The Best Way to Feed a Puppy – Proper Puppy Nutrition

When you first bring your new puppy home, he may not be in love with whatever food you offer him.  He’s likely used to whatever he was being fed at his previous home.  So when you’re feeding your new puppy, don’t be too alarmed if his appetite isn’t huge at first.  If you do know what kind of food he was being given, it is wise to slowly transition to a new food (if you’re changing his food).  By that I mean mixing a little of the new food with the old food – adding more of the new food each day until (after several days) you’re serving only the new food.  This article will provide you with all the information you need about the best way to feed a puppy.

The Best Way to Feed a PuppyWhich Food is Best for Puppies?

Before we get into advice on proper puppy nutrition, I suggest you read my article, Best and Worst Foods for Your PetIt gives great advice from a veterinarian about the different types of foods that are available, and which are best. Also, it’s important to know from the very beginning of being a dog owner what foods can be poisonous for your pet.  You can see a list in my article, Foods That are Poisonous for Dogs and Cats.

The Best Way to Feed a PuppyHow Long Should I Feed Puppy Food?

You should be feeding puppy food for the first year, because puppy foods are specifically formulated to help them grow.  Things to consider when choosing a puppy food are:

Small bites.  Puppy baby teeth aren’t that strong, so puppies need small, not-too-hard food. Consider the size and breed of your dog when choosing what “size” his food should be.

Fresh food.  Fresh puppy foods are available at grocery stores and pet stores.  You can find them in refrigerated display cases.  They contain fresh meats, vegetables, and fruits.  This is super healthy for your dog.  A bit pricey- but worth it if you can afford it.

You should be feeding your pet the best quality food you can afford.  Whatever price range your pet food budget is in, pick the healthiest, best quality brand within that price range.

I strongly believe in serving a MOIST diet not only to puppies, but to adult dogs as well as kittens and cats.  Animals need moisture in their diet.  Serving only dry food can cause a whole host of health problems down the road.

The Best Way to Feed a PuppyBlue Homestyle Recipe Puppy Chicken Dinner

Here’s a recommendation for a healthy, natural, holistic canned puppy food. Canned food is cheaper if you buy it by the case – you can save money by purchasing it HERE. This brand has several flavors.  My mini doxy eats the adult and senior versions of this food and she loves it.  I like it because it’s more moist than other canned dog foods – less sticky and easier for them to swallow.

The Best Way to Feed a PuppyCanidae Puppy Food

Here’s a suggestion for dry puppy food.  I like this one because it’s grain free and has REAL food ingredients.  You’ll save money buying a larger bag HERE. Different flavors, plus smaller size bags are also available.


The Best Way to Feed a PuppyHow Often Should I Feed My Puppy?

Puppies should have three meals a day until they’re about 4 or 5 months old.  After that, you can scale back to two meals a day.  Please don’t begin the habit of giving your poor dog one bowl of dry kibble every morning, and nothing else.  Puppies and adult dogs need fuel throughout their day just like we do!  Would you want to be served just one bowl of dry food per day?!  Whatever daily portion is suggested on the package for your dog’s weight, split that in half and serve half in the morning, then half at dinner time. Eating should be an enjoyable part of your pet’s life.  My dog, for example, loves that she’s included at dinner time.  We have our food, and she has hers.  She’s excited and looks forward to dinner each night.

The Best Way to Feed a PuppyShould I Give My Puppy Vitamins?

Pets benefit from taking a daily multivitamin just like people do.  Give a multivitamin specifically formulated for puppies for the first year, then an adult-dog multivitamin daily thereafter.

The Best Way to Feed a PuppyPro-Sense Daily Vitamin Supplement

Here’s a recommendation for an inexpensive, good quality puppy multivitamin.  My dog likes these – they’re chewable (and I think beef flavored).  Click HERE to purchase.


The Best Way to Feed a PuppyWhat About Treats?

It’s important to consider what part treats play in your puppy’s daily diet.  First, you should be using treats to train your puppy – see my article, How to Train a Dog With Treats.  So you have to count those treats when you’re considering the amount of food he’s eating.  You don’t want your dog to end up with a weight problem because you’re feeding full servings of his food, plus treats – equaling too many calories by the end of the day.  Healthy ideas for treats are fresh, raw foods like vegetables (baby carrots are a big hit!), and fruits (my dachshund loves blueberries and oranges!) Please don’t buy those pre-packaged, soft treats.  Most contain ingredients that aren’t good for your dog – and some can be downright toxic.  Whole, real food. Stick with that, and you’ll be on the right track.

The Best Way to Feed a PuppyDon’t Forget About Water!

Most dogs will naturally go to their water dish and drink as often as they need to.  But some dogs, particularly puppies and senior dogs, can get distracted and literally forget to get a drink.  Monitor your pet to make sure he’s visiting the water dish often enough.  Proper hydration is crucial to his overall health and well-being.  Also remember to make sure water is available whenever you’re exercising your dog.  They get thirsty after exercise just like we do!  And of course always make sure your dog has access to plenty of water during hot weather.

The Best Way to Feed a PuppyRemember to Incorporate Exercise

Just as important as nutrition for the health of your dog, is exercise.  Exercise burns calories, keeps their muscles strong, and keeps them happy and active.  Remember puppies have a super high activity level.  They need you to give them plenty of opportunities for play each day.  Running around in the back yard, playing with the kids, going to the park.  Even tossing a tennis ball around in the living room will help if you don’t have a lot of time.  Getting on the floor to play with the dog has been a part of my life since I was a small child.  My dad would always get on the living room floor to “wrestle” with our German Shepherd.  My siblings and I would get on the floor and play with our Poodle.  I have a friend who regularly played, “Hide ‘n Seek” with his black lab!  Really roll up your sleeves and plunge into play with your dog. Believe me, you’ll be a healthier, happier person your entire life if you do this!

Questions, please!

If you have any question about puppy nutrition, please feel free to comment below (I’ll respond!)  Or, if you have more recommendations and ideas for taking care of our sweet pets, please share!  Debra

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Best Pet Foods Ranked – Best and Worst Foods for Your Pet

If you’ve ever had a dachshund, you know they are PIGS. Honestly. My little Taz will eat almost anything, and no matter how much we feed her, she acts like she’s starving. And I don’t mean she acts “hungry.”  I mean she acts like she may perish at any moment if she doesn’t get something to eat immediately. It’s ridiculous. BUT, obviously I have to manage her food intake otherwise she’d be so fat she wouldn’t be able to walk! So it’s a constant battle – keeping Tazzie happy vs keeping Tazzie healthy. Thank God Mommy’s in charge!

Best Pet Foods RankedHow Do You Know Which Food is Best?

I worry a lot about what food Taz should be eating. It’s so confusing with all the pet food brands out there. Which is better? Dry food? Canned food? And trying to learn which ingredients are good for her or bad for her – never knowing if the information I’m getting is true and accurate or just a sales pitch from a dog food company. It’s stressful because I want to make sure she’s getting what she needs and I certainly don’t want to give her anything that’s not 100% good for her.

Advice from a Veterinarian

I got a lot of help from this video by Dr. Karen Becker.  She’s done a lot of training for people about pet food – you can look on YouTube for more of her videos where she gets into great detail about pet food quality, ingredients, etc., and you can also read more of her advice about pet foods HERE. But this video is a good one to start with, because it explains the differences between different types of food – it’s the best source I’ve seen thus far for best pet foods ranked.

Best Pet Foods RankedYou can buy the book mentioned in the video here. I bought it and started cooking for Taz.  It’s kind of difficult – you have to really study the book to make sure you’re using all the right ingredients.  After doing it for a while, I decided to research more on which brands of ready-made dog food are best for Taz, and I’ve come up with the ones shown below.  So now I do both – I give her the brands I’m showing below that I feel confident with, and also cooking for her.  She loves, loves, loves when Mommy’s cooking liver, chicken hearts and gizzards…she even got a beef heart once.  Eeeeeewwwwww!  🙂

blue 3

Best Pet Foods Ranked

blue 3Feed the Best Quality Pet Food You Can Afford

I read something about this once that has really helped me over the years with my pets, and that is, “You should be feeding your pet the best quality food that YOU can afford.” If you can afford top-of-the-line, great, but if you can only afford department store brands, then that’s OK. I think the most important thing is that we do the best WE can for our animals. Believe me, the fact that they have a home and our love is the most important thing!

Let’s Share Information!

Please, if you know of any other sources of accurate information regarding which foods we should be feeding our pets for their BEST health, please let me know by leaving a comment below. I’m always interested in improving Taz’s life. After all, according to her that’s supposed to be my main purpose for living, right? LOL!  Debra

More Articles About Pet Food

You might also be interested in this article, “Best Food for Your Cat,” or this article, “Feeding Your New Puppy – Proper Puppy Nutrition.”

Cesar Millan Dog LanguageWe Donate to Animal Charities

Thank you for visiting my website.  I donate 10% of all commissions I make on this website to animal charities.  You can see a list of the charities I donate to here.  If you like this website, please share it with your friends – every purchase helps animals!


pet healthFor More Articles About Pet Health, CLICK HERE