The addition of a new puppy to your family is a fun and exciting time. In order to give your new family member a long and happy life, it is essential that you choose a good diet for him. If you already have pets, you might be tempted to just feed the puppy the adult dog food you already have, but you should not. It is important that you check with your vet regarding the proper diet. Remember puppies have special dietary needs that adult dogs do not have.
There are several options that can meet the puppy’s nutritional needs. In recent years, the number of organic or natural puppy diets have increased dramatically. A raw diet is another option some pet owners prefer for the new puppy. However, most choose kibble as a convenient option for the primary component of their dog’s daily diet. Therefore, in discussing a new puppy diet, this article is focused primarily on the options in kibble.
For the first few weeks of the puppy’s life, mother’s milk provides all his nutritional needs; but when it is weaning time, you should select a high-quality puppy kibble with tiny pieces. The food you select should provide all the essential vitamins to provide proper nutrition for his growth. New puppies need food three to four times daily. Moisten the kibble with water to make it easier for him to eat. Avoid adding milk to the puppy food. Milk has a laxative effect on the puppy’s digestive system. Water makes the kibble more palatable for the weaning puppy.
As your new puppy grows and adjusts to the diet of kibble in his daily life, you should decrease the water you add to the food. If your plans include dry dog food for the future, transitioning early to dry kibble is the best option. If you continue moistening his food for several weeks, the transition to dry food only becomes more difficult. By the time puppies reach six weeks of age, their diet can be solid kibble and they are weaned from the mother.
As you begin the weaning process, it is important to provide all the kibble he wants. Be sure to refresh the food in the dish regularly for the puppy. Once he reaches five months, you can decrease from three to four daily feedings to just two. At this age, it is important to determine the specific quantity of kibble that is appropriate to meet your dog’s daily nutritional needs to ensure he has a healthy diet and maintains a healthy weight.