As the pet parent of a new puppy, you’ll want him to grow up fit and healthy, and reach his full genetic potential. It’s not hard to help him do this; all you have to do is provide your puppy with the correct diet right from the start. Here are some of the things you should know about feeding your puppy and the food he needs to grow up strong and healthy:
Why nutrition is important?
First, your puppy will need a very digestible diet so his body can absorb all the nutrients that he needs. Second, it’s important that he really enjoys his food, so he’ll eat all of it. So it really matters what you feed your puppy. In fact, he needs special nutrition with just the right amounts of protein, fats, minerals and vitamins. After all, weight for weight, a puppy needs up to two and a half times as many calories as an adult dog does. A puppy’s diet must also be balanced so he receives the right amount of nutrients. And the food should be sufficiently concentrated to allow him to take in all the needed nutrients with a small amount of food.
Puppies are normally weaned from their mother’s milk onto solid foods when they’re 3-4 weeks old. You should give them their food in small portions 3 or 4 times a day. If you’re buying from a breeder, your puppy should have been weaned onto a solid diet by the time you take him home at the age of eight to twelve weeks. ‘Pedigree weaning’ food will be right choice for weaning puppies in India.
When you bring your puppy home
Changing homes and leaving his mother is stressful for a puppy. It could cause an upset stomach. If this happens, take him off solid food for two meals, and just give him small quantities of water to drink. Then, gradually introduce boiled rice and scrambled eggs over 24 hours, before you reintroduce his normal puppy food again. If, however, the diarrhoea or vomiting continues for more than 24 hours, or becomes more severe, phone your vet. Once your puppy has settled in, you’ll likely want to change his diet to the type or brand of food you’ve decided on. Make sure you replace the original food with the new food gradually, over a period of 3-5 days.
The benefits of prepared foods
Proper nutrition is necessary for your puppy’s health. Some dog owners prepare homemade foods for their pets. But it’s difficult even for an experienced breeder to get the nutritional balance just right. The best idea is to get your puppy used to eating prepared foods from the very start. The advantages of prepared foods like Pedigree are:
- They meet all the nutritional requirements: they’re balanced, with the proper amounts of protein, fats, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins, and easily digestible.
- They don’t require any food supplements. Just don’t forget to put down a bowl of fresh water.
- They are convenient to use and can be stored for long periods.
Which type of food should you choose?
There are two main types of complete dog food: moist in cans and pouches, and dry in packages. Both types are made from meat, poultry or fish based ingredients and grains, and provide balanced nutrition, with all the necessary nutrients. Dry foods have certain economic and practical advantages: they’re more economical, they don’t need to be stored in the refrigerator, and they’ll keep for a day in the bowl. Moist foods, on the other hand, provide your dog with a highly enjoyable eating experience.
Two stages of development: puppy and young dog
All dogs go through two stages of development: puppy and young dog. These are both very important periods in a dog’s development, as they determine what kind of adult the dog will be. Puppies are very active and grow rapidly. That’s why they need special food that will meet their energy requirements. What’s most important to keep in mind is that dogs of different breeds reach maturity at different times. Dogs of the toy or small breeds stop growing at around 9 to 12 months (use Pedigree small breed puppy), while dogs of the large breeds continue to develop up to 18 to 24 months (use Pedigree Large breed puppy). But we can generalize by saying that for all breeds (Pedigree puppy), the initial stage–when a puppy reaches half of its adult weight–ends at between five and six months. Proper nutrition allows for the puppy to reach his full genetic potential. If he’s overfed, a puppy can develop bone anomalies, which are more common in puppies of the large and giant breeds.