5 Tips for Feeding a Puppy

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Most people don’t realize the extreme amount of time and energy they will expend when they get a new puppy.  Puppies are very similar to human babies in a lot of ways; they don’t sleep through the night, they are constantly hungry, and of course, they are not housebroken!  It can be completely overwhelming to care for a new puppy, especially since there are so many products and foods available that claim to make your life with your new puppy easier.  

One thing you shouldn’t have to worry about, is how and when to feed your puppy.  Even though it seems they could devour an entire bag of dog food in one sitting, you definitely need to monitor very closely the amount of food your new puppy eats and when they eat it.  Establishing good feeding habits during a dog’s puppyhood will ensure healthy eating habits their entire lives. 

Here are five fool-proof tips for feeding your new puppy.

1.     Choose the right food.  Proper puppy feeding all starts with selecting the proper food.  Although it can be tempting to fall prey to marketing that suggests you need a specific food for puppies, there’s really no science behind “puppy specific” foods.  If your dog is a particularly small breed, it can be beneficial to break up the food pieces into smaller, more manageable bites. 

The best option for dog food is FDA dog food, or food that has actually been approved by the FDA for human consumption; yes, we said human.  Most dog foods use cheap, “feed grade” ingredients that have been over-processed and are basically void of nutritional value.  As such, your puppy gets a lot of “junk food” and not much of what they actually need. 

Opt instead for a USDA grade dog food that consists of human grade ingredients.  These types of food will have ingredients you can actually read with which you are familiar.  They will also have been processed minimally so that the nutritional content of each ingredient remains in intact. 

2.     Establish a feeding schedule.  It seems like your precious pup could eat around the clock, and this is normal.  Don’t be surprised to find her sniffing around her feeding dish or whining for treats on a regular basis.  As puppies, most breeds will need to eat about three times a day.  After about four months of age, you cular basis.  As puppies, moontent of tan reduce their feeding schedule to twice daily. 

3.     Set up a dedicated feeding area.  Your puppy needs a dedicated area that is her own for meal time.  It should be a safe and quiet area where she can eat without distraction and without fear of other animals (or small children) in the home interfering.  It’s important your puppy is fed in the same location every time she’s fed, so that she can understand that returning to that spot at meal time means she will be bed. 

4.     Obeying commands.  It’s never too early to start training your turning to that spot at meal time means she will be bed.  puppy.  Canines need and want a stable “pack leader” in their lives, and that role is now yours.  It’s important to start training your dog to obey at meal time.  A simple command of “sit” while their food is being poured and having the dog wait until you give the “eat” command is sufficient in establishing your role.  This gives your puppy confidence in you as their leader. 

5.     Treats and rewards.  It can be very tempting to toss a treat her way every time your new puppy does something cute (which is basically always).  Treats, however, are very high in calories and normally low in nutritional value.  Talk to your vet about how many dog treats your puppy should receive each day, and also about alternatives to standard dog biscuits like bits of sliced cheese and carrots.   

Moreover, one of the important puppy training tips is consistency. Your puppy might even take a step back after making good strides in training. Don’t be discouraged. It is significant to be regular and consistent until the end.

A new puppy is a great experience and an exciting new member of your family.  Learning when and how to feed them is easy if you follow a few simple guidelines.  Establishing a dedicated mealtime with high-quality food is essential in keeping your puppy happy and healthy.  

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