The puppy needs a diet adapted to his age to develop harmoniously and stay healthy. Feeding your puppy well is essential to increase his life expectancy. It is therefore important to give him growth food of excellent quality that provides him with all the nutrients he needs as he grows.
What are the puppy’s needs?
As long as he is fed by his mother, she passes on the immunity that protects him. Once weaned, i.e. as soon as he reaches the age of 6 to 8 weeks, the young dog must continue to be protected by his immune system.
The owner therefore chooses a diet adapted to the age of his little companion, of course, but also to his weight, activity and breed. It is out of the question to overfeed your puppy as this exposes him to the risk of obesity. On the other hand, it is fundamental that the food meets his nutritional needs.
The puppy’s body is still fragile and his digestive system is immature, so the animal must be given a personalized diet. This must allow the mineralization of its bones and teeth while providing the puppy with the energy it needs on a daily basis, i.e. twice as much as an adult dog.
The intake of vitamin D, iron, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, calcium and protein must be sufficient while it is recommended to avoid carbohydrates in the puppy because they increase the risks:
- Cardiovascular problems,
- Kidney failure.
A perfectly dosed and balanced industrial food is chosen, designed for young dogs, and in relation to the animal’s growth rate. In a large-breed puppy, adult size is not reached until the age of 2 years, whereas in a small-breed puppy, growth is completed around 10 months.
Finally, it is preferable not to vary the puppy’s diet. If this dietary rule is not respected, it may cause damage to his intestinal microbiota and lead to diarrhea, abdominal pain and even skin problems in some cases.
Feeding your puppy the right food: forbidden foods:
The puppy is a greedy and voracious animal. It is therefore capable of eating a little bit of anything. This is why its owner must be very vigilant, especially when there are young children in the family, who are ready to share their snacks with their little companion. However, many food products intended for humans can represent a real danger for animals, some of them even being toxic for canids.
Here are a few examples of foods that are prohibited for puppies:
- Savoury products,
More generally, one avoids giving leftovers from family meals to his puppy.
As for the meat, it must always be cooked. This limits the risk of contamination by bacteria.
Puppy’s daily ration:
Feeding your puppy well doesn’t mean feeding him so that he doesn’t lack anything! On the contrary, it is necessary to give him little at a time, but more often than if he were an adult dog. It is important to respect the daily number of meals recommended by the veterinarians, namely :
- From 2 to 3 months: 4 rations,
- Between 4 and 6 months: 2 to 3 rations,
- From the age of 2 months: 2 rations only.
As for the ideal quantity for each ration, it is clearly indicated on the food packaging and must be respected. It is preferable to moisten the kibbles, which are dry food, and then partially crush them, at least until the puppy is 10 weeks old. The kibble helps the animal keep its teeth healthy because it is a crunchy food.
It is recommended that you always be aware of the ingredients that make up the kibble that you give your puppy and only choose high quality products. If in doubt, it is best to ask the veterinarian for advice.
Fresh and clean water:
Water is part of the puppy’s diet. The animal must never run out of it. A bowl of fresh water must be provided, to be renewed during the day so that it is always clean and the puppy must be able to come and drink at any time. Nevertheless, it is better to leave only a moderate amount of water in the bowl because the puppy may be tempted to drink a lot and too quickly, which is not desirable. Ideally, he should drink frequently, but little at a time.
Vérifier régulièrement le poids de son chiot:
In order to verify that the puppy’s growth is harmonious and that he is not growing too fast, it is essential to check his weight by weighing him regularly. This allows you to compare its own growth curve with that of the breed standards according to the puppy’s sex and age.
Ensuring that the dog does not become obese means taking care of his health for his whole life. Let’s not forget that, as in humans, excess weight in dogs increases health problems considerably. Weight control should be done regularly in puppies but also in adult dogs.