Young puppies spend most of their time sleeping, and when they are awake, they want to play. But eating ranks a close third on their list of favourite things to do. Feeding a pup is about more than their love of eating, though. Their early weeks are the time to build a solid foundation for a healthy life, and their diet is vital to that.
Unless there’s been a tragedy, your pup should be at least eight weeks old and fully weaned when you get them. Leaving their mama and littermates to move to a strange place is both exciting and scary for them. You can help them feel secure and avoid digestive upset by sticking to the food and feeding schedule they know. But after a few weeks when your puppy has settled in, you can transition them to the food of your choice. Their feeding schedule will evolve as they grow.
Your Growing Pup’s Nutritional Needs
A puppy has different nutritional needs than an adult dog because they are growing and developing. They normally burn up more calories than adults, and they need more of some nutrients to fuel healthy growth.
- Protein is essential for the development of healthy muscles. This is extra important during puppyhood when dogs are growing quickly. We love Go Native puppy food with this in mind – made with the requisite amounts of protein with 70% meat from a single source.
- Fat isn’t the baddie many of us have heard it is. Healthy fats are critical for a pup’s well-being. They provide energy and a glossy coat. The body also needs fat to help properly digest the fat-soluble vitamins that puppies need.
- Omega 3 feeds your pup’s brain development. They’re learning so much every day and the right diet supports their mental growth as well as their physical growth.
A good quality dry dog food should provide everything your growing pup needs to thrive. The right puppy food offers complete, balanced nutrition specific to a young dog with a kibble size they can easily manage. Our Leader puppy food comes in a range of three different sizes, all with different kibble sizes to suit small, medium, and large puppies as they journey through puppyhood.
Feedings Schedules and Routines for a Puppy
Dogs love routine. It makes them feel secure knowing what is going to happen next. Once you establish a routine, your dog will even remind you about it if you are running late. When you feed your pup is a key factor in when they will need to toilet. Understanding this will help you develop a schedule that works with your life and makes it easier to house train your pup.
It will help your pup settle to continue the same schedule they already know, but you can gradually shift the feeding times to suit yourself. Up to 16 weeks, puppies should be fed four times a day with meals spaced evenly throughout the day. After that, you can reduce to three meals a day. If your dog is a large breed and it is convenient, you might want to keep to three meals a day. But in most cases, after six months you can go to two meals a day. Remember to take your pup outside to toilet shortly after they eat, and they’ll be house trained faster with less mess inside.