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Feeding your puppy isn’t always as easy as it seems! These puppy feeding tips require patience, and above all, consistency if you want them to work towards the goal of making training easier!
Don’t Feed from the Table
The first rule to remember is to not feed your puppy from the table. This is extremely important for a few reasons. When you feed your puppy from the table, you are encouraging them to learn a bad behaviour: begging.
This is a terrible habit for your puppy to learn, and it encourages other bad behaviours, such as barking for attention.
Your puppy should be learning that food comes in different situations, not whilst you’re eating. Because ultimately, not all table food is appropriate for puppies and dogs. Some can be poisonous.
Tip: If you’re struggling, feed your puppy at a similar time and give them a food enrichment toy! The other alternative is crate training and making sure your puppy goes in their crate when it’s your mealtimes.
Avoid Feeding Before Big Sessions
If you know you’re going to be doing plenty of training or a big session, avoid meals beforehand. A hungry pup can be excitable and more focused on learning and getting those treats or kibble. You can always start training with their breakfast or dinner to save those treats for extra special moments.
Note Car Journeys And Avoid Mealtimes
This tip is pretty straightforward. Some dogs can be susceptible to motion sickness. It will help your dog to have a better experience riding in the car if they don’t get sick. The general rule of thumb is to allow at least an hour after feeding your puppy before taking them in the car.
This is important, particularly if you have a breed or puppy that is anxious. Being sick in the car leads to negative experiences that you want to avoid!
Use Good Quality Food
You should feed your puppy the best quality food that you can. This will ensure they are getting all the nutrients needed to grow properly. Plus, the better it tastes, the more of an incentive it is!
Keep the Diet Consistent
Once you introduce a particular dog food to your puppy, it is important to allow plenty of time to be sure it’s okay. It can take about ten days for a puppy’s system to adjust to a new food. So you need to introduce food slowly and give it time to be sure it’s well tolerated. The easiest way to this is:
- ¼ new food, ¾ old food.
- ½ new food, ½ old food
- ¾ new food, ¼ old food
- All new food
Doing this will avoid any accidents or sickness when training!
Watch the Amount of Food You Feed Your Puppy
Remember that the feeding guidelines listed on dog food are simply recommendations. You may need to adjust the amount you feed your puppy depending on how much exercise they are getting, their breed, and their general build.
If you see that your puppy can’t eat all the food you put out in a single feeding, you may be overfeeding them. Simply adjust your serving size.
When training you need to make sure your pup hasn’t overeaten otherwise they’ll be sluggish, won’t want to train, and may well be sick!
Don’t Grab Your Puppy’s Food Bowl/Toy
It is very important to let your puppy eat in a calm atmosphere. If you’re offering toy enrichment or feeding from the bowl, you don’t want to create anxiety by suddenly taking it away.
This can create food aggression and territorial behavior in your home, along with other behavioral problems. Which certainly won’t lend itself to successful training!
Puppy Feeding Tips: A Note About Bloat
Some breeds are more likely to have issues with bloating. This is caused when the puppy eats his food much too quickly and swallows a lot of air. One way to help combat this problem is by using a puzzle bowl. This type of bowl forces the puppy to eat at a slower rate and therefore swallow less air!
These puppy feeding tips aren’t exhaustive but will definitely go a long way to helping with your training efforts! If you have any question about your puppy nutrition, you should speak to your vet!