A happy and a healthy puppy needs nutritious food and healthy treats along with loving care. As they are little bundles of energy who need feeding at regular intervals, do not allow them to persuade you to handout tasty morsels of your meal and overfeed them.
Their diet must comprise of highly nutritious food and must have an ideal body weight. In order to help you achieve this here are a few thigs to keep in mind while preparing your puppy to reach adulthood the right way!
When to wean your puppy?
The weaning process in puppies must begin at four weeks of age. You should offer wet food to puppies while they are still being fed by their mother and weaning must begin slowly and gradually. At six to eight weeks of age, the mother dog will encourage their puppies to seek solid food and hence puppies will show more interest in wet food. Dogs take a couple of days or weeks to adjust to solid food. The transition in smaller breeds such as the Chihuahuas and the Yorkshire Terrier is longer and they remain with their mothers till eight weeks of age.
What to avoid?
You must never give certain foods that are considered toxic for dogs. Never serve your pet onions, grapes, raisins and chocolates. Corncobs and any other fruit pits can harm their intestines if ingested. So, ensure you keep your garbage bin covered and out of their reach.
What about homemade dog food?
Preparing a homemade food for your pet is a daunting task as you must get the food balance right. If you want to go ahead with it then you must plan a meal that has your vet’s approval and recommendations. Whether you serve your pet home food or a readymade one, the one thing you must make sure is that the food you choose has all the key nutrients, vitamins and minerals needed for your growing puppy.
Encourage your puppy to work for their food
Food can be used as a motivation to train your puppy. But ensure you use the number of treats wisely as too much of treats as well as their regular meal can easily help them to pile on more weight.
Serve them meals at set times and not whenever they ask you. Do not make food easily available to them as it will motivate them to work more for their food. People food is a strict no-no as you will be encouraging the habit of begging that will work against you especially if you have guests dining at your home! Apart from this, handing out bits of food from your plate during mealtimes can make your pet overweight and obese which is a leading problem in dogs.
Partner with your vet
A strong rapport with your vet is essential in raising a healthy and strong puppy. You must take your pet to the vet once a month during the first few months to monitor their growth and to get their vaccines and deworming done. Frequent vet visits will help you understand your pet’s growing dietary needs and requirements.