Feed a puppy on thoughtfully prepared food like Eukanuba Puppy (for Toy, Small, Medium or Large breeds) and you can expect a dynamic, inquisitive, energetic animal that shows off a dense, thick coat. What you see is an external representation of all that's happening inside: the skeleton is developing properly, muscles are building, the immune system is developing and neural pathways in the brain are expanding.
The Critical Puppy Years
Nourish him as a puppy and you will build an excellent foundation for life as a healthy dog. That's because his first few months are critical to the development of his body and mind. In fact, puppies experience their most rapid period of growth during the first six months of life. It is no real surprise, then, that puppies expend nearly twice the energy of an adult dog on a gram for gram body weight basis. Since his stomach capacity is still developing it's important he's given a specially designed, enriched puppy formula.
Choose a super-premium puppy food.
Look for a complete and balanced premium quality puppy food, like Eukanuba Puppy, that contains just the right ingredients your puppy needs:
(For further information on these ingredients, please see our article, "DHA: Help Make Your Puppy Smart".)
One Size Does Not Fit All
It is also important to consider your puppy`s size as not all breeds have the same nutritional needs. Toy and small breeds develop fast and require high levels of protein, fat, calcium and phosphorus; large and giant-breed pups must be given a less nutrient-dense (less energy dense) formula to make sure they grow at a slower and more controlled pace. Medium-breed puppies are somewhat in-between. Additional information on breed-specific formulas can be found in our article, “Different size breed puppies require different diets”.
Once you've purchased your puppy's food, it seems it would be simple to feed him—just open the bag and pour, right? But there are a few things you can do to turn his food into a meal.
- Measure portion size correctly. To determine it, start with the daily amount recommended on the bag and divide by the number of times you'll feed your puppy (usually breakfast, lunch and dinner: after four months (Toy, Small, Medium breeds) to six months of age (Large breeds), feed only in the mornings and evenings.) Remove the bowl after he's had a chance to eat for 30 minutes. This avoids overfeeding which leads to unhealthy weight gain.
- Remember Eukanuba Puppy is complete and balanced for his nutritional needs. Resist the urge to add anything to his bowl as it can interfere with the absorption of minerals provided in his dog food.
- Always ensure your puppy has access to a bowl of fresh water. Change it regularly to keep it fresh and contaminant free.
- Periodically, check his weight by moving your hands along his sides. You should be able to feel his ribs. Furthermore, you should also be able to see his waistline if you look down at him from above or from the side. If you are concerned that you puppy is overweight or underweight take him to your vet for a check-up.
The Teething Pup
Between three and six months of age, puppies' baby “milk” teeth loosen and are naturally expelled. By the time the average puppy reaches 6-7 months of age, all 42 adult teeth will have erupted. During this time, your pup's gums may be sensitive and he might refuse food. This is normal. Try easing him through this stage by:
- Soaking dry food in water for 10-15 minutes to soften it.
- Loosening teeth by feeding crunchy food and special puppy biscuits.
- Sticking with his current food as switching to another diet could cause intestinal upset.
- Provide your dog with appropriate things to chew, for example, chew toys and dental treats.
- Start brushing your puppy's teeth as a game. Like this he will get used to it for daily tooth brushing when adult. Never use human toothpaste, they can be harmful for dogs. Reward him with a treat when done.
With all the variety available, choosing the right food for your puppy is not an easy task but if you feed a high-quality premium food like Eukanuba Puppy from the start, you will be laying the groundwork to support and maintain a healthy life.
For any concerns over feeding your puppy, or dental health, then consult your vet.