ARTICLES & ADVICE
FAMILY HISTORY & GENEALOGY
Feeding Your Dog
All pets need a constant supply of fresh water. This is especially true
warm weather. Using a smaller bowl and refilling it often is a great
keep your pet’s water supply fresh. Be sure to wash the water bowl
How often do I feed my puppy?
Your wonderful new companion should eat at least three times a day.
better, but we will be assuming that you have to work to support your
friend. By the time your puppy is six months old, you can gradually cut
feeding two times a day. You should keep your dog on the twice daily
from this point forward. The twice-daily feedings let your dog digest
food correctly and it helps keep their metabolism working at a proper
What type of food should I choose?
Dry food (kibble) is your easiest alternative. The kibbles help keep
teeth and gums healthy and clean. Look at the back of the food bag and
AAFCO statement. It should read something like this: "formulated for
life stages" or "formulated for growth,” this means it is designed to
support your puppy's development. Some small pups have difficulty
kibble. If yours is one of these, you can always add a little warm (not
water to the food. This will help them chew the pieces more easily.
Ideally you will select a food that falls into the "Super Premium"
(at least 4 different meat sources) or "Premium" (at least three
different meat sources) categories. The meat source should be the first
These foods are higher priced, but actually end up costing about the
less than the brands available at the grocery or discount stores. The
the quality, the better the health of your puppy. Another big plus with
super premium foods is fewer stools. That means less pooper scooping
always a good thing!
How much do I feed my puppy?
Your growing companion is not likely to be overweight, and probably can
much as they want when they are small. Puppies that gulp down the food
gorge themselves until their bellies are like little basketballs should
smaller amounts more frequently.
Most pet food manufactures have feeding guidelines on their bags. As a
rule, these guidelines will be higher than the amount most pups need in
although some pups will need more than the suggested feeding amount.
guidelines as just that, a rough guide for how much the pup should eat.
pup gets loose stools after eating too much, cut back by 10% until you
found a happy medium.
What is challenge feeding?
Challenge feeding means the food is available for a brief period of
then is taken away. Remove any leftover food after the puppy has had a
to eat what he wants. (15 minutes is usually sufficient.) This is an
method for gaining Alpha status with your new companion without having
too hard at it. Challenge feeding helps in other areas too. By removing
food, your house training will be successful more quickly and if your
ever sick and doesn't eat, you'll know something isn't right, right
Eating a meal strongly stimulates your puppy's desire to eliminate. By
pup out shortly after eating, when you know he wants to "poop,” you can
get your pup into the habit of doing the socially acceptable thing, and
praise for doing something right. What a smart puppy you are! Some pups
need to go outside immediately and some will take up to 15 minutes. You
know once you start studying pups behavior what time is the right time.
Most puppies are good eaters. If you have gotten one that is reluctant,
always add a little canned food to the kibbles. Again, stick with a
premium or premium food to keep your pup healthy. Foods that are mostly
may be too rich and give pup the "trots" so look for something like
chicken, lamb or turkey.
Can I give my puppy milk?
Yes, if you want to have diarrhea. Most pups don't tolerate milk very
best to just avoid it.
Why isn't my puppy eating as much?
Many puppies will start regulating how much they eat as their bodies
requiring less food. This is normal. The majority of puppies have
of their growth at about six months. You will need to start watching
your puppy is eating and perhaps begin to cut back on the daily food
Your puppy should have a nice covering of flesh on his body. (Not a
covering.) You should be able to feel the back ribs when you run your
over the puppy's sides.
When looking at your puppy from above, your pup should have a "girlish
figure" that looks like an hourglass. The shoulders are the top of the
hourglass, the waist is the middle and the hips are the bottom. We are
for a Scarlet O'Hara wasp waist here, just a moderate hourglass. From
there should be a slight tuck up after the back of the rib cage, before
hind legs. Your veterinarian can teach you how to look for these
to determine if Fido is fit or fat.
What type of food should I feed?
The same guidelines apply to the adults, super premium or premium
works best. AAFCO should state "for all life stages" or "for
maintenance of adult dogs." For older or overweight dogs, look for a
formula that is geared specifically for them. You will want a meat
the first ingredient. Dry kibble is preferred as it greatly slows down
development of tartar on the dog's teeth. Tartar can cause gum disease,
loss and even heart disease.
How often should I feed?
Twice a day is ideal for most adult dogs. Try to feed at the same time
to enhance digestion and promote perfect potty habits. If your older
dog is not
as healthy as he should be, your can add a third feeding to help with
digestive process. Big dogs should be fed on a platform to aid in
The good rule of thumb is bowl height should keep the neck horizontally
with the floor.
Why should I challenge feed my adult?
Challenge feeding gives you Alpha or leader status, and it helps you
your dog is feeling all right, and it keeps your dog from becoming a
eater. If your dog refuses to eat, take the food up and don't offer
until the next scheduled feeding. Sounds horrible, but it is the best
avoid having a problem eater. If you panic when your dog turns their
nose up at
food and race out to get something new to toss in, you lose. Your dog
the battle of the bowl. You will have a dog that picks at food until
in leftover prime rib, gravy, whatever will make them eat. A dog that
wins will ultimately lose by not getting proper nutrition and by having
digestive upset from changing diets to tempt him to eat. Your dog won't
himself long enough to cause harm -- wait him out and know you are
right thing. (If there are other factors in the food strike, consult
veterinarian to rule out any illness.)
Can I feed canned food?
Canned food is fine for your pet too. (Remember the super premium and
foods are best.) Cans are more costly than dry, and some can cause more
build up on your dog's teeth. A good solution with canned food is to
into the kibble and use it for variety in your dog's diet.
How much should I feed?
Pay attention to your dog and how fit he is. A really active dog will
food than a sofa surfer. Again, most manufacturers have recommended
the bags and cans of food. These are usually higher than the average
The same girlish figure applies to the adult dogs, as does the feeling
ribs as you run your fingers over the dog's body. Your veterinarian can
you determine the ideal weight for your dog.
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