Just like baby humans, feeding a puppy properly means taking great care about the kind of food you provide, when, how and where. It’s important because when you give your little dog the right start in life, they end up lovely and happy, perfectly healthy and very active. This is why Butcher’s have developed specially formulated food to ensure your puppy gets all they need for a thoroughly enjoyable doggie life.
Here are our puppy feeding FAQs and expert puppy feeding tips, designed to help you get it right first time.
What should I feed my puppy?
What to feed a puppy? Puppies usually start on either wet or dry dog food from around eight weeks old, once they’ve stopped relying totally on their mum’s milk. When you pick them up from the breeder or the place they were born, ask what they’ve been eating so far and stick with it for a few days to help them feel at home, safe and secure.
You can gradually change their puppy food to the brand and type you feel is best for them over the period of a week, at first mixing the two foods together to help the pup get used to the new food. It’ll also be easier on their tummy to do things carefully and gradually.
Choosing the right puppy food
When feeding a puppy, choosing the right puppy food is key. Puppies need a special diet to make sure they get all the essential nutrition needed to grow strong and confident. The two most important elements of all are calcium, which keeps their bones and teeth nice and strong, and protein which helps their muscles develop properly.
It’s important not to feed a young pup on adult dog food because they find it a lot easier to digest specialist puppy food. As you would expect from a trusted brand, Butcher’s puppy food range is packed with all the goodness your little dog needs to grow up as fit as a Butcher’s dog.
We understand that growing puppies need exactly the right balance of essential nutrients to have the best start in life. Our specially formulated recipes come with plenty of proven health benefits designed to ensure your little dog grows up full of life.
- DHA is found in female dogs’ milk, vital for the proper development of the doggie brain and eyesight
- Essential Omega oils three and six support healthy skin and a lovely, glossy coat
- A special substance called Taurine keeps your puppy’s heart healthy
- MOS is an important prebiotic yeast that helps support a strong canine immune system
How do you know if your puppy likes the food?
It’s easy to tell if a puppy enjoys his or her food, simply because they get all excited at feeding time, and seem to enjoy eating what you give them. Dogs are also like humans in that every dog is different, and they all have their own favourite flavours. Your puppy might back away from food they don’t like, ignore the food or cry for something different. If your pup’s poo is runny or a strange colour, it could be a sign that the food disagrees with them. Change foods and see if they improve. If it keeps happening, see your vet.
How to feed a puppy?
Both wet and dry complete dog foods do the job perfectly, as long as they’re specially formulated as puppy foods, not food meant for grown-up dogs. How do you tell if it’s a complete food? It’ll say on the packaging. If there’s no mention of it being a complete food, it won’t be complete – it’s probably ‘complementary’, which means it won’t give your pup everything he or she needs.
If you’re not sure how much food to give your puppy at a time, check the packaging on our special puppy foods, where there’s a simple puppy feeding guide. How much to feed a puppy will depend on the dog breed and how much play time your puppy enjoys. The more they play, the hungrier they’ll be.
Where to feed a puppy?
Just like you, your puppy will appreciate being fed in the same place every day. Find somewhere warm and comfy where they won’t be disturbed by people or other animals going to and fro. Make sure they have a nice, clean food dish that’s big enough to take the right sized helpings. When feeding a puppy, feed them away from their bed, so their bedding stays clean and free from food scraps. Wash their dish after every meal, and steer clear of snacks and treats that can make him or her fat. Treats are best used for training, as an incentive, not something you routinely give your pup throughout the day.
When to feed a puppy?
What about puppy feeding times? Little and often is best, so they never go hungry and never end up so full they can’t move! We recommend feeding puppies three meals a day for the first six months of their life, then cutting down to two meals a day until they reach their first birthday.
Puppy feeding is all about routines. It’s best to feed your pup at a regular time every day so they get to know when it’s time for food. It’s also important because regular routines are a vital part of training a dog. They like to have some fresh, clean, room-temperature drinking water with their food, so make sure they have their own water bowl there for every meal.
When is your puppy ready for adult food?
Different breeds and sizes of dogs have different growth rates, and some dogs mature to adulthood earlier than others. The smaller your breed of dog, the quicker it grows as a puppy. The bigger the breed, the longer it takes to grow. Bigger breed puppies need a specially balanced diet containing the right amounts of fat, calcium and phosphorus to cater for their steady growth rate.
If you’re not 100% sure, why not download our Puppy Growth Development Chart to find out when your puppy becomes an adult?
Our handy puppy feeding chart
As we mentioned, every pack of Butcher’s puppy food includes a puppy feeding guide. The chart is designed to help you pin down exactly the right amount of food for your little dog while he or she grows.
Your puppy food checklist
There’s a huge choice of dog foods available. How do you know for sure your pup is getting exactly what they need? Here are our top three tips, our puppy food checklist. You should look out for foods that:
- Include plenty of easy-to-digest high quality protein
- Are calorie-rich, designed to support fast growth and the large amount of energetic playing that young dogs enjoy. Lots of fats is a good thing since they help create healthy skin and a lovely, glossy coat
- Are specially formulated for puppies, not adult dogs. Proper puppy food contains all the essential vitamins and minerals your growing dog needs
Top five Puppy Feeding Tips
- Always go for a specialist puppy food
- Puppy feeding is as much about building a routine as it is nutrition
- Dogs develop at different rates depending on their size and breed, don’t move onto adult food too soon
- Ensure the puppy food you choose is calorie rich and contains high quality protein
- Little and often is best
Any additional puppy feeding questions?
Connect with us on Facebook if you have any questions about puppy feeding and nutrition. We’ll be pleased to answer them for you.
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