Mother’s milk is the best ideal food for a puppy because it is rich in all the nutrients needed for the puppy to grow healthy and strong. Although the puppies are ready to wean themselves between six and eight weeks of age, most begin to show interest in solid foods in three to four weeks, usually frolicking on their mother’s plate and licking the food from their paws.
It is the best time to start offering them a formula for feeding puppies. If you choose a dry meal, add water and shred it to form a slurry. As the puppy grows, add less water and offer more dry food.
Do not fall into the temptation to wean it too soon, as switching to an exclusively solid diet too soon may harm your puppy’s immature digestive system.
What is the optimal feeding frequency for puppies?
Puppies can eat more with their eyes than with their stomachs. To keep the right balance between what they need and overfeeding, give small amounts of food frequently.
This will depend on your age, size and the recommendations of your veterinarian.
Start with one tablespoon of food five times a day while your puppy still suckles.
Do not overdo your puppy, since too much food can harm their digestive system or put unnecessary pressure on their skeleton if they gain too much weight in a short period of time. Neither of these things is good for your puppy’s health, so be careful when planning your meals.
Always read the feeding instructions on your food package carefully, as they are a good starting point. The exact amount of food for your puppy can vary depending on your age, race, health status and degree of energy: the most playful puppies burn more energy, so they need more fuel! Use our fitness tool to measure your puppy and make sure it is growing properly and that is not lacking or overweight.
Weighing the puppy will allow you to be sure that they have the right weight for their age, size, and breed. You can do it at home, but if you are not sure how to do it, ask your veterinarian to teach you or do it for you during a checkup.
Food and Exercise
Avoid feeding your puppy immediately before or after exercise: let an hour pass between food and exercise.
A good idea would be to get the puppy to get used to resting for a while after eating to avoid the risk of digestive discomfort or more serious disorders, especially in large and giant breeds, where your stomach can turn around. This phenomenon is known as “gastric dilation and torsion” and is a medical emergency that requires urgent veterinary care.