Surplus feed… If after feeding the pet has a small amount of food in the bowl, then it is recommended to reduce the next portion.
- Eliminate snacks using prohibited products (cookies, crackers, etc.).
- Do not use food from the refrigerator… Cooked food should be heated to 18-20 degrees Celsius.
- Use a variety of products, avoiding a meager and monotonous diet.
A prerequisite for proper nutrition for both a puppy and an adult dog is access to fresh water around the clock. In winter, it is enough to change the water once a day, and in summer it is recommended to do this twice during the day. This avoids the development of intestinal diseases. Also, do not leave food in the bowl after the puppy has moved away from it.
You may also be interested in our article on how to start raising a puppy.
What can and cannot be fed to a puppy
For the full development of the baby, the feeding algorithm should be strictly observed and only permitted ingredients should be used. By consulting your veterinarian, you can determine which foods will bring him the most benefit.
The basic rules of healthy eating for your dog must be followed:
- During from 1 to 3 months of life preference should be given to natural products. It can be lean meats (veal, beef, rabbit, duck), dairy products to maintain optimal intestinal microflora, cereals, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables. The use of boiled fish is allowed.
It is important: The percentage of protein foods for a puppy aged 1-3 months cannot exceed 70%.
- It is imperative that vitamin and mineral supplements be introduced into the daily diet, which will make up for the deficiency of essential substances in the body.
- Avoid using fried and pickled ingredients for feeding your puppy. Veterinarians advise choosing only cooked or raw foods.
- The amount of cereals and vegetables should not exceed more than 10-12% of the daily intake.
Observing these simple rules, the breeder provides his four-legged pet with a complete and healthy diet for active growth and physiologically correct development of the body.
List of useful and harmful foods
To the products beneficial experts refer to a young body:
- Low-fat varieties of meat, fish and poultry;
- Meat and fish offal;
- Fresh vegetables and fruits;
- Sour cream, kefir, cottage cheese, whey and other fermented milk products without flavorings and sugar;
Do not be afraid of the apparent paucity of the pet’s menu. A dog is by nature a predator, so its diet is mainly protein food.
Category prohibited products veterinarians include:
- Sweets, cookies, sweets. They contain glucose, which starts the fermentation process. For predators, they have a negative effect on the state of the digestive system;
- Spicy, salty food, as well as food with a lot of spices;
- Tubular bones. When chewed, they crumble into many small fragments that can cause intestinal obstruction and injury to the esophagus;
- Pork. She is the source of trichinosis, which is difficult to treat and painful for the dog;
- Whole milk. The pet’s body is not able to assimilate it;
- Cabbage and various types of legumes provoke fermentation processes;
- River fish, which becomes a source of helminthic infestation;
- Sausages containing a large amount of harmful impurities, dyes and preservatives.
- Boiled potatoes that are not digested in the puppy’s digestive system.
By eliminating the use of harmful ingredients in the diet of a four-legged pet, you will keep it healthy, strengthen the immune system and raise a healthy dog.
How many times a day and at what interval to feed, depending on age
If the owner does not adhere to the classic recommendations of specialists, then the pet begins to have problems with the digestive system and persistent metabolic disorders form. How to avoid this sad fate for your puppy?
It is necessary to observe the exact intervals between feedings, as well as strictly adhere to the advice of a veterinary nutritionist:
- Starting from 2 months of age, the number of feedings should be 6 times a day, the interval between meals is 3-3.5 hours;
- For a baby at the age of 3 months, the number of feedings is reduced up to 5 times with an interval of 4 hours.
- A teenager from 4 to 6 months should be fed 4 times a day.
- After 7 months, the interval between meals is 6 hours and the number of feedings is reduced to 3.
- From 10 months of age, you can transfer the pet to morning and evening feeding.
In this case, the load on the digestive system will be gradual and the baby will not feel discomfort when switching to an adult diet.
Approximate Puppy Feeding Ration
Consider the optimal diet for a two month old puppy. In the future, you will be able to independently adjust it, taking into account the increasing needs of the body and reducing the number of feedings.
|1st feeding||Low-fat cottage cheese or porridge cooked in milk (do not forget about the regular change of cereals. It is useful to use oatmeal, buckwheat or rice);|
|2nd feeding||Porridge cooked in vegetable or meat broth. The addition will be meat, which can be given both boiled and raw. The best solution would be to choose a half-baked product;|
|3rd feeding||Dairy products;|
|4th feeding||You can duplicate the diet of the 2nd meal;|
|5th feeding||Fermented milk products (cottage cheese, kefir).|
|6th feeding||A small amount of raw meat or boiled fish.|
It is important: focus on the puppy’s needs. In some cases, you should increase the amount of fermented milk products and remove fish from the diet for 1-2 weeks. and sometimes the pet refuses meat in favor of boiled fish.
How to transfer a puppy to dry food
Transfer to dry food should not begin until the pet is 3 months old. If there are no other feeding options, then the granules are pre-soaked and only then offered to the pet. Dry food should be introduced gradually.
Veterinarians recommend choosing premium foods that are tailored to the needs of young pets and do not contain harmful impurities.
The choice of dosage allows a careful study of the manufacturer’s recommendations. Information is placed on the package, taking into account the weight and age of the puppy. An independent increase in the amount of food leads to metabolic disorders and causes obesity.
Feed your puppy correctly and then after a few months you will become the owner of a beautiful and healthy pet!