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How to feed your new puppy

Posted by: Tim Berrisford  Date: 12/01/2015   Category: Blog

The puppy stage of a dog’s life is one of the most important as they do a huge amount of learning and growing up in a very short space of time. They learn vital skills, rules and training along with developing their teeth, bones and organs. It is the most important time to ensure they are getting the correct diet that supports them throughout their puppy stage, giving them the best that you possibly can.

Puppies have very specific nutritional needs and from the early stages of weaning a puppy off milk to solid foods, you must ensure that they receive the correct nutrition from the solid food to optimise their development at that stage.

Whilst all puppies are small at the beginning, they will need treated differently with nutrition depending on their breed and whether they are a small or a large breed. Smaller breed puppies’ growth at a very fast speed and they will need up to double the amount of energy per unit of body weight in comparison to an adult dog. Larger breed puppies need fewer calories than smaller breed puppies which not many people know. However over feeding a large breed puppy can lead to weight gain and an accelerated growth rate which can cause skeletal problems.

Puppies grow at different rates and larger breeds tend to take longer to finish growing than smaller breeds, in some cases up to double the time. When to change your puppy from puppy food to adult food depends completely on the dog breed and it is up to you as their owner to make the decision when to do this however it is recommended to change their food when they are 90% of their expected weight. When you do this process ensure you take your time and slowly change their food over a whole week rather than in one day – this will make it easier for your dog.

Many owners get confused about nutrition and sometimes give their dogs too many different things trying to give their dog the best where it is not necessary. Supplements are not needed at puppy age, the food they are getting should be well balanced and contain everything they need. Supplements can be dangerous and damaging at this early age, sometimes leading to development abnormalities.

Several puppy food companies market their food as being the best as it have extra added ingredients such as omega 3 fatty acids when actually as long as you purchase a complete and balanced diet you will be providing the best for you puppy. Our advice is to always read the smallprint and check the exact ingredients of any puppy food, please remember that on the whole you do get what you pay for!