There is so much information on the web these days and let’s not forget all our family and friends that like to give us advise on what to feed and what not to feed our puppies.
To help we have come up and gathered all the best information to provide you with the best food guide for puppies. Plus, both Em and I have owned and loved dogs our whole lives. We know a few tips and tricks on what to feed you fury family member.
One of the best advise I can give you is that just like us all dogs are individual and what you feed one dog can be completely wrong for another. As always when it comes to animals always have a chat with your local vet to check what you should be feeding and how much.
What Do Puppies Eat
Dogs need, just like us a complete and balanced food for each of its stages of life. What I mean by this is that what you feed you puppy at 8 weeks is not what you should feed your dog at 2 years or even 6 years.
Now I have stated this before, that with most dry foods these days offer complete nutrients, so it is acceptable to feed your dog on good quality dry food alone.
If you are like me then you may want to feed your dog a mix of raw meat and veggies. Again, completely fine just make sure the veggies you are feeding your pet are the ones they can eat and ensure that they are finely chopped to assist with digestion.
If feeding raw meat look for good quality meat either from your pet store or supermarket. Cheap is not always good in these instances. If you have doubts talk with your vet.
Cooked meat is okay if this is what you choose to do, just make sure that there are no cooked bones. Plus it is extra work for you to cook separate meals for you puppy as well as the family. Check out below the full list of what and what not to feed your dogs.
But first let’s talk about how much you should feed your dog, another difficult thing to work out.
How much Should I feed my Dog
This question comes up a lot and can be confusing. If you were to follow the instructions on the back of your dry food packet, then you may well have a very over weight puppy on your hands. A few things to also consider is the size, breed, exercise and the age of your dog. These all come into factor to determine how much to feed.
I can tell you that as my dogs aged, I changed the amount of food they were consuming to assist with weigh management for their joints. And the 3 dogs I have now all get different various size meals.
To help if you were to look at your dog, you want to have a lean frame, and what I mean by this is that if you were to run your hands down the side of your dog you should be able to feel the ribs but not see them. If you can see the ribs of the dog then you may need to increase the amount you are feeding them, but if in doubt that something else is going on then take them to the vet to be checked over as there maybe an underlining medical condition
Also, really important to ensure that your dog is properly hydrated as well at all times.
Check with your vet on the right amount of food to feed you breed of dog and at each phase of its life.
Food requirements at specific Age
In general terms and this is really only a guide puppy at 8 – 16 weeks will require a very plain diet to help them adjust to solid foods and to help their digestive systems cope with changes.
Try to ensure that you are feeding your puppy the same food as the breeder, this will help stop any upset tummies. As the weeks go by and you want to change the food over then do so gradually and incorporate the old food with the new food over time.
Puppies have a high nutritional demand and can’t go for long without food. It’s very important to feed small meals regularly.
For puppies 16 weeks and over it’s a great time to start looking at introducing things like some raw meaty bones, but gradually do this and watch you puppy carefully. It’s around this time that they start to get their permanent teeth, having bones will encourage them to chew actively on something other than your shoes or couch.
I know from experience that some dogs can not handle bones and will unfortunately throw them up. Really important to try them on different raw bones and see what happens. Don’t feed bones if they disagree with your puppy.
This is also around the time that you should look to reduce the number of feeds to twice per day. Try to ensure you aren’t overfeeding or underfeeding your dog. It can be tricky as most people will assume bigger breeds need more to eat; however, this isn’t always the case. Overfeeding your puppy can lead to health issues.
Okay now your puppy is an Adult and you should now be feeding them around once or twice a day. Use a high-quality commercial dog food, making sure it’s appropriate for the life stage and health status of your dog. Again, this will depend on your dog’s breed and others stated above.
Ensure the diet you choose is complete and balanced. Like meat (cooked or raw), and vegetables or fish for variety. Choose large, raw, meaty bones. Most importantly, don’t over feed
For senior dogs, the need to keep tabs on their health is really important. Some older dogs will need to go back to how you feed them when they were puppies, small frequent meals and possible a blander diet will be what’s needed. You just need to keep an eye on your dog as they age and adjust to what fits them the best. I know as I stated above that I had to reduce the size of meals to help reduce they weight to manage arthritis in their joints.
Talk with your vet as you pet ages to see what is the best option for them and their health issues.
But there also maybe no need to change anything my kelpie is hitting 12 years and I can tell you he is still like he was at 2 years old. There is no slowing him down and no health issues, so I keep his meals the same and have not had to change anything.
Foods Not to Feed Your Dog
When it comes to your pets, not everything people eat is safe for them. It’s important to know that while this list below is not comprehensive, these are the most common household foods that you should not feed to your puppy at any stage of life.
While puppies love the smell of chocolate, it’s toxic for them, and should never be fed to them.
Onions and garlic
Onions are very toxic to dogs. They cause oxidative damage to the red blood cells.
Milk and lactose
Dogs are generally lactose intolerant, resulting in stomach upsets like vomiting or diarrhoea. If your dog reacts strongly to milk products, it’s best to avoid them.
Grapes, sultanas and currants
Grapes and their dried variations are actually poisonous for dogs and can cause vomiting, sluggishness and even kidney failure.
Avocado contains a toxin called persin, which is considered poisonous for dogs and other animals.
Peaches and plums
The seeds of both peaches and plums contain cyanide and are choking and digestive hazard for dogs. The fruit it self is fine, just don’t feed the whole fruit.
Many of us believe left-over carcasses make for a delicious doggy dinner, but don’t be fooled. Cooked bones that are small and sharp can cause punctures in the digestive tracts of dogs.
Foods Dogs Can eat
- Sweet potato
- White rice
- Fish, especially oily fish like sardines
- Peanut butter
- Plain popcorn
- Berries (blueberries, blackberries, strawberries
- Cheese (but only in small amounts)
So, there you have it, again and I can not stress this enough always talk with your vet about what to feed your puppies to ensure they are as healthy as they can be.
Note: That all foods should be introduced into your dog’s diet gradually, always monitor them for any effects like allergic reactions. Even if a food is deemed “safe” for dogs to eat, a rule of thumb is to feed it to your dog in moderation. This can help prevent weight gain and other negative effects.
Keep in mind that all dogs are different. One dog may tolerate a food just fine, while another experiences adverse effects.
For reference on what foods are best for your puppy always read the label, and you can check that it complies with the Australian Standard for the Manufacturing and Marketing of Pet Food by looking it up AS5812:2017.
Don’t forget to check out our other post on Puppy Homemade Treats, they are super simple to make, healthy and will save you money.
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