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How Often Should I Feed My Puppy?

The frequency for feeding a pet is among the most typical questions new pet homeowners ask me. The reply, after all, depends upon loads of components, together with how previous the pet is, the pet’s breed, the pet meals you’re utilizing, any medical issues the pet has, what physique situation rating the pet has, the exercise stage of the pet, and whether or not the pet has been spayed or neutered. I will clarify how these and different issues can affect how typically to feed your pet.

1. How Old Is Your Puppy?

The age of the pet makes a giant distinction in how typically to feed. Neonatal puppies ought to nurse as steadily because the mother will permit, till they’re roughly 6 to eight weeks of age. The mom’s milk will present the required antibodies to guard the pet from ailments and supply the required diet. When the pet is roughly four to six weeks of age, you may start transitioning to pet meals by providing small quantities of pet meals that has been softened with pet milk replacer or heat water. This ought to be achieved three to 4 occasions a day. The transition mustn’t occur shortly. It normally takes per week or two to fully wean the pet off of the mom. At eight weeks of age most puppies will be on pet meals and fed three to 4 meals a day. Usually by 12 to 16 weeks of age, the pet will be fed two to a few occasions a day, and by 6 months of age, most puppies will be fed simply twice a day.

2. What Type Of Dog Is Your Puppy?

The sort of canine additionally influences how typically to feed. Really small breed canines, equivalent to Chihuahuas, are susceptible to creating low blood sugar ranges (hypoglycemia) when they don’t eat typically sufficient. Their small and creating liver has a troublesome time sustaining their glucose stage with out frequent meals. These small breeds could should be fed 4 to 5 occasions a day till they’re roughly 16 weeks of age to stop a low glucose drawback. Some giant and big breed canines, equivalent to Great Danes, are susceptible to bloating. Large meals could contribute to this probably deadly drawback, so it’s steadily beneficial to feed a number of small meals a day to assist stop any bloating issues in at-risk breeds.

three. What Type Of Food Are You Feeding?

The sort of meals may also affect how typically to feed the pet. Puppy meals is completely different from common grownup pet food. In basic pet meals has extra calcium, extra protein and extra energy than common pet food. In addition, a number of corporations make pet meals particularly for small breeds, for medium breeds and for big breeds. The small breed meals have a smaller kibble measurement and are extra calorie-dense. The giant breed meals are a bigger measurement, much less calorie-dense and designed to decelerate the fast progress of the bones. The slower progress will assist in stopping hip arthritis and hip dysplasia from creating. The medium breed pet meals are someplace in the midst of these two. There are even a couple of corporations making pet meals designed only for one particular breed. I suggest utilizing a high-quality pet meals based mostly in your pet’s breed measurement.

Puppy meals additionally are available three differing types: dry, semi-moist and canned. Dry meals, which is normally known as kibble, comprises roughly 10 p.c water and is the best and most cost-effective possibility. Semi-moist meals is available in small, vacuum-sealed packages and comprises roughly 50 to 60 p.c water. In addition, loads of the semi-moist meals include sugar or corn syrup. Be conscious that extreme sugar is just not good to your pet. Canned meals comprises 75 to 80 p.c water, and a few small breed canines actually love the style of canned meals. For giant breed canines, semi-moist and canned meals could require one other meal with a purpose to get sufficient energy and diet to the pet. Consult together with your veterinarian about what sort and model of meals to feed your pet.

four. How Much Is Your Puppy Eating At Each Meal?

Most puppies will eat as a lot as they will in a 10- to 15-minute time span. These puppies do exactly effective with a daily feeding schedule of two to 4 meals a day. On the opposite hand, some small breed puppies and a few very lively pups could not eat sufficient meals in a short while body if they’re distracted or taking part in or must defecate. These puppies could require an additional meal a day to make sure ample diet and caloric consumption, or they could should be fed “free choice” by leaving pet meals of their meals bowl always.

5. Does Your Puppy Have Any Medical Problems?

Puppies recovering from medical circumstances equivalent to intestinal parasites, viral ailments (like coronavirus or parvovirus), or higher respiratory ailments are normally underweight. These puppies could profit from an additional meal a day or from free-choice feeding. The additional energy will assist them achieve weight and get well quicker.

6. How Active Is Your Puppy?

Activity stage is one other necessary consider figuring out how typically to feed a pet. Very lively puppies just like the herding breeds and retrievers might have an additional meal per day, particularly if they’re fed canned meals, simply to maintain up with their caloric wants. Very lively toy breed pups may additionally want an additional meal per day to stop hypoglycemia. Inactive breeds might have a discount within the variety of meals fed to stop the pet from changing into obese. Your veterinarian can advise you in your pet’s weight and physique situation with every go to for vaccines, and when it’s time for the pet to be spayed or neutered. The feeding frequency could should be adjusted if the pet turns into too skinny or too heavy.

7. Is Your Puppy Spayed Or Neutered?

Most puppies are spayed or neutered when they’re about 5 to six months previous. This surgical procedure slows the metabolic price of the pet. Some puppies might want to have a slight discount within the quantity of meals fed at every meal after this process. Some puppies are already obese when they’re mounted. These obese pups could must have a discount within the variety of meals per day to stop the pet from changing into overweight.

eight. Are You Giving Any Treats Or People Food?

More components to contemplate are the quantity of treats fed to the pet and whether or not the pet receives any folks meals. Treats is usually a main supply of energy, particularly to toy and small breed puppies, however most treats usually are not nutritionally full or balanced. Thus, it’s best to restrict the quantity of treats to stop any dietary imbalances. People meals may trigger some issues. People meals is usually a main supply of energy with out being nutritionally full or balanced. In addition, puppies can expertise gastrointestinal upset from folks meals, and a few fatty meals might trigger a major problem with the pet’s pancreas. Plus, puppies who eat folks meals could begin to beg for folks meals each time they see it. This can grow to be a really unhealthy behavior. My advice? It’s greatest to fully keep away from giving folks meals to your pet.

9. When Do You Start Feeding Adult Dog Food?

When the pet reaches maturity, it’s time to slowly transition him to a daily grownup pet food. This ought to be achieved by including a small quantity of the grownup meals to the pet meals, after which slowly growing the quantity of grownup meals being fed over one to 2 weeks. Most small- and medium-breed puppies will be transformed to grownup meals round 12 months of age. Large breed and big breed canines could take longer to succeed in maturity and will be switched to grownup meals between 18 to 24 months of age.

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