Dog ownership is a big responsibility, and that’s never more apparent than when the animal is young. In today’s article, we’re going to investigate young pups’ eating habits and the different stages they go through. We’ll explain why breed size matters, foods you should avoid – and more.

Pay attention to the first 6 to 8 weeks

When your pup is very young, she’ll ideally be subsisting off her mother’s milk, which is full of immunity-boosting antibodies. If the mother is not in the picture, look for a good-quality milk replacer from a pet store. Alternatively, speak to your veterinarian professional for help.

The reality, though, is that during this period, the pup will benefit most from its mother’s milk.

Mix gruel with milk replacer at 6 weeks

Young pups need to be weaned onto solids. Use milk replacer in combination with puppy food to help the dog get accustomed to its new routine. Fail to wean her properly and she’ll get an upset stomach.

By 8 weeks, forgo the milk replacer entirely, and rely solely on the puppy food.

Pick a puppy food brand that’s rich in nutrients

Pups deserve to eat a high-quality diet early in life. After all, these developing months are hugely important to their long-term fortunes. Opt for a more expensive brand, ideally with your vet’s backing. Failing this, use Google to see what other dog owners are saying, and make an informed pick from there.

Feed your pup regularly

These young animals need plenty of food to keep them going. A good rule is to opt for 20g of food per 1kg of bodyweight daily. Space these meals out across the day: say three or four at regular intervals. Keep the portion sizes manageable; a puppy isn’t like an adult dog who can subsist off a couple of meals in larger quantities.

Also, remember that the smaller the breed, the sooner it reaches full maturation. Once fully mature, your dog’s nutritional requirements shift, which means you’ll be grabbing a different product off the supermarket shelves.

Foods to avoid

Don’t buy a cheap label with very few reviews. Now’s not the time to skimp on the quality. Also avoid obvious dangers, like dark chocolate, sweetening agents (xylitol), nuts and certain fruits. For the full list, refer to our article on nine foods that are harmful to your dog.  

Want more great content from Under One Woof? Check out our simple guide to socializing your pup the right way. Alternatively, discover how to help your young dog get a better night’s sleep. Finally, if you’re dealing with a pup that’s fearful, there are ways to mitigate this behavior.

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