Feeding Puppies

Puppyhood is a time of rapid growth and development. Puppies require different levels of nutrients than do older dogs. Because of their special nutritional needs, your puppy should only receive puppy food for the first year (giant breeds, several months longer). Many dog food manufacturers offer a special formula for puppies and sometimes, large breed puppies, for whom the protein, calcium, and phosphorus levels may be more critical.

Feeding the first few days

For the first few days you have your new puppy home, it is a good idea to continue feeding the same type and brand of puppy food and use the same feeding schedule the puppy was on before he came to you. Then you can slowly start using the food you have chosen based on information you received from the breeder and veterinarian. A pet needs to be switched to a new food slowly to prevent intestinal upset. By 'slowly' we mean over the course of 7-10 days go from feeding 100% of the previous food to 100% of the new food. For example, make a mixture that contains 25% of the new food and 75% of the old food and feed that for several days. Then make it 50-50 for several days, then 75% new food to 25% old food for several days. Then you can start feeding 100% new food. If at any time your puppy starts vomiting, or has loose stools or appears constipated, slow the rate at which you are switching him over.

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