Adopting a puppy is an exciting time. But it can also be frustrating and tiring during the first few weeks. During this time, it is common for you to make some common puppy nutrition mistakes. But it is crucial to know how to recognize these mistakes and avoid committing them to raise a healthy and happy dog.
A reputable pet food delivery service shares some common new puppy feeding mistakes that pet owners usually make if they are not equipped with first-time puppy owner tips.
1. Free Feeding Your Puppy
Free feeding means putting a bowl down with food in it and filling it each time it’s empty. Most pet owners do not see the harm in this practice since they think their pets know when they’re full.
Dogs are natural scavengers, meaning they will never really stop eating. This also means that your dog will take in excess calories. And when they are not active, pets can become obese. It is crucial that you measure the food you give him. This will help reduce the chances of his becoming overweight or obese.
2. Giving Too Many Treats
Feeding your puppy many treats will make him overweight. Though giving him treats is not bad, they are high in calories. So make sure you don’t feed too many treats to your new pup. Rather, factor treats into his feeding schedule.
Remember that cutting back on food, treats, and calories too quickly or too much is also not advisable. This can lead to other problems. Talk to your trusted vet regarding how you can properly feed your dog, and ask about the right way of cutting back on high-calorie foods.
3. Giving Table Scraps
Feeding your dog with table scraps is not inherently wrong. The problem here is that human food contains a lot of calories, and most pet owners don’t think about these excess calories they are inadvertently giving to their furry buddy.
Moreover, there are plenty of human food products that aren’t safe for your puppy. So be aware of these foods and make sure your pet doesn’t ingest them. Avoid giving him fried food as well because your puppy’s stomach cannot handle high-fat food.
4. Feeding Your Pup Whatever is on Sale
Price should never compromise the quality of food you are giving your puppy. Make sure to get one that will give him the right amount of nutrients he needs to stay healthy and energetic.
Poor quality food products are often loaded with fillers, hence the cheap prices. These kinds of food won’t provide the nutrition your puppy needs to stay happy and healthy throughout his life.
5. Leaving Food Outdoors
Most pet owners don’t pay much attention to the storage of their pets’ food. But just like any other food, bacteria can break it down when exposed to moisture and air. This can make your furry child sick from contaminated food.
Instead of leaving your dog’s food outdoors, consider using sealed bags to keep it cool at all times and free from bacteria and pests. If you are giving your puppy wet food, store it in the refrigerator. Make sure that all dog food storage containers are clean and sealed tightly.
6. Leaving Unconsumed Food in the Dish
There are instances when your puppy may leave some food in his dog bowl, either because he has already eaten his fill or because he doesn’t like something in the food. When this happens, never leave unconsumed food in his bowl overnight. This can attract insects and rodents that can also contaminate the food and the container.
Before going to bed, make sure that you have emptied your pet’s dishes. You can either keep it in the refrigerator or throw it away in the trash.
7. Not Checking for Expiration Dates
All food products, including pet food, will expire at some point. If you are giving your puppy dry or wet food, pay attention to the expiration dates. If your pet consumes expired food, they may experience vomiting, stomach pain, and diarrhea.
The easiest mistakes to commit are also the most damaging. If you buy food meant for a small breed puppy and give it to a large breed one, the puppy will not get enough nutrients, which can lead to undernourishment and health problems.
So make sure to feed your new puppy the right food. If you are a first-time pet owner and you do not know how to take good care of a puppy, checking a puppy food chart can help. But the best option to ensure your pet’s health and happiness is to speak with a reputable vet.
Farah Al-Khojai is the Managing Partner of Pet’s Delight. A passionate entrepreneur, Farah holds a BSc in Government from the London School of Economics. She is always on the lookout for new opportunities to develop and grow the pet and equestrian retail and wholesale market in the UAE and beyond, and is proud to be at the helm of the first and the largest pet care provider in the market representing world-class brands including Origen, Applaws, Hunter, Savic, Flamingo, Ruffwear and Rogz.