The Fundamentals of Feeding Puppies By Dr Claire Stevens
For new pet parents, puppy feeding can be confusing. It’s common to be faced with conflicting advice from your breeder, dog trainer, vet and neighbour! Shopping for dog food can also get overwhelming with so many options available. But it doesn’t have to be complicated once you know the basics.
Puppies need more nutrients than adult dogs because they’re growing at a rapid pace. Up until the age of six months, your puppy will eat more than an adult dog. The duration of your puppy’s adolescence period depends on their size and breed. A small dog will grow and mature faster than a larger one.
Regardless of your puppy’s breed, you should buy puppy food until they become an adult dog. Hypro Premium Puppy with Turkey & Lamb Grain Free is made with high-quality meat and contains healthy fats, oils, vitamins, and minerals to keep your puppy healthy. The small bite-size kibble also makes it easy for your puppy to digest.
If you’re unsure about how much to feed your puppy, Hypro Premium provides a helpful feeding guide for puppies based on their age and weight:
Up to 100 g
Up to 120 g
Up to 100 g
Up to 100 g
A feeding schedule is important to avoid upset stomachs and get them settled into a routine. Here’s a general timeline and tips on feeding your puppy at each stage of their early life:
First Three Weeks of Life
During the first three to four weeks your puppy can’t eat solid food. They’ll get their nutrition from their mother’s milk so it is essential that the puppy’s mother is getting the right food.
Transition to Solid Food (3-8 Weeks)
After the third week, your puppy will require some solid food. Breeders start weaning the pups off of their mother’s milk at this age so they can get all the calories their rapidly growing body requires. It usually takes three to five weeks for the weaning process to finish, and by eight weeks they are ready to go to their new homes.
Once the weaning process is finished, it is important that you keep giving puppy food to your puppy. Your puppy is still in the growing stage and they require more nutrients than they did in the first 6 weeks of their life.
Here’s a tip, if you notice your puppy is having difficulty eating solid food, try moistening it until it turns soft and warm.
The general rule is to feed your puppy three or four times a day. It’s important, however, that you designate a specific time at which you feed your puppy so they can learn a schedule. This means not leaving food out for them all the time. Feed your puppy once in the morning, around 7am, then again at midday, and then in the evening around 6pm.
Small breeds like Chihuahua or Pomeranian can develop hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) so I tend to feed those breeds four times a day initially. You should be careful with the amount you feed them though, because small-breed dogs can gain weight quickly. Large breed dogs are susceptible to orthopaedic problems like hip dysplasia, so it is critical they are fed a balanced diet. Food that has excess protein, calcium, and calories can have a negative effect on the development of the skeleton.
At this age, you should be consistent with what you feed your puppy. Don’t change their diet often, as this can have an adverse effect on their stomachs. Unlike us, dogs don’t care much about having variety in their food. Throw in some veggies or cooked meats every now and then as they get older, but make sure your puppy’s main diet is the puppy kibble.
After 12 weeks, you should decrease feedings to two times a day. Again, you have to make sure you’re not overfeeding your pup, especially if you have a large-breed dog, as they can develop musculoskeletal problems as a result of this.
Now is the time that you can introduce raw meaty bones or chews, but make sure it’s under supervision! Their teething process usually ends in the sixth month, so you need to make sure you always have something on you that you can give your puppy to gnaw on. Avoid marrow bones, T-bones, ‘chop’ bones or knuckle bones as they can cause more harm than good.
Refrain from switching to an adult diet until your puppy is at least one year old. Once they are 12-18 months old, you can transition to the Adult Hypro Premium range. Changing their diet abruptly can cause tummy upsets, so make sure you follow these steps.
Understanding the details of puppy nutrition can be complex, that is why Hypro Premium works closely with veterinarians and nutritionists to ensure a superior, high-quality, complete and balanced diet for your dog for every stage of life.