A puppy is still a dog
Once a puppy has been weaned in the wild, it will become just another member of the pack. It will eat exactly the same food as the other members of its family for the remainder of its life. In other words, like the rest of its pack, it will eat whatever food is available. Very often in the case of a puppy, this will likely be whatever food it can scavenge or whatever morsels the older dogs choose to leave it from a prey animal.
What a puppy in the wild does not do is seek out food specially formulated for juvenile dogs. It’s not that lucky. It has to eat whatever food is available to it as do the more senior members of its community. Young and old, they all eat the same food!
Puppies benefit from different
When a puppy is growing and developing, it will need more nutrients than when it’s fully grown. More nutrients than at any other time of its life. It’s said that a growing puppy needs about twice the protein and more than twice the number of calories of its adult counterparts.
But that aside, a puppy’s dietary requirements will be the same as the other members of its canine family. It will just eat more because it needs more calories and more nutrients to cope with its rapid physical development. It will still need the same nutrients as an adult dog, just different quantities of them. That’s where my puppy feeding guide calculator can help.
The biggest difference between a puppy, an adult and a senior dog is likely to relate to the size and frequency of its meals.
How to feed a puppy
For puppies up to the age of four months I would recommend feeding them 4 times a day. Little and often is the term that springs to mind. From the age of 4 months until they reach 6 months I would recommend feeding them three times a day. Once they reach 6 months of age, I would recommend feeding your puppy twice a day for the rest of its hopefully long and happy life.
Regarding the actual quantity you feed, that will be determined by the pup’s age at the time and his or her likely adult bodyweight.
FURTHER READING: How much to feed a puppy.
Give your puppy the best start in life by feeding it a minimally processed, fresh food diet. See the difference fresh food can make!
How not to feed a puppy
In terms of feeding your pup, there are just two things you should never do. You should never force-feed it to achieve maximum growth. And you should never ‘free-feed’ it by leaving its food bowl down all the time allowing it to pick and choose how much to eat and when. Remember, your pup’s ideal adult weight will have been determined at birth. You can’t alter this except by over-feeding which is likely to negatively impact its development. And create long-term health issues such as joint and muscle issues, heart problems, diabetes and obesity into the bargain.
I provide more information on the subject of how to feed a puppy in my dedicated puppy feeding guide calculator.
If you really want to learn how to feed your pup, including the ingredients you can use, please download my guide. It even has a number of puppy recipes for homemade food to get you started!