Choose food specifically made for puppies. As a general rule, it’s better to buy brand name puppy food rather than generic or low-priced food. You can’t really tell from the ingredient whether or not a particular food is good or bad.
Many things that you would look for on the labels of food you buy for yourself — extra protein or vitamins — may actually harm your pet rather. Over supplementing can be factors in major health issues for your dog, including contributing to hip dysplasia or other orthopedic problems.
Look for large breed puppy food if you have a large breed puppy (great dane, rottweiler, german shepherd, etc.) It isn’t just the kibble size that’s different,large breed food is actually formulated differently than regular puppy food. It is specially made for very rapidly growing puppies.
How Often Should I Feed My Puppy?
Very young puppies do better when offered food three times a day. As they grow, they will require fewer feedings, but will eat more at each feeding. If your puppy doesn’t seem to be hungry that often, cut the feedings down to twice a day.
After ten or twelve weeks of age, you should just offer food twice a day — once in the morning, and once in the evening. Even adult dogs should eat two times a day. If you are currently feeding your grown dog two cups of food once a day, try feeding one cup twice a day instead.
Dogs who are only feed once a day often become overly hungry and then overeat when they are fed.
How Much Should I Feed My Puppy?
Let your puppy eat as much as she wants in fifteen minutes and then pick up the food dish. Again, this holds true for adult dogs as well.
Having food continually available encourages overeating. Pet obesity is on the rise, and many people don’t realize that the affects on your dog are just as deadly as they are to people.
Often free-fed puppies never get very hungry, so they become finicky eaters — which leads to feeding treats. Treats are OK, but don’t let them become an important part of the diet.
Remember, those cute little chubby puppies will grow up to be fat adult dogs with orthopedic issues such as hip dysplasia, torn cruciate ligaments, luxating patellas, etc., as well as the same cardiac issues humans suffer.
Canned food vs. dry food.
We used to think that canned food was bad for your puppies teeth. But, research has shown that’s not the case. The myth of dry food being better for your dog’s teeth has turned out to be just that — a myth.
In fact, for young dogs, canned food is probably the better choice overall because of the extra moisture content. Although I will be the first to admit dry food is cheaper and easier to use.