How Much Should You Feed A Puppy?
One of the most important aspects of a growing puppy is identifying how much food they need to be fed while they are growing. The best way to do this is to understand how to read a puppy feeding guide on the package of your puppy food.
Most puppy feeding guides will be based on the estimated adult weight of your puppy and not their current weight. As we now know that different size puppies have different nutritional needs this will enable us to ensure our puppy is getting the correct calorie requirements suited for their breed and size. The estimated adult weight can be based on a variety of factors, this can include the sex of your puppy, genetics and breed. If you are unsure of your puppy's estimated adult weight you can reach out to your breeder, or your case veterinarian who can do a general body condition score.
The first 5 months of your puppy's life is an important developmental stage, not only are the muscles and bones developing but their digestive system is also developing too. This means that puppies can only handle smaller quantities of food at a time to avoid getting diarrhoea from having too many nutrients to digest. We would advise from 8 weeks of age up until 5 months of age to feed the daily portion of your puppy's food into three meals, this will help ease the stress on the digestive system. When your puppy reaches 6 months of age you can divide the daily portion of food into two meals per day ongoing.
Some breeds of puppies may be more active than others, and as a result, can tend to burn more calories a little quicker. It is important to monitor your puppy's body condition while they are growing and adjust the feeding recommendation if needed. If you are unsure about how your puppy is progressing, check in with your veterinarian who can guide you along the way.
Should I Be Feeding My Puppy Wet or Dry Dog Food?
When choosing the right puppy food for your growing puppy, one of the many questions asked is what is better, wet food or dry dog food, and in reality, both have their own nutritional benefits as long as they are both complete and balanced meaning they have all the essential nutrients required for growth. As wet food is generally softer in texture compared to dry food it can be easier to help wean puppies off their mother's milk and onto a more solid formula and for those puppies with smaller mouths, feeding wet food can be easier for them to chew.
Wet food also has a higher meaty aroma compared to dry food, and for those fussy puppies who might be stubborn to eat kibble, the aroma of wet food can help entice fussy eaters to get those nutrients into their bodies. Wet food compared to dry food also has a higher moisture content. This higher moisture content can be beneficial for urinary health and help with hydration. However due to this higher moisture content, generally more amount of wet food is needed to be fed compared to its dry food equivalent.
Dry food obviously has its own benefits, the number one being to help maintain dental health through the crunching of the kibble itself. Dry food, once opened, will also have a longer life span of up to two months if kept in the right conditions. Wet food, however, should be used within three days and kept in the refrigerator. The most important thing to remember is that as mentioned above, both diets need to be complete and balanced and tailored to your puppy's needs. In terms of wet or dry, there is no wrong answer and you could easily consider mixed feeding into your puppies' diet.