How Much Should I Feed My Puppy?
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When adopting a puppy, there are many aspects we must be well informed about. One of the most important is their diet. Natural weaning usually occurs around 2 months, this is when the puppy will need to start transitioning to dog food.
In this AnimalWised article we are going to explain what to feed your puppy, how much to feed your puppy and more.
When does a puppy start eating?
Puppies, like other mammals, begin their lives by feeding on the milk provided by their mother. Living with her and her siblings, as well as maintaining lactation, is recommended until at least two months of age. That's why it's not advisable to adopt a dog before that age. Even in the case of orphaned puppies fed with artificial milk, the litter must remain together until the minimum of eight weeks.
But this does not mean that they have to spend all that time drinking only milk. From 21-28 days of age, puppies will begin to show interest in their mother's food and it is a good time for them to start eating solid. The lactating female will be consuming a certain diet to be able to receive all the nutrients and minerals needed to produce milk for her litter. It's perfectly fine for her puppies to try her food. Simply make sure it's moist so that the puppies can ingest it more easily.
After around two months of age, their mother will also motivate them to eat more solid food by preventing them from accessing milk. This would be the final weaning stage. That's why, when we adopt a 2 month old puppy, we shouldn't buy puppy milk formula. We should already be feeding them solid food for puppies. But what food should a 2 month old puppy eat? Continue reading as we go through a puppy's ideal diet.
What should a 2 month old puppy eat?
There are three types of food you can feed your 2 month old puppy:
Dry food for puppies
There is a large variety of dry food for puppies, so it can be quite difficult to choose at times. To help you out, we've made this list of tips to keep in mind when choosing dry food for your puppy:
- Dogs are mainly carnivorous animals, which means they thrive on high quality meat. It's very important that the first and main ingredient of the dry food you choose is meat.
- Dried or dehydrated meat is best as it will maintain its indicated content, while fresh meat loses water with time and loses its nutritional value.
- Choose dry food specifically made for puppies. Don't go for adult dry dog food just yet as it differs nutritionally.
- The most expensive isn't always the best. It's best to read the ingredients, nutritional values and how it was made.
- Remember that apart from dry food, your puppy will need fresh and clean water at their disposal.
Wet food for puppies
The next option you have is wet food for puppies. These usually come in cans and, just like dry food, you will have a grand variety of brands to choose form. Here are some tips to keep in mind when choosing top quality wet food for your puppy:
- Make sure the first and main ingredient is a meat source. This means it mostly contains this ingredient.
- Watch out for highly processed fat sources, we want to avoid these as they will bring health issues to our dogs in the long term.
- Grains and vegetables as an ingredient is a good sign as they will provide other nutrients and minerals to your pup.
- Try to investigate how the food is made and processed by researching the brand online. This will help you have a better idea of what exactly you're feeding your pup.
Homemade food for puppies
Lastly, another great option is feeding your dog home-made food. This is a great option if you want to feed your puppy high quality food because you get to choose the ingredients and go through the process of cooking it by yourself. When cooking for your puppy, keep these tips in mind:
- Choose a meat source to be the main ingredient. Then, add some vegetables or grains for some extra nutrition. The ratio should be around 2/3 meat and 1/3 vegetables. Ask your veterinarian for more information.
- Remember to always feed them fresh food and remove their leftovers 10 minutes after they have finished eating. This way you will make sure not to attract insects or promote bacteria growth.
- To learn more about feeding your puppy a healthy homemade canine diet, we recommend you also read our article about a natural canine diet.
- Homemade dog food is not the equivalent of human leftovers. They have a different diet than us and will need to be cooked for specifically to obtain all the nutrients they need. Keep in mind what foods are forbidden for dogs.
How much does a 2 month old puppy eat?
How much a puppy eats will depend on the size of their dog breed. However, in general guidelines a 2 month old puppy can eat between 60 -240 grams per day. Small sized dog breeds will eat around 60-90 grams per day, while large sized dog breeds will eat around 140-240 grams per day.
It's not necessary to over-feed your puppy or give them supplements in order for them to grow. In fact, it could harm them as overweight dogs have many health issues. If you have any doubts, contact your local veterinarian who will be able to examine your puppy and guide you specifically towards their needs.
Lastly, do not give your dog too many dog treats. These commercial treats are often highly processed and dangerous to their health. It's best to give them healthy treats from a young age so they get used to these healthy options and have a healthy diet from puppyhood. Learn more on our article about healthy dog treats.
Enjoyed this article? We encourage you to also watch our Youtube video about how many times a day you should feed your puppy. Comment below your experience when feeding your puppy!
If you want to read similar articles to How Much Should I Feed My Puppy?, we recommend you visit our Healthy diets category.
- Carlson and Giffin. 2002. Practical canine veterinary manual. Madrid. Editorial El Drac.