Which common human foods pose a threat to puppies? How can pet owners choose the best dog food? Here’s the nutritional dog care information to keep puppies healthy.
Taking Care of a Puppy by Knowing What, When, and How Much to Feed
When first researching dog care information, new pet owners are likely to be blown away by the isles devoted solely to dog food in the pet supply store. Finding the best food doesn’t necessarily mean picking up the bag with the highest price tag.
Dog Care Information on Choosing Food
The shelves are stocked with high priced foods containing less than stellar ingredients as well as brands with excellent ingredients minus the premium prices. A little research and careful label reading can save a pet owner money and improve his pet’s health all at once.
Right off the bat, pet owners should eliminate any brands which do not have a meat as the first item in the ingredients list. Dog foods with any type of animal by-products or corn should also make pet owners wary.
Semi-moist and canned foods are available, but neither of these offer the protection from tarter and other more serious dental issues that dry dog food does. Dry dog food is more affordable and far better for a dog’s dental health.
When choosing a brand of dog food, pet owners will need to consider the age of their furry friend. Dogs should be fed puppy sized kibble until they reach two years old.
Taking Care of a Puppy Means Transitioning to New Food Slowly
When bringing home a new puppy, many pet owners transition to a new dog food. This is best done slowly to avoid upsetting a dog’s digestive system. For this reason, pet owners will want to ask the breeder or shelter for several days supply of the food which the puppy is accustomed to eating.
Pet owners can make the transition over a week by phasing the new food into meals gradually. During the first two days for example, a pet owner can mix the old and new food in a four-to-one ratio. He can increase that to a 4-to-2 ratio, then a half-half mix by the middle of the week. During the last half of the week, a pet owner will slowly decrease the amount of the puppy’s old food until only the new brand remains.
Dog Care Information and Feeding Schedule
When taking care of a puppy up to six months old, a pet owner will need to feed three times a day. Most pet owners find sticking to their own meal schedules has the double benefit of helping them keep on track as well as preventing puppies from begging under the table.
After six months, puppies only need to eat twice a day. Leaving the food bowl out causes dogs to graze and can lead to serious weight problems.
To help puppies sleep through the night, pet owners will want to make sure they’ve taken up the food and water bowls by seven o’clock in the evening. Puppies who appear thirsty can be given an ice cube to lick as they go to sleep.
Though food should only be available at mealtime, puppies need a fresh supply of water throughout the day. Drinking water with meals is critical for their digestive systems.
Dog Care Information 101, Are Dog Treats Okay?
Chewy treats play and essential role when it comes to crate training and house breaking a new puppy. Hard treats can also clean teeth and give puppies something to gnaw on while their owners are out. A common guide is to make sure the amount of treats a puppy is offered doesn’t exceed 10% of his diet.
Dangerous Foods for Dogs
Giving puppies human hand outs is never a good habit to start. Aside from weight issues and begging habits, several common foods can make dogs incredibly sick.
- Chocolate even in small doses can be harmful.
- Onions can cause anemia.
- Animal bones can splinter and cause internal injuries.
- Dairy products can cause digestive problems.
- Grapes and raisins are associated with renal failure.
- Fats can cause an upset stomach.
Now that readers know more about taking care of a puppy, they may also want to check out tips for crate training, training dogs not to bite , and house training.