Understanding feeding and nutritional requirements of growing puppies and adult Dogs
Feeding your pet a healthy balanced diet is extremely important. Find out the feeding and nutritional requirements of a newborn pup and growing puppies.
The nutritional needs of pups keep on changing, depending upon their stages of life. The amount of food to be given primarily depends upon the pup’s breed.
Feeding newborn puppies
Just after birth, newborn pups suckling within about ten minutes. This initial stage is important for the little ones. They feed on their mother’s thick yellow milk, which is full of nutrients and proves to be a magic elixir at this early stage of life. Suckling in the first few weeks also makes the bond stronger between the pups and the mother. Pups continue to suckle upto the age of weaning,
which is generally six weeks.
Dr Himanshu Pratap Singh, Dr Divya Tiwari, Dr R K Jain (from Left)
Feeding growing pups
For better growth in puppies, they can be supplemented with high quality digestible solid food. Introduce them to solid food only after about twenty days. Generally a mixture of cereal, milk powder and mineral-vitamin supplements can be given.
After weaning, you should feed your growing puppy for five times a day. At the age of three months, feeding them thrice a day is suggested. At the age of six months, feeding your pooch twice a day should be sufficient. You need to keep in mind that the growth continues upto one year.
Feeding adult dogs
An adult dog consumes about fifteen grams dry matter/kg body weight. The quantity of protein feeds can be reduced as compared to growth stage.
The type of food given to the dog varies as per the pet parent’s liking. For example in a vegetarian household, pet parents would feed their pet only vegetarian diet. While, a different family might be happy to feed their pet animal proteins in the form of chicken or mutton.
Your pet’s liking is also supremely important. Whether it is home cooked food, packaged food, or a combination of both, feed them what they like.
The energy and protein requirements vary at different stages of life from a puppy to an adult dog.
During the early stage of growth, new organs and tissues are developing, so the protein requirement is high. The highest growth is during first four–five months.
The quality of protein given to your pet at this stage is very important. The two main amino acids are methionin and lysine. These are usually present in limited amount in vegetarian diet. If animal proteins like meat or egg are included in the diet, then dogs get sufficient amount of required amino acids.
If you don’t feed your pet animal protein, these amino acids can also be compensated through milk proteins.
Nutrient requirement for medium size pup
(about 5 kg)
Dry Matter- 50g/kg body weight
Protein – 9.6g/kg body weight
Energy – 274 Kilocalorie/kg body weight
Nutrient requirement for an adult dog
Dry Matter – 12-15 g/kg
Protein – 3-4 g/kg body weight
Energy – 125 kilocalorie/kg body weight
Feeding your pet the right food is important, but more important is feeding them the right quality. Make sure to give them a healthy balanced diet, but don’t overfeed them out of love and pampering.
(Dr Himanshu Pratap Singh, Dr Divya Tiwari, Dr RK Jain are from Veterinary College, Mhow, Madhya Pradesh)