Feeding Your Puppy
Ashowai recommend both Eukanuba & Naturediet products
Just like children, puppies have different nutritional needs from adults. When selecting puppy food, take the same care you would if choosing baby food for an infant to help ensure they get off to the best possible start. The nutrition you provide them with now lays the foundation for a long and healthy life.
Owning a new puppy is about so much more than just the food you give them. The close bond that you form with your puppy now will last for a lifetime. Of course, you'll train your puppy in the right behaviours, but before all of that it's important for the puppy to feel loved, safe and secure in its new home and with the people who are going to form its new family.
Having already been weaned onto solid food from their mother’s milk by your breeder, your puppy now needs a high quality puppy food that will provide 100% complete and balanced nutrition.
LOOK FOR A QUALITY PUPPY FOOD
A good quality puppy food will contain high levels of protein and fat, omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, and a range of vitamins and minerals to help keep your puppy in optimal body condition. The type of protein is really important too as this provides the nutritional building blocks to support healthy growth and development of your puppy. Choose puppy food made with high quality animal protein such as chicken, lamb or fish. We believe a puppy food should contain all of the following:
High quality animal protein – to support the healthy growth and development for muscles and bones
DHA to help puppies learn and be more trainable
Appropriate fibre such as beet pulp, and prebiotic FOS to help support healthy digestion
Balanced Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids for a healthy skin and coat
Vitamin E & C to help support a healthy immune system
DIFFERENT DIETS FOR DIFFERENT SIZE DOGS
Puppies experience their most rapid period of growth during the first six months of life, using nearly twice the energy of an adult dog on a gram for gram body weight basis. Since their stomach capacity is still developing it's important they’re given a tailored diet for their nutritional needs and breed size.
Toy and small puppies develop fast and need high levels of protein, fat and calcium in their diet
Large and giant puppies need controlled levels of protein and calcium to support a slower growth rate. Large breed puppies may continue growing for up to 24 months!
Medium-sized puppies are somewhat in between these two guidelines.
PUPPY FEEDING TIPS
Once you've chosen your puppy's food, remember these top tips to ensure your puppy is eating well:
Measure portion size correctly. Start with the daily amount recommended on the bag and divide by the number of times you'll feed your puppy (once in the morning and once in the evening).
Remove the bowl after they’ve had a chance to eat for 30 minutes. This avoids overfeeding which leads to unhealthy weight gain.
Always ensure your puppy has access to a bowl of fresh water and change it regularly to keep it fresh.
Regularly check their weight by moving your hands along their sides. You should be able to feel their ribs. You should also be able to see their waistline if you look down at them from above or from the side. Check out our handy guide to keeping your dog in optimal body condition.
Remember, all EUKANUBA Puppy food is complete and balanced for their nutritional needs. Adding anything else to their diet can interfere with the absorption of minerals in their food.
If you’re concerned about any aspect of your puppy’s feeding or their weight, take them to your vet for a check-up.
WHEN SHOULD YOUR PUPPY MOVE ON TO ADULT FOOD?
In the early weeks and months, puppies need special nutrition to help them form strong bones and provide them with enough energy to keep up with the demands of all that growing. Once they become an adult dog it's important to choose their food carefully to build on the good foundation their puppy food provided.
The time at which your puppy becomes an adult dog depends on their size. Every dog is different but the following is a reasonable guide for the age at which dogs reach maturity:
Toy and Small dogs, 9-12 months
Medium dogs, 12 months
Large dogs, 12-15 months
Giant dogs, up to 24 months
In the case of large and giant breed dogs this can mean that your dog might look like an adult when they are still very much a puppy, with more adolescent than adult behaviour!
INTRODUCING JUNIOR FOOD
At EUKANUBA, we understand that dogs of different sizes need different care. That’s why we've introduced Developing Junior food – a transition diet for larger dogs between puppy and adulthood.
Junior food still contains all the basic building blocks your dog needs, like DHA for trainability and high quality animal protein, but also helps larger dogs maintain a slow and consistent growth rate, giving them a little extra help to build strong joints and muscles ready for their adult lives.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN ADULT DOG FOOD
Your dog will need a complete and balanced diet that meets all their nutritional needs for the next life stage. This will help keep them in optimal body condition without providing too much energy, which could lead to weight gain.
When choosing an adult dog food, along with high quality animal protein, look for food that contains calcium to support your dog's joints as they age. Keep in mind all of they key vitamins that you'd look for in puppy food, such as Vitamins E and C, omega 6 and 3 and the right amount of fibre as these are vital throughout a dog's life.
As well as providing regular exercise, investing in quality food is one of the best things you can do to help your dog live a long and healthy life.
Note: The above information has been obtained online from the Eukanuba website.
Food sensitivities and intolerances
Some dogs appear to be sensitive or intolerant to certain ingredients and additives and this can cause a variety of problems. Common symptoms include: lethargy, aggressive or hyperactive behaviour, chronic skin and ear problems, light to mid-brown loose bulky stools or diarrhoea, slime and jelly being passed with the stools and flatulence, bloating and weight gain or loss. In extreme cases they can get colitis (slime and blood in their stools) so consult your vet if this happens.
As with children, the most common food intolerances appear to be colourings, sugars, wheat, milk and Soya. Obviously not all puppies are sensitive to these things, but if the symptoms keep re-occurring, you might do well to check this out and ask your vet for advice.
If you suspect a food intolerance you should avoid giving your puppy any foods or treats containing any suspect ingredients for a month or two, and then reintroduce each ingredient, one at a time, and watch for the return of any physical or behavioural changes. You can use some of its food (from its daily allowance) as rewards.
Treating is a good way to reward your dog during training and encourage the behaviour you want. There are a wide variety of prepared and natural treats on the market which vary hugely in quality. Some commercial treats have lots of sugar, colourings, milk products and fat in them. Even ‘doggy chocs’ or ‘low fat yoghurt drops’ can contain sugars or lactose (milk sugar) so always check the ingredients label.
Good quality prepared treats have been developed with dogs dietary needs in mind.
However, all treats should be given sparingly, never more than 15% of the total calorie intake. If used regularly reduce the amount of main meal food your dog is receiving in order to avoid obesity. Some chew treats have proven ability to help prevent dental diseases, but again check the label to ensure you are getting a genuine product.
Real chocolate is poisonous to dogs and can cause liver damage and even be fatal, so never give your dog any chocolate, or leave any lying around for it to find and eat, especially at Christmas time.
Avoid giving your puppy any sweet biscuits or sugary treats which are bad for its teeth as well as its waistline, and can cause sugar ‘highs’ and ‘lows’. Stick to prepared treats and desiccated liver tablets which tend to be much more popular than boring bits of doggie biscuit.
Puppy Feeding Top Tips
Clean fresh water should always be available. Dogs eating wet food (canned) will receive moisture through their food and therefore require less water than dogs eating dry food. However, extra water should always be made available.
Owners should not refill half empty bowls, but ensure that fresh food is always provided at each meal time. This is particularly true in the hot weather when food left in bowls can attract flies and other insects.
Half full cans of dog food should be kept covered in the fridge, but allowed to stand until the food is up to room temperature before feeding.
There are two different types of dog food manufactured,” complete" and "complementary", clearly marked on the label. A complete food can be fed as a sole source of nutrition and is available as both canned and dry food. A complementary food is designed to accompany the complete food and should not be used as the only source of daily nutrition.
Avoid feeding table scraps, these can upset the balance of nutrients provided by commercial prepared dog food.
Treats are a great way of bonding with your dog, but ensure that they are specially manufactured for dogs. Treats will contribute to the dogs daily dietary intake and owners should take them into account and remember to adjust feeding at meal times accordingly.
Puppies have high energy requirements, but small stomachs - therefore owners should feed small meals frequently throughout the day. Follow the feeding instructions on the packaging.
A healthy, fit dog is a happy dog! Owners should be able to feel their dogs ribs, but not see them. Always try to feed to maintain this condition.
Owners should avoid any sudden change of their dogs diet. A change from one food to another should be done gradually with the new food increased over a number of days until it is the only food fed. The same goes for a switch from one brand to another -sudden change may upset the dogs digestive system