Last Updated on November 11, 2021 by admin
Most breeders wait until a puppy is 8 weeks old before they send it to a new home because many do not know what to feed puppies at 6 weeks.
At 6 weeks, a puppy is still tender, but you can ease its transition by feeding them with a nutritious diet that is chewable and can digest with ease.
How Is A Puppy At 6 Weeks?
Most puppies are weaned and eating on their own by 6 weeks. As long as their owners have been providing them with solid foods, they are good to go.
Most mothers stop nursing their puppies at around 4 weeks when their tiny razor-sharp teeth are well developed.
Once the mother stops nursing, as the owner you need to provide dry puppy food mixed with a little water as a starter meal.
What To Feed Puppies At 6 Weeks
The best food for 6 weeks old puppies is those that contain the right nutrient ratios.
Puppy food is manufactured for all kinds of breeds – large, medium, or small each with different chunk sizes and nutrient ratios. They are appropriate for enhancing jaw strength for different breeds.
Puppy food for larger breeds has less fat, protein, and calcium in lower percentages compared to the food for smaller breeds.
If you are not sure what food to buy your pet, it is advisable to talk to your vet to recommend the brand best suited for your type of breed.
Puppy Feeding Guidelines/Tips
Feeding your puppy is helpful in dealing with the puppy separation anxiety that faces most of them due to the end of the nursing period. Just like normal babies, they do not wean easily. Playing with or grooming your puppy before a meal is an excellent way to say hello to your pet.
Always consult with your veterinarian and breeder before making a major change in your puppy’s diet. Once provided with a formula, stick with it! Sudden changes in the diet may cause digestion problems in your puppy.
If possible, purchase dry or canned prescription diets from veterinarians to feed dogs with any condition like – heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes, and other serious conditions. Never feed these foods without a prescription.
Provide small portions of carrot or apple chunks – these are healthy low-calorie snacks that most dogs love.
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Add vitamins and mineral supplements to your puppy’s food. Remember not to use them incorrectly, as they will do more harm than good.
Finally, remember to provide fresh water at all times. During the summer months, set up multiple indoor/outdoor water stations. Ensure that you wash this bowl daily to avoid having a buildup of bacteria.
Feeding Your Puppy For The First Year
Now that you understand what type of food to give your puppy, it is important to know how to feed them for the first year.
- 6–12 weeks: Give your growing pups a good supply of food. Ensure their diet is specially formulated to meet the required nutritional needs for normal development. Do not feed your puppy with adult food at this point; it will only rob them of essential nutrients. Feed your puppy at least 4 times a day in order to meet the daily nutritional demands of a growing dog. Feed your large breeds with unmoistened dry food when they are 9 or 10 weeks, and small dogs by 12 or 13 weeks.
- 3–6 months: By this time your puppy is already eating so well and it’s time to decrease the portions and times they feed. Decrease the feedings from 4 to 3 times a day. Do this to allow a pup to lose its potbelly and pudginess by the time it’s approaching 12 weeks. If they are still looking too young, continue to feed puppy-size portions until the body type matures.
- 6–12 months: Starting feeding your puppy twice daily. Switch from the normal nutrient-rich puppy food you have been feeding to adult maintenance food. You can make the switch for small breeds at 7 to 9 months and for bigger breeds at 12 to 14 months. To be on the safe side, it’s better to be on puppy food a little too long than not long enough.
- After 1 year: Most dog owners feed their adult dogs with 2½ portions per day.
How Much Food To Feed A Puppy.
The body condition of your dog is what should determine the portion sizes not the amount of food eaten or left in the bowl.
Portion sizes depend on each dog’s metabolism and body type with nutritional requirements varying from dog to dog.
If your puppy is a fussy eater, occasionally skipping a meal, don’t worry. This could mean she is ready to do away with feeding or that you are serving them too much. In this case, reduce the amount of food served.
If you are training your puppy about treats and rewards, adjust the amount you feed at mealtime accordingly. Keep the treats as small as possible whenever you are training so that your puppy gets to eat their food.
How Often Should Puppies Feed?
Just like human babies, puppies start out with many small meals a day. Feed them with special food formulated for their special nutritional requirements.
Most dogs finish their meals fast but others take their time. To discourage fussy eating habits, feed your puppy regular times in regular amounts. Do not leave food down for more than 10 to 20 minutes.
Your breeder can be of great help to guide you on how to do it.
Dry Food, Wet Food, Or Both?
Now that we know how many times to feed them, how should the food be – wet, dry, or both?
Pet-food companies have developed special formulas for both large and small-breed puppies. Puppy’s foods come in all 3 types:
- Semi-moist food. This is available in one-serving packets and made to look like a hamburger.
- Canned food. It is the most expensive food to use for your dogs and the most palatable. Do not go for an all-meat food, your dog requires a balanced diet to fulfill its nutritional requirements. Meat alone does not provide these nutrients.
- Dry food. This is the most economical and common food that offers a complete and balanced diet for dogs of all sizes and ages. Dry food can be fed directly from the bag.
Most pet owners swear by dry foods since they say they give oral hygiene to a dog because of the friction that helps keep the gums healthy. You can add water to dry food to moisten it or canned food to make it tastier.
Now that we have learned what to feed puppies at 6 weeks remember that when switching from puppy to adult food, you should make the switch gradually over a few days not just at once.
A sudden change of the diet can cause a stomach upset, avoid that at all costs.
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