Feeding Your Puppy: When, What, & How
When Should Puppies Start Eating On Their Own?
Puppies should consume their mother’s milk for the first 4 weeks of their life. For the next two weeks after that, they can be offered a bit of soft food, but their mom still needs to be feeding puppies most of their nutrition. From the age of 6 weeks onwards, they can start to eat part of their meals on their own and get part of their nutrients from their mother's milk. By 8 weeks, they can get most of their nutrition by themselves from puppy food.
It’s important for a puppy’s development to get mother’s milk in this initial stage. It builds their immune system and helps them get the right nutrients which sets the stage for long-term health. After that, a well-balanced diet that is appropriate for each life phase will ensure your pup stays in the pink of health.
Wondering What To Feed a Puppy?
Growing pups need their food to supply them with energy, easily digestible protein, vitamin E, calcium and phosphorus. They require each of these nutrients in the right quantity and proportion to prevent long-term and potentially irreversible damage. Unless you consult a nutritionist, homemade puppy dog food is normally not balanced enough for your pup’s varying needs at each life stage. Despite what you might have read on internet forums or heard from friends, it’s been scientifically proven that your pet will likely not thrive as well on home-cooked food or a raw meat diet. So pick a complete and balanced meal like Pedigree Mother and Baby dog Starter and work your way towards the Pedigree Puppy Range as they grow.
Feed Them Right
Overfeeding can sometimes be a problem. You need to ensure your puppy’s development goals are being met and that they're gaining weight at the right pace according to their growth. If your vet tells you that your pup is turning into a bit of a chunky monkey, you need to take notice and take their advice on how much to feed a puppy. You see, your fur-kid’s developing bones shouldn’t need to support more weight than their growth stage to ensure they don’t develop skeletal issues like osteochondrosis and hip dysplasia. So follow the feeding guidelines on the back of the package or consult your vet to make sure you are feeding them appropriately.
Your puppy’s tiny tummy can’t take too much food at one time. But given how much energy they need, they need to eat a surprising amount of food. The solution is to split their food across small, frequent meals. Feed them either dry puppy kibble, packets of wet puppy food, or a combination, depending on their preferences and yours. If you’ve opened a pack of wet food, only put as much in your pup’s bowl as they eat in one meal and put the remainder in the fridge till it’s your puppy’s feeding time again.
How To Transition Your Dog To Pedigree Puppy
A rapid change in diet will upset any dog’s stomach. And if your puppy is still young, their tummy is extra sensitive to changes. So we recommend a gradual change over the course of a week from one puppy food or diet to another. For the first two days, let each meal contain about 75% of the existing meal they consume and 25% of Pedigree Puppy. If you notice any stomach issues, it just means that your little one’s digestion just takes a bit longer to settle. In that case, make your transition more gradual and reduce the amount of the new food you’re adding. However, if your dog is like most, they’re likely to be fine, and you can mix the old food and new in an equal proportion. Give this 50/50 mix for a couple more days and then change the ratio to 75% Pedigree and 25% of their old diet. You will find this puppy feeding chart on each pack of Pedigree and we’ve found most dogs are perfectly happy with this pace. At each stage, be vigilant, if it looks like your dog’s stomach is feeling the transition is too rapid, slow it down.
Normally, within 7-10 days, your dog will be happily settled into his new food and eager for each mouthful of Pedigree puppy food. As their pet parent, you can feel completely relaxed that they’re getting all the nutrients that they need to ensure they are the happiest and healthiest they can be!