Puppies are the absolute best thing next to, perhaps, kittens. They are full of joy and life, and adorable in their antics. The only downside is, not everything they do is cute. You have to start training your puppy as soon as you bring it home to ensure it grows up in the right way. This sets the foundation for the relationship you will have in the long run.
Are you wondering why your puppy is always hungry? There are some learning curves involved in raising a puppy, one of them being their voracious appetite. I want to share some insight with you about the whys and hows of the bottomless pit that is the puppy stomach. Once you understand how to get your puppy on an eating schedule that fits your life and nourishes their body, things will get easier.
Why Is My Puppy Always Hungry?
Just like a human baby, puppies are growing and need more nutrients than an adult dog. These nutrients support all of the growing going on inside their little furry bodies. It makes sense when you think about it like that, and will feel a little less frustrating.
Nursing puppies are able to eat pretty much whenever they like. Their mom is always close by with a little fuel for their revving tank. When puppies are weaned, they have to get used to the idea that there is a feeding schedule.
How Should I Feed My Puppy?
You should first start with a
Follow the recommended daily food amount given to you by your vet. Divide that amount into 3 to 4 servings, and space out those amounts over the course of the day. Feed one portion in the morning, one or two in the early afternoon, and another around 5:00 p.m. Three servings
Your puppy will start to get used to regular feeding times. Feeding your dog several times a day will keep some food in its stomach at all times. This will fuel the dog’s growth and support the crazy puppy behavior that often includes big bursts of energy. Vets will sometimes recommend canned pumpkin, carrots, and other healthy treats that you can feed your puppy between meals. Always ask before you give new food to your dog, just to be sure it is safe. This is especially true with puppies, who have young, sensitive systems.
Healthy treats can help to distract the dog from unwanted behaviors that come along with that big appetite. In warmer months, teaching the puppy to enjoy playing with and eating an ice cube is a great strategy for distraction.
Why Is My Puppy Chewing Everything!?
Puppies explore the world with their mouths a lot like human children do. It is part of the stages of their development. They will increase chewing behavior when they’re hungry, however. If you notice that your dog is eating sticks, rocks, dirt, or even your shoes, you should speak to your vet to be sure you are feeding the puppy enough. Switch to a schedule of several small meals if you haven’t already. This really will help!
Avoid playing with your puppy in
This is a good time to mention that many ‘chew toys’ on the market are not very safe for dogs. There is controversy over rawhide and even natural bone. Again, you should always ask your veterinarian about safe practices. Don’t ever take it upon yourself or consult message boards online and start a new feeding, play, or training behavior. This is too risky. Take your advice from a trained expert.
Do Some Breeds Eat More Than Others?
Obviously, a large breed will need more food than a c hihuahua. Some breeds also like to eat so much they are known for it. Labrador puppies not only have the usual puppy desire to eat constantly, but the breed will sometimes wolf down food fast and come back looking for more. There are some tips and tricks you can use to slow down your dog when it is eating:
- Wetting your puppy’s dry food with water can slow some dogs down. Dry food is important for the health of your dog’s digestive tract, however, so ask your vet’s opinion and don’t wet every single meal.
- Place a cup or toy in the center of the dog’s dish and pour the food around it. The Dog Whisperer suggests using a soup can to slow speed eaters down.
- Purchase a special feeding dish designed to make it harder for your puppy to eat in one gulp. Most will look like a store bought
versionof the upside-down cup trick.
Slowing him or her down can promote good eating practices and save you from cleaning up puppy vomit. Nobody likes that!
Part of your job as a new puppy owner is to teach your dog good eating habits. Don’t let your puppy manipulate you into feeding it every time it begs or you will create a monster that you have to live with for the next 10-15 years! If you are feeding the recommended amount, stay strong no matter how much Fluffy begs. If you sense a consistent problem, call your vet for a chat.
If you have any questions or comments about how you feed your puppy, be sure to leave them below in the comment section. It takes a village to raise a happy, healthy puppy and your advice could help out another reader.
If you are experiencing problems with your hungry puppy, call your vet clinic and ask questions. See if they have any tried and tested tricks that can help you overcome this issue safely. Then, come back and let us know so we can all share the benefits of your knowledge.
Do you have friends with dogs? I'd love it if you shared this article with them over social media so we can all be informed about safe doggie feeding. I'd also love to connect with you on Twitter. You can follow the page at @lovablepawclaws. Once we are connected, you can send me your comments about this article. I look forward to hearing from you.