08. Feeding a Puppy

posted Oct 18, 2011, 1:50 PM by Alder Brittanys   [ updated Oct 18, 2011, 1:52 PM ]
How often?
Your puppy needs to be fed three times a day until 4 months of age, then you can adjust to twice a day.  We feed our adult dogs twice a day but it's okay to switch to once a day after 18 months.
How much?
Start feeding an 8 week old puppy about 1/2 cup at each feeding.  Increase or decrease this amount based on how much food your puppy will finish in five minutes (if your puppy is just a slow eater, don't worry about the five minute rule, let her finish).  If your puppy doesn't finish and leaves her food behind, don't leave the bowl sitting out.  At the next meal, feed a little less.  You want your puppy to get used to emptying her bowl at each meal, not leaving it and coming back a half hour later.  We don’t recommend leaving food out for a dog of any age.  Free feeding creates inconsistent eating habits and a fat Brittany!
What type of food?
We start our puppies on Purina Pro Plan Puppy.  Your breeder should give you a small bag of puppy food when you pick up your puppy.  If you choose to transition to a puppy food other than what your breeder feeds, make sure you choose a quality puppy food and make the transition to the new food gradually - over the course of four or five days. 
Until what age? 
We recommend feeding puppy food until your puppy is at least six months old, then moving to a quality adult kibble.  Our dogs eat Purina Pro Plan during the off-season and Pro Plan Performance when they’re exercising hard, but there are many good foods to choose from.

What other mistakes should I avoid?

·         Don't feed a low-quality food.  You'll have to feed more of it, you'll have more poop to scoop, and it's not worth risking the health problems that can arise. 

·         If your dog is doing well on a dog food, don't switch foods.  Your dog does not need nor appreciate variety. 

·         If you must switch foods, do so gradually over the course of 4-5 days. 

·         Find a food with a quality protein source (or two) as the main ingredient. 

·         Don't be fooled by ingredients like potatoes, carrots or peas.  Dogs don't really need to eat their veggies. 

·         Don't be fooled by food with colors or shapes.  Dogs can't make out the colors or shapes anyway.  These things are there to make the food look more appealing to you and I hope you're not planning to eat it.