Puppy nutrition and affection go hand in hand when caring for a young pup. Why is this? Well, you’re about to find out.

How Does Nutrition and Affection Correlate?

Many pet owners are still oblivious to the fact that nutrition and affection correlate for the proper development of puppies. Nutrition and affection are both key ingredients necessary for the optimum growth and development of your canine companion and foods rich in nutrients are a necessity during the earliest days of your puppy’s life. Once the puppy is no longer able to suckle its mother’s breast; he/she will need nutritional supplements as a substitute for its mother’s milk. The amount of nutrients required to supply sufficient energy and generate development will vary during the growth period to meet the requirements of his/her body.

Affection is equally as important to your canine companion as nutrition. Puppies are naturally playful and affectionate; extending attention and affection to your pup will eliminate the possibility of depression which may affect eating his/her eating habits. A puppy that is receiving adequate affection will be more active and eager to eat. Affection can help you to build trust with your pup which will encourage him/her to eat from you more willingly.

Now that we have established how the two correlate let us delve a bit deeper into both areas individually.

Puppy Nutrition

How, and what are always the major concerns of pet owners as it relates to meeting the nutritional requirements of their canine companion.

How? A puppy should be fed three to four times daily. How you feed your puppy is greatly dependent on his/her energy level and requirement. Large breed puppies will generally require more nutrients when compared their smaller counterparts. To be safe, contact your vet to find out exactly and how you should feed your pet. Over-feeding your pup can influence obesity and other related conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. If you own a large breed dog your aim should be to control his/her growth and not force it.

What? Puppies are carnivores and partly omnivores at the same time; however this does not mean you should overindulge them in raw diets. Puppies that feed on high Palaeolithic diets can easily become overweight and are prone to calcium overdose. It is crucial that you monitor your pet’s Body Condition Score (BCS), especially for larger breeds.

Most veterinarians will recommend that you feed your pup a balanced diet that will provide all the essential nutrients necessary for growth. Generally a balanced diet is one that contains 22% protein, 8% fat, 15% calcium, 0.8% phosphorous and 0.3% sodium accompanied by adequate amount of vitamins and other required minerals. To be safe ask your vegetarian to recommend premium commercial puppy food that will provide him/her with required nutrients. The Orijen puppy food range is an outstanding and highly recommended example of commercial dog food that meets these nutritional requirements.

When treating your puppy you should be very mindful of treats that are rich in calories. Natural treats such as elk antlers can are a delicacy to teething pups as well as they provide them with various nutritional benefits. Educate yourself about the different commercial treats available that will benefit your pet. Fresh fruits and vegetables also make good treats.

Affection

Affection is one of the best gifts you can share with your dog. Petting and grooming your puppy is a great way to show affection. A dog that is loved will be playful and energetic and always eager to gobble down a nutritious meal. However, this does not mean that you should not set boundaries for your pet. Your puppy should be awarded with affection at the right times when he/she is deserving of it. Affection should be given to reinforce good behaviours and enhance obedience. Without boundaries you puppy may feel that it is ok to go on a food hunt in the kitchen and eat everything in sight that is edible and this may be detrimental to his/her health.

The Bottom Line

Affection combined with nutrition makes the perfect diet for growing puppies. There is no disputing this statement. With this in mind you can build a lasting relationship with your canine companion. By using the right technique to care for your pet, you will be rewarded with many wonderful years to share with him/her.

If you find yourself taking care of a newborn puppy then you would realize that their daily activities encompass simply eating and sleeping. Even though the amount of activities that they can perform is vastly limited they are appropriately very high maintenance and providing proper puppy nutrition can become a hassle if you do not know what to do. This is because they would essentially require that their mothers take care of all of their needs such as supplying them with milk. The milk of a puppy’s mother contains all of the necessary nutrients and compound that their growing body desires, so if they do not have their mother present then you as their owner would have to step up and fill those shoes.

For approximately the first three to four weeks of a puppy’s life their mother’s milk is sufficient enough to feed them. There are however reasonable substitutes available for purchase to sate your puppy’s needs. Any puppy that is too young to eat solid food will require what is known as a canine milk replacer. Even though these substitutes would most likely be suitable and presumably, cause negligible issues with your puppy’s digestive system you should consult your veterinarian and have them tell you what specific canine milk replacer to use. Puppies should never be fed dairy from cows because this can cause diarrhea and other digestive problems.

As stated before, newborn puppies are high maintenance during that first tender month of life. This is heightened by the fact that during their first week of living it is recommended that puppies be fed at least every two hours. This frequent feeding schedule is a result of the extremely rapid growth that is occurring during these early days. However, as your puppy begins to grow older you can begin to incrementally increase the average time between each meal. Most veterinarians and pet nutritionists wholly recommend that once your puppy is one month old you can begin to slowly wean them off of the canine milk replacer and onto commercial puppy food.

If you choose to feed them suitable wet foods then this is an added bonus for them because it makes the transition that much easier for them. If however you plan to feed them dry food then you should probably think about slightly moistening this kibble with the canine milk replacer and small amounts of water. This entire transition, or weaning process, should take approximately a month to fully complete and by this time your puppy should be eating exclusively solid foods.

It is also acceptable to give treats to your new puppy as long as they are specifically made for puppies and at the first sign of any complications because of the treats you consult your veterinarian right away. To avoid complications it is best to scarcely give your puppy treats, you should try to make sure that treats make up less than 5% of your puppy’s daily diet (based on nutritional value and not quantity)

As pet owners, whether it is our experiences in life or simply the food that we eat, we want to share everything with our beloved animal friends. This is especially true when it comes to our canine companions and even more so in relation to puppies. However, while it is ok to share special moments with these adorable balls of fur it is not ok to give your puppy certain foods because they can put his/her health at risk. As a new puppy owner the question of what you can and can’t feed your dog to maintain proper puppy nutrition is always a pressing problem.

Any animal nutritionist or veterinarian will tell you that it is best to always try to feed your puppy the specific commercial puppy foods that are intended for them. However, there will be times when you are going to want to share whatever you might be eating with your dog. Below you will find a detailed list of the foods that can be harmful to puppies and even adult dogs.

Dairy Products

“Puppies drink milk from their mother when they’re young so it must be ok to give my puppy milk, right?” This is a common misconception that many dog owners fall victim to and veterinarians hear about this all the time. The simple truth is that the milk that puppies get from their mother is specifically built to be handled by their bodies, while store bought dairy cannot be properly digested by them. Any dairy products, including yogurt and cheese, can inevitably cause mild to severe cases of diarrhea in puppies.

Chocolate

Almost all well-seasoned dog owners have heard the shocking tales of dogs that have been ignorantly fed chocolate by their owners or they have been unlucky enough to have fed it to their own dog. Chocolate poisoning can pose a severe threat to the overall health of your canine companion and it can even occur in death. The debilitating effects of chocolate poisoning are harsher on puppies and young dogs and fatalities and as a result fatalities are much more common.

Raisins and Grapes

Another silent culprit of canine sickness, at first glance grapes and raisins will most likely seem like a harmless thing to feed your puppy. However, while they are not particularly deadly (especially when compared to the other culprits listed) they have been known to a certain extent be linked to kidney failure.

Onions and Macadamia Nuts

Onions and certain other members of the onion family have been known to cause anemia in dogs. The risk of this occurring is greater in elderly dogs and puppies because their immune systems are not as strong as the average dog. Macadamia nuts are not particularly deadly, but there have been several numerous reported cases of dogs that have become slightly ill from ingesting them. The symptoms of ingesting macadamia nuts range from: slight weakness, uncoordinated behavior and fatigue to mild or severe bouts of vomiting.