Feeding a puppy is very different from feeding an adult dog. They have completely different nutritional needs, and their diet will need to change to reflect their growth. Do not worry though, for there are a few simple tips that will help you provide the right nutritious premium dog food for your new puppy, no matter what age they are.
The first stage is weaning your puppy onto solid food. This shouldn’t take any longer than two or three weeks. Choose a good brand of dog food that lists meat, not corn or meat byproducts, as the first ingredient. Certain brands, such as Arden Grange dog food, will provide a range of food specifically for weaning puppies.
When your puppy is between four and six weeks old, start feeding them a blend of solid food and milk replacer mixed to the consistency of gruel. Feed them three or four times a day, reducing the amount of milk replacer that you use gradually over the two or three weeks until your puppy is eating solid food.
By about the age of eight weeks, your puppy should switch off the weaning food and onto standard puppy food. You should again choose the best premium dog food. Look for brands that are optimised for the size of your dog, as puppies from larger or smaller breeds will have different nutritional needs.
You should switch to an adult dog food as soon as your puppy hits maturity. You might notice that your dog has stopped eating as much, or is gaining a lot of weight, which are signs that your puppy is now an adult.
Puppy food is very high in calories to help young dogs grow, but feeding it to a dog that is fully grown can result in obesity. There is also the possibility that they can develop orthopedic problems.
As a rule, smaller breeds of dog (where the adults weigh less than 13kg or 30lbs) will reach maturity when they are between ten and 12 months old. Dogs that weigh between 13kg and 36kg (80lbs) will mature in 14 to 16 months, while breeds larger than 36kg can take up to two years to mature.
Written by: Hannah