Feeding Your Puppy/Junior Dog
June 15 2015·
June 15 2015·
A balanced and size appropriate diet is essential for the growth and long-term health of your puppy. For example, a large breed puppy will have specific nutritional needs to ensure healthy bone and joint development. It’s not only essential to choose the correct diet for your puppy but to consistently feed at regular intervals. It’s also recommendable that you closely monitor your puppy’s weight and adjust his feeding amounts accordingly as he grows.
Choosing Your Puppy’s FoodBringing your new puppy home for the first time is very exciting. He’s finally yours to care for and naturally you’ll want the very best for him; this starts with his nutrition. It’s important that the food you choose for your puppy has high-quality, natural ingredient, is balanced correctly for his growth rate and development and is free from any toxins – young puppies are especially sensitive to low-quality, artificial ingredients.
Introducing Your Puppy to KibbleWhen first introducing your puppy to kibble, it’s advisable to soak them in lukewarm water for the first couple of months. Once the puppies get older, some dry kibbles can be mixed into the soaked ones. Finally, the kibbles can be fed dry, although for sensitive puppies, it can be better to feed them soaked all the times to put less pressure on their digestive system.
Switching Your Puppy’s FoodOnce you have chosen a suitable natural, high-quality food for your puppy, it’s essential to introduce it very gradually over a period of two weeks. Mix the new food with the old food, ideally 5-10% at a time, and reduce the amount of old food accordingly.
Feeding Intervals for Your PuppyPuppies should be fed several times a day with small feeding amounts to lower the impact on their digestive system whilst they develop. Here’s a rough guide:
- Up to the age of 4 months: 4 meals/day
- Up to the age of 6 months: 3 meals/day
- After the age of 6 months: 2 meals/day
Feeding Your Junior DogIn nature, wolf pups will suckle milk from their mother until about four weeks’ of age. This is when they slowly start eating food that the mother regurgitates for them which is already partly digested and therefore highly palatable. Moreover, the protein content is very high-quality protein due to very little content of bones and tendons due to the mother’s sorting techniques. At the age of five to seven months, young wolves will start to hunt themselves and start eating the whole of their prey, including bones and tendons, which makes their total digestible protein content becomes less. Based on this fact, the Happy Dog Supreme range for junior dogs (Happy Dog Junior Range) has a lower content of energy and protein compared to that of the baby range. This is especially important for medium and large dogs because it supports a steady growth rate whilst helping to prevent any growth-related health problems. Happy Dog’s Junior varieties can be fed until the age of 15 to 18 months. It’s imperative not to change young dogs onto adult food too early as they require increased protein and energy, plus a different content of calcium and phosphorus compared to that of an adult dog.
Feeding a Mini-Breed PuppyFor small dogs (final bodyweight under 10 kg), a 2-phase concept is not necessary, their growth rate is less and they are generally fully grown at the age of 10 to 12 months. Happy Dog offers the Supreme Mini Baby + Junior to cater for smaller breed puppies up to this age when they can slowly be changed to the mini adult food. For further help or information on feeding your young dog, email email@example.com. © Dr. med. vet C. Mederle