When the new furry family member comes home, there might be many questions about feeding and nutrition for the puppy. How often should the puppy eat, do I have to soak the food and how much food should a puppy have? And surely puppies should be a little chubby and round while they grow? Here we explain a little more in depth about the puppy's nutrition, and how you feed optimally with our puppy food for a lively and happy growing pup!
How often should a puppy eat?
A young puppy's digestive system is not as developed as an adult dog, and despite a smaller stomach, they require more energy as they grow. In order to not overload the stomach, it is good to divide the puppy's daily amount of food into at least three meals when it is small. As the puppy gets older, you can gradually decrease to two meals a day, which it then continues to eat into adulthood. The ages that are suitable vary with breed, as small breeds "grow up" earlier and thus can go down to fewer portions earlier. Hopefully you will get a feeding schedule from your breeder that shows how they recommend you to feed a puppy of your particular breed and size the first year, but otherwise the following guidelines are something you can start from. If your puppy's stomach reacts with vomiting or diarrhea when the number of meals decreases and the servings increase, or it has difficulty eating its daily ration in just two meals, you may need to take a step back.
• About 2-5 months: at least three meals a day.
• About 5-6 months and up: two meals a day.
• About 2-7 months: at least three meals a day.
• About 7-8 months and up: two meals a day.
How long should you soak the puppy's food?
When the puppy is at its youngest, between two and three months, the dry food can be soaked in a little lukewarm water before serving until the kibbles have softened slightly. This makes the dry food more gentle to chew for the puppy and also makes the food easier to digest for the digestive system.
How much food should a puppy have?
How much food the puppy should have varies depending on what puppy food the dog eats. On the bag and in our feeding recommendation, you can find guidance on how much food the puppy should have per day in grams of petgood puppy food. The table is based on the dog's expected adult weight and the puppy's age in months, and this amount is distributed over two or three meals depending on the puppy's age.
Just like in adult dogs, the need can vary individually - some puppies easily gain weight while others can eat as much as they like without gaining weight. With a puppy, you spend a lot of time training with them and giving treats to encourage good behaviour, so remember to also use your puppy's daily food ration as treats - otherwise you might end up giving your dog way too much of the good stuff. To determine how much food your puppy should have, you also need to keep track of the puppy's body condition.
What should the puppy's body condition be like?
A puppy may be more difficult to assess body condition in than an adult dog, as they have a slightly different body shape and may be a little disproportionate as they grow. But even on a puppy, you should be able to feel the ribs with a light pressure over the chest, and feel a wasteline after they end. The puppy should be alert, playful and happy. Obesity during growth affects joints and growth negatively, and can lead to joint problems in large breeds already at a young age. Overweight puppies also bring the excess weight up into adulthood and can be difficult to get in a normal body condition even when they have finished growing. Many are afraid to let the puppy exercise too much - but being overweight is a bigger and worse strain on the joints than healthy, natural movement for a puppy. If the puppy feels a little too round, you may need to reduce the amount of food a bit, and increase gently if it feels too thin. If you feel unsure, you can take the opportunity to consult your veterinarian in connection with the puppy's 12-week vaccination or other check-ips during the puppy's first year.