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Find out more about your dogs
Ask any puppy what the highlight of their day might be, and they’re sure to tell you – with an excited bark, pant and occasional sulk – that eating is right up there.
That’s why it’s so important to get your puppy into a feeding time routine from an early age. The good news is puppies love routine almost as much as they love food!
Once your puppy has finished weaning, you should feed him or her 3-4 times a day up until they are 6 months old. Then you can take it back to 2 times a day.
Try sticking to a certain type of food for at least 6-8 weeks to see how it agrees with your puppy’s taste buds and digestive system.
Signs to look for that the food you are using may be good for your dog include:
Signs to look for that can tell you that the food you are using may be bad for your dog include:
If you decide to change food types, do it gradually over 7 days. This gives your puppy’s digestive system time to adapt. For example for the first 2 to 3 days mix 25% of the new food to 75% of the old food, On days 4 and 5, mix the foods together with 50% old food and 50% new food. By day 6 and 7 you can adjust the food to include 25% old food with 75% new food before fully switching to 100% new diet by day 8.
If possible, always eat before you feed your puppy. While it’s not easy to resist those big pleading eyes, this teaches them who’s boss and makes for a much better mannered little diner.
Which brings us to leftovers. Don’t feed puppy your table scraps. They’re unlikely to be nutritionally suitable and can cause upsets in little tummies.
And finally, don’t leave your puppy’s bowl out so they can graze all day. Take any uneaten food away after 20 minutes.
Once your puppy has eaten, let them rest – this helps aid digestion and prevents digestive upsets. And like the best of us, after a meal, puppies often need to go to the toilet. Keep this in mind with toilet training puppies.
More information on nutrition and veterinary recommended diets and feeding schedules can be obtained from the following:
Hills Pet Nutrition Centre Canada
Medi Cal/Royal Canin Nutrition Centre Canada
The Pet Nutrition Corner
Dr. Wendy C. Brooks, DVM DipAVBP