Puppy Feeding Schedule – Feeding Your Puppy Right

A new puppy in the house? Get ready for loads of fun (make sure they are getting enough exercise) and some puppy love! Oh yes, and the food, of course. With aisles full of dog and puppy food at the pet food store, there is no dearth of options. But do you know how much and how often you should feed your puppy? It might be a little bit confusing for first time puppy owners. Read on for a guide on a general puppy feeding schedule.

Nutrition

Puppy food is slightly different from adult dog food in that it is richer in nutrients and calories. It is high in protein and fortified with the necessary vitamins, minerals, and fats that the puppy needs. A puppy grows rapidly during its first six months. After weaning from its mother and coming to a new home, it needs to eat two to four times more food than an adult dog to grow well.

Knowing your puppy’s nutritional needs is very important to know what to feed him. Today, puppy food is made from ingredients that are high in quality and are from good, reliable sources blended together according to specialized formulas. This ensures that the food provides optimum nutrition to the puppies.

Every puppy is different and if you are not aware of the nutritional needs of your puppy or are not sure how long you need to feed puppy food and when to move to adult dog food, consulting the vet is a good idea. Also, ensure that the puppy food you buy from the store conforms to the standards laid by AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials).

Below is a rough guideline on puppy feeding schedule and what to feed the puppy.

Up to three months      

  • This period typically starts after the puppy has been weaned off its mother’s milk. During this time, feed the puppy four times through the day. The feeds should be spaced out through the day and the time of the feed should be the same every day.
  • Smaller meals more times a day ensure that the puppy’s energy levels do not peak or dip too much. Also, smaller meals are easier on their digestive systems.
  • The nutritional requirement being high at this point, go for nutrient dense foods like puppy chow, if you are buying commercially available foods. If you want to go for homemade food, speak to the vet. Also, ask the vet about any supplements that the puppy might need at this point.

Three to six months

  • Bring down the number of feedings from four to three a day. However, still ensure that the puppy feeding schedule remains same.
  • The quantity of food given depends on your puppy’s growth rate and weight and needs to be adjusted according to the advice from the vet.

Six to twelve months

  • Your puppy has reached its adolescent age now. This is the time you can further reduce the feedings to twice a day. Again, ensure you are feeding the puppy at the same time every day.
  • If the puppy is of a large dog breed, it might not be ready at this stage to reduce the feed to twice a day. If this is the case, continue with three feeds a day.
  • If you neuter the puppy around this time, it’s nutritional requirement goes down slightly. Hence, you might want to consider this to decide on the quantity of food. Also, depending on the breed of the puppy, this might be the time to transition to adult dog food.

Important points to remember

  • Do not let your puppy become overweight. Monitor its weight in consultation with the vet.
  • Do not overfeed the puppy.
  • Avoid foods that have corn or meat by-products as their main ingredients. Go for foods with meat as the primary ingredient.
  • Stay away from commercially available cheap puppy food which is high on sugars and fillers. These foods are filling, but do not provide the right nutrition to the puppy.
  • Switch to adult dog food as soon as the puppy is ready. Do not continue with puppy food longer than necessary. A grown dog does not need the calorie dense puppy food which might make it obese and cause orthopedic problems.
  • Smaller breed puppies mature early which means they can be transitioned to adult dog food sooner as compared with large breed puppies.
  • Make sure the puppy has a bowl full of water at all times to avoid dehydration.

Why Do Dogs Growl When Playing?

All of us who have a dog as a housemate know that they are more than just a non-thinking animal that goes around the house, they truly are our best friends. Sometimes we even believe that they can fully understand what we say to them because they are always attentive to our calls and fill us with affection and joy. They feel our moods and they can definitely soften even the toughest man.

Dogs tend to bark at during activity they perform, but not all the barking means the same thing and it is necessary to understand when they are starting to become aggressive. But, what happens when we talk about the growling? Sometimes dogs bark for no apparent reason because it’s their nature, but it’s possible to identify their language, that is why we say: “sometimes it seems that my dog wants to talk to me”. In the same train of thought,we have the growls and the ways we can understand their meaning.

Regularly growls are associated with aggressiveness, but should it shouldn’t be that way. Like barking, the main reason they growl is to communicate and make others understand how they feel about someone or something.It is important not to qualify it directly as something good or bad because it could be both.

If we spend a lot of time in the parquet or another place where we take our pets to walk, we can notice these circumstances happening a lot. Dogs begin to play with each other and the intensity of the activity is stronger in some of them and much softer in others. They run, jump, sniff, seek and bring, and of course, they play a lot. Dogs among themselves find greater pleasure in entertainment, and when the games end they tend to bark and growl just as a consequence of what they experienced.

These are some of the general stages of dogs playing:

  • When dogs play they start their activity with a pose that resembles a bow to another dog or person with whom they will play. This pose indicates that they are ready to start the game in a friendly way. Here, they start making soft growls.
  • As their muscles warm up, they gain more confidence with theirs partner and start bouncing with their front legs, making quick movements from one side to the other. The sounds that the dog makes will increase.
  • The euphoria of the activity is transmitted through these postures that are nothing but expressions. And, of course, the barks and growls that naturally come out of their throat in the heat of the moment.
  • In these activities they can: chase one another, fight friendly, bite each other’s faces and tails and, of course, emit fight sounds that can later become aggressive growls if the game gets out of control. But the growling is completely normal when they play.

There are some different types of growls that the dogs make:

  • The growl of play or happiness. This is what they emit when they are playing with other dogs, their owners, toys or children.This means that they are pleased with the activity.
  • Growls of pleasure. Those fun sounds,that are worth hearing. They growl like this when they get pleasure out of an activity such as scratching their belly or their upper body. This growl looks harmless when accompanied by the rest of their body language.
  • Respiratory growls. Yes, dogs also snore when they sleep and, like humans, that snoring depends on many health factors that shouldn’t be ignored.
  • Warning growls. When they don’t feel comfortable or don’t like a situation or action, they’ll come out with these grunts like they’re saying “leave me alone or you will suffer the consequences”. This could be a warning before they become aggressive.
  • Growls of pain. If they are being caressed and begin to growl, they may be feeling pain in the part where there was contact. This may be a warning that something happened to your dog and perhaps needs to see a doctor.
  • If your dog was not used to human contact since it was a little puppy, it might resist touching by other people and start growling.
  • Defense growls are because of fear. If your dog fears an object, another animal or person, it will instinctively show its teeth hoping that what is coming towards him will stay away from him.
  • Growls of protection of food or objects. We have all witnessed this kind of growl instinctively.

Learn more about dog growls in this video:

How To Treat UTI In Dogs

Urinary tract infections in dogs are common. The disease happens because of the presence of fungi, bacteria or parasites in the track (in the kidneys, urinary tract, bladder, and urethra). The infection occurs when the bacteria from the gut comes to the urethra and reproduces in the urinary bladder. Urinary tract infections can lead to more frequent urination, uncontrolled urinary tract, and the occurrence of blood in the urine. The best way to control your pet’s urine is to collect your first-morning urine yourself or to do this by your vet specialist.

Urinary infection in pets, among other methods, is most commonly occurring when fecal matter arrives in the urinary tract. Usually, these are bacteria such as Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, Proteus, and ochlarchy.

Symptoms of urinary tract infection in dogs are:

  • Difficulty in urination
  • Frequently urinating
  • In attempts to urine, the animal manages to produce only a small amount of urine
  • Painful urination that leads to vocalization of pain
  • Urinating at unauthorized places (in the house, on the carpet, bed, etc.)
  • Strong and unpleasant smell of urine
  • Increased thirst
  • Blood in urine (in severe cases)
  • Decreased appetite
  • Limp or hesitation while walking or jumping
  • Reduced hair quality and unpleasant smell
  • Lethargy

Pets that are the most susceptible to urinary infections

Female dogs more often suffer from urinary infections than males. Animals with weaker immunity are more prone to urinary infections. It includes older animals, animals with other diseases such as cancer, dental conditions, with a weak immune system, etc. Dogs with diabetes are more likely to suffer from urinary infections. Dogs with overweight tend to maintain hygiene around the genitals, and long-haired animals can accumulate feces around the genitals, and this leads to diseases. Pets with a stone in the bladder often get an infection.

UTI Infections in Dogs Complications

Urinary infections that we are unable to detect in time can cause chronic and severe pain, weight loss of the animal and urination around the house. Urinary tract infection may contribute to the formation of stones in the bladder and crystals in the urine. If a urinary infection spreads to the kidneys, it can cause severe disease or death of the animal.

Diagnosis of UTI Infections In Dogs

To accurately diagnose the problem, it is necessary to do specific tests. The complete blood test should be carried out to determine the functional state of the kidney and the condition of a white blood cell that indicates the existence of an infection. After that, the recommendation is to perform an ultrasound and radiological examination that will provide information on the condition of the urinary bladder (the presence of sand or stones). As well as the appearance of the kidneys and other structures, in particular, the prostate in males, which, if it’s changed, may give similar symptoms as urinary tract infections. If infections are frequent and persistent, one should take the dog for bacteriological analysis of urine. A sample of urine should be accompanied by a veterinarian, the method by which it is judged to be most appropriate to avoid contamination of the sample because the urinary tract channels are not sterile and there is always a certain amount of bacteria present there.

If the examination finds that the cause of the problem is the presence of sand or urinary stones, it is recommended that sediment analysis is done to determine the origin of rocks. Usually shaped stones, which occur in combination with bladder infections. All dogs can get these stones, but small breeds such as Shiatsu, Lasso Apso, Yorkshire terriers, Miniature Schnauzers and Bichons seem to be more susceptible to getting these stones. And other species are known for their predisposition to get a particular kind of rocks. For example, Maltese males often receive stoned stones.

The right diagnosis is essential because we never want to assume that the dog has a “normal” infection of the urinary tract and that in this way we do not see the real problem.

Once the problem is diagnosed, it is necessary to overwrite the appropriate antibiotic in case of infection or recommend a special diet to get rid of the stones. Sometimes both are necessary, and if the presence of rocks threatens to make obstruction (especially in males), in some cases a surgical intervention is essential.

It is essential to keep the infection under control to avoid deposition of new sand and its deposition in larger stones that may obstruct. The condition of the pets shall be kept under monitoring during therapy, and after completion, with ultrasound and radiological examination, it can show an insight into the effect of the applied treatment and the change of diet. Following these tips, you can easily be able to find the best solutions to the most common question on how to treat uti in dogs without any hassle.

How Much Exercise Does Your Puppy Need? Know The Facts!

Bringing a new puppy home could be a very exciting and fulfilling experience. And while you are trying to get the puppy adjusted to its new life in your home, you are no doubt making sure you are giving it everything it needs. Food, vaccinations, love, training and supervision, the works. A new puppy needs all the attention you can give it, more so during its initial days in the new place. So, while you go around feeding it and telling it you love it, have you considered an exercise routine for your puppy? Really, how much exercise does a puppy need? A puppy, just like a child, is a powerhouse of energy. So, it is important to dissipate the energy in constructive activities.

How does exercise help your puppy?

  • Daily exercise is good for your puppy’s physical as well as mental health. Many owners discover that some form of daily exercises reduces behavioral problems such as endless barking, chewing, digging or general signs of bad temper.
  • Puppies are also susceptible to obesity. Regular exercise can ensure that the puppy does not put on inordinate amounts of weight.
  • It helps keep your pet’s muscles strong and supple.
  • It helps your and your family’s bonding with the puppy.
  • It could give your puppy an opportunity to socialize with other puppies or people. This is important for their behavioral progress.
  • It provides a healthy dose of fun and entertainment and avoids frustration and boredom.

How to help your puppy exercise?

Walking is a good exercise for a young pup. Take short walks and walk at a slower pace. In safe, enclosed spaces such as the backyard or a dog park, let the puppy run freely. This way, the pup can regulate its exercise and take a break when it feels tired. Occasionally, you can get the puppy to fetch the ball you throw. But do not over-tire it.

How much exercise does the puppy need?

This is a very subjective question. It would have been so much easier if there would have been an app to guide how much exercise a puppy requires according to its age and breed? And how about a puppy version of a fitness band to track the pet’s activity and see if it’s getting enough exercise? Unfortunately, things don’t work like that. Every puppy is different. There are no written rules. However, you can consider the following factors to arrive at a sensible exercise routine for your puppy.

  1. Size – Don’t be misled by the size, though. A large-sized puppy does not have a higher endurance for exercise as you might think. For example, a rigorous exercise routine for a young Great Dane puppy might not be a good idea.
  2. Tolerance for heat – For example, a Collie might be better suited for outdoor play than say, a bulldog.
  3. Need for mental stimulation – For instance, you can include training sessions in the exercise routine for German Shepherd pups to give them the required stimulation.
  4. Age – When the puppy is too little, too much exercise can be bad for its physical development and health.
  5. Look for cues – If the puppy shows signs of being tired, stop and let it rest.

Apart from the above factors, it is a good idea to speak to your vet about how much exercise your puppy needs. You can also speak to the breeder to get more idea about the specific breed’s need for exercise (here’s more info on the Shar-Pei’s temperament). Or join a breed enthusiast group for support and advice.

Usually five minutes of exercise per month of your puppy’s age, twice a day, is considered an ideal. So, if the pup is four-month old, a twenty-minute walk twice a day should be enough.

Remember that too much exercise can cause developmental issues in puppies and must be avoided.

Care to be taken while exercising the puppy

  • Ensure that the puppy is not getting overheated. Allow it to drink enough water.
  • Make sure the puppy gets sufficient time to take short naps during the day.
  • Before taking the puppy to the dog park, consult the vet to make sure it has had the necessary vaccinations.
  • Set a routine for exercise and make sure you stick to it.
  • Increase the exercise time gradually.

Here’s a fun game you can play with your puppy (he will get a lot of exercise from it):

Owing to the sedentary lifestyle of their owners, more and more dogs are getting overweight today. It is a good idea to get into an exercise routine with your dog, which will help both of you in the long run.