A balanced diet, a proper diet and a suitable amount of servings will provide the growing puppy’s body with all the necessary elements, vitamins and minerals. High-quality food will allow you to save on the services of a veterinarian in the future and make your dog healthy. How many times to feed a puppy in 4 months? What kind of food should I choose? In what cases do you need additional vitamins?
Basic rules and recommendations The puppy grows very fast and needs a special diet that needs to be changed over time. The main rule is balance. It’s not just the balance of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that your dog needs for optimal growth that matters. This also includes the regularity of feedings and the amount of food per meal. Cynologists unanimously agree that the organization of proper nutrition of puppies up to a year requires the owner to comply with several rules:
- the bowl should match the puppy’s height;
- harmful Goodies are forbidden, because it can negatively affect the still fragile digestive system.;
- food should be at a comfortable (room) temperature;
- you can not overfeed the dog, otherwise the stomach will be overloaded (with a high probability of pancreatitis, gastritis, and subsequent obesity);
- food must be fractional;
- you should choose the right food or diversify your pet’s diet with natural products;
- regularity-puppies can eat up to eight times a day, young dogs need only two or three meals;
- puppies need to be additionally given special vitamin complexes.
How many times to feed the puppy
At 4 months or at 6, 10, the number of feedings is the same. But the older the pet becomes, the less often it needs to be fed. Up to three weeks, for example, puppies need only mother’s milk, which helps the baby to adapt to new conditions, creates the prerequisites for the normal growth and development of the dog. By the way, dog’s milk is fatter and richer than cow’s milk. It contains 8.1% of proteins, 9.8% of fats, and 3.3% and 3.8% of cows, respectively.
Between three and eight weeks of age, puppies lose their milk supply. The first solid food can be started. In three to four weeks it is recommended to give 3-4 times a day a little granules of special dry food soaked in water. Premium puppy food is different from usual. The choice of pellets should be in accordance with the breed and age of the puppy, and, if necessary, additional needs.
Dry food should be offered to puppies 3-4 weeks prior to accessing breast milk. Closer to two months, you should start feeding your pet in the absence of the mother, so that he gradually leaves the habit of sucking milk.
By the age of eight weeks to four months, all puppies are already feeding independently of the mother. A growing body needs food every four hours (for a 16-hour day). The first serving should be given early in the morning. Two and a half months after the introduction of this regimen, the number of meals can be reduced to three times a day.
Feeding frequency at 4 months
How many times to feed a puppy at 4 months? At this age, dogs begin to grow actively, teeth are teething, so maintaining health requires an increased amount of feedings. Optimally – 3 times a day. Closer to six months, you can switch to two meals a day.
How to feed a puppy at 4 months
Puppies are fed with special dry mixes, which are produced industrially, or with natural food. Up to three to four months, it is recommended to choose natural products: low-fat meats, cereals and vegetables, fruits, dietary fish, chicken eggs, dairy products.
Protein foods should make up at least 70% of the diet. This is important both for feeding a 4 month old shepherd puppy, which requires more energy and nutrients, and for a small terrier. Meat and fish can be fed raw or boiled.
Such a menu may seem meager, but animals do not need a significant variety of food, and sweet, fatty, fried or pickled ones are completely prohibited and can harm the health of the growing puppy.
Transfer to dry food
It is better to keep the puppy on natural food up to three months (this is a recommendation of veterinarians), but for various reasons, the owner may decide to switch to dry food. The first dry food can be purchased in small granules, soaked and tried in small quantities so that the puppy can gradually get used to the new food.
Manufacturers of ready-to-eat dog foods of all breeds and ages strive to provide all the vitamins and nutrients required for a particular age group. The package also indicates the recommended daily feed intake, which is undesirable to exceed. An important condition is free access to fresh water for the puppy.
How to choose dry puppy food
Each food has several characteristics to rely on when choosing the right one for a particular puppy:
- Medicinal or conventional. If the dog is healthy, daily food will do. Medicinal is necessary only for feeding pets with gastrointestinal problems, arthritis, dogs prone to food allergies or obese. Such nutrition is not used all the time. The duration of admission should be monitored by a veterinarian.
- The age of the dog. Tibetan Mastiff puppies at 4 months require a different type of feeding than adult dogs. Therefore, other feed is also needed. The age range is usually offered by premium food manufacturers: Starter – for puppies from two weeks of age, Junior – from two to eight to ten months, Adult – for adult dogs, Senior – for aging and senior dogs.
- Dog size. Almost any food for puppies of medium breeds is suitable, but owners of small and miniature dogs, large and giant breeds of dogs need to take care of finding special granules. This is important because the pellet size of the feed matters and the feed takes into account the nutrient requirements.
- Dog lifestyle. If the dog is used in the service, actively spends time in motion, then it is better to immediately choose food for energetic dogs (marked Active or Energy). The same food, by the way, is suitable for fattening bitches, dogs after illness and in the winter season. If your pet spends most of its time sleeping, then Standard, Normal or Light foods (for dogs with obesity or very inactive) are suitable.
- Feed class. Dry food can be economy class, premium or super premium. The formulations differ in the quality of the ingredients. The nutritional value of premium or super-premium puppy food is much higher, high-quality nutrition will save money on the veterinarian in the future, because it reduces the likelihood of the puppy developing any health problems.
How much dry food to give a puppy
How many times to feed a puppy at 4 months old and how much to feed for each meal? Typically, the serving size is indicated on the package. It is worth adhering to the manufacturer’s recommendations, but watching the puppy: if he eats all the food and remains hungry, then it is worth slightly increasing the portion, if there are granules in the bowl, the portion decreases.
To independently calculate how much food a puppy needs, you need to know the energy value of the selected mixture. At three to four months, one kilogram of weight requires about 200 kcal, at four to eight months – 136 kcal. This is averaged data. For different breeds, the norms are different: for example, at 4 months a puppy weighing 2 kg needs only 55 kcal per day (5/8 servings), 3 kg – 74 kcal, 5 kg – 109 kcal, 7 kg – 139 kcal.
Food for puppies of medium breeds should be given based on the following norms: 12 kg – 204 kcal per day, 14 kg – 229 kcal, 15 kg – 241 kcal, 16 kg – 253 kcal, 18 kg – 275 kg, 20 kg – 297 kg … For large breeds: with a weight of 26 kg at 4 months – 342 kcal per day, 28 kg – 340 kcal, 30 kg – 339 kcal, 32 kg – 356 kcal, 34 kg – 373 kcal, 36 kg – 388 kcal. For giant breeds: with a weight of 45 kg at 4 months – 449 kcal per day (5 servings + 2 \ 8 servings), 50 kg – 492 kcal, 55 kg – 525 kcal, 60 kg – 556 kcal, 65 kg – 698 kcal.
Features of changing teeth in puppies
At 3-3.5 months, teeth change. First, the puppies develop new incisors, then the canines and premolars. Finally, the teeth finish forming only by six months. During this period, you need to provide the puppy with free access to various “chewable” treats that are convenient and safe.
Often, owners use bones, dried animal products, and compressed tendons as chew toys, but this may not be safe. Spoiled food can lead to poisoning, and gnawed bones can be dangerous to the animal. Therefore, it is better to use only special treats.
Toys should be chosen so that they fit the size of the dog. Any goodies should be comfortable. A small Spitz puppy at 4 months is unlikely to enjoy playing with a bone that can be compared in size to itself. These “chewy” toys are suitable for larger dogs.
Toys should not be heavy or too large. The material of manufacture must be resistant to chewing, safe and strong. When the first signs of damage appear, discard the toy and replace it with a new one.
Vitamins for growing dogs
Puppy vitamins are essential as a daily supplement to a natural diet that is usually not balanced enough. If the dog is on a full-fledged dry food, then vitamins are required only during periods of stress, illness, active growth and increased stress.
Professional breeders often choose Swiss vitamins Wolmar Winsome PRO BIO Booster Ca. Advantages: a varied composition, the content of calcium and phosphorus necessary for the formation of bone tissue, probiotics and enzymatic extracts, a sufficient amount of useful amino acids, a standard set of vitamins.
Excel 8 in 1 Multivitamins for Puppies is a complete combination of all essential nutrients to meet the needs of a growing body. Vitamins with rare trace elements and a wide composition are recommended when feeding with natural food. The only drawback is the small amount of antioxidants.
Author of the article: Sofia Ermakova.