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Feeding 

Feeding
Meal-time rhythm
Drinking
Treats

Feeding

Nowadays we are all convinced of the truth of the slogan, "One day, our food will be our best medicine."

To have a good and handsome dog later on, correct food needs providing from the earliest age. Canine nutritional science has made strides - puppies´ nutritional requirements are known precisely, so that industrial manufacturers can now supply perfectly balanced foodstuffs.

A puppy´s nutritional requirements vary with its size. Thus, puppies can be seen to put on weight very quickly at first. This then slows down, at between 4 and 6 months (4 months for small dogs and 6 months for large ones).

As in everything else, excess and deficiency are both harmful. A puppy which is too fat is liable to be obese later on. Being overweight moreover predisposes to bone and joint disorders in large-framed animals. Hence the importance of weighing your puppy regularly, to check that growth is proceeding smoothly.

Meal-time rhythm

For an adult dog, one meal a day is enough. For puppies, 4 meals a day are generally advised at first, the frequency to be gradually reduced.

Drinking

More or less, clean water should be constantly available. Water requirements vary greatly with food, weight and climate (e.g., a 25kg 6 month old pup, eating 500 grammes of dog-biscuits per day, needs 2 litres of water). The requirements will obviously be lower for a puppy feeding on tinned or household food.

Beware of treats!

Ideally, your puppy should only ever get meals. But it sometimes is hard not to go soft! Then, at least, no sweets: shop treats are better adapted to a puppy´s nutritional requirements. Also, your puppy should not be allowed to "beg" at the table - not only for nutritional but also behavioural reasons: sharing a meal is a sign of dominance in a dog pack. Dogs should eat after their masters and never get food during meals.

Jean-Pierre Samaille
Veterinary Surgeon

Bridgend Branch
Tel: 01656 652751
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