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Nutrition & Grooming

Feed Schedule

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!

How Often Should I Feed My Puppy?

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.

Is This Food Right For My Puppy?

Signs to look for that the food you are using may be good for your dog include:

  • a healthy, shiny coat
  • lots of energy

Signs to look for that can tell you that the food you are using may be bad for your dog include:

  • skin diseases
  • diarrhea
  • lethargy
  • a dry, brittle and dull coat

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.

Tough Love Feeding – Be The Boss

Men, women and children first

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.

Say no to leftovers

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.

Closed, be back later

And finally, don’t leave your puppy’s bowl out so they can graze all day. Take any uneaten food away after 20 minutes.

Time to kick up the paws and relax

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.

Additional Information:

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

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