Any puppy – it goes without saying – needs appropriate nourishment to grow. From its birth till six months of age, it needs about 2 to 4 times the food that an adult dog needs. This is because canine metabolism is speedy and food is compulsory to support growth.
A golden rule to follow is that when the puppy is a week old, his weight should ideally double from what it was at the time of his birth.
From then on, he should gain one to two grams per pound of anticipated adult weight each day. This implies that if an Alsatian puppy weighs seventy five pounds as a full grown adult, he should have gained 3 to 5 ounces daily when he was a puppy.
And this food needs to healthy unlike the diet White Goodman had in Dodgeball at the end! White, Chuck Norris was right as usual!
The type of diet
Most puppy foods are higher in protein content and are enriched with minerals, vitamins, and fats that are essential for growth. Still, ingredients and quality of brands can greatly vary. So when buying puppy food, look for the nutrient standards specified by AAFCO or Association of American Feed Control Officials for growth and then select the food brand that adheres to it.
The cheaper brands usually have lower-quality ingredients while the “performance” and “premium” varieties include high-quality ingredients that improve digestion.
Of course, you may ask your vet for the right advice when you buy puppy food. He’ll guide you to the right brand which has all the extra nutrients that a puppy compulsorily needs till he matures completely. Regular “for all life stages” food is fine also.
Large-breed formulas for puppies help bigger pups grow at a steady and gradual rate so that they develop stronger joints and bones. On the other hand, small-breed formulas give out concentrated nutrition in smaller, bite-size kibbles that caters to a smaller puppy’s high metabolic requirements. Moreover, there are also medium-breed formulas for the medium sized breeds which work equally well.
Puppies need the right amount of nutrition. Not too little, not too much. Feed him in a manner so that as he grows, you can feel his ribs, but not see them. It should have a visible waist when you look from the top and this principle applies to puppies of any breed – big, medium, or small. However, there are no fixed quantities and adjustments may be made depending on its appetite and general health condition.
When aged between 8 and 12 weeks, give the pup about 3 to 4 meals a day. Of course, there are no hard and fast rules about this. You may also feed him twice daily but the quantity should be equal to 3 to 4 meals a day. On reaching the age of 6 months, feed him twice daily.
Also gradually reduce the amount of food he gets, following the vet or food manufacturer’s guidelines. Adjust if required. If you’re giving him too much to eat, he’ll let you know by leaving some behind in his bowl.
Large-breed puppies are bets fed on diets that don’t overemphasize fat, protein, and calorie levels. Chunky breeds like pugs need a lower-calorie diet because they tend to put on weight. Also, feeding your dog at regular time schedules every day will discipline him towards a particular time schedule.
You may not want to feed him from the dinner table either!