Similar to the young ones of humans, puppies are the highly adorable younger versions of dogs. These are just like cute balls of wool that bring happiness on the faces of their masters. Whosoever views them, is highly tempted to take them in their arms atleast once.
Just as their body is delicate to touch, they have their special requirement of nutrients for their body. The food that your pup receives in the present is the deciding factor of its body in the future.
As a human infant is highly susceptible to various kinds of diseases, similarly the young ones of dogs too could be affected by dietary disorders, toxins and poor quality feeding materials. Therefore, it is the duty of the pet-keeper to look carefully after their young pets and provide them with the suitable nutritious diet.
We would be discussing about the nourishment requirements of the puppies and it would consist of the following topics:
- Difference between puppy food and dog food
- Till when could the dog be considered as a puppy?
- Best food options for the puppy food?
- Number of times in a day to feed puppy
- Amount of food and water that a pup needs
- General guidelines for feeding a puppy
What Is The Difference Between Puppy Food And Dog Food?
In comparison to the dogs, their young ones require an additional nutritious diet. Puppies require more of a calorie-rich food than the other fully-grown adult dogs. It is recommended that puppy food should contain energy as much as 445 kcal per cup in comparison to the older dogs, which could limit their energy to 375 kcal per cup of their food.
The difference might not be a vast one but the extra calorie content certainly helps in the growing ages of the pup.
The American Association for Feed Control Officers (AAFCO) recommends the following nutrient requirement for the puppies in comparison to the dogs:
|Nutrient (in percentage)||Puppies||Adult dogs|
As it could be seen clearly from the above table, the nutrition requirement of puppies is higher for almost all the nutrients in comparison to the adult dogs.
It is a pitiful fact that less than 10% of the dog owners in the world know the correct proportion of the nutrients for their dogs.
Till When Is The Dog Considered Puppy And Fed The Puppy Food?
Dogs could be considered young until they reach about 80 to 90% of their expected height and weight. Smaller breeds of dog take a time ranging from 6 months to almost a year to be adults while the other larger breeds may need even more than a year to reach adulthood.
In some cases, there are chances that the dog develops too swiftly, even faster than the expected rate. It could encounter diseases such as long bone diseases and Panosteosis, which attack the dog in its growth period.
If there are any such cases with your pups, it is better to consult a vet soon, before it is too late.
What Are The Best Food Options For Puppies?
A dog’s food may be divided into three categories:
- Wet food
- Semi-moist food
- Dry food
Among all the three, the dry dog food option could be considered the best one as it consists of more meat protein. It has the advantages of being cost-effective, easy to digest and helps in keeping the pup’s teeth clean.
In comparison to this, the moist foods may contain about 75% of water while only fewer nutrients are present in it. Apart from this, it could also enhance the plaque buildup in the teeth of the pup.
Semi-moist food is another option that could go well with the puppies. It is easy to use and quick to digest by the puppies. The only disadvantages it has are that it could be expensive and lead to disorders such as hyperactivity and obesity, owing to its rich salt and sugar content.
A fact says that puppies use more than 50% of their energy for growing up. In this regards, the best food options are those which could prove to be building blocks in the body, provide quick energy and are easy to digest.
In contrast to this, the increase in any one specific nutrient in the body may lead to a certain abnormality, due to which the puppy may suffer at a later stage of its life.
What Is The Number Of Feeds Required Per Day For Pets?
Young dogs should probably be fed three times a day till they are almost near to their designated size. Most of the pups take six months for the process and therefore, the diet of the pets should be in accordance to their growth period.
As they reach their adulthood, their feeding number could be limited to twice a day; once in the morning and again in the evening. Vets recommend that you could follow the same schedule for its entire life unless your dog has some disorder such as obesity or diabetes etc.
What Is The Ideal Amount Of Food And Water That You Could Give Your Pups?
The amount of food that is given to the pups generally depends on its size, breed and activity.
Up till the pet is small in size, it requires more amount of calorie-rich food which could help in development of its body. As it grows old slowly, the nutrient requirement seems to decline a bit than earlier.
It also depends on the breed of pets. For example Labrador retriever is the type of dog that is more prone to obesity and therefore, care should be taken to give only a measured amount of food per serving.
While your pup is active and does lots of mischief, the nutrient requirements tend to be high for it. It should be kept track by the master and given appropriate amount of foods.
Giving it high or low amount of foods could lead to various troubles in the body. Where overfeeding you pet may lead to obesity and diabetes etc, giving it lesser amount of food may hinder its growth and body functioning.
You could check the size of dog by viewing and feeling the ribs. If ribs are visible from outside, the dog is too thin whereas, if you cannot feel its ribs even on touching, the dog is obese and needs attention.
In case of water, it should be not supplied freely to the pet. Regardless of the schedule, the pup may drink high quantities of water and could end up messing your house.
Instead, adopt timely method to feed it with water until it is old enough to understand the difference between a peeing place and sitting place. When the dog is old enough, you could offer it water freely, which it will drink according to its body needs.
Other Guidelines For Feeding Puppies:
Feeding puppies and training them to consume in a stipulated manner occupies one of the prominent places in pet grooming tips. There are some general instructions that should be followed while feeding the puppies, which could be outlined as below:
- Feed the pup with the measured amount of food at almost the same time of the day. Disturbing the schedule may disturb the appetite of pets and it may turn picky in eating.
- Puppy should probably be fed in a peaceful place, away from hustle and bustle of people.
- If the pup is uncomfortable in eating the dry food, mix it with a small amount of canned food or warm water. Other alternatives of canned food are cottage cheese and eggs.
- Do not force a puppy to eat the entire food if it is unwilling. You could never be sure of the appetite and digestion of the pup.
- If your pup does not agree to eat at a stipulated time, do not compel it for the process. Instead, keep the food safe and offer it after some time.
- Do not ever feed it with food items which are prohibited for the dogs. These include the human food etc. Also, do not offer it food from your table.
- Keep track of the body conditions of the pet in its growth years. It may look hale and hearty from outside but could possess certain disorders in the inner self. Therefore, it is better to offer it a regular checkup from the vet so that if there are any chances of perilous diseases, they could be eradicated at the very beginning.
Similar to the human babies, dog pups are also very sensitive creatures. A slight mishandling in their food could lead to huge future troubles. Therefore, the diet of the pups should be appropriate and in accordance to the needs of the body.