What puppy food is suitable after weaning? This transition is very important for the health of your pet. It should be done gradually, combining breast milk with other foods. Weaning occurs after the third week of life. How many meals a day should a puppy dog be fed? In general, four meals are recommended up to 4 months. If you want to know more about feeding your puppy, do not miss this article.
What changes occur in puppy food?
It is essential to know the importance of a good diet during and after weaning. And also, knowing which products are best for balanced growth. This is how the transition from a diet based on breast milk to a totally independent diet should be made.
The first thing we must know, before entering into feeding, is what weaning is. It begins from the third week of life and is produced by imitation. Cubs are naturally curious and when their mother approaches the feeder, they follow her. Sometimes they even try to taste their mother’s food. And it is, at that moment, when a gradual process of elimination of breast milk should begin.
We must remember that the human being is the only animal that drinks milk in adulthood. The benefits that mother’s milk offers the puppy become detrimental if the lactation period is extended. Keeping the animal on a diet that is not correct can lead to diseases, such as arthritis, in old age.
But what does weaning consist of? As we have already said, it is a gradual process, in which the infant decreases the intake of breast milk. Necessarily, a solid diet begins to be introduced. Changes in the puppy are visible on the outside with the appearance of milk teeth, for example. But he will also experience them internally: his stomach will enlarge and we will notice that he needs more food to fill himself up.
The food transition
It is a gradual process, in which it is not uncommon to observe how the mother feeds the puppies by regurgitating the food. With this, what he seeks is to eliminate the sucking instinct of the child and prepare him for the new food that he will have to take. The process lasts until the eighth week of life and the mother herself will promote the change. This is not due to a detachment of the mother on her child, but to the damage that it causes when breastfeeding.
In addition, in case of an abrupt break from lactation, the mother will also suffer damage such as mastitis. The inflammation of the breast will be produced by the stagnation of the milk, so, if any problem is noticed in it, you should go to the vet.
What foods are recommended?
We are facing a natural process, in which the maternal teachings and the puppy’s curiosity come together. The mother will lead her offspring to the trough. The puppies will start by licking the food, sometimes chewed by the mother. And, at the moment in which we observe this behavior in our puppy, the time has come to introduce an element of transition. But also, we must begin to separate the puppies from the mother so that they become independent. Although milk intakes should always be respected up to eight weeks.
In the market we will find a multitude of options to feed our puppy, but a quality food must be chosen, which is digestible and energetic. In these first moments, we will have to make a porridge with the food. A food that should be indicated exclusively for these first weeks of life and that we will continue to give during the first two months of life. There are several varieties of starter or starter feed, designed for a better path from breast milk to a totally solid diet.
They usually have great energy power, which favors the puppy’s weight gain. In addition, being a soft food, it reduces the stress of the puppy by being separated from the mother and away from their routines. It will be offered to you in several daily feedings and will never be allowed more than twenty minutes. In addition, we must always offer the feeder between feedings, so that they grow apart over time.
Preparation of the porridge
This phase is vital for the puppy, so we must be very careful when preparing the porridge. They must always be specific foods for weaning and that are of good quality. If you plan to make it entirely at home, you should follow the instructions of a veterinarian. Remember that it is not only important that the product is of quality, but the most important thing is that it gathers the nutrients that the puppy needs.
It must also be a complete food, so a 100% vegetarian or 100% carnivorous diet is totally contraindicated. Do not forget that there are a number of toxic products for dogs, so never use chocolate, garlic, onion, avocado, grapes, dairy, nuts or salt to make it.
The porridge that we prepare must be moistened so that it has a texture similar to the ball that the mother regurgitates for the puppy. But it should never be moistened with milk as a high lactose content will be harmful to the puppy. It is advisable to use water at about 38º, with which we will avoid diarrhea.
Little by little you have to reduce the water used in the porridge, to gradually convert the puppy food into something more solid. And, also, so that the puppies learn to bite the food since, instinctively, they will try to lick the food. It is important that, throughout the process, they always have fresh and clean water.
Some tricks to facilitate weaning
Although domestic dogs are usually alone, the dog is a social animal. And puppies are too. Therefore, it is good that during weaning the siblings stay together. This will encourage each other in the change process, heading to the feeder together and even competing for puppy food. We can use this double instinct (social and competitive) to the benefit of the puppy : use a single feeder for all of them and the weaning process will be carried out more quickly and easily.
Second, make a porridge that is both visually and olfactory appealing. Puppies must be curious about the new food or they won’t taste it. Play with flavors and products until you find the one that encourages you to eat.
The importance of weaning
It is important to monitor the amount of puppy food we give him. This way we will prevent them from being overcharged or suffering from deficiencies. Many of the diseases of dogs are associated with the age of growth. So a poor diet can cause serious damage in the future.
In addition, even if weaning is over, normally, at eight weeks of the puppy’s life, the process can be lengthened. After that time has elapsed, you should not immediately change the dog’s food. The puppy will already want solid food but not just any food will do. It continues in age of growth and will need nutrients and energy to develop in a healthy way.
Finally, depending on the breed of our puppy, it will have some needs or others. It is important that it is your veterinarian who gives you the guidelines to follow on the best food. If you want a healthy animal in old age, you should start by taking care of it as a puppy.
The puppy’s diet
Puppies grow relatively fast and therefore require a special diet to aid their physical development. A food specially formulated for growth is recommended to be fed at regular intervals to avoid overfeeding by stretching their small stomachs. A responsible breeder will have given you advice on your puppy’s diet and needs.
One diet that we love is Naku puppy food. It is a dehydrated natural diet that will provide all the necessary benefits for your puppy to grow up healthy and without allergy or intestinal problems.
Feed your puppy four meals a day until the age of four months, and then reduce his feeding to three meals a day until he is six months old, when he can switch to two meals a day, and keep him on this regimen to the rest of his life.
It is best not to leave food within reach (remove any uneaten food after 20 minutes) However, make sure that water is always available for your puppy so never keep your water bowl away
There are many different diets to choose from: dry feed, semi-moist or canned food, with or without grain, biscuits, and comfort food. Within this, there are many different qualities, the most suitable diet should be easily digestible, producing compact stools and dark brown in color.
If your puppy produces loose or very light stools or has gas or diarrhea, the diet may not satisfy your puppy or he could have some type of digestive problem, so consult your vet.
Please remember that stability in the diet will help maintain good digestion. Any change in diet should be gradual over at least a week to avoid discomfort and you should try a new diet for at least 10 days before making any further changes.
Evolution of the puppy’s diet
Some useful tips to plan the feeding of our future dog.
The first 8 weeks
Puppies should not be weaned before 6/7 weeks of age, during this time their mother’s milk provides them with the nutrition and antibodies they need to grow healthy.
At four weeks, the puppies should begin to eat some solid food, which can be from puppy food previously soaked in warm water and well disposed of so that they can begin to consume it without difficulty or with cans of quality wet food. This will help the mother to rest a little and begin the withdrawal of milk gradually.
From 7/8 weeks
Feed your puppy 3-4 times a day. Puppies have different nutritional needs than adult dogs, choosing a puppy food that provides the right balance of nutrients that your puppy needs, make sure he is getting the right amount of protein, phosphorus and calcium, and the right amount of calories.
Make sure the food you receive is of the highest quality to avoid essential amino acid deficiencies during growth.
From 3 to 6 months
The puppy must eat a food appropriate to its breed and growth rate, or to the size it will reach in adulthood if it is a mongrel dog, it will eat twice a day and should not overeat, it is important to control obesity but also provide enough energy to grow healthy.
From 6 months to 1 year
Your dog is still a puppy and should be fed a high-quality food. If you are feeding your dog a puppy food and he reaches 12 months, ask your veterinarian or specialist breeder when to switch to feeding. As adults, this may vary according to the breed, in the case of giant breed dogs it is possible that the need to consume a food adapted to the growth of these breeds, extends even up to 24 months of life.
From 12 months
Starting from the year, and depending on each breed and size, you can change to a diet for adult dogs, a suitable diet according to the individual needs of each dog, you can even start the puppies on the Barf Diet.
It is important that we have something very clear, despite the fact that we sometimes hear that dogs should be fed a good feed when they are puppies, and then “you can relax” this is not true at all, food as the basis of the health of any living being must be of adequate quality.