“Two Paws Up Tuesday”
Like human babies, puppies start out needing many small meals a day, of a food formulated for their special nutititional requirements.
Before we get into the particulars of puppy nutrition, let’s first consider the foremost pitfall of canine feeding. In theory, keeping your growing dog properly nourished is simple: Serve sensibly sized portions of high-quality chow, avoid feeding “people food,” and keep snacks to a minimum. In practice, this is easier said than done. the doleful gaze of a begging dog can be downright irresistible. This is no accident. During his long partnership with man, the dog has perfected cunning methods of exploiting the human neurosis that associates food with affection. In prehistoric times semi-domesticated canines first cultivated human beings as a food provider. As the two species grew closer, dogs modified begging behaviors to maximize results: The more pathetic a dog seemed, the more scraps were tossed his way. Dogs have since refined this approach into a low-risk, high-reward hunting technique.
It’s a deceptive way to hunt, utilizing the appearance of helplessness rather than ferocity, but don’t be fooled: Begging is not an emotional crisis or a test of your love. It’s what scientists might call an evolutionary survival strategy, or what the rest of us might call a scam. Allowing your dog to “guilt” you into over feeding him, or serving him a steady diet of table scraps in a misguided show of affection, can have harmful or even fatal results.
So don’t take it personally when the little con artist under the table goes into the old whimper-wheedle-and-whine routine. Simply ignore it, and find healthier ways of bonding with your pet.
6-12 weeks: Growing pups should be fed puppy food, a diet specially formulated to meet the nutritional needs for normal development. Feeding adult food will rob your puppy of important nutrients. Four feedings a day are usually adequate to meet nutritional demands. Large breeds should be on unmoistened dry food by 9 or 10 weeks; small dogs by 12 or 13 weeks.
3-6 months: Sometime during this period, decrease feedings from four to three a day. A pup should be losing her pot belly and pudginess by 12 weeks. If she is still roll-poly at this age, continue to feed puppy size portions until body type matures.
6-12 months: Begin feeding twice daily. Spaying or neutering lowers energy requirements slightly; after the procedure switch from nutrient-rich puppy food to adult maintenance food. Small breeds can make the switch at 7 to 9 months; bigger breeds at 12, 13 even 14 months. Err on the side of caution: Better to be on puppy food a little too long than not long enough.
After age 1: Dogs can be fed one hearty portion daily, but many owners feed adult dogs two half portions a day.
Feeding & Shopping
- High quality premium puppy food
- Nutritious low-fat, low-sodium treats
- Food and water bowls of sufficient heft to prevent your dog from tipping them over
Information courtesy of: American Kennel Club
Training tip: Provided by Amanda Mondloch a RUFF Academy trainer. If you find an attached tick on your dog it would be a good idea to go get your dog checked for Lyme disease 6-8 weeks later (because that’s how long it takes to show up in the bloodstream). Lyme disease is very prevalent in our area so it’s a good idea to get your dog tested, especially if the tick was attached.
Fun Fact: Do you talk to your dog? 94% of dog owners say they talk to their dogs as if they were human, according to Impulse research for Pedigree.
The link above is full of information you should know for you and your dog. Please visit the website and see all the Pawsatively Rufferific information.
Looking for a place where your dog can play with others, like a dog park without the risks and dangers a dog park might have? RUFF Academy Real Life Dog Training has 35,000 square feet of outdoor space, plus an indoor space when the weather isn’t so favorable, for Fido to play with other like dogs. It is a supervised play session divided into groups to keep things safe. Have a small/timid dog? We have a play date for that. We also offer general play days along with large breed sessions. Visit the website using the link above for additional information.