4 Tips for Feeding Your Puppy

Pet Parenting |

You just picked up a new puppy to bring back to your home. It’s a very exciting time for both you, and your new puppy! A lot of time and preparation goes into the arrival of your newest family member. You’ve thought of how to help it adjust, but what about feeding?

You just picked up a new puppy to bring back to your home.  It’s a very exciting time for both you, and your new puppy!  A lot of time and preparation goes into the arrival of your newest family member.  You’ve made adjustments around the house, purchased new cleaning supplies, new puppy care items, and of course some (or lots) of toys.  All of this is pretty easy and straight forward, but what about food?

If you’re overwhelmed by the many food choices available to you, then you’re not alone.  It’s important to ask the right questions, such as: 

  • What kind of food should I give them?
  • How much food will they need?
  • How many times a day should they be fed?

These are all common questions that often become overwhelming.  To help you out, here are some tips for feeding your new puppy.

1.  Selecting the type of food

It is very important to recognize that your puppy will have very specific nutritional needs, much different than that of an adult dog.  Given that, selecting a high-quality recipe designed specifically for puppies will ensure that your puppy is meeting all of their nutritional needs.  These include ample calories to support a growing body, DHA and EPA to assist in brain and eye development, and proper protein and fat content to ensure their body has the right building blocks for a long and healthy life.

Upon first arrival of your new puppy, do not change the food the breeder sent home with them.  It will already be a stressful time as they adjust to their new surroundings and people.  Having the same food will help make the initial days in your home easier.

Once the puppy has settled into their new routine, we recommend beginning the transition to the food you’ve selected for them.  Doing so, we recommend slowly integrating the new food while reducing amounts of the old food over a period of 10 days, such as:

Day 1 – 80% old, 20% Nutram

Day 2 – 80% old, 20% Nutram

Day 3 – 60% old, 40% Nutram

Day 4 – 60% old, 40% Nutram

Day 5 – 50% old, 50% Nutram

Day 6 – 40% old, 60% Nutram

Day 7 – 40% old, 60% Nutram

Day 8 – 20% old, 80% Nutram

Day 9 – 20% old, 80% Nutram

Day 10 – 100% Nutram

2.  Placement of food

Deciding where to put your puppy’s food and water dish is an important decision.  Chances are this is where it will stay.  Try to find a place in your home that’s easily accessible for you and your puppy.  Somewhere with a floor that’s easy to clean.  Also, preferably somewhere quiet and where they won’t get easily distracted while trying to eat.

3.  How many meals should I feed my puppy?

We highly recommend selecting regular feeding times for your new puppy, instead of “free-feeding”.  Free-feeding allows your puppy access to their food all day long.  While this provides your puppy the ability to graze at their leisure, this does not allow you to monitor their food intake.  Free-feeding becomes a life-long routine, which then makes it difficult to gauge if their food intake increases or decreases, which can lead to weight gain, or indicate something may be wrong.  A healthy habit to abide by is selecting a morning, afternoon (for young puppies) and evening time slots to feed your puppy.  This allows you to measure their proper food proportions for each meal, and ensure the puppy has eaten when they are required to support a healthy, growing body.

As a general rule, a puppy could eat 3 times a day until they are 6 months old.  Once they are 6 months old, twice a day is sufficient.  Be sure to always follow feeding instructions as each weight and age milestone requires a different meal size and frequency.

4.  What time should I feed my puppy?

While the puppy is still young, we recommend 3 feedings of equal proportion per day: morning, afternoon, and evening.

As the puppy ages, 2 feedings per day will occur morning and evening.  You may choose to split these proportions 50/50, or 40/60, giving the puppy slightly more in the evenings.  Generally, the evening feeding has a slightly larger gap for the puppy to wait until their next morning feeding.

Feeding your puppy is important for the growth and development.  Try your best to establish a feeding schedule and monitor the food intake.  Being aware of your puppy’s food habits will help you ensure that your puppy is still enjoying their food, and eating adequate amounts of food to ensure proper nutrition.  We all know the stresses of a new puppy; let's not make feeding time one of them!

Nutram always recommends speaking with your local veterinarian to ensure the recipe you select is properly suited to your puppy’s needs.