If you want your puppy to be happy and healthy, the food they eat is absolutely critical. You’ll want to make sure they’re getting the nutrients they need to grow at a steady pace and stay healthy. Good food and a feeding routine will also make your life easier as a puppy parent.
First, think about the puppy's age. Start with a puppy formulation and eventually move on to the adult option.
Next, consider the dog’s size. Some food is formulated for either large or small breeds. Determine which category your dog falls into and pick their dog food accordingly.
Finally, find the right price. The cheapest food is stuffed with the cheapest ingredients, so it recommended to go with a middle or premium brand. They’ll actually need less quantity because the quality meets your dog’s nutritional needs faster.
Check out the label for guidelines on the amount needed for your dog’s weight. Divide the total amount by the number of feedings you’re doing per day (e.g. 2 cups of food would be 1 cup per feeding if you’re feeding 2 times per day).
Monitor your pup’s weight, as they’re growing you’ll need to continue increasing the food amount. Watch and make sure they’re looking healthy but not overweight.
Pick a food bowl that is less resistant to being flipped over and moved around. Look for one that has a rubber base so to reduce noise and skidding, while also protecting your hardwood floor from scratches.
Skip the cheap plastic food bowl as it has known to cause skin contact dermatitis around the dog's chin and possibly the face and it is known for leaching contaminants. Puppies may also want to chew on the plastic, which creates ridges that hold bacteria. A stainless steel bowl so far appears to be the best choice considering its ease of cleaning and the fact that it is heavier and less likely to be knocked over. Choose a bowl that is tailored to your pup's size.
Skip the plastic, the ceramic and opt for stainless steel bowls. Clean the water bowl with antibacterial dish soap and hot water before filling it up each day, or place it in the dishwasher to give it a good sanitizing wash.
Puppies thrive on consistency, so feed her at the same times each day. If you stick to a feeding schedule, it’s easier on your dog and you. You may want to avoid feeding your dog immediately when you get home from work as it can encourage separation anxiety.
When switching to a new food for a puppy you just adopted or if you’re moving from puppy to adult food, it’s a good idea to transition slowly. This will keep your pet from having stomach issues or getting sick from the quick transition.
Before you run out of the previous food, buy some of the new food and give them a few feedings containing both types of food.
Chicken bones or any cooked bone can easily splinter and harm your dog. Bones that break into fragments can block internal organs and lead to death. You can find chews, treats, and other fake bones or bully sticks that are safer for your dog to enjoy as a treat.
Human food is full of things that aren’t good for dogs and often has higher calories. This can make your dog sick (and you’ll have to clean up). Some human foods are also poisonous to dogs, including candy, grapes, onions and chocolate.
As your puppy grows, it is very important to monitor his or her weight to make sure growth is occurring at an appropriate rate and that your puppy is not getting overweight.
You should weigh your puppy every 1 to 2 weeks. You can do this by: Taking a trip to your veterinary office – this is a great idea if you want to get your puppy used to going to the vet.
Weigh at home using a bathroom scale – you need to be able to lift puppy and weigh both of you together, and then subtract your weight.
Use a luggage scale – put puppy in a small pet carrier and use the scale to weigh puppy plus the carrier, then subtract the weight of the carrier.
Remember that treats have different calorie amounts per piece, so be sure to read the label. Treats and snacks should make up no more than 10% of your puppy’s calorie intake per day. You can use the puppy kibble as treats – set aside a portion of the total daily amount to be used as treats during the day.