Puppy Nutrition 101
Getting the right puppy nutrition is most important when they are a young. As they grow at such a rapid pace, they need all the help they can get. It’’s especially important they get good nutrition for their joints, bones and muscles to grow properly.
During the first 4 weeks of the puppy’s life, they should drink mom’s milk. There are some exceptions, as when the mom cannot produce enough milk for all her pups, or doesn’t want to feed. In this case, substituting with puppy formula is necessary. You can begin to introduce food to the puppy at about 4 weeks, starting with very small portions. Remember, they have tiny stomachs and probably won’t each much. in the beginning. Never save the leftovers and always give them fresh food. Since puppies are only familiar with drinking their mom’s milk or formula, it is best to spoon some of that liquid over the food to moisten it. This makes it easier for them to eat. As the weeks go by, you can lessen the amount of liquid and by 6-8 weeks your pup should be more than happy to eat his food.
The First 4 Months
In the first 4 months of the puppy’s life, he will most likely need to eat 3 times a day. By 6 months. your pup should be eating only twice a day. Always remember to use the food guidelines on the puppy food. You don’t want to over or under feed your new little friend. Never over feed in an attempt to accelerate the growth of your dog. This is determined by genetics; you cannot make your German shepherd bigger by feeding him more or keep your dog small by feeding it less. Proper food throughout in the puppy stages will only make them healthy; it will not decide their adult size. One thing to remember is when puppies consume too many calories they can grow too rapidly and develop bone growth problems which can be painful.
Large Breed Puppy
Let’s talk about the large breed puppy nutrition, such as Great Dane, Labrador Retriever, German Shepherd, Doberman Pincher and Boxer, to name a few. These breeds can inherit joint problems depending on the breeding quality. Their nutrition throughout the growing stages is very important to their health.
Schedule is Key
Feeding your pup on a schedule is important in potty training. It is good for the dog and helpful for you. You will know when your puppy needs to go potty by keeping them on a schedule. This makes the process easier for everyone.
It is important to remember your new puppy will go through several life changes at a very fast pace. The right puppy nutrition is vital. Be sensitive to their needs as they will change from week to week. They will require a lot from you – attention, play time, love, training and nutritious food to help them grow strong. Need to find a great puppy food? Check out our article ‘Best and Worst Puppy Foods’, where we review the healthy and the not so healthy ones.