Bringing a puppy at home is a joyous time. Everyone is ready for an exciting ride. But it also asks for commitment.
The most crucial and the first duty of owning a puppy is taking care of its diet. You want to give your puppy a good start in life. And then there’s the food your furry friend got in the shelter or from breeders. So, now you’re wondering what food is best for them.
A dog has ever-changing nutritional needs. On top of that, their food requirements may differ from other dogs, too. Therefore, it’s best to consult a vet about what fits them the best. Nonetheless, we are here to help as much as we can. Today, we are discussing “Feeding tips for first-time puppy owners.” We understand you want to give them a happy life, and feeding them right is the first step! So, keep reading to learn more.
Puppy Nutrition Basics
Puppies are like athletes but in the dog world. All of them have this ton of energy and are constantly growing. One minute, your puppy is the size of your hand, and the next minute, they’re huge for you. To maintain this growth and development, you need a balanced diet. The essential nutrients a puppy need is:
- Protein: For strong muscles and healthy growth
- Carbohydrates: (You might know this one) It helps produce energy for playtime and exercises
- Fats: A good amount is necessary for brain development, and a shiny, clean coat
- Vitamins and Minerals: Like humans, these are essential for maintaining body functioning and regulation.
Your goal is to provide high-quality food that meets the requirements of your puppy.
Choosing the Right Puppy Food
Choosing the right food is the foundation of building A healthy and long life for your furry. Therefore, look for something specially formulated for them. Look for food products complying with AAFCO nutrient guidelines. Or it says “complete and balanced” by the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials).
There are also various types of food like dry kibble, wet canned food, raw diets, or homemade food. Get recommendations from your vet if you’re unsure about the food brand or type of food.
Treats Are Special
Treats are a great way of bonding with your furry friend or training. But too many treats can upset the tummy. It can also lead to bad habits or poor dietary routines. The right way to handle treats is to aim for no more than 5% of calories through them. You don’t want your dog to get overloaded with calories.
A dog needs essential nutrients for growth and development, and focusing on the right food will get that. It is (chiefly) necessary for Goldendoodle, as they require additional attention for weight management.
Choose the right size for your treat. You can use healthy food bits like carrots or bell peppers to munch on. Avoid giving table scrapes as it will spoil a puppy to beg for treats at the table.
Regulating a feeding routine is perfect for growing pooches. They thrive with a proper food routine. Until six months old, you can feed them three to four times a day. As they grow older, transition it to two times a day. A baby dog requires more food and nutrients than an adult one. And slowly transitioning this meal routine will help them adapt to it.
It also helps regulate their digestion. If you see your whippet mix rolling around after eating, don’t worry. It is also part of their digestion routine. It is a healthy practice!
A consistent schedule and digestion practices can help their tummy regulation. It makes housetraining easier. Remember that portion control is crucial, too. Overfeeding is harmful to life and leads to obesity and other health issues.
Overfeeding can lead to obesity. However, underfeeding can cause malnourishment. Sound tricky, no? Well, it is. Just like humans, portion control is crucial. Pay attention and make necessary adjustments.
Portion size depends on the dog’s size, age, breed, and weight. Each dog food bag has a guideline for portion sizes. Large dogs (like Goldendoodle) may have more nutritional needs due to their size and breed.
Therefore, each puppy is unique and has different nutrient requirements. Monitor your paw pal’s weight and adjust portion size accordingly. You can contact your vet to ensure your dog gets the right portion of food.
Avoiding Human Food
No matter how much your puppy begs for a piece of your food. Don’t give in to those puppy dog eyes! It’s a treat. But not to you, but to your puppy’s life.
We understand you want to share your food with your adorable fur baby. However, human foods can be harmful to dogs. Things like grapes and chocolate, which we much enjoy, could be fatal for your dog. Therefore, it’s better to stick to dog food for a healthy and safe life.
Water, Water, Water!
Have you seen the weather lately? It’s getting hotter! And just like for you, water is essential for dogs. Stay hydrated and keep your pup hydrated, too. We don’t want anything happening to you. Think of the dread your dog would feel if their parents faced dehydration.
Make sure your pup has access to fresh water at all times. Assess their daily water intake. Keep a special eye out during warmer months and after exercises. And remember that for healthy digestion and circulation, hydration is the key.
Transitioning to New Food
Now that we mentioned the food schedule for puppies, it’s time for transition for the dog. You need to transition their food due to different life stages or changing from breeders to commercial food products; do it gradually.
Mix the old and new products for a week. Increase the amount of the new brand in the next week. And lastly, introduce only the new product as a meal. Sudden changes in diet or schedule can upset the stomach. Gradual mixing and presenting can help with a safe transition.
Special Dietary Needs
By special dietary needs, we mean allergies or other health conditions. If you suspect your dog food is causing itchiness to your pup or causing stomach issues, reconsider your choices. Any unusual behavior a puppy shows (for no apparent reason) could be allergies. If you suspect a dog food isn’t suitable, ask your vet for advice.
Monitoring Your Puppy’s Growth
Your fur baby will not stay a baby forever. They are growing, and so are their nutritional needs. Observe changes in their size and weight. You may have to adjust portion sizes according to it. If they’re gaining weight, cut off some portion size. But if they are losing weight, consult your vet.
Feeding your puppy the right food and amount is essential for a life of health and happiness. It is a part of being a responsible and caring pet parent. Search for a balanced and nutritious product.
Anyway, a perfect way to nurture an adorable dog is by asking your vet about everything they know. From grooming at home to housetraining, the right food products to health problems. Your vet knows it all! And they can guide you for better care.
They can provide valuable insight into nutritional requirements and adjust your puppy’s diet. They can monitor their growth and weight and see for any health issues. With proper love, attention, and a perfect diet, embark on an exciting journey of love and fun with your loyal companion.