Bringing a new puppy home can be an exciting time and a whole lot of fun but it is also a big responsibility, because your little one will now be relying on you for their health and happiness. Puppies are not only extremely vulnerable, but because they grow so quickly they need a diet high in nutrients to develop strong muscles, bones and teeth, therefore nothing is more important than for your pup to be eating healthy. The following tips will ensure that your beloved pooch is eating well and getting the best possible start to life.
Owning a dog can provide you with one of the most special relationships of your life, especially if you are playing your part in keeping them healthy and happy.
Choose their food carefully
Look for food that is specially designed to suit the age and breed of your dog, read the label carefully and prioritise those that are ‘complete and balanced’ and that comply with the Australian Standard. Natural ingredients are also important (ideally the first ingredient listed should be meat) and be sure to check the use-by date as well, because fresher is always better. Once your puppy reaches 90% of its adult size you will need to start feeding them adult dog food, so ask your vet when to make the switch.
Establish a routine
Dogs rely on a regular routine to understand what is going on, especially when it comes to their food, for this reason you should feed your puppy at the same times each day, from the same bowl, in the same part of the house. Spacing out their food also makes life easier on their developing digestive system, so for the first 6 months divide your pup’s daily intake of food into 4 feedings per day. Once they hit 6 months of age, two feedings a day is fine. Whatever you choose to feed them, be consistent, because their digestive systems are extremely sensitive, and if you have to change their diet do so gradually.
Know the signs of health
There are clear signs that indicate whether your puppy is healthy and happy or not. Your pup should be energetic, they should have a shiny coat and their stool should be firm and dark, therefore if they seem lethargic, are not eating much or have diarrhoea, take them to see your vet immediately. For your pup to be considered a healthy weight you should be able to clearly see their waist when looking down at them from above as well as feel their ribs with the palm of your hand, if not, you may be overfeeding them.
Treat them right
Treating your dog can be a fantastic way to reinforce good behaviour but it is important that those dog treats are good for them too. Look for treats that offer balanced nutrition and be sure to account for those extra calories when planning your pup’s daily intake. Never feed them scraps from the table as this can encourage bad behaviour and many human foods are extremely unhealthy for dogs, some even fatal. If you want to give your puppy a bone to chew on, give them bones that are raw, never cooked, because cooked bones can splinter and get stuck in their mouth, throat or stomach.
Owning a dog can provide you with one of the most special relationships of your life, especially if you are playing your part in keeping them healthy and happy. Show your pup just how much they mean to you by investing in a regular dog treat box for them from Gus and Lou, as they are specially designed to suit the unique needs and tastes of your pooch. If you have questions, concerns or want to order a dog box today, give us a call or contact us online.