Dog Food: The Weaning Procedure
Most dog owners allow their pups to eat directly from the mother’s dog food bowl as soon as they are able to do so. This enables them to learn, by observation, how to eat. However, continuing this practice for more than a few days after the puppies begin to eat has several objectionable features. First, the mother usually is not eating the same dog food diet that her puppies should be eating. Second, the mother often resents her puppies eating from her bowl and will snarl and snap at them when they start to investigate or experiment with her dog food. Such behavior is hardly conducive to an atmosphere for teaching little puppies that the food pan is one of the best places to know. Finally, feeding containers for mothers are seldom fitting for tiny pups, and vice versa.
If the suckling puppy’s diet has contained some solid dog food beginning three to four weeks after he was whelped, he will be weaned by six to seven weeks of age. If the pup has been orphaned and hand-fed, he will have to be trained by hand to eat solid dog foods. Similarly, if the pup is abruptly snatched from his mother at six or seven weeks of age and has had little or no solid food beforehand, he too will need to be taught to eat solid dog foods.
Teaching the young puppy to eat can be a very funny experience. To some dog owners, it may also seem like a time-wasting step in raising a dog. By individually hand-training each pup, however, you can ensure that no pup will fall behind nutritionally simply because he does not know how to eat food from a pan.
Dog Food: Infant puppies should get their first lesson in eating from a pan on an individual basis and without the distraction from littermates. Place the pup up to the pan of food and stick his muzzle in. Try not to get his nose in, if that’s possible. Some puppies tend to splatter and fuss when milk hits them in the face for the first time! Repeat the dunking several times. Once the puppy gets the idea, let him have his own way to explore and experiment with the pan full of food. Some puppies get the hang of pan-feeding almost instantly. One lick of their tongues and they are after the milk mixture as if it was their first meal in a week. Other pups may appear to miss the idea entirely, and would rather bathe in the pan than drink from it.
After a few minutes, or before your patience runs out, pick the puppy up and wipe off the excess milk with a damp cloth. Dry the dampened hair and put the pup back with his litter mates. Then try another, until every pup in the litter has had a turn. Once you have succeeded in training one or two pups to become proficient eaters, it may help to put a slow learned pup up to the bowl with one of the good eaters. Puppies learn by example, and since an empty stomach is one of the greatest motivating forces known to them, the “see and do” method often does the job.
Dog Food: The Proper Feeding Procedure for your Puppy
The growing puppy should be weighed once a week for the first six months of his life. The weekly growth rate, which starts from weaning to six months, should be very constant that it forms a straight line when plotted on a graph. The amount of food consumed by a fast growing puppy should be increased at almost the same rate as the puppy’s growth. The only way to make sure this increase in food consumption happens at the proper rate is to feed a puppy from a self-feeder. Whenever a puppy eats everything he is fed, add a little more, so that you are always offering the puppy just a little more than he will eat.
Puppies obtained after weaning should already have an established feeding program from the previous owner. You should make every effort to find out everything you can about the type of feeding program from the old owner. The old owner should provide you with information that includes the type of food that the puppy is currently eating as well as the feeding times. In addition, the previous owner should tell you the amount of food given, so that you can duplicate them for at least a few days until the puppy has become used to his new surroundings. If you decide to wean the puppy / dog onto the dehydrated dog food being low calorie dog food, then you must ensure you conduct the weaning sympathetically and ensure you are familiar with the essential techniques needed for a successful weaning phase.
Dog Food: Do not be afraid to change the old routine, however. Such a change is one of those that are considered acceptable when it comes to dog feeding. Do not be misled into feeding your new puppy exactly the same way his previous owner was feeding him, just because you feel that the breeder is an experienced dog feeder. Just because that person is a breeder does not necessary make him/her an expert in dog feeding. In many cases, most breeders, in their innocent ignorance, felt they were doing one of their puppies and his new owner a favor by passing their misinformation along. If you feel that there is a need to change your new puppy’s diet or feeding method, feel free to do so. Once the puppy is familiar to his new home and the people that go with it, you can begin introducing him to a new feeding habit. Just remember to do it slowly, one step at a time as changing his dog food diet must be conducted by a carefully consistent and caring process.
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