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For the first six to eight weeks you should not have to worry about feeding your puppy if their mother is there to take care of them. They will nurse from their mother during this time in their lives. However, if their mother is not present or cannot provide the milk needed to sustain them, then you will need to feed your puppy a milk substitute from replacers or bottles until they can start eating food on their own.
It is going to take time for puppies to start eating solid food regularly, so be patient during this time of transition which starts when they are about two months old. You will need to select a brand of puppy food that has plenty of nutrition and calories as they are bundles of energy at this point in their lives. Your veterinarian is a good source of information about which brand of puppy food is the best.
By roughly six weeks in, you can start introducing your puppy to their new food a little at a time. A good way to start is by combining the food with a milk replacer and making a gruel that they can easily consume. Start feeding them three to four times a day and gradually reduce the milk substitute until all you are feeding them is the puppy food. At eight weeks or perhaps a week or two later, they should be eating only puppy food.
How Much Should I Feed My Puppy?
If you are wondering “how much should I feed my puppy?”Feeding your puppy three to four times a day with about ½ cup each is about right for most growing puppies.
You will want to consult with your vet about puppies that are larger or smaller than normal as a chihuahua puppy is not going to consume food like a St. Bernard puppy. It’s better to feed your puppy a little at a time over the course of a day compared to a lot at once for digestive purposes.
You should keep an eye out for any signs of gastric distress or discomfort which may indicate that the puppy is eating too much food or perhaps their digestive system is simply not ready. You can always mix the food with the milk substitute for a little longer. However, if problems persist you will need to take the puppy to the veterinarian.
Adult Dog Food
It will depend on the breed of dog to determine when they are ready to make the transitions from puppy to adult food. What can be said is that smaller dogs mature faster than larger dogs, so breeds that weigh up to 30 pounds will fully mature in one year, while larger breeds up to 80 pounds will take up to sixteen months, and breeds over 80 pounds may take upwards of two years.
When you feel the time is right to make the switch, do so gradually over the
course of one to two weeks by mixing in the adult food a little at a time with the puppy chow so that their digestive system can properly adjust. This way, you minimize issues and make sure that your dog accepts the new food with few complications.
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