Feeding guide for your puppy

by Lovejoys Pet Food on July 12, 2021

Here at Lovejoys, we have put this puppy feeding guide together to try and assist some of the most common questions that we get asked from our customers.

Food for your puppy is so important and their diet plays a key role in supporting growth and development. 

What to feed your puppy


Things to look out for the best possible puppy food:

  • High calorie food - It should be higher than an adult food for all the energy puppies need for all that playing, tissue growth and development.
  • Protein - Puppies require more protein than adult dogs are their bodies are busy growing.
  • Kibble size - Its important especially when they are puppies that you have a smaller kibble which are easier for them to eat and are less of a choking hazard.
  • Essential nutrients - The diet you feed your pet during their puppyhood will influence both their health and eating habits for the duration of their life.

What food is best for a puppy?


For your puppy to grow properly, the food that you feed needs to be nutritious and suited for puppies.

There are different types of dog food available to choose from primarily wet dog food or dry dog food. Here at Lovejoys our range of puppy foods are formulated to help build strong bones and teeth for your growing pup to be fit and strong. Our puppy food is nutritionally complete and suitable for all breeds of puppies whether they are a small, medium or large breed. It is also hypoallergenic and wheat gluten free and made from a single source of protein.


How often should I feed my puppy?


Usually, your breeder will give you some advice about your puppies diet.

However, as a general guide we would recommend:

  • Usually around 2 months / 8 weeks- starting to offer food to weaning off their mothers milk
  • Up to 4 months - four meals a day
  • 4 to 6 months - three meals a day
  • 6 months + - two meals a day and remain on this for their entire life

If your puppy is still transitioning over to solid food, you can always feed them a wet food or soften the dry food with some water making it easier for them to eat. Either way, this is sure to encourage your puppy for a healthy appetite.


How much food should a puppy eat?


 The amounts will vary depending upon breed, age and activity levels and the feed itself.

We would recommend feeding to maintain a lean active condition and take a look at the product packaging for the feeding guide.

Please see below our general feeding guide table for dry food, wet food and mixed feeding for your puppy / young dog. The feeding guides are only a guide, individual requirements vary dependent upon breed and activity levels. Remember if its a new food then gradually introduce over at least four days or so, increasing the proportion of the new food daily.

Puppy-Dry-Food-Feeding-Guide

wet-food-feeding-guide 

Mixed Feeding dry and wet for puppies


Many owners like to feed a mixed diet or part dry and part wet food.

 

puppy-mixed-feeding-guide

For owners who prefer this method we recommend that for Lovejoys dog food:

Method:

Whatever amount you reduce the dry food by that you replace with double the amount of wet food

For example if you normally feed your dog:

150g of dry food and you reduce the amount to 100g.

This leaves a difference of 50g, therefore we would recommend you replace it with 100g of the Lovejoys Wet Puppy Food.

Don't forget puppies grow fast, so we would recommend weighing your puppy regularly to ensure you can adjust the amount you feed accordingly as your puppy grows.

There can be benefits in giving your dog a mixture of wet and dry food such as the wet food can help to keep them hydrated.

Do I need to put the mixed food all in one?

The simple answer is no!  it does not need to be served up all at once in one bowl when you feed your dog. It can be served to them in different sittings such as dry food during the day and wet food during the evenings.

Creating a feeding schedule for puppies


We would recommend splitting the daily recommendation food portion into small meals throughout the day. The reason for this is that puppies have a small stomach and as the digestive system is still developing and are still immature. It is best not to overload and overstretch them if not your puppy could end up with an upset tummy and/or suffering from diarrhoea.

 

 

 puppy-growing-up

Does your puppy's nutritional needs change?


As your puppy goes towards adulthood, they should remain on a puppy specific diet until they reach adulthood.

Different dog breeds reach each stage towards adulthood at different ages.

When does my puppy become an adult dog?


As different breeds reach adulthood at different stages, the switch a puppy food over to an adult dog food will usually take place at slightly different times. Although usually as a rough guide toy, small and medium dog breeds mature between 6 to 12 months and for large breeds mature around 12 to 18 months although some can take slightly longer.

The most common time for switching over to an adult dog food is usually around 12 months.

Breed

 

Expected Adult Weight

(Kg)

Age

(Months)

Toy

1-5

8

Small

5-10 12

Medium

10-25 12

Large

25-45 18

Giant

45+

24

 

If they are enjoying and like the food being fed as a puppy, it is usually a good idea to start the transitioning over to the adult dog food by keeping to the same flavour at first.

We would usually recommend around 90% of the usual puppy food with 10% new adult dog food. Once you are happy that there are no issues, you can gradually increase the ratio between the adult dog food to puppy food over the course of a week or so.


When should I stop feeding puppy food?


puppy

Photo by Berkay Gumustekin on Unsplash

Where to feed your puppy


  • Location, location, location - Keep to a quiet location to avoid interruptions
  • Surface - Somewhere easy to clean and it maybe worth adding a feeding mat
  • Cleaning - Give your puppy a clean bowl each food serving and have access to a bowl of fresh clean water each day

 How to feed your puppy


Wet puppy food - To be at its best, we would recommend that it is served at room temperature as this ensure thats its easy to digest and also the aroma of the food is more desirable.

If you have stored the food in the fridge, we would recommend removing it before a meal time for an approx an hour or so to get it up to room temperature. Of course, if you forget to do this then it would be ok to use a microwave to gently warm it through for a short time however only bring it up to room temperature and never hot!

How long can I leave out puppy food?

Usually we would recommend leaving out a portion of wet food for about 20  to 30 mins and then remove uneaten food. However you could leave wet food in your dogs bowl up to a max of 4 hours however after that it should be disposed off due to bacterial growth.

Once a wet tray is open, you can cover and store in the refrigerator and use within 48 hours.

Reminder:

You do not have to serve it up a full tray all at once! 

Dry puppy food

In the early stages for puppies up to approx six weeks old, we recommend soaking a small amount of food in warm water to soften it first, then gradually reduce the amount of water and introduce fresh dry kibble a little at a time. Moistening the food with warm water would bring out the flavour.

As puppies start to grow and go through the weaning stage, you will sure to find that your puppy will love to crunch on kibble which can also assist in reducing plaque build up.

Can be left out all day.

If you changing over to a new food, we would recommend introducing the new food gradually over a period of a week. These guidelines are not a fixed rule. If you think your dog needs a little longer to get used to their new food, feel free to increase the number of days over which you integrate it into their diet.

changingdogfood

Wet puppy food

Whilst your puppy still has soft teeth are getting stronger, wet puppy food can be easier to eat and be a little more palatable.

Keep the food fresh and any food from one sitting, should not be left out longer than about half an hour as it could go mouldy.

Fresh water should always be made available for your puppy.

For any recommendations, these should only be used as a guide as a dog's appetite will vary depending on age, exercise levels and breed. If in doubt, less is usually often better than more and when it comes to food, please don't be tempted to overfeed.


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