8 min read
Excited barks, messy whiskers, and food spilling everywhere - these are just a few of the adorable moments that come with feeding a puppy. As much as we love to watch our furry family members enjoy a scrumptious meal, it's important for us as puppy parents to understand the ins and outs of feeding our growing pups.
From knowing what to feed them, to understanding portion sizes, and even when to switch to adult food, it's important to be informed and make sure our puppies are getting the best nutrition possible. Join us as we dive into the world of feeding puppies and learn everything you need to know to keep your puppy happy and healthy!
Table of Contents
From when they’re born till they’re 4 weeks old, puppies require their mother’s milk for proper growth and development. If the mother isn’t around, you can give them puppy milk replacer in a bottle 3-4 times a day. Once they reach 4 weeks, your puppy’s baby teeth will appear, making them ready for the weaning process—the slow transition from mother’s milk to puppy food.
HUFT Tip: Puppy milk replacer to puppies is what baby formula is to human babies. These are special formulas in the form of powder or milk that gives your puppy the same nutrition as their mother’s milk.
HUFT Tip: You can soak your puppy’s kibble in warm water to soften them up. This makes it easier to eat and digest. If your puppy is allergic to certain foods or ingredients, it’s a safe option to feed them hypo-allergenic or grain-free puppy food.
If you’re a puppy parent who trusts home-made food more, then this part of our guide is for you. There are certain foods that are readily available in your kitchen that can be harmful to your puppy. It’s important to be aware about what your puppy eats.
Ingredients like salt, sugar, garlic, grapes and raisins, chocolate, onions, avocado, wheat, caffeine products and cow milk are a no-no. If your puppy accidentally ingests any of these, immediately consult your veterinarian.
Human foods that are good to feed your puppy include carrots, boiled eggs, apples, pumpkin, french beans, cucumber, curd and rice in limited amounts.
Step 1: Pressure cook pumpkin, french beans, carrots, rice and a little bit of turmeric in water.
Step 2: Top off the khichdi with some boiled pieces of chicken breast.
Step 3: Allow the food to cool. Serve with fresh drinking water.
Step 4: You can also top it off with food topper for that extra yumminess!
HUFT Tip: Remember to feed your puppy in quantities as recommended by your vet.
One thing that we’ve realized as pet parents ourselves is that no puppy gets hungry in the same way! Each puppy is different and so are their eating habits. Hence, there are no set rules for feeding your puppy.
Just like us humans, your puppy’s lifestyle, activity charts, growing habits and the weather (amongst other things) can affect their appetite. So what should one do? Here’s what we recommend:
Puppies will always want some yummy food! But if they’re constantly hungry, it can also be a sign to get them dewormed. Deworming is a monthly process of removing parasites from your puppy’s stomach that might be causing stomach issues. Your vet can recommend the best deworming solution for your puppy.
As your pup turns 2-3 weeks old, they can be dewormed for the first time. Two weeks later, they can get their second dose. Your pup should get monthly dewormed up to the age of 6 months. Post that age, they can be dewormed every 3 months or as in when required.
While home-made foods are a nutritious and trusted option, packaged foods can come handy when you don’t have enough time to whip up something yummy for your puppy. A mix of wet puppy food and dry puppy food makes sure your pet has nutrition as well as hydration.
Just like with us humans, high-quality nutritious puppy food can have positive and lasting impacts on your puppy’s physical and mental health, growth and lifespan. Good food can give them the energy they require and also avoid any health issues from developing later in life.
Some signs that your puppy is underfed include extremely low energy, constant whining when they look at food and visible ribs and bones. If you notice any of these signs, try feeding them more than their usual amount. In case of any doubts, consult your vet.
Some ingredients used in dog and puppy foods can cause allergies. These include wheat, other grains, chicken, beef and soya amongst others. If your puppy has rashes, bumps on skin, redness around ears, paws, mouth and eyes, it can be a sign that your puppy has developed a food allergy.
Imagine having the same food everyday, for the rest of your lives! So yes, food rotation is extremely important for your puppy’s wellbeing. It can help improve immunity, increase their resistance to allergies and also give your puppy a chance to explore different tastes. If you wish to shift to a new puppy food, gradually make the change over the span of 10-15 days.
When puppies refuse to eat, it’s most likely that they’re not enjoying their current puppy food. You can try switching to a new brand or add food topper to make their meals interesting. We also recommended soaking their kibble in warm water to soften them and make it easier to digest.
If none of these work, reach out to your vet so they can figure if there are any underlying health conditions.
To conclude, puppy parenting is not easy. It’s a journey where one learns as their puppy grows. So don’t worry if you make a mistake here or there or are confused and tired. Trust the process, ask for help and remember to cherish this beautiful time in your life with your adorable pup!
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