Feeding time with your Puppy

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When your puppy comes home for the first time with you, it’s likely that he’s been used to a communal feeding bowl, where rushing in to get his food ahead of his brothers and sisters has been very important. However with you, feeding time will be quite different. Find a nice quiet place where he can eat and rest afterwards, out of the way of children, other dogs or disturbances. Unlike an adult dog he’s unlikely to finish his food each meal, so just pick it up each time after he’s finished and remove it. If he’s not interested at all, simply take the food away and try again an hour or so later.

Start off feeding the same food as the breeder so your puppy adjusts to his new environment before you alter his diet. Try feeding the kibbles softened with water to make it easier for your puppy to eat. As your puppy gets older you can reduce the soaking time so he starts to chew his food properly when his adult teeth are in (typically around 4 months of age). It’s important that puppies are fed a growth diet with balanced nutrients and bone minerals for optimum growth and development throughout their growth, so slowly introduce the new puppy food you choose over a week, a little more each day whilst reducing his current diet. If your puppy is going to be a large or giant breed adult, then finding a growth food or blend specifically for large or giant breeds is a good idea as it will have slightly reduced energy and nutrients to match his needs as these breeds will take longer to grow and need appropriately matched nutrition. Puppies need to have more frequent meals than adults, they should have 4 meals a day until they reach 4 months of age and then 3 meals a day until they are 6 months of age at which point they can go down to 2 meals a day.

All puppies grow slightly differently so working out the right amount to feed your puppy will need to be adjusted on an individual basis. Start with the feeding guidelines you are given with the food and weigh out the amount he needs or use a scoop (our perfect portion scoop is ideal for accurately measuring how much to feed) but keep a close eye on his stools. Puppy stools are less firm than adults as their digestive systems are less developed, but if they become loose, this can be a sign to reduce the amount of food he is getting. However, if he is finishing each meal and looking for more food, then increase the suggested amount slightly (remaining within the feeding guidelines) until his appetite is satisfied. Signs of diarrhoea or vomiting should be taken up with your vet quickly though, puppies can often pick up and eat things they shouldn’t so check with your vet if he seems unwell.

After each mealtime, he’ll need a visit to the garden before settling down for a nap to help him digest his food properly. Try not to let anything disturb him so he sleeps for a good length of time and wakes up ready for playtime with you.

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