When you bring your new puppy home it is best to feed them the same diet they had prior to adoption, at least for a few days. This helps to minimise stress and the chance of an upset tummy and diarrhoea. Any new food should be gradually introduced by mixing it with the original diet over seven to 10 days. Gradually increase the amount of the new food and reduce the original food.
Every breed of dog has its own individual growth rate. For example, small breeds mature earlier than large breeds. Please ask our nurses for puppy diet requirements specific to your puppy’s breed. Feeding a growing dog a premium quality balanced diet, and the correct amount of food for weight and age, is the best way to prevent some health problems later in life. Rapid growth in large breed dogs is discouraged as it can predispose them to bone and joint disorders. Overfeeding in small breeds of dog can lead to obesity.
Ideally, up to the age of four-six months, feed them three to four meals a day. Follow the feeding guide on the reverse of the bag or tin, according to weight and age. Meals can be reduced to two meals per day after six months of age. You can slowly introduce a variety of foods to your pup such as lean meat, rice, vegetables and raw bones.
Certain items should be avoided in your dog’s diet:
- Cooked bones can splinter and cause nasty and painful gut and bowel problems
- Corn cobs can cause blockages in the gut and bowel
- Onions can cause anaemia
- Chocolate is toxic
- Grapes can cause kidney problems
- Fatty foods can cause gastrointestinal problems, pancreatitis, and obesity
- Weetbix and milk for puppies is a poor meal – a balanced commercial puppy food is recommended
- Calcium supplementation in a puppy’s diet is not necessary if they are being fed a quality commercial puppy food
- The lactose in cow’s milk can cause tummy upsets
Above all – enjoy your new puppy and look forward to a long, happy life together. If you have any further questions about caring for your puppy, our vets and nurses are here to help.