Feeding your new puppy
What not to feed your fur babies
Grapes, raisins, Chocolate, Onions, garlic.
Walk down the dog food aisle of any large pet-supply store, or peruse the shelves at a boutique pet-food shop, and you can quickly become overwhelmed. This is especially true for puppy owners, and probably even more so for first-time puppy owners. When did it get so complicated? Back in the day, dog food options were far more limited, and even responsible dog owners didn't worry too much about what went into their dog's dish.
The process may now be somewhat more involved, but that's a good thing. Higher quality ingredients with better sourcing and specialized diet formulas lead to overall better health for our puppies. And every bit as important as what to feed your puppy is having an understanding of his special nutritional needs.Feeding Your Puppy: A First-Year Timeline
- 6–12 weeks: Growing pups should be fed puppy food, a diet specially formulated to meet the nutritional needs for normal development. Feeding adult food will rob your puppy of important nutrients. Four feedings a day are usually adequate to meet nutritional demands.
- 3–6 months: Sometime during this period, decrease feelings from four to three a day. A pup should be losing her potbelly and pudginess by 12 weeks. If she is still roly-poly at this age, continue to feed puppy-size portions until body type matures.
- 6–12 months: Begin feeding twice daily. Spaying or neutering lowers energy requirements slightly; after the procedure, switch from nutrient-rich puppy food to adult maintenance food. Small breeds can make the switch at 7 to 9 months
- After age 1: Most owners feed adult dogs two half-portions a day.
Most common clinical signs of hypoglycemia are drowsiness, shivering, collapsing, disorientation, seizures, listlessness, depression, muscle weakness and tremors. Lee Weston, author of the article about Hypoglycemia (Pomeranian Club of Canada) says that "the entire sequence of clinical signs is not always seen, so close observation of your pet and knowing when your dog is going into a distressed state can mean the difference between life and death of your dog. Immediate treatment by you and or a veterinarian is imperative, as recurrence of, or prolonged attacks, can cause permanent damage to the brain."
YOU SHOULD HAVE ON HAND BEFORE YOUR PUPPY COMES HOME
Preventing Low Blood Sugar
When your puppy has suffered from a bout of hypoglycemia, you’ll know to be alert for the signs of low blood sugar in the future. You can also take steps to prevent the problem, especially if your puppy is a high-risk pet.
- Add two tablespoons Karo syrup to your puppy’s water for all day sipping. Be sure to dump out and add fresh each day or the sugar water could grow bacteria.
- Schedule several meals every day. Toy breed adults and any young puppy have trouble eating enough food at one setting. So a small meal several times a day helps keep the blood sugar levels normal.
- Provide dry food out all the time, in a puzzle toy ball, for intermittent snacking. You can measure this amount, too, and regulate how much the pup gets to help keep him slim, prevent puppy obesity, but provide health blood sugar levels.
Most adult dogs won’t have problems with hypoglycemia. However, playing and running too hard without rest can cause low blood sugar even in adults that are not Toy breed dogs. It’s up to pet parents to stay watchful and make sure the puppy and maturing dog eat right and maintain healthy food habits.