Diet of an Older Puppy: A discussion with Dr. Manu
Hello! Welcome to a new episode of our video Petzz series. Today we’ll be discussing with our Petzz expert about the diet of older puppies.
R1: Hello, doctor……! First of all, let’s get something straight: until what age are dogs considered puppies?
V1: Hello! Until they are around 1 year old, dogs are puppies, but this depends on the puppy’s breed: small breeds reach adulthood sooner than large dog breeds. Small breed dogs reach adulthood at around 9 months of age, while larger breeds become adult dog at around 15 months old.
R2: I have asked this because a few weeks ago we talked about a small puppy’s diet and what to feed a puppy after it is weaned, and how to move to a solid diet. What I would like to find out today is what do we feed older puppies, after 4 months old?
V2: Hello! Yes, after 4 months of age a puppy moves to a fully solid diet, of course, and it can be fed a variety of fresh food and vegetables, rice, meat, bread, kibbles and even some fruits.
R3: It’s not very different from an adult dog’s diet.
V3: Actually it is, because puppies need more nutrients, minerals and carbs to help them with growth. A puppy’s diet requirements are different than those of and adult dog. Until a puppy reaches adulthood, he’ll need more meals a day and a higher percentage of protein and fat than an adult dog. That’s why there’s an obvious difference between food for puppies and food for adult dogs. Puppy food has more calories and proteins.
R4: How many times a day should we feed older puppies? And how much food should we give them?
V4: As their digestive system is still developing, it’s recommended to feed them smaller portions 3-4 times a day, rather than 2 big meals. Older puppies should be fed 2-4 times a day, depending on their size, large breeds need more food than smaller breeds, of course, and depending on the type of food you feed them.
Dry dog food or kibbles is a concentrated form of food, so you should measure the appropriate quantity before feeding your puppy. Most dog food bags show a feeding chart depending on the dog’s weight and breed. It’s advisable to buy a graded cup from a pet store and use it to measure the dry food quantity for every meal.
If you choose to feed your dog cooked food, note that as a general rule, dogs will eat around 2-3 percent of their body weight daily. Large dogs tend to eat a lower percentage, and small dogs a higher percentage of their body weights. Toy breeds may need as much as 4 to 5 percent of their body weight daily, while giant breeds might eat as little as 1½ percent, or even less.
R5: Are supplements required in a growing puppy’s diet? What supplements should we give a puppy?
V5: If your puppy eats a wide variety of foods and in sufficient amounts, then supplements are not really required, though they are highly recommended. Puppies should be given growth supplements that include the necessary vitamins and minerals for their growth. Raw or cold-pressed salmon oil is also a good option, just sprinkle a few drops on your dog’s food.
R: Thank you, doctor! Keep an eye on our video Petzz series next week when we’ll talk about deworming and vaccination of adult dogs.
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