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5 important rules for feeding puppies

5 important rules for feeding puppies

Feeding a puppy properly may seem difficult, especially for someone who is just planning to get their first one. The nutritional needs of a puppy are high, that’s why it is so important to provide it with all the necessary nutrients supporting its development and growth. What should we look for in the dog food dedicated for puppies? How often should we feed a puppy? What are the products that should be avoided?

Choose the right food for your puppy

You should start feeding your puppy when it is about 3 weeks old. The food should always suit your puppy’s nutritional needs and their weight. The ingredients should be balanced in order to support the proper gains, taking into account its target weight. As puppies need to be provided with some additional essential amino-acids, protein content in their diet should be higher in comparison with the food for adult dogs. Its good source are products of animal origin, such as lamb or poultry. These nutrients are easier to digest for dogs than protein of plant origin – that’s why you can see them in high quality dog food. Another important nutrient in your puppy’s diet is fat – it’s a main source of energy, helps to maintain skin structure and to absorb vitamins. It supports development by providing all the necessary fatty acids. The amount of fat in your puppy’s diet should be strictly controlled as excess intake may result in the irritation of digestive system or obesity. The puppies of large breeds need for their food to contain glucosamine and chondroitin – they build articular cartilages supporting the proper functioning of joints. Yet another crucial nutrient in your puppy’s diet is calcium – necessary for the proper functioning of bones. However, the amount of calcium in your puppy’s diet should be strictly controlled, as the excess of calcium may have damaging consequences – contrary to what one may think, too much calcium may result in developing bone diseases.

Remember about the proper water intake

In the first few weeks of your puppy’s live, the main source of fluids it gets is its mother’s milk. Later, we usually start to wonder – what should I give a puppy to drink? The best solution is to give them fresh, cold water. They should always have access to it.

Establish feeding routine

When we raise our puppies, a very important part is their training – this is what will make your future life together a comfortable experience. It’s good to set up some rules for feeding as well. One of them should be establishing feeding routine – it will help your puppy in developing heathy eating habits. When it comes to the number of feedings – it depends on your puppy’s age. At the age of 4-5 weeks they should eat 4-5 times a day, at the age of 3 months the number of feedings should be reduced to 3 times a day.

Don’t give it your food

Giving a puppy the leftovers of your food is one of the major feeding mistakes. Meal preparation is a method of feeding dogs but it’s not always easy to provide them with all the necessary nutrients. Self-made meals may not be balanced – they can have a negative impact on your puppy’s development. Supplementing vitamins by yourself is also a great feeding mistake. Excess may be as damaging as deficit, that’s why you should always consult a vet before giving any supplements to your dog.

Watch out for these products

Almost everybody knows that chocolate is poisonous for dogs. Caffeine and theobromine present in cocoa may result in vomiting and diarrhoea or even damage the heart. Other products you should never give to your puppy are: avocado, grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, corn cobs and onion. They contain some poisonous substances that may be damaging for the digestive, nervous and muscular system.

In conclusion, feeding a puppy is not difficult. However, the safest choice to ensure of their proper development is to feed them with high quality dog food dedicated for puppies. Taking into account the size of your dog will also guarantee their nutritional needs are met in this key developmental period.

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