When it comes to pet ownership, dogs reign supreme as the most popular pet in America. Because so many people adopt puppies every year, it’s easy to make the mistake that raising a puppy is easy or intuitive.
The truth is that puppies are difficult–cute, but difficult. Before you dive in, you should understand puppy training, puppy potty schedules, and puppy diets.
While we can’t teach you every rule in the puppy handbook, we can give you a quick guide to the best puppy diet.
Read on to learn about how much you should feed your puppy and what types of food are best.
Puppy Diets from 6-12 Weeks
So you’ve got a brand new puppy (or you’re thinking about getting one, in which case, take a look at this guide) and it’s time to pick out some puppy food. This part is simple: pick out a medium to high-grade food formulated for puppies, specifically. You may need wet food for the first few weeks, but big puppies should switch to dry food by week 9 and small puppies by week 12.
Puppies are growing fast and need a lot of nutrients to do so. At this age, they will need four feedings per day. Remember that the amount you feed them will depend on their breed and any special health considerations.
Puppy Diets from 3-6 Months
By about three months, you can cut down from four feedings to three feedings per day. At this age, puppies tend to lose their round bellies and start to show more lean muscle. If your puppy is still portly, stick to smaller portions even as you decrease feeding times.
Unless necessary for dietary reasons, consider cutting out any wet food at this age. Some owners may want to stick to a homemade or raw diet for puppies, which is fine. However, you will need to talk to your vet to ensure that you’re meeting all of your puppy’s dietary needs.
Puppy Diets from 6-12 Months
Now is the time to drop down to two larger portions of food per day, once in the morning and once in the evening. After your puppy has been spayed or neutered, they won’t be burning as much energy. Once the procedure is finished and they hit 12 months for big breeds or 9 months for small breeds, you can switch them to adult dog food.
A good rule of thumb is that it’s better to feed your dog puppy food longer than necessary, rather than shorter. If you or your vet are uncertain that it’s time to switch, stick with the puppy food for a few more months.
Talk to Your Vet About the Best Diet for Puppies
Adopting a puppy is no small feat, even if your puppy comes in a small package. This guide to puppy diets will help you to establish a schedule. Talk to your vet about the best formula and portion for your puppy.
Nothing is quite as joyful as being a pet owner. Take a look around for more guides to pet ownership that will make life with your furry friend a breeze.