General Feeding Recommendations for Puppies

happy puppy

Welcoming a puppy into your family is a very exciting time. Nevertheless, if you haven’t had a pup before, there can be a lot to learn about your new furry friend and your subsequent responsibilities. One of the most basic aspects of your pet’s care is to make sure that you feed him a healthy, nutritious and balanced diet, which is essential for his growth and development. However, feeding your puppy properly is a little more complex than just choosing a brand of food and filling his bowl several times a day.

Feeding frequency

Your pup will need to eat a large amount of food compared to their body weight to fuel their rapid growth. It is important to remember that your pet’s stomach will still be relatively small, and so during puppyhood you will almost certainly need to spread his recommended daily nutrition over at least three meals each day. Once your puppy reaches six months of age, he will probably only require two meals – one in the morning and one in the early evening.

The right formula​​​​​​​ of food

A healthy, balanced diet for your puppy is not dissimilar to that of a human, and should consist of protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. However, the quantities of each of these elements differs from that found in human and adult dog food, and so it is important to pick a formulation of food that is suitable for the nutritional needs of your pup. Many brands now offer varieties specifically for puppies, meaning that it is relatively easy to source a suitable food for your pet. However, if you still aren’t sure, speak to your pup’s breeder or our veterinarian.

Portion sizes

When it comes to how much your puppy should be eating you should always refer to the feeding instructions on your chosen food. Puppies may have different nutritional requirements to adult dogs, but the breed of your furbaby will have an impact too. For example, a Labrador puppy will almost certainly eat more than a baby chihuahua. If you have a particularly large or small breed of animal, they will almost certainly benefit from formulations designed specifically for their size. However, for mid-sized breeds of dog, you should use the instructions as a rule of thumb, adjusting for the age, activity level and metabolism of your individual pup.

Do puppies require any dietary supplements?

Provided that you choose a formula of food that is designed specifically for the age of your canine, he will not need and should not be given any dietary supplements.

How can I tell that my puppy is getting the right nutrition?

Knowing that your pet is getting the right nutrition and quantity of food can be a worry for many inexperienced owners. Thankfully, your puppy’s condition is the best indicator of whether what and how much you are feeding is sufficient. When our vet checks his weight, he will be able to confirm if he is growing at an appropriate rate or whether you need to adjust his diet. If adjustments are necessary, our vet will be able to make a recommendation.

Don’t forget the water

Some owners get so hung up on feeding the right foods that they forget the importance of a constant supply of fresh, clean water. Make sure you refresh your pup’s water bowl several times a day, even if it’s not empty. However, keep a close eye to make sure he is drinking enough. If you suspect that he may not be consuming enough water, or if he appears to be constantly thirsty, contact us and make an appointment with our vet as soon as possible.