Feeding Your Puppy
Daily Recommended Amount divided by 3 size meals.
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At first, it's important to feed your puppy the same food he/she has been eating before you brought him/her home. Many times, stress can cause puppies to have diarrhea or even decide not to eat. To cut down on stomach upset, puppy will come with some of his food that he is accustomed to eating. As he gets used to his environment, you can gradually introduce the food you have chosen by mixing some of that food with his food. Within a couple weeks or so, he should be eating an entire meal of your selection. When feeding puppy, choose a convenient, quiet, secure and consistent place. Puppy will be ready to start exploring their new environment. Once home, you can place a small line of food on the floor, leading to puppy's bowl. This is fun for them to find their food bowl. If you have multiple dogs, possibly that food guard, you will need to provide safety for eating.
Make sure that your bowls are age appropriate. If your puppy could possibly fall into the water bowl and not get out safely, your puppy could drown in just a small pan of water. You don't want bowls too high, too low, too big or too small. You want them, JUST RIGHT, like Goldilocks liked her porridge. I like to use stainless steel bowls. They seem to clean easier, don't hold stains, or germs and they are dishwasher safe.
Establishing a Feeding Routine:
Your puppy has been trained to graze. What this means is that your puppy has had food always in their bowl the entire time growing up. When asked how much food to place in puppy's bowl, I recommend you take the suggested amount on the back of the dog food bag that you use, by their weight and their age, place the recommended daily amount in a bowl. At the end of the day, if there is food left over, then you can judge how much they are eating. If they are out of food mid-day, then you will know they are eating a little more than recommended. To help establish a bowel habit pattern, at first, it might be better to put down food for puppy 2-3 times a day and take it back up after 30 minutes or so. If they are not eating, I would leave the food down at all times, just in case they are hungry. About 10-30 minutes after you feed puppy, take puppy to the potty area and give the potty command words. If you are unable to do this, then I would make sure puppy has food and clean water available at all times.
Be sure to clean your puppy's dishes frequently and always give him fresh water at each feeding. Giving puppy table scraps is never a good idea. This can cause gas, bloating, and diarrhea unnecessarily. If you don't feed your puppy from the table when he is young, then he won't ever learn to beg for food while you are at the table. If you feel that you have to give puppy human table food, then I would provide healthy choices like chicken, beef, pork without much sauce, green beans, broccoli, carrots, and some other vegetables. For a full list of non-hazardous foods, you can check the ASPCA's poison control page. Remember, lifelong habits are formed early.
Changing Food Brands:
At some point, puppy might grow bored of his food, has a food allergy, has excessive tear stains, making there a need to switch dog food brands. Explore and find a new and exciting food that he will eat. One thing to consider, only protein grain-free foods in a toy dog can cause them to form urine crystals in their bladder or kidney stones. I do not recommend diets with protein greater than 30%. Research and find an acceptable food for your situation. When switching, use the same method of mixing approximately 1/4th of the new food with 3/4th the old food for about a week, then 1/2 and 1/2 of old and new for a week and then 3/4th of new and 1/2 of the old for about a week and then finally a complete meal of the newly selected food. If you switch too quickly or all of the sudden, expect diarrhea.