Learning How to Feed Your Puppy

Along with the excitement and joy of having a new puppy in your home, you will have the responsibility of taking care of your new pet. One of the most important things you will need to learn is how to properly feed your puppy. With all of the options available for puppy food, it can be a bit overwhelming to select the best food for your pet. You will also need to be sure you are feeding the puppy the right amount of food throughout the day. Providing your puppy with the best possible nutrition is essential to build strong teeth, bones, and muscle and to give your puppy the required energy for learning and playing. As your puppy gets older, he will need extra nutrients for growing. Learning how to feed your puppy can be challenging, but 5 Points Animal Hospital would like to answer some frequently asked questions to help you get your puppy into a healthy feeding routine.

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How do I choose the right food for my puppy?

Our staff at 5 Points Animal Hospital is here to make recommendations for the best kind of puppy food. We know which puppy foods have the right ingredients to fit the nutrient needs of your pet. You can also look for the statement on the food packaging from the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) that says this food has met the AAFCO nutrient guidelines to provide balanced and complete nutrition.

How much food do I give my puppy and how often should I be feeding my puppy?

According to WebMD, from four to six months, puppies should be eating three times a day. After six months, two feedings a day should be sufficient. As for the amount, puppies grow quickly during their first five months and need twice the amount of calories per pound as adult dogs. To find out the recommended amount, check the label on your puppy food for the feeding chart, which will tell you how much to feed your puppy based on his age and weight.

How do I know I am feeding my puppy the right amount?

At 5 Points Animal Hospital, our vets use a body conditioning score to monitor weight. The range of scores is from one (emaciated) to five (obese), and puppies should be a two after eight to ten weeks. You can also check your puppy’s body condition by taking a look at your puppy and by feeling its ribs. When your puppy is a two, you may be able to see his ribs. You can easily see the top back bones. When you feel his ribs, you should not be able to feel any fat. When you look down at your puppy, you should see a waist, and when you look at your puppy from the side, an abdominal tuck should be visible. After your puppy reaches the age of five months, he should be looking lean after passing through the most rapid growth period.

What about puppy treats?

We know that you will want to treat your dog with extra goodies, but you should limit these treats. Puppies need food with a balanced and complete nutrition, and puppy treats usually do not provide this. Try to keep only five percent of your puppy’s calories from treats that are the right size for his breed.

5 Points Animal Hospital wants to help you give your puppy the best nutrition possible. Contact us if you have any questions about feeding your puppy.

By Dr. Janet Grace | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Comments Off on Learning How to Feed Your Puppy

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