When you first adopt your puppy, these tiny, energetic creatures, bursting with never-ending kisses and cuddles, will tug on your heartstrings (must like they tug on their favorite rope toy). With their adorable puppy faces turning any sour moment sweet, many dog owners dread the day their puppy (complete with that new puppy smell) grows up. However, despite your deepest desires to preserve their puppy energy, you’ll find that your puppy is multiplying in size with each passing month. Before you know it, you have a fully developed dog.
As your puppy grows, they’ll need a healthy amount of nutrients in their diet, and hopefully, they’ll also gain vital training along the way. Before you begin developing your puppy’s routine, consult feeding guides like these to establish good feeding habits. It’s essential to make sure your puppy becomes well-behaved around food so you can avoid begging behaviors. As you begin feeding your puppy, consider these six puppy feeding basics to raise a healthy and happy dog.
Choose a high-quality puppy food
Choosing your puppy’s dog food should involve more than simply strolling into your local pet store and picking any old bag of kibble or can of wet dog food from the shelves. Your puppy needs a well-rounded diet filled with animal-based proteins and energy-rich fatty acids. Though the cheap options on the shelf may tempt you, many low-cost dog foods can cause problems like allergic skin reactions, or in the worst case, heart failure.
Preventing your pup from getting those diseases by feeding him/her soft chew dog vitamins can be very multi-beneficial. It ensures your pup's skin & coat health, hip & joint health, digestive health, immune function, and many others.
Take care to research every option and choose the food with the most nutritional value for your puppy.
Set up an established mealtime area
Your puppy should have a clean and quiet eating area they can chow down in. If your puppy is eating in a loud and chaotic environment, it can develop anxiety around mealtimes, manifesting in food aggression. Make sure always to keep your puppy’s water bowl clean and full, and consider investing in a slightly elevated feeder or a mat to keep under your pup’s water and food bowls. Containing your puppy’s eating to a dedicated area makes clean-up a breeze if they eat or drink a little too enthusiastically.
Decide on a consistent schedule
When you begin feeding your puppy, stick to a consistent schedule. Consult with your vet about how often you should feed your pooch before establishing a set schedule. If you’re feeding your dog three times a day, coordinate with your own personal meal times. Your puppy will quickly learn that when you’re eating at your table, they should be eating at their bowl, reducing the likelihood that your puppy will develop begging behaviors. As your pet grows, you’ll likely need to reduce the number of times you feed them per day.
Don’t feed from your table
Though human food may smell and taste delicious to your pup, you should never feed them from your table. Feeding your pet scraps while you eat encourages them to beg while you have your own meals. Not all human food is safe for dogs to eat, but without knowing that, they’ll continue to beg for dog-unsafe foods served on the dinner table. Your puppy should learn that food that is appropriate for them to eat should come from their own food bowl.
Avoid uncomfortable bloating
Some breeds are more prone to bloating after eating their food. Bloating often happens when a puppy is too excited about its meal and eats too quickly. If you’re unsure whether your puppy is struggling with bloat, watch for signs like restlessness, a swollen abdomen, and retching. Purchasing a puzzle bowl will force your pup to slow down as they eat, reducing the likelihood of uncomfortable and painful bloating.
Moderate the amount of food you give
Every puppy’s appetite is unique and dependent on its breed, physical activity, and build. In some cases, your pup may need to eat more or less than the recommended amount listed on your dog food. Speak to your veterinarian or do some research if you’re not sure how much you should be feeding your puppy at mealtimes. If your puppy is struggling to finish the food you place in their bowl or is regularly sick after eating, adjust your serving size to be smaller.
The bottom line
Planning a healthy lifestyle for your puppy from the moment you adopt will pave the way for a long and happy relationship with your dog. Though it may take time and a lot of patience, your puppy is well worth the effort.