The nutritional needs of your puppy

Nutritional needs of your puppy

During the first weeks of life, your puppy will be content with his mother's milk. From the third week on, you can start offering him solid food.

If your puppy is not born in your home, and you take him home with you, take some of the food he's eating and is used to, for the first several days. Otherwise, the combination of an abrupt change in diet and a new environment can easily lead to diarrhoea or vomiting.

The latest research studies allow you to offer exactly the right diet for each life stage of your dog, so that he'll always be healthy. 

The first months are especially important. Feeding the wrong diet now can be a mistake that can't easily be corrected in later life. If you have any questions about this, contact your breeder or veterinarian.

It's up to your dog to decide whether he wants to eat dry or canned food. You can even combine the two different foods. Initially, you should soak the dry food before feeding, for about 20 minutes in lukewarm water. Make sure there's always fresh water available.

Until your puppy is 12 weeks old, give him up to six meals a day. Leave the dish in his feeding area for about half an hour. If your dog doesn't eat or doesn't eat it all, take away the left-overs and offer him food again at the next feeding time. This way, the puppy will get used to regular feeding times, and you can prevent him from becoming overweight.

Don't worry too much if your puppy leaves out a meal completely or doesn't eat at all for a day. This can easily happen in the beginning. The next day he certainly will make up for everything. However, if diarrhoea, vomiting or a lack of enthusiasm also appears, you should take him to the vet's. These symptoms may be signs of serious diseases, especially in puppies.

Don't try to lure him with treats or offer him his food from your hand to persuade him to eat. Otherwise, he will always expect this special service and will refuse to eat from his feeding dish.

Of course, you can give your dog some treats between meals, in a reasonable amount. Chocolate, sausages, cheese, etc. are not suitable treats, and may even be harmful.

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