Your puppy is a little bundle of joy, energetic, happy, and, not to mention, hungry beyond belief. If you are used to your older dogs being not particularly demanding when it comes to nutrition, puppies are a different thing. They need more fuel than their adult counterparts for building muscle mass, healthy bones, and overall develop into a beautiful dog.
Why does a puppy need a feeding schedule?
If your puppy were in charge, he or she would eat all day long. As a puppy owner, you need to set things right and enforce some rules that will help with maintaining your little one’s health in optimal condition.
It is true that puppies need to be fed more often than adult dogs, but this doesn’t mean that they should know no discipline. Get your puppy used to a routine, as that will help you later when you will have to reduce the number of meals every day.
Some breeds, especially the ones that tend to grow large, must be carefully monitored during their puppy years, to avoid obesity and muscular and skeletal problems. Getting such puppies used to a feeding schedule will prevent overfeeding and, later on, health issues.
How is the food you should feed your puppies different and why?
There is a strong reason why important brands make food for puppies based on unique recipes. As already mentioned, puppies have different needs when compared to adult dogs. They need more protein because they grow fast and all those bones and muscles need the building blocks only protein can offer.
You will notice that particular care is paid to the ingredients included in puppy food. They need a balanced diet based on protein, vitamins, and minerals, and, if you attempt to get this balance right by cooking meals for your little one at home, you will discover that it is not easy.
How many times a day should you feed your puppy?
Three or four times are enough for puppies, but you should reduce the number of daily meals to two after your puppy reaches six months of age. All these rules are meant to help you avoid overfeeding your little furry friend.
Around that age, the puppy will lose the first set of teeth to grow the ones he or she will have for years to come. That marks a change in nutrition, too. As the development rhythm begins to slow down, you should transition your puppy to more suitable food.
What about treats?
Seeing how lovable your four-legged friend is, you may feel tempted to feed him or her more treats, just to show your love. Vets recommend that no more than 5% of the total amount of calories you should feed your puppy each day should come from treats.
Also, bear in mind to avoid feeding your puppy table scraps. That will only teach him or her bad habits, like begging for food at mealtime and eating foods that are not suitable for a dog’s diet.