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Your puppy not only depends on you for what’s in his bowl, but also for the quality of the ration that you put in the bowl. That’s a big responsibility. Owners need guidance to sort out the truth from the fiction and old wives tales. Additionally, with so many products on today’s market, is it any wonder that people are confused?
Goals of Feeding
The goal in correct puppy feeding is to provide the right food in the right amount so that your puppy will achieve the average growth for their breed. We don’t want him to grow too fast since this can produce health problems later on. Researchers have shown that overfeeding for maximal weight gain should definitely be avoided. In fact, slight underfeeding is preferable!
Type of Food
A puppy food must be just that - a food for puppies. An adult diet is not suitable for growing active puppies. Cat food is not appropriate as dogs require different components in their diet from that of cats. Our hospital can advise you on the most appropriate food and feeding regime for your puppy. An important point - once you have decided on a particular product feed it exclusively. Avoid supplementation with meat, table scraps, mineral and vitamin supplements or any other things because this will create a finicky eater or nutritional imbalances, or both.
Our hospital believes that “time-restricted” feeding, as opposed to free choice, is preferable for most breeds and most owners. By time restricted feeding we refer to a meal is placed before them for a designated amount of time. When time is up, the food bowl comes up. Most animals will catch on to this in the first couple of feedings. The other alternative is free choice feeding which means leave a bowl of food down at all times so the animal can eat whenever it wishes to. The only drawback to this method is you as an owner are not able to control how much it eats at any given time - this may lead to overweight dogs in the end.
Rules for Puppy Feeding
* Use a puppy formulation food
* Don’t give any additives - unless directed by a veterinarian
* Puppies should not be fed adult type foods, or the very inexpensive dry foods. In many instances, because of the low caloric density of these products, the puppy cannot consume sufficient quantities of digestible nutrients to satisfy optimal growth requirements