Being a pet-parent is both a fun as well as responsible job. While spending time with your pet and playing with them seems like the most exciting part of being a pet-parents taking care of their dietary needs and health is of utmost important. To ensure good health and development of your dog, it is crucial to give them a proper nutritious diet in the right quantity. It plays a crucial rule in their immune system and body composition and sets a foundation stone to a long and healthy life. Although different breeds require a different diet, their needs and quantity also change according to age.
5-6 weeks :
Weaning starts when a puppy starts to eat solid food. However, making sure the transition to eating solid food is gradual is important to avoid any health issues. Start by giving puppy starter foodthat is soaked in warm water or mixed with puppy baby milk powder. You can give them food 4-6 times a day in a small quantity when they are completely independent from their mom.
When they are around 8-10 weeks of age, they should be receiving about 4 meals a day of nutritious puppy food. Giving your puppy a well-balanced nutritious diet from an early age sets a foundation stone for a good adult life. Since puppies grow rapidly they need to be fed in small amounts more often than regular dogs. For good future growth and overall development, providing your puppy with nutritious food is very important. It is very important for organ growth and bone development. Feeding them 4 times a day in small amounts helps them to digest it faster. However, make sure to not overfeed them since that could cause your puppy to be overweight which would result into being overweight adults. When they are around 4 months of age, puppies can begin eating about 3 times a day and after that they can quickly graduate to twice a day feedings.
At this age, it is necessary to establish a regular feeding habit. You can feed the puppy dry food twice a day. It’s best to do it an interval of 8 hours. Try to get your puppy used to this schedule of eating at a particular time. This would in-turn help in regulate potty timing as well and you can take your dog for a walk accordingly. However, feeding a puppy all it can eat at a time is not recommended as it could lead to binge- eating or juvenile obesity and can affect the puppy’s overall health.
Dogs over the age of 1 year should be given adult dog food. Slowly make a transition from puppy food to adult dog food by adding it in small quantities to get your dog accustomed to it. The meal should be a mix of 75% puppy food and 25% adult food for 3-4 days and then gradually increase the quantity of adult food till your dog’s stomach is well adjusted to the new food. In addition to this, it is of great importance to feed your dog the right kind of diet. Adult dogs require sufficient nutrients to meet their health and energy needs and as well as help in maintaining body tissues and not gain excess weight. To determine the right diet, keep in the mind the breed and energy level of the dog. The quantity of food should depend on the weight and the breed size; small, medium or large.
Dogs over the age of 12+ years should be given extra care as they are reaching an older age and tend to start having age related health issues. Diet for senior dogs should be different as compared to adult dogs. A lot of brands provide food that is specially made keeping in mind a senior dog’s dietary requirements which is low in calories, high in fiber and has adequate protein and fat. As dogs grow older, they have lower activity and lower energy levels. The main aim is to provide good optimum health to maintain good body weight and bone structure as their bones tend to get weaker as dogs grow older. Their diet should mainly contain a good amount of highly digestible protein and they can be fed around 2 times a day at a fixed time. In case you want to continue with regular food, it should be given in lesser quantity.
Providing your dog with the right quantity of nutritious diet along with regular physical exercise is crucial to your dog’s well-being and health. After all, a healthy dog is a happy dog!!