There are many factors to consider when bringing a new puppy home. Besides playtime and snuggle sessions, your puppy needs special attention which differs from that of a full-grown dog. This includes potty training, behavioral adaptation, socialization and of course, their dietary habits!
Unlike mature dogs, typically fed twice per day, puppies need to be fed 3 to 4 times per day. By providing smaller meals, their energy levels won’t fluctuate as often. Smaller portions and spacing their meals throughout the day is better for their digestion. Don’t leave their meals out for longer than 20 minutes. It is normal if your dog does not finish their meal or only picks at their food for some meals. If this is the case, adjust their portions or mealtimes accordingly.
If you are feeding your puppy 3 times per day, schedule their feeding times for morning, afternoon and evening. You can even feed them 4 times per day and feed them once in the morning and once in the early afternoon. For example, schedule the times for 7am, 10am, 12pm and 4pm. Establishing a routine is essential to their development. When we consider the feeding schedule for our puppies, we also have to take into consideration their bathroom use. Be sure to take your puppy for a walk or allow them to go outside upon waking, before and after meals and before bedtime.
Be sure to give your puppy food that is made for puppies. Valuable nutrients are provided for the health and growth of your puppy unlike food designed for full-grown dogs. When switching over from puppy food to adult dog food, gradually make the transition. A few days should do the trick. For example, 25% adult dog food and 75% puppy food, 50% adult dog food and 50% puppy food, and so forth. This is easier on their digestion.
Water should be available at all times. To avoid bacteria in their water dish, wash their bowl daily.
It is always a smart choice to incorporate a puppy multivitamin into your furry friends diet. Puppy multivitamins are packed with essential nutrients that many puppy food brands do not contain. Choose puppy vitamins that contain Omega 3 fish oil, probiotics, flaxseed, hemp powder and vitamins D3, A, B, C, and E. These types of puppy multivitamins have multiple benefits such as immune support, digestive support, heart health and brain and bone development.
Giving your puppy treats is helpful when it comes to training. If you are doing training with treats, it is best to adjust the meals accordingly. Be sure to only give small treats to your puppy.
Different ages, sizes and breeds can require slight changes in their puppy dietary habits. Consult with your vet to find out any tiny adjustments that need to be made.Having a puppy is a lot of work but tons of fun too! Now that you know the basics to your puppies dietary habits, you will find your puppy has a healthy start to their mature life as an adult dog!