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DOGS - NUTRITION

Content Image Feeding your dog during all life stages
Published 2010/12/09

Feeding newborns

For the first seven to ten days of life, the newborn puppy's eyes remain closed. Yet during that time, puppies double their birth weight and become increasingly more active. As a rule of thumb, each puppy in a litter should gain approximately its birth weight each week during the lactation or nursing period (the first week may be slightly less than that and the final weeks may be more than that). Always allow the puppy to get the colostrum (the antibody-rich first milk from the mother), which gives him protection on his first months of life; and if possible, never wean the puppy before 3-4 weeks of age, since he is still getting some local intestinal protection from the mother’s milk.

The typical introduction of a puppy to solid food (around 3 to 4 weeks of age) usually amounts to the puppy romping around and through the female's food bowl, and licking moistened dry food from its paws. Puppy traffic will tend to compact the food, so stirring the compacted diet or offering fresh amounts periodically should be considered. By six weeks of age, most puppies are ready to be weaned. If they have started to eat solid foods from the female's dish, it is not unusual for puppies to begin to wean themselves at about four to five weeks of age.

Feeding puppies

The nutrient requirements to support normal growth and development of puppies are greater than those for an adult dog. For this reason, nutritionally complete and balanced diets designed for growth and reproduction or all life stages are recommended. No additional supplementation in the form of vitamins, minerals, meat, or other additives is needed. In fact, over supplementation has been shown to be detrimental to proper development of young, growing puppies.

A puppy's stomach capacity is not large enough to hold sufficient food in one feeding to provide its daily requirement of needed nutrients. Young puppies should be fed at least three times a day until their food requirements, per kilogram of body weight, begin to level off as they mature. Feeding schedules can be reduced to twice a day when puppies are four to five months old. Fresh water in a clean bowl should be available at all times.

Establishing routine eating habits by feeding a puppy in the same place and at the same time each day is recommended and can help in housebreaking. Offering human foods from the table is not recommended because it encourages begging and may create a finicky eater. Always feed your puppy at the same time or right after all the family members. He must understand who are the “dominant” members of the group.

The amount of food offered to a puppy will vary depending upon its size, activity, metabolism, and environment. Puppies should not be allowed to become overweight. An overweight puppy not only presents a poor appearance, but the excess weight can cause bone abnormalities. If a puppy appears to be gaining too much weight, its food intake should be reduced. If a puppy appears to be too thin and there are no health problems, its food intake should be increased. Anytime owners have questions or concerns about their animal's body condition, they should consult a veterinarian.

1st Choice Super Premium has developed three different Super Premium formulas to meet your puppy specific needs:

?? • Puppy Small and medium breeds, Growth, Chicken formula is specially designed to give your puppy all the nutrients he requires to complete the rapid development period with no problems.?;

• Puppy Large breed, Growth, Chicken formula: If you love your big puppy and want to give him the best diet for a healthy growth, avoiding future bones and joints problems related to overnutrition, then 1st Choice Large breed, Super Premium formula is the right complete food for your favorite pet. Especially designed to meet the exact energy and mineral need of your growing large breed puppy;

?? • Puppy, All breeds, Growth, No corn, no wheat, no soy Chicken formula ?Some puppies may develop a kind of intolerance to certain food ingredients. The “No corn, no wheat, no soy” formula has replaced these elements with some high-digestible, low-allergenic ones such as rice, barley and oat, to prevent your puppy from developing any type of adverse reaction to food.??

Feeding adult dogs?

Feeding recommendations for adult dogs can vary, depending upon the breed, activity, metabolism and owner's preference. The maintenance period starts when a dog reaches full maturity. Normal healthy dogs that are not pregnant, nursing, or hardworking have relatively low nutritional requirements for maintaining an appropriate body condition. Less active or senior dogs may have fewer caloric needs so attention should be paid to the potential excessive weight gain.??A good body condition is one in which the animal is well proportioned, with an observable waist behind the ribcage, and ribs that can be felt with a slight fat covering over them.??Here are some feeding recommendations to maintain your dog in a good body condition through different life stages:??

Adult Maintenance: At this level, the only concerns for feeding your dog are providing excellent nutrition to promote health and prevent overweight. Just feed your companion animal with a high-quality maintenance formula.??Once again, 1st Choice Super Premium Adult food gives you the answer. Whether you own a Small or Medium Breed dog or a Large Breed dog, the appropriate formula to fulfill his Maintenance requirements is at your disposition, to help him live a longer and healthier life.??Some adult dogs may develop a kind of intolerance to certain food ingredients. The 1st Choice Super Premium No corn, no wheat, no soy Chicken formula has replaced these elements with some highly-digestible, low-allergenic ones, such as rice, barley and oat, to prevent your dog from developing any type of adverse reaction to food.??

High level of activity: Dogs working as guides for the blind, sled dogs, protection dogs and hunting dogs are included in this group. Depending on the type and level of intensity of work, the amount of energy to be given should be calculated. That is why it is important to know the level and frequency of the dog’s activities. In general, these dogs need more energy than a house pet, so they should be fed with a performance formula, in several small portions per day, always giving the majority of the dog’s daily food intake after the longest period of activity to allow proper digestion.??In order to maintain an excellent supply of energy for your working dog, 1st Choice Super Premium, Performance, Chicken formula gives your pet the extra nutrients that he needs to perform all the actions that his high-activity life demands.??

Adult Less Active and Senior Dogs: A reduced physical activity as a result of aging or just as a lifestyle, could lead your pet into overweight or even obesity. Diets with moderate to low energy but which still contain high-quality ingredients (specially a good source of protein) should be selected. Often, a dog's weight can be reduced simply by eliminating table scraps and treats from the diet and by avoiding high-calories dog foods. Overweight dogs may have more health problems and a shorter life expectancy.??Always concerned about the well-being of your pet, 1st Choice Super Premium recommends the use of its fat-reduced Adult Less Active and senior, Chicken formula, specially designed to meet the needs of aging adult dogs and/or slightly overweight adult dogs.??Fresh drinking water should be available at all times for your pet. Just as with humans, a dog's appetite may vary from day to day. This should not pose a problem unless the loss of appetite persists or the dog shows signs of illness or weight loss. In these situations, the dog should be examined by a veterinarian.

Gestation and Lactation: This period represents a high increase in nutritional requirements for your pet. During the three last weeks of gestation (of a total of nine weeks) the puppies will occupy lots of space in the mother’s abdominal cavity, that is why she should be fed in small amounts, several times a day. It is really important to feed a highly-digestible, nutrient-dense food during this period. During lactation, the water and energy consumption are even more essential, since the nutritional requirements of the new mom can increase up to 3 or 4 times.??During this really demanding period, a highly-digestible and energy-dense food is required. 1st Choice Super Premium, Adult Performance, Chicken formula can provide all the proteins and energy your pet will need to undergo her maternity period.??

 

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