How Much to Feed a Puppy by Weight
Whether you have a puppy or are just starting to wean your dog off of mother’s milk, you want to know how much to feed a puppy by weight. While there is no “one size fits all” rule for feeding a puppy, there are some basics you should know about the growth process. While you will want to feed your puppy enough to support its growing body, overfeeding will actually harm it.
Determining how much to feed a puppy by weight can be tricky, especially for new or veteran dog owners. To make this process easier, this article features answers to questions like “how much should I feed my puppy on a daily basis?” and “how fast should my puppy be gaining weight?” The advice offered here will help you choose the best food for your growing pup, plus answer other questions about proper nutrition that you can continue to reference as your new puppy grows.
Weaning a puppy off of mother’s milk
Weaning a puppy off of its mother’s milk is a transitional process that is necessary for healthy growth. Puppies should be slowly weaned off the milk; pulling the puppy away from the mom too abruptly may cause issues. Weaning begins when the puppy starts eating solid food, and the cells in her gut start turning on and changing enzymes to allow her to digest more complex proteins and fats. However, this transition is stressful, and it can make the puppy susceptible to URIs.
The process normally starts when the puppy reaches the age of three weeks. When the pup is three weeks old, the mother begins to feed the puppy less milk. The puppy’s mother will be happy to leave the nest for longer periods and will be enjoying increased physical activity. In some areas, weaning a puppy before the age of eight weeks is illegal. If the puppy is weaned before this time, the puppy will be less dependent on the milk and may show behavioral and emotional problems.
Three meals a day
The most important part of feeding a puppy is to learn how to determine a puppy’s caloric requirements based on its body weight. The ideal ratio for calcium and phosphorus is 1:1 to 2:1, with the lower end being best for optimal bone development. Other nutrients to feed your puppy are vitamin D, copper, magnesium, zinc, and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which come in a range of different forms.
The amount of food a puppy needs varies based on several factors, such as age and breed. Puppies often require more calories than older dogs, have different activity needs, and require more food than adult dogs. Additionally, puppies typically eat more frequently – sometimes as many as four times per day – than older dogs. A typical adult dog will require between two and three times more calories per day than a puppy, so you need to consider this when determining how much to feed your pup.
It’s important to monitor your dog’s eating habits, and be aware of any changes in your puppy’s behavior. Besides being unpleasant, a puppy with an excessive amount of weight may develop other health issues. Gas, for example, may be an indication that your puppy has a problem with his digestive tract. While this doesn’t necessarily mean your puppy is overweight, a large amount of food can lead to flatulence.
A puppy’s appetite is excellent, but it cannot tell when it’s full, and it can overeat. The problem with excessive feeding is that a puppy’s body cannot regulate its own weight, and overfeeding a puppy can cause skeletal problems. Be sure to divide the recommended portion of food into several meals. Make sure to include treats in your puppy’s daily diet. Then, your puppy will eat less, but still be nourished.
Keeping a check on your dog’s weight
A proper weight for your dog is essential to their health and overall well-being. If you have a dog, it is important to keep a close eye on it. Weight monitoring is especially important if your dog is overweight, so keeping a tab on it is imperative. Some signs of overweight can be detected by holding the dog close to your body. You should avoid holding your dog if you are infirm or have any health restrictions.
The ideal weight for your dog is the weight at which you can feel his ribs and see the waist below the ribcage. The underside should be slightly sloped and the waist should be visible behind the ribcage. If there is a deep incline, your dog is underweight, and if it is shallow, your dog is overweight. You can also view your dog’s profile from the side and open your hand over its ribcage to feel the waist.
The bottom line is that you can feed your puppy too much or give him the wrong food. Tread carefully and do your research. Make sure he’s eating a suitable diet, keep close track of his growth over time and be sure to talk to your veterinarian about any concerns you have. The better the relationship you build with your vet, the easier these questions will be to answer. Ultimately, feeding your puppy well helps set him up for success as an adult dog too!