How to Switch Puppy Food Within the First Monthsby Mary Lougee
Puppies may have food allergies or medical conditions that initiate a change in their food. You may choose to change your existing puppy food to a premium product for more protein and less preservatives. Dry puppy foods help clean your puppy's teeth, provide nutrition that growing fur balls need, and lead to firm stools for fewer cleanups. No matter the cause, changing your puppy's food has to be a gradual transition to avoid stomach side effects, allowing your new friend to lick his lips in joy.
Weigh your puppy on a scale. You may weigh yourself on a household scale, and then weigh yourself holding your puppy for larger breed puppies. Subtract your weight from the weight while holding your pup to determine his weight. Weigh small or toy breed puppies on a kitchen scale in a box or bowl to accommodate their size.
Compare the current puppy food and new puppy food bags for feeding recommendations based on your puppy’s weight. If the amounts differ, add both amounts together and divide by two to get an average amount of both foods. Higher quality puppy foods require a smaller amount per day to provide vitamins, minerals and good growth.
Divide the average amount of both foods by four for the correct amount of food in four equal meals for your puppy who is less than 3 months old.
Mix the two foods with 75 percent of the current food and 25 percent of the new food for each meal. Offer him this mixture for three to four days. Observe your puppy for signs of stomach upset, including vomiting and diarrhea. If these symptoms are not present at each mixture, keep mixing the food on the following schedule.
Combine 50 percent of the current food with 50 percent of the new food and feed it to your puppy four times a day for three to four days.
Feed your puppy a mixture of 25 percent of the current food and 75 percent of the new food for three to four days.
Feed your puppy the new food only four times a day. Reduce your four-legged friend's meals to three times a day when he is 3 to 6 months old and then to twice a day when he is over 6 months old.
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- Box or bowl
- Measuring cup
- Observe your puppy’s stools for any signs of diarrhea, including frequent or loose bowl movements while you are changing his food. If he exhibits these signs while you are on “poop patrol,” return to the previous mixture of food that didn’t cause digestive upset.
- Feed small and toy breed dogs no less than three times a day throughout adulthood to prevent hypoglycemia.