Puppy’s First Year – Tailored Nutrition and Feeding

Puppy’s First Year

Tailored Nutrition and Feeding 

Nutrition and feeding is in my opinion, one of, if not the most important topics when it comes to our growing puppy’s development. 

Puppy's First Year - Month 8 - Tailored Nutrition and Feeding

Tailored nutrition for an active and growing puppy

It’s Not Just WHAT To Feed, But How MUCH to Feed!

Today more than ever, deciding what to feed our growing puppies and adult dogs can be an overwhelming decision. And it doesn’t stop with WHAT to feed but how MUCH to feed our growing puppy and our adult dogs.

When I brought my first pug Edie home as a puppy, I had not been given a clear and concise amount of how much to feed her. I believe this one of the factors that contributed to Edie being on the fast track to becoming an obese dog.

Although Edie is trim and has been at a healthy weight for several years now, I DID NOT want to go through the same battle with my puppy Edna  –  begging and being a food obsessed dog!

I DID NOT Want Another Begging, Food Obsessed Dog!

Puppies and different breeds of puppies require specialized diets that address their growing and nutritional needs. For me it was never an issue of what I was going to feed my puppy, but how MUCH I was going to feed her. This was and is, a very real concern for me.

So what did I do to ensure my puppy’s nutrition was tailored just right for her and make sure she received the proper amount of food from the very start?

“Open and Honest Conversations” With My Vet

It’s important for me and the health of my dogs, to have regular open and honest conversations with my vet about nutrition, their appropriate weight, and the amount my they are being fed.

Edna is a VERY active and ENERGETIC puppy who goes non stop! For those of you who know me, or should I say, know my dogs, have likely seen videos of Edna doing her well known zoomies!

To maintain this kind of energy, and ensure proper growth in my puppy, she needed to be fed a food that is nutritionally tailored to her. A dog food that addresses her size, breed, while keeping her growing needs in mind.

 

Tailored Nutrition Addressing My Dog’s Individual Needs

I have to say, when I first viewed the below video I though “OMG this is so my dogs!”.

On one hand is my very busy puppy Edna who requires tailored nutrition addressing her high energy level and growing needs. Then there is my calmer, still food motivated, adult dog Edie. Edie requires a dog food tailored to her that continues to maintain her healthy weight, keeps her feeling satisfied, while still delivering the proper nutrition she requires as well.

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What Feeding Differences Have I Noticed?

Have I noticed a difference in feeding and weight gain in my puppy Edna compared to my dog Edie when she was the same age?

Yes.

How so?

After the struggles I experienced with my dog Edie – her voracious and insatiable appetite, constant begging/demanding of food, and ultimate weight gain, I better understand how to get ahead of the game with my puppy Edna.

With continual conversations with my vet I know exactly how much to feed my puppy and can alter those amounts  as needed along the way. All of Edna’s meals are weighed and measured.  My puppy is not fed any other food, droppings or “people food”. When training my puppy, she is rewarded with her kibble and she’s happy for it. The portion of training kibble is taken into consideration and measurement of her meals are adjusted accordingly.

Edna’s weight has increased appropriately, she does devour and enjoy her meals, yet when she’s finished eating she does not look for or beg for more food.

Being this diligent when feeding my puppy (or adult dog) may seem extreme to some, but after my previous experience with an overweight dog and knowing all to well the health issues associated with obesity in dogs, it works for me, it works for my puppy and helps keep her healthy.

Do you have multiple pets that you feed differently?

Have you noticed a difference by individually tailoring each of your pet’s nutrition and feeding?

 

Author: Kelly Harding

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18 Comments

  1. Since Truffle had her bladder stone surgery this past spring, I have to feed the girls different food. Brûlée is such a finicky eater and she doesn’t really like Truffle’s prescription food and less I put treats on top of it. I am lucky that most silver shaded Persians are not overweight. My girls do not over eat. However if I were to offer them treats all day long they would eat them all day long.

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  2. How much to feed seems more important than what is being fed. I still remember the study where simply feeding 20% (I think it was) below feeding recommendation added 2 years to a lifespan.

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    • I have heard many times that dogs weighing the “proper” weight, not being overweight, can add a couple of years to their lifespan.

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  3. How you feed Edna is how people should always feed their dogs, am I right? Monitoring of their food intake and resisting the temptation to add more.

    Do some breeds have a tendency to put on weight?

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    • I don’t know if it’s so much that certain breeds tend to gain weight more easily, or if it’s that some breeds tend to be more food motivated than others – as is the pug. Because of this, they use everything in their power to convince us that they are starving and need more food- and more often than not, many can’t resist those eyes and give in, feeding them more than they need.

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  4. My three dogs can eat the same food, but they each get different amounts. When Nelly was the only dog, she would graze all day. Once Sophie joined the family, Sophie ate her food and then tried to eat Nelly’s. So Nelly ended up learning to eat her meal all at once. Theo was very overweight when we adopted him. It was a challenge to get him to a healthy weight, but I’ve been maintaining it for the last four years.

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  5. I love that you’ve taken control of Edna’s eating so early on so she starts off at a healthy weight and hopefully won’t get food obsessed. My Husky Icy eats like a Vogue model LOL! but little Phoebe is a total food monger! I keep very tight control of their food portions, exercise levels, and how many treats they get. Both have always been at a healthy weight since I’ve had them, but when I got Icy as a puppy I was so unsure of what to feed her – I was pretty clueless back then, nearly 9 years ago. I wish I had started her on better food, but it’s water under the bridge, right? I do much better now and will do so in the future! Great post, thanks.
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

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  6. You are already on top of things which is great! Obesity is such a big problem for many pets nowadays compared to decades ago. I love watching Edna’s zoomies on social. She’s a handful. It’s great you are bringing attention to nutrition and feeding. Hopefully others will be encouraged to have this conversation with their vet too.

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    • Obesity is becoming one of the biggest health issue for pets and I believe that our vet’s can point us in the right direction to assist us in getting it under control. And yes, Edna does keep me very busy, but that’s a puppy for you 😉

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  7. We love the zoomies video! It’s adorable. Nutrition is one of the most important things a pet parent needs to think about. Our mom measures our dry food, because my sister Lexy is a little overweight and she has to make sure she doesn’t eat too much. She lost a pound already!

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    • Well done Lexy for losing a pound! I bet you are feeling good 🙂

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  8. I always say nutrition is such a minefield, so many options, so many conflicting “expert” opinions on what’s best. I just spent over an hour having a look around PetSmart this morning, at all the options for my dog. We’re visiting Toronto from England for a couple of months, and to be in such a big store with so many choices is a thrill for me. I’m from Canada but we don’t have anything like this where we live. I bought some freeze dried raw food stew that you have to add water to. I’ve heard about it but never seen it so I’m excited to try it. It’s great you’re able to work so closely with your vet, as in my experience the ones I’ve been to seem okay with Prescription diets and supermarket brands.

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    • Nutrition, understanding labels, and wading through the advertising that is presented to pet parents is mind blowing and confusing to say the least! I’m fortunate to have a good relationship with my vet and have constant conversations to find a solution that works for me, and one that benefits my pet’s lifestyle and health. I believe vets have our pets best interest in mind and would be more than open to having conversations about nutrition that would benefit each individual pet.

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  9. Such good info! Especially for pug owners. They are never full. I cook for both dogs, and it has helped so much with their weight and health issues (ear infections and folds).

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    • Yes pugs do love their food and can work those big eyes in to making us believe they are starving! But I’ve caught on very quickly to their sneaky tricks 😉

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  10. My oldest dog now is really my first dog, at least the first that I had to care for on my own. I feel like I overfed him a lot when he was younger, because the right amount of food for him just didn’t look like very much to me. He was overweight for awhile, which was totally my fault. I started learning more about dog nutrition and what their proper weight looks like and also my dog has food allergies, so I eventually ended up switching him to homemade food (with the help of our vet). He does amazing on it, lost his extra weight, and I really feel like it’s part of why he’s so healthy now that he’s older. My younger dog gets homemade food too, but I don’t always make them the exact same meals and they don’t eat the same amounts either.

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    • I agree that the “right” amount of food can look to many like it’s not enough and then we tend to give “just a little extra”. Knowing what a proper weight is, looks like, and understanding our pet’s body conditioning score can help us.

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  11. I only have Layla who is treat motivated not food motivated. I feed Layla once a day, free feed and she eats when she wants but being the only dog in the house it can be done, she has never been over weight and I watch her carefully that includes if she gets too many treats in the park I remove some of her dog food to balance things out.

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