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If you’ve ever gotten a puppy, you know how tiny (and cute!) they are when they first join your family. But you also probably know just how much and fast they grow… in no time!
All that growing in a short period of time can make it hard to know how much food is enough for your pup – or too much. If you’re confused about how much food to give your puppy, and how to know when you should increase serving sizes, read on for our tips!
🐶 Start with a puppy food
Just as babies have different nutritional needs than older children or adults, puppies have different ones than adult dogs. Foods made with puppies in mind have the best balance of nutrients for their growing bodies.
Look for a food with high-quality, natural ingredients to get your pup off to the best possible start in life. A great option are the healthybites’ meal patties or bites, and it can continue to be used as they age. Dogs generally reach maturity between one and two years old – talk to your vet to get advice for your pup.
⚖️ How much food?
Puppies should start eating puppy food after they’re weaned, which is usually at between 6-8 weeks old. The amount you feed your puppy now depends on their estimated weight at maturity – a Labrador retriever puppy needs more food than a Pomeranian puppy.
The packaging of your puppy food should have instructions on how much to feed. This will vary by food type, based on what counts as a serving size and how the food is formulated. If you aren’t sure how much is correct, or you don’t know how big your dog will get – for example, if they’re a mixed breed or unknown breed – get advice from your vet.
🗓️ How often to feed?
To create a feeding schedule for your pup, divide the total amount they should eat each day by two or three, depending how often you plan to put food out. If you aren’t sure when to feed, go by when you eat – when you have your breakfast, lunch and dinner, your puppy can too!
Try to keep your puppy’s mealtimes consistent, to help establish a routine. And to avoid nighttime accidents, try to give them the last meal a few hours before bedtime to allow digestion time.
🐕 Choosing puppy treats
Treats should only make up a small part of your dog’s diet, to ensure they’re getting the nutrients they need from their meals. But you can definitely give your puppy healthy treats! They can be a great way to help train your puppy.
healthybud’s single-ingredient treats are a great choice for puppies – they have lots of flavour and nutrients, and help you introduce new foods one at a time.
Another great #traininghack is to use the healthybud freeze-dried bites as a training treat, as it’s also a fully-balanced meal. If you properly portion how much you use for training, you can feed that much less at meal-time!
Is your puppy gobbling down their food too quickly? You can help them learn to eat more slowly by putting their food into a slow-feeder bowl or a food puzzle, which prevents them from taking down big gulps at a time.
For a no-cost solution, you can also try spreading your puppy’s food out across a sheet pan, or putting it in a muffin tin! Sheet pans force your puppy to take tiny bites and pick up pieces with their tongue. And you can break food into smaller portions by putting a little bit into each cup in a muffin pan.
Stay healthy, stay happy, stay curious #healthygang!
Lots of love,
- The healthybud team
DISCLAIMER: The information presented here is not meant to replace your vet’s advice or prescribed medications, but only to suggest additional options to explore, based on your dog’s condition.Support your best bud’s health with high quality, healthy foods and treats you will both feel great about. Visit the healthybud website now to learn more about our products and subscription options.