First 6 to 8 Weeks
During the first six to eight weeks of life the puppy should stay with the mother and be allowed to nurse ad-lib. It is especially important they nurse from the mother. The mother’s milk provides the best nutrition and provides antibodies to help protect your puppy from disease. Sometimes it is not possible to keep a puppy with the mother for the first eight weeks such as when the mother develops eclampsia or mastitis. In these situations milk replacers and bottles especially designed for puppies can be found at any major pet store.
Weaning Your Puppy to Solid Food
Weaning your puppy to solid food should not be an overnight endeavor but should ideally take place over the course of two to three weeks. First select the brand of puppy food you intend to feed. Puppies have high caloric and nutritional needs and so the food selected should be a high quality brand of puppy food. Talk to your veterinarian for specific recommendations but generally the best puppy foods will be a good source of protein, calcium and calories.
Starting around four to six weeks of age begin introducing your puppy to puppy food by making a gruel by blending the puppy food with milk replacer. Offer the gruel three to four times a day gradually reducing the amount of milk replaced used to make the gruel. This way your puppy gradually learns to adapt to solid food and gastric upset is minimized. By around eight weeks of age your puppy should be eating solid food.
They Look Great But Are Always Hungry
Using the guidelines on a commercial pet food label should be a starting point for deciding how much to feed your dog. If they seem hungry all the time, you may need to feed them more. Beware that some dogs will always seem hungry and are already overweight. You may need to use a diet food that is more filling to them.
The amount of food your dog needs may change if:
Before giving them more food, make sure they are not just looking for attention and love. And if they are, serve that up instead.
How much food to feed your puppy? | Veterinary Approved
Do you feel guilty eating three yummy meals a day plus snacks while your dog just gets one or two scoops of dry kibble?
There are several healthy ways to feed your dog, depending on its individual needs. Here are the top three:
For dogs who are a healthy weight and arenât having accidents in the house, you may be able to use the free-choice feeding method.
This means you leave food out all day and let your dog graze. This can be a good method for highly active dogs that are burning more calories than their couch-potato friends.
If you are leaving food out all day for your dog to nibble on, use dry food, which wonât spoil.
If you have a nursing dog, they will probably be fed by the free-choice method. Dogs who are nursing need many calories to produce a constant flow of milk for their pups.
Downsides: Leaving dog food out all day could attract insects, rodents, or raccoons. Thatâs especially the case if you feed your dog outside, so be on the lookout.
And if you have more than one pet, they may bicker over the food. Also, this method is not for dogs that are diabetic.
For the dog who would never stop eating, use the portion control method. First, ask your vet what your dogâs ideal weight is. If you are using a commercial dog food, feed your dog the amount printed on the bag that fits with its ideal weight. Sometimes, however, the suggested amount is more than your dog needs. Your veterinarian can calculate the exact amount to feed.
You can feed your dog one or two times a day. Itâs best to do it twice daily at 8-12 hour intervals. If youâre doing it this way, split the suggested amount found on the bag or youâll feed it double what it needs.
If youâre not worried about your dog overeating but donât want to leave the food out all day, use the timed feeding method. This means you give the dog a certain amount of time, like 30 minutes, to eat. When timeâs up, throw out whatever they havenât eaten.
When you offer food again 8-12 hours later, your dog will be hungry and ready to eat.
Dog treats should make up 5% to 10% or less of your dogâs daily diet. Ask your vet about the number of treats this means for your dog. Itâll vary based on their weight and activity level.
If you need to use treats frequently for training, use very small pieces. You can also set aside some of your dogs daily portion of kibbles to use as âtreatsâ when you train.