Author Topic: Feeding My Puppy  (Read 21153 times)

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Offline Jane S

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Feeding My Puppy
« on: April 16, 2003, 03:01:35 PM »

What to feed
Most reputable breeders will either provide you with a supply of the food that your puppy is used to or will let you know the type/brand in advance so that you can have a supply of this food ready for when you bring your puppy home. Some puppies go off their food for a few days when they arrive in a new home. This is usually because they are overwhelmed by their new environment and their appetite will come back once they settle in.

Changing your puppy’s food
It is important that you stick to this food until your puppy has had a chance to settle into his or her new home. Sudden changes in diet can upset your puppy’s digestion and cause diarrhoea. If you want to change the food you feed your puppy you should do it slowly over a period of a week to 10 days. As a general guide you should mix 10% of the new food with 90% of the old on the first day and then 20% new and 80% old on the second day and so on until after about 10 days you will be feeding 100% new food. This gives your puppy’s body time to adjust to his/her new food. Your breeder may also give you a supply of the water that your puppy has been used to. A sudden change of water can also upset your puppy’s delicate system.

How often should I feed my puppy
As a general guide an 8 week old puppy should be fed 4 small meals daily. Between the ages of 4 to 8 months you can reduce this to 3 slightly larger meals. From 8 months onwards you should be feeding your puppy 2 main meals a day and once your puppy is around a year old you can feed just one main meal, although many cocker owners choose to continue feeding 2 meals a day; breakfast and then dinner in the evening.

If you want to give your puppy treats there are plenty of brandname treats available from petshops and supermarkets or you can make your own using the food that you have in your home (small pieces of cheese or sausage are usually popular). If you do choose to give your puppy treats you should reduce the amount of food given at mealtimes so your puppy doesn't become overweight.

Your puppy should always have access to cool, fresh drinking water. This is especially true if you are feeding your puppy on a dry complete food as these foods contain very little water. You can reduce the amount of water available overnight if you feel it will help with toilet training

Dogs appreciate routine and you should try to feed your puppy at the same times each day. Some people believe that it helps establish your puppy's place in the family if the family always eat before the puppy - however this theory has largely been disproved and it is not always possible, or convenient. What is most important is that you find a routine that suits your family and your puppy.

Feeding Equipment
You should give your puppy his/her meals in a sturdy non-tip bowl. Plastic, stainless steel or earthenware are hygenic and easy to clean. Specially shaped "spaniel" or "cocker" bowls are readily available from pet shops and help to prevent your puppy’s ears from dipping into their dinner.

Correct weight
It is important not to overfeed your puppy otherwise you risk him/her becoming overweight. Your puppy should be well-covered, but not fat or skinny and you should be able to feel each of your puppy’s ribs but not see them.

Young puppies often suffer from a little case of diarrhoea, especially when they first arrive in a new home or after a change in food or water. You can treat this by adding a spoonful of live (plain not flavoured) yoghurt to their usual food, or feeding a bland diet like cooked chicken and boiled rice for a few days and then gradually re-introduce their usual food. A puppy that has diarrhoea can quite quickly become dehydrated so make sure there is plenty of water available. If your puppy is being sick as well, or if there is blood or mucus in the diarrhoea you should take your puppy to the vet to be checked over.

By F Macleod 2003