Bringing a cute puppy home is a huge step. All being well, the new member of the family will be much loved for many years to come, so it is vital that you start off on the right foot. As well as toilet training and obedience commands, you need to think about your puppy’s diet. He has a lot of growing to do, so it is vital that he receives the right nutrients.
The First Few Days
When you first take your puppy home, it is better to keep him on the same food he is used to. This will prevent any upset tummies and nasty toilet accidents. If you want to switch to another brand of puppy food, do it gradually, preferably over several days. Watch out for any signs the new food doesn’t agree with your puppy – some breeds have sensitive stomachs and don’t tolerate all foods equally well.
Choosing the Right Food
Always select a quality food for your puppy. There are many different brands to choose from, so read the ingredients to see what each one has to offer. Growing puppies need protein and good quality grains such as rice. They also need the correct balance of vitamins and minerals to support rapid growth. If you want to give your puppy the best start in life, look at a quality dietary supplement, such as those from Ultimate Pet.
You will notice that there is dry food (complete) and wet food. Wet food can be mixed with kibble to give it an extra crunch. However, many experts recommend that puppies are fed dry food, as this encourages them to chew their food instead of gobbling it down. If you do opt to feed your puppy dry food, make sure he has a plentiful supply of fresh water every day.
Puppies need three meals a day. Check the manufacturer’s feeding guidelines for the recommended quantity of feed your pup needs, which will depend on his breed and size. Don’t deviate from this as too much or too little food can have a bad effect on his overall health.
Give your puppy his own food bowl. When it is dinner time, place the bowl down and leave your puppy to eat his meal in peace. Don’t let other pets steal his food. If he is too distracted to eat, wait a few minutes and then remove the food bowl. Make him wait until the next meal time before he eats. You don’t want to get into the habit of him asking for food between meals. He must learn to wait, even if he’s hungry.
If you have other dogs, insist on good manners at meal times. There can sometimes be rivalry and competition over food. Do not encourage bad behavior. If there are problems, feed each dog separately.
Tummy upsets are normal in puppies, so don’t worry too much. However, if your pup has repeated episodes of sickness and diarrhea, consult your vet for advice.