Feeding a Puppy
The first 2 to 3 weeks, pups receive exclusively milk from the bitch. Milk production increases parallel to the requirements of the pups. At the third week, milk production stagnates while the requirements of the pups further increase, necessitating the feeding of solid food. Best is to start with solid food at the end of the second week.
Comparing growth rate with adult dog shows Puppies grow 20 times faster and so require a special diet to meet their physiological development and physical need. A specially formulated premium or supper premium pet food with evenly spaced intervals feeding required to avoid over stretching their small stomachs. A pet food adviser will have given you advice about your puppy’s diet.
Always start to feed a puppy four meals a day up until the age of 16 weeks, and then reduce its feed to three meals a day until it is six months old, when you can change to two meals a day, and keep it on this regime for the rest of its life.
It is better not to leave food down (so throw away any uneaten food after 20 minutes) and not to give your puppy any variety, which could cause havoc with its digestion and toilet training regime. However, make sure that water is always available to your puppy, so never take its water bowl away.
There are many different feeding regimes to choose from: dry complete diets, semi-moist or tinned food with or without biscuit mixer, and home-made food. Within this, there are many different qualities.
The most suitable diet should be easily digested and produce dark brown, firm, formed stools.
If your puppy produces soft or light stools or has wind or diarrhoea, then the diet may not suit your puppy or it might have some kind of digestive problem, so consult your vet for advice.
Please remember that stability in the diet will help maintain good digestion. Any change in diet should be made very gradually over at least a week to avoid upset and you should try a new diet for at least 10 days before making any further changes.
Dry complete foods puppies eating dry food
There is a wide range of dry complete foods on the market and the quality varies widely. To get the best out of your puppy’s development choose a food specially designed for puppies and buy the best you can afford. The ‘premium’ dry puppy foods tend to have the best quality ingredients. Many are based on chicken and rice or corn, and suit most puppies really well.
Although these foods may appear more expensive to buy, you do not need to feed the large amounts you would with a lower grade food, so many of them actually work out to cost the same, if not less!
Some puppies are not accustomed to complete dry foods immediately after weaning but will normally grow to like them with time. If your puppy does not seem to like eating dry complete and this is what you wish to feed you can try soaking the food in a little warm water to soften or mix in a little tinned puppy food, gradually reducing the quantity until he is fully weaned and accepts dry complete.
Semi-moist and tinned foods
As with complete dry foods, tinned foods and semi-moist foods can vary in quality. Again choose a good quality food with an easily digestible recipe i.e. chicken and rice and choose a specialist puppy food which is nutritionally complete (i.e. does not require additional foods to be added to it). As before it is best to avoid changes in your puppy's diet so if you find a product that works for your puppy, stick to it.
Puppies need the best possible diet whilst they are growing up, as even a slight imbalance may harm their development and growth. As it is very difficult to get this balance right, you are probably better off choosing from one of the tried and tested commercial diets.
Some dogs appear to be sensitive or intolerant to certain ingredients and additives and this can cause a variety of problems.Any change in diet should be made very gradually over at least a week to avoid upset and you should try a new diet for at least 10 days before making any further changes.
Using One The Best Quality Premium and Super Premium Pet Foods
Husse produce a varied range of puppy dry foods. Which food applies to your puppy is dependenton the size of the puppy. Valp, Valp Maxi and Valp Mini have different sized kibbles which meet the different needs of all puppies of different breeds. Husse Valp (Husse puppy food for medium sized breeds) is a super-premium food which supplies the extra nutrients, vitamins and minerals that they need whilst growing up. Husse Valp is suitable for puppies from 4 weeks old to adulthood. Valp is also ideal for pregnant and nursing bitches.Husse Valp Maxi is a super-premium food withkibble specially developed for puppies of bigger breeds. Valp Maxi also contains 1000mg glucosamine and chondroitin in order to help the joints and protect against arthritic disease.ValpMini is acomplete food for growing puppies and nursing bitches of smaller breeds. The Valp Mini kibbles are the smallest in the Husse range and area ideal for dogs with small mouths.
Husse produce a wide range of wet foods for puppies as well. Junior Pate has been made specifically for puppies and junior dogs and is ideal for puppies after weaning. Made only with selected ingredients: very high quality fresh meat and with the benefits of medicinal herbs (ginseng)
Puppy Feeding Top Tips
- Clean fresh water should always be available. Dogs eating wet food (ie: canned) will receive moisture through their food and therefore require less water than dogs eating dry food. However, extra water should always be made available.
- Owners should not refill half empty bowls, but ensure that fresh food is always provided at each meal time. This is particularly true in the hot weather when food left in bowls can attract flies and other insects.
- Half full cans of dog food should be kept covered in the fridge, but allowed to stand until the food is up to room temperature before feeding.
- There are two different types of dog food manufactured,"complete" and "complementary", clearly marked on the label. A complete food can be fed as a sole source of nutrition and is available as both canned and dry food. A complementary food is designed to accompany the complete food and should not be used as the only source of daily nutrition.
- Avoid feeding table scraps, these can upset the balance of nutrients provided by commercial prepared dog food.
- Treats are a great way of bonding with your dog, but ensure that they are specially manufactured for dogs. Treats will contribute to the dogs daily dietary intake and owners should take them into account and remember to adjust feeding at meal times accordingly.
- Puppies have high energy requirements, but small stomachs - therefore owners should feed small meals frequently throughout the day. Follow the feeding instructions on the packaging.
- A healthy, fit dog is a happy dog! Owners should be able to feel their dogs ribs, but not see them. zlways try to feed to maintain this condition.
- Owners should avoid any sudden change of their dogs diet. A change from one food to another should be done gradually with the new food increased over a number of days until that is the only food fed. The same goes for a switch from one brand to another - any sudden change may upset the dogs digestive system.
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