Feeding the right diet gives your puppy the best start in life. Obviously, you will have no control over the food the puppy is weaned onto by the breeder and it is important not to change the diet suddenly when you get your puppy home as this is likely to cause an upset stomach.
You should always ask the breeder to provide you with a sample of the puppy’s normal food. If you are not happy with the diet the puppy is on, the food should be changed gradually over about a week (see below).
The type of food given should depend on your puppy’s adult size. Your puppy should be fed puppy food until they are about 1 year of age, possibly longer for giant breeds.
Miniature or small breed puppies
Small dogs tend to be more fussy and can be made more so by poor feeding habits. Get into the habit of offering your puppy some food and if it isn’t eaten after about half an hour, removing the bowl and trying again later. Teaching your dog to eat meals can be very useful in later life.
Very tiny puppies may have some difficulty chewing larger kibble so you might want to source foods with small kibble, soaking the kibble in water to soften it, or feeding wet food.
Good quality dry food for small breed puppies includes:
- Burns Puppy Mini
- Royal Canin Mini Puppy/Junior
- Pro Plan Puppy Small and Mini
- Hills Science Plan Mini Puppy
Good quality wet food includes:
Small to medium breed puppies
The vast majority of puppy foods are aimed at this range of puppies (adult weight ranging from about 6-25kg). If your puppy eats very quickly, it might be best to use a slow feeder. You can feed puppies of this size wet food but it can work out very costly and is less easy to measure accurately so dry food is usually best.
Good quality dry food for small and medium sized puppies includes:
Large and Giant breed puppies
These are puppies who will weigh over 25kg as an adult. Encouraging slow, steady growth allows the bones and joints to develop at the same rate as the rest of the body, reducing the risk of developmental joint problems. Feeding a specially designed large breed puppy food ensures the correct calcium and phosphorus balance to enable healthy bone development.
Some of these breeds will not stop growing until 18 months-2 years of age so some of these foods are designed to be fed for longer than the normal 12 months. Check the packaging or speak to your vet for information as to when to change your large or giant breed onto adult food.
Suggested foods to feed your large or giant breed puppy:
- Pro Plan Large Robust or Athletic Puppy
- Hills Science Plan Large breed puppy
- Royal Canin Maxi Puppy or Giant Puppy