Food and Water for Puppies – Pet tip 171
When you first bring your new puppy home there are many things to consider. There are training considerations and of course health considerations that will involve a veterinarian. Besides those 2 crucial elements to your puppy’s overall health is the element of basic nutrition; the importance of food and water.
Water is crucial to every living. Your puppy needs to have access to water at all times. Unlike food (which we’ll talk about next) your puppy should never have to ‘ask’ you for water. The water that your puppy/dog drinks should be fresh which means it should be changed 1-2 times each day. If the tap water in your area is safe for human consumption then tap water is also safe for your dog. Don’t allow your dog to drink from sources that aren’t fit for human drinking. Ponds, puddles and other sources of stagnant water can contain all kinds of diseases and bacteria so don’t let your puppy drink from them. Even though many dogs drink straight from the toilet, this is not recommended as toilet water is often filled with potentially harmful bacteria or harmful traces of toxic cleaning products. If it is the summer, your puppy or dog will surely appreciate colder water if it coming in from the hot outdoors or if it is hot in your house or apartment. Normally puppies will drink as much water as they need to (the exact quantity is based on a particular puppy’s size, weight, metabolism, environmental temperatures etc.). When they over-drink or under-drink it is often the sign of a medical problem.
Food is a far more complex issue than water but it goes without saying that feeding your dog a higher quality food will benefit your dog. Determining what is a high quality food though can be a challenge as many of the ingredients in pet foods are unfamiliar to most people. In general, higher quality foods will tend to have a named (which animal it comes from) meat or ‘meal’ (meat that has been cooked so most of the moisture has been removed) at the top of the ingredient list. Lower quality foods will tend to have unnamed meats and meat by-products listed as the first few ingredients. Remember ingredients are always listed in order of quantity with the highest quantity listed first. The following website defines the many ingredients in pet foods. Your own research (on the Internet or through recommended books) will prove to be extremely valuable when choosing a pet food. It is also important to know that certain dogs do need special diets due to common problems like allergies.
In terms of how to feed your dog, scheduled mealtimes are usually regarded as better for your puppy than free feeding where the dog food bowl is always filled with food. The advantages of scheduled feeding include the fact that pets that eat at scheduled times tend to be less obese than free-fed pets. Your puppy should also see that YOU the pet owner are the food giver. This will help your puppy see you as the leader of the house or the ‘alpha dog’ which can help with behaviour problems. Finally, feeding at the same time means that your puppy will likely need to eliminate at the same time. This means that you’ll get to know when your puppy needs to ‘go potty’ based on when it was fed.
Starting your puppy off right when it comes to what and how it eats and drinks are the basics starting blocks for good health. Add in exercise, activities and training and you’ll have a happy dog for many years to come.