As your puppy grows from a tiny ball of fluff into a full-grown dog, its nutritional requirements change too. The best way to understand what and how much to feed your pup is to get familiar with how their bodies process food and what nutrients they need at each stage, hence, the need to read this puppy feeding guide.
Understanding Puppy Nutrition
Puppy nutrition is a very important part of your puppy’s life. Understanding what they need will help you make sure that they are eating the right foods, and it will also help you to understand how important it is to keep their diet balanced.
Puppies are growing fast, so it is important to feed them high-quality puppy food that meets their nutritional needs. Puppies need more protein than adult dogs and less fat, carbohydrates, and fiber. A puppy’s diet should be about 30% protein and 20% fat, with the rest of the calories coming from carbohydrates.
Most commercial brands of puppy food contain 30% to 35% protein and 18% to 20% fat. The rest of the calories come from carbohydrates. You should avoid feeding your puppy foods that contain more protein or fat than this because they may not be good for them.
Puppies can be fed either wet or dry food throughout their first year, but there are some important things to keep in mind when choosing a type of food. The caloric needs of puppies are higher than adults, so it’s important to make sure they are getting the right amount of food. Puppy owners should also be aware that puppies have different nutritional needs at different stages of their development.
You can find out how much protein and fat are in your puppy’s food by reading the label on the package or bag. If you buy canned puppy food (which is sometimes easier to find than dry food), you’ll need to check the label on the can or box because they don’t always include nutrition information on those labels.
What To Feed Puppy
When it comes to feeding your puppy, there are a few different options. You can choose dry food or kibble, wet or canned food, or treats.
Dry food or Kibble
Dry food or Kibble is the most popular option for puppies because it’s easy for them to digest and it has a long shelf life. It does have some downsides though. Dry kibble isn’t as nutritious as wet food or canned food and it doesn’t contain any moisture which makes it hard for your puppy to get enough water in their diet (this is especially important if they live in a hot climate).
Wet or Canned Food
Wet or Canned Food is great if you’re looking for something that has more natural ingredients than dry kibble but still doesn’t need refrigeration so you don’t have to worry about keeping it cool all day long. This type of food also has more moisture so your puppy will be getting more water in their diet than they would if they were eating dry kibble only.
Treats are another option for giving your puppy a healthy diet without sacrificing quality time together during mealtime. Treats are just small bites of real food that can be used as rewards for good behavior or given out as rewards for learning new tricks. It’s important to remember not to overfeed treats—they’re meant as a reward for good behavior, not a meal replacement.
Your puppy should always have access to fresh water at all times. This will keep him hydrated and healthy during all seasons; especially when it is hot outside.
The best way to feed your puppy is by hand so that you can monitor how much they eat and make sure that they’re not overeating or getting too full (this could lead to an upset stomach). You can also use dog bowls with raised sides so that the food doesn’t fall out easily when they’re eating from them.
How Much Should a Puppy Eat?
As a general rule, puppies need to eat more than adult dogs. They have higher energy requirements and grow at a faster rate than adult dogs do. The reason for this is that puppies are growing, and they need more calories because they are growing. Puppies also need more protein because they are growing, as well as calcium to keep their bones strong while they’re growing into their final shape and size.
Puppies need to be fed 3-4 small meals per day. The meals should be roughly 1/4 – 1/2 cups each. You should make sure that your puppy’s diet contains high-quality protein sources such as chicken, beef, or fish. They should also have fruits and vegetables on a regular basis to ensure that they get all of the vitamins and minerals that they need for growth and development.
Feeding Tips For Puppy
Here are tips and tricks that will make feeding time more enjoyable and successful for you and your pup;
1. Don’t Free Feed
Free feeding can bring about some unwanted consequences. Those unwanted consequences can include unwanted pests, difficulty in monitoring changes in appetite, and more. Decide on a puppy feeding schedule and stick to it. If your dog doesn’t eat their food quickly, consider adding a meal topper to your dog’s mealtime for improved nutrition and taste.
2. Incorporate Training And Behaviors Into Your Feeding Time
One of the best times to train your pup is when their “food drive” is higher, as in when they are hungry. Using their food as an incentive can make your pup more likely to follow through with desired cues/skills.
3. Don’t Feed Table Scraps
Although this can be extremely tempting, feeding your pup tables scraps can lead to an overtake of calories. Another issue you run into is that your pup will be much more likely to beg while you eat your meals.
4. Mind The 10% Rule
The 10% rule states that treats should only make up 10% of your dog’s daily caloric intake. Because treats aren’t a completely balanced “meal”, overfeeding treats can cause weight gain and ensuing health issues. So be sure to not overdo it with treats, and find one that’s a healthy, low-calorie treat.
5. Weigh Your Dog
Weighing your dog frequently can help you keep an eye on sudden changes that may be related to health issues. Even if you weigh once or twice a month, this will help you stay alert to changes in your health and weight.
6. Clean the Food Bowl Frequently
Although your dog’s bowl may look clean (especially if they lick it clean when they eat), bacteria can easily build up and cause potential problems. It’s recommended to wash your pup’s bowl at least a couple of times a week.
7. Adjust Seasonally (Due To Exercise)
Depending on where you live, some seasons might constitute more or less exercise. Our playtime slows down slightly during Utah winters, so we typically feed a touch less to compensate for the lack of burned calories. Just keep an eye on your pup to know if this is necessary or not.
8. Measure Their Food
Dog foods come with feeding guidelines. Instead of just “eye-balling” what you think a cup is, get an actual measuring cup when scooping out your pup’s meals. This will help ensure that your little buddy is getting just the right amount of food. Also, if changes need to be made to feeding proportions you’ll know exactly what your baseline was when you make the change.
9. Stick To A Schedule
As was mentioned before, sticking to a feeding schedule will help your pup also maintain a more normal and consistent potty schedule. A consistent potty schedule is good for everyone, especially your floors.
10. Choose Your Feeding Spot Wisely (Easy To Clean, Not a Lot Of Foot Traffic, Etc.)
Just like with a puppy feeding schedule, having a consistent feeding spot will help your pup associate that time and location in a positive way. When starting to crate train, many people will feed their pup inside the crate and then continue that habit even once the dog is fully crated and potty trained. The main idea is to stay consistent and to choose a spot that’s easy to clean and doesn’t get lots of foot traffic.
11. Monitor Stools
Keeping an eye on your pup’s stools (or poop if you prefer that term) will help you monitor any potential health changes. No need to dissect it or anything like that, just keep an eye on it.
FAQs About Feeding Puppy
When Should I Start My Puppy on Solid Food?
Your puppy is ready to eat solid food when they are between 8-10 weeks old. At this age, puppies have been weaned from their mom and are ready to eat solid food.
If you have a large breed puppy, they may be able to eat solids as early as 8 weeks old. If you have a small breed puppy, they may not be able to eat solids until closer to 10 weeks old.
When Should I Switch to Adult Food?
When you should switch your puppy to adult food depends on several factors, including their age and size. It’s recommended that you can switch your puppy to high-quality adult food once they have reached 6 months of age.
Puppies can be switched to adult dog food as soon as they reach their adult weight, which is generally around 6 months. Be sure to weigh them regularly so you know when this has happened.
You may wish to wait until your puppy has finished growing before making the switch (around 5-6 months). However, if he seems hungry or underweight at any time since weaning from his mother’s milk, then it may be worth starting the transition process earlier than this recommended guideline suggests, just make sure it doesn’t skip any meals either way. If a puppy does not receive all of his required nutrients in terms of vitamins and minerals then he could become sick later down the line because of poor bone development.
How Often Should I Feed My Dog or Puppy?
You should feed your puppy or dog according to the following guidelines:
-For a puppy under 4 months, feed it three times a day. That means you should provide food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
-After 4 months of age, you can start to reduce the number of meals per day. This can continue until your dog is fully grown at 1 year old or so.
-Once your pup reaches 1 year old (or close to it), increase the amount of food given in each meal so that it’s twice as much as what was previously given for one meal per day. So if your pup was eating 3 ounces at each feeding before turning 1 year old; now give 6 ounces at each feeding instead.
What Human Food Can My Puppy Eat?
Puppies are the same as people in many ways, but there are some important differences. Just like people, dogs need to eat a variety of foods for good health. However, puppies only need to eat puppy food until they’re about 8 weeks old. After that, you can start introducing your puppy to other foods that humans eat.
Here’s a list of foods that are safe to feed your puppy:
- meat (beef, chicken, turkey)
- vegetables (carrots, peas)
- fruit (apples, bananas)
- dairy products (milk and cheese)
In general, you should stick to human foods that are high in protein and low in fat and sugar—just like you would for yourself. This means avoiding things like sugary cereals, sausages, and bacon, or too many carbs (like white bread or pasta).
Your puppy needs the proper balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fat to grow into a healthy adult dog. But as they get older, they also need different nutrients to support their changing bodies. So what should you feed your puppy?
High-quality puppy food will provide all the nutrients your puppy needs in order to grow into a strong adult dog. Puppy formulas are generally formulated with higher levels of protein than adult formulas since puppies are still growing and developing. A high-quality puppy formula will also be nutritionally complete for all life stages of the dog from birth through adulthood.