A puppy’s stomach capacity is not large enough to hold sufficient food in one feeding to provide its daily requirement of needed nutrients, therefore puppies should be fed at least three times a day with a complete food designed for puppies whether small breed (less than 32kg as an adult) or large breed (greater than 32kg as an adult).
During the growth stage, puppies can need two to three times more energy and nutrients per kilogram of body weight than an adult dog. Optimal development is important for strong bones and teeth, physical development and healthy skin and coat. Based on a dog’s size and breed, the calorie requirements of puppies gradually decrease up to adulthood. Puppies also mature at different rates and have different nutritional needs. Large breed puppies require fewer calories per unit of body weight and mature at a slower rate than smaller breed puppies.
Feeding schedules can be reduced to twice a day when the puppy is four to five months old and may continue at two meals a day throughout the adult years if required. As with all food transitions the recommendation is to begin slowly. Transitioning your puppy to adult food should be conducted over a seven to ten-day period gradually increasing the ration of adult food while decreasing the ratio of puppy food. It’s important to note that one hour should be allowed for a puppy to eat, after which the uneaten portion should be discarded while remembering to always have available fresh clean drinking water. Establishing routine eating techniques by feeding a puppy in the same place and at the same time, each day can engrain good habits which can assist in helping to teach the puppy in alternate areas such as toilet training.
An important area to manage is your dog’s weight with obesity being considered one of the most common nutritional disorders. It’s important to monitor your dogs body condition. The ideal body shape is similar to an hourglass when viewed from above. As always if you have further questions or concerns remember to consult your trusted veterinarian.