You love your puppy, and you want only the best for him. You buy only the best food and treats for him and complete his vaccinations to ensure his health. However, when it comes to determining how much to feed a puppy, most furry parents are just guessing.
Like with human babies, a well-balanced diet is vital for the development of a puppy. Most furry parents tend to overfeed their puppies, thinking it will make the puppy grow healthy and strong. There is a reason why reputable brands of puppy foods include a measuring scoop and a feeding instruction in their packaging. Overfeeding a puppy can have serious implications that might affect him for the rest of his life.
Symptoms of an Overfed Puppy
Puppies are all cute and pudgy, and it is sometimes hard to assess if a puppy is overfed or not. Dogs, in general, have an excellent appetite. Puppies, young as they are, cannot yet figure out if their tummies have had enough. They will continue snacking and eating as long as there is something to munch on.
It is difficult to determine if a puppy is overweight or not. Most people do not realize that obesity is quite common among puppies. There is a common misconception that a massive puppy is a healthy puppy.
The line between adorable and healthy puppy rolls and obesity can be a fine one that many furry parents can miss. Here are the symptoms of overfeeding that puppy owners should watch out for:
- The puppy is heavier than the average weight for his breed, sex, and age.
- Irregular bowel movements, wherein a normal stool is followed by soft stool in the evening.
- The puppy has no waist from the top view, and the belly is rounded on both sides.
Regular visits to a veterinarian can also help in keeping tabs on the puppy’s weight.
How to Avoid Overfeeding a Puppy
Here are some simple steps to avoid giving too much to a puppy.
1. Document feeding schedule and habits.
It is simple to track the scheduled meal times. However, most pet owners do not keep track of the treats that they give in between. It will be helpful for pet owners to track everything that the puppy eats, including table scraps and treats given in between mealtimes.
2. Follow the feeding instructions.
Most trusted brands of puppy food come with a measuring scoop and feeding instructions and suggestions. These instructions are usually based on the weight and size of the puppy. It is recommended that pet owners follow the feeding instructions and suggested serving size per meal. The accompanying scoop is usually sized based on a predetermined measure, so the puppy will get the nutrients that he needs.
3. Do not be trigger-happy with treats.
Treats, since they are outside mealtime, are additional calories that puppies do not need. Given too much, it can contribute to the weight problems of the puppy. Most treats come with a recommended maximum number of servings per day. These are extra and unnecessary calories, so pet owners must be economical when giving them out.
4. Skip the table scraps.
Puppies have different dietary needs compared to humans. Pet owners should avoid giving tables scraps to their puppies. Puppy foods are packed with the necessary nutrients that puppies need during their formative period. Human foods are usually laden with oil and salt, which are not beneficial for puppies, and even for grown dogs.
Risks of Overfeeding in Puppies
Overfeeding puppies can have serious effects on their health. It is essential to monitor their weight and keep a close eye on what they eat.
- Obesity. A puppy does not have the slightest idea of how much food he needs. As long as there is food in the bowl, the puppy, and even grown dogs, will wolf it down. Obesity can be carried over into adulthood, making the dog at risk for other health problems.
- Skeletal Problems. Overweight puppies are more likely to develop skeletal and joint problems later in life. Too much food and nutrients in a puppy’s system can result in his tiny body creating too many bones at a faster rate.
- Digestive Irritation. A puppy has a smaller stomach than the regular adult dog. Feeding the puppy too much food is a recipe for irritation and indigestion. Chronic overeating in puppies can result in severe diarrhea, which can be very uncomfortable for the puppy.
What and how much a puppy eats are critical to his growth and development. Puppies need food packed with nutrients and calories to aid in the development of their bones and muscles. Give them high-quality food that meets their dietary needs and requirements. To ensure that they are on the right track, schedule a regular visit to their vet.