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A Woofy Guide on Feeding Puppies and Adult Dogs!

01 May 2013 | by | Posted in: Nutrition

When it comes to feeding a puppy or an adult dog, we must always choose ‘high quality’ branded food. The premium brands are the best option since they contain all the essential nutrients, which will take care of their coat, skin, teeth and overall health. If your pooch likes the food offered to him and is digesting it well, you need to stay consistent. Avoid mixing and matching different kinds of foods just because they are on discounted offers. Let’s not compromise on quality when it comes to our lovable companions, they certainly deserve the best!

There are different kinds of  Dog food and feeding patterns for puppies and adult dogs, which are as follows:

Feeding Puppies

puppy dog foodPuppies get all the nourishment from their mother during the first few weeks of their life. Thereafter, around the age of three to four weeks, they need to be introduced to small portions of puppy food. Initially they may play around with the food, but by the time they reach the eighth week, they should be gaining all the nutrients from the solid food. Puppies need a substantial amount of food every day. Until the age of six months, a pup will eat more frequent meals (3 to 4 meals a day) compared to an adult dog. Hence, puppies should be fed foods that are especially designed for them, as they contain high content of protein, minerals, vitamins and fats to grow into a healthy dog. All premium brands such as Royal Canin, Pedigree, Eukanuba, Hills, Cibau etc offer dry kibble food containing all the necessary nutrients, prepared specifically for puppies.

There are puppy foods available catering to the breed and size of your pooch. A large breed of dog such as a Great Dane would require a different nutrient balance as compared to a small Terrier. Large breed puppies require good nourishment that will look after their skeletal development, since they are prone to problems such as hip dysplasia. Such breeds should not gain extra weight too soon, as this will put a strain on their bones. Small puppy breeds require food that can easily get into their mouth. Dry kibble made for large breed puppies may be difficult for small breeds to chew. In general, all puppies usually consume more calories than adult dogs without showing any signs of obesity. They can be fed smaller portions of meals several times a day, unlike the adult dogs that are fed only once or twice a day.

You can expect your puppy to grow into an adult between one and two years of age, depending on his breed. Smaller breeds mature faster than larger breeds. It is advisable to check with your vet, when you are about to make the change from puppy food to adult dog food. Moreover, when the time comes for the changeover, you need to do it gradually. You must begin by mixing a little of the adult food to the puppy food, and then slowly increasing the quantity of adult food, while decreasing the amount of puppy food.  

Puppy Care Tips:

adult dog food·  Always buy premium ‘puppy food’. It contains all the extra nutrients a pup needs until he grows into an adult.

· Opt for breed-formulated food. Large breed foods help bigger pups grow at a slow and steady rate, giving them enough time to develop stronger bones and joints. Small breed foods helps smaller pups by providing nutrition that meet their high metabolic requirements. You get medium size breed foods too.

· You can feed your puppy with dentastix or choostix of Pedigree and Twistix when he is over 3 to 4 months of age. These chews can be offered as a treat once a day, which will take care of his teeth and gums.

· There are dog biscuits available for puppies by Drools, which can be given as treats once or twice a day. You need to check on the label of the product before purchasing any of these treats for your pup.

·  It is best to feed your puppy meals at a set time each day, enabling him to learn the schedule.

·  Clean drinking watershould be available for your puppy 24x7.

·  NEVER FEED YOUR PUPPY FROM THE TABLE as it encourages him to BEG for food. All the members of the family must abide by this Golden Rule.

·  Last but not the least, your puppy needs your TLC (Tender Loving Care) at all times!

Feeding Adult Dogs

dog with food bowlAn adult dog needs a balanced diet, which provides him with the right amount of vital nutrients such as proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, fats, minerals, and adequate amounts of water. Your pooch should have all these in proper proportions to remain healthy. All premium brands such as Royal Canin, Pedigree, Eukanuba, Hills, Cibau etc offer dry kibble food containing all the necessary nutrients, designed especially for adult dogs. There are also adult foods available that cater to different sizes as well as breeds, such as the Labrador, Golden Retriever, Cocker Spaniel, Pug, German Shepherd, Rottweiler and more. You may also feed your dog canned food made by Drools and Pedigree.

It gets tough for pet parents to choose the right dog food for their pooch. With several varieties available in the market, it gets confusing as to which one is apt. In this case, you can take the assistance of your vet and keep a check on how a particular food affects your dog. If your dog’s stools are firm and brown, and his overall health seems fine, then the food you have selected is perfect for him.

It is advisable to feed an adult dog ‘dry kibble premium food’, instead of soft dog food for several reasons. By crunching on kibbles, your dog’s teeth stay clean and his jaws muscles get a work out. In addition, dry kibbles contain all the necessary nourishment, keeping your dog’s coat and skin healthy and his energy levels maintained. Soft dog food or semi-moist foods may seem a convenient option, but will not provide all the nutritional benefits of premium kibble foods.

You need to feed your adult pooch food according to his size and energy requirements. Most adult dogs consume two meals a day. It is mandatory to keep two different bowls for your dog, one for food and the other for clean drinking water, which should be available constantly.

Dentastix and Choostix by All4pets, Pedigree, Phoenix and Twistix can be given to your adult dog, which will take care of his oral health, including bad breath, pain in teeth and gums, bleeding gums, tartar, tooth decay and build of bacteria. You can also offer him dog biscuits made by Drools, Glenand, All4pets, Nutribix etc as treats. They come in different flavors and shapes and can be fed as a part of your dog’s overall food intake.

Please do not offer dog human food, as their nutritional needs are far different from humans. Chocolate is bad for dogs as it contains toxins harmful to them. Bones that splinter or have sharp edges must not be fed. Dogs love vegetables such as carrots, beans, broccoli and cauliflower, and fruits such as bananas and watermelon, as these make excellent low-calorie treats. Yoghurt or buttermilk are good for their gut and should be given during summers to keep them cool. Vets also recommend vanilla ice cream, to beat the heat!

Dog Care Tips

· Feed your dog the same type and brand of food, at the same time every day. Changes in food can cause digestive problems such as stomach upset and diarrhea.

·  If your pooch desires to have dry food in a slightly wet form, you need to mix 4 parts of dry food to 1 part of water. You can also check with your vet on the same.

·  Whenever you switch to a new food, do it gradually by mixing both portions until the old food is slowly phased out.

·  Keep fresh drinking water available 24x7and change the water several times a day.

·  Don’t overfeed your dog as it can cause obesity related issues in the future.

·  Always adhere to the guidelines mentioned on the dog food package for suggested feeding amounts.

·  Keep monitoring your dog’s weight and activity levels, enabling you to make feeding adjustments as required.

·  Besides all the above, bestow him with all your love and affection just as he does!

There is no hard and fast rule that states how much a dog should be fed. The feeding quantities largely depend on the breed, size, age and the activity level of a pup or an adult dog. It is wise to take the opinion of your vet on the right amount to be fed to your pooch. Happy Woofy Feeding smiley

Comments

gspal
A very informative article. Great. Only think I differ is giving kibble which is formed with the help of carbohydrates (dogs need fat rather than carbohydrates) and all nutrition is artificially added subsequently. All natural nutrition is burnt when a kibble is formed/baked at high heat. I prefer balanced home made dog food with some good quality non-vegetarian commercial wet food added (if the home food is vegetarian) to each feed to make it appetizing. As for oral health a chew stick (meat or chicken flavour) like from All4Pets, Ludhiana, maybe given.

By: gspal | 29 Aug 2013

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