Nutrition for your Pup
The first six weeks
Puppies should not be separated from their mother before they are six weeks old - they get the nutrition and antibodies they need from their mother's milk. At three to four weeks, puppies should begin nibbling on solid food. Mixing three parts food with one part water will make the food easier for the puppy to digest. Puppies that begin nibbling on solid food before they leave their mother will have an easier time adjusting to puppy food, once they come to live with you!
Six to twelve weeks
Puppies have different nutritional needs than adult dogs. Choose a food that provides the appropriate balance of nutrients your puppy needs, including protein and calcium, and the proper amount of calories. Check your pet food label to determine if you are feeding your puppy a balanced diet.
From Weaning to Feeding - Tips on proper Puppy Nutrition
Feed your puppy at the same time every day.
Feed six- to eight-week-old puppies three times a day.
After they're eight weeks old, feed puppies twice a day.
Always have fresh drinking water available.
Don't overfeed your puppy.
Follow the guidelines on the puppy food package for recommended feeding amounts.
Monitor your puppy's weight, and make feeding adjustments as necessary.
Don't be alarmed if your puppy's appetite changes. It is normal for your puppy to lose his appetite or experience digestive upset occasionally. If your puppies upset stomach becomes severe or last longer than a day or two, contact your veterinarian.
Three to six months
This is you puppy's "teething" time. Your puppy may become a finicky eater or lose his appetite while he is teething. Keep feeding him a balanced puppy food twice a day, and if digestive upset continues longer than a day or two, contact your veterinarian.
Six months to one year
Your puppy looks grown up on the outside, but inside he's not. Continue feeding puppy food for the first year - up to two years for some larger breeds - until your puppy is fully-grown. Your vet will be able to advise you on when to transition your puppy to adult dog food. Make sure you are feeding your puppy the proper daily amount. Follow the suggested guidelines on the food package, making adjustments as necessary to suit your puppy's weight and activity level.
The second year
Smaller-breed puppies are ready to transition to an adult dog food by the time they are a year old. Larger breed puppies should remain on puppy food until they reach full maturity - which can be up to two years. Your vet should advise you on when to transition your puppy to an adult dog food.
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