We’ve put together some useful information and advice to explain some of the stages your puppy will go through and the importance of a good quality natural diet.
We believe that dogs deserve to be fed a wholesome, natural diet free from additives and unnecessary ingredients. A good quality natural diet is particularly important during the early growth stages of a puppy in order to enhance the puppy’s health, performance and longevity and reduce the risk of infections and allergy related diseases as they grow and develop.
Puppies grow and develop very rapidly and therefore require more nutrients than an adult dog.
Food for growing puppies should be specific for this purpose. It is important to feed a complete nutritionally balanced high quality, high energy puppy food that provides all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals they require for the best start in life. Well-nourished puppies will grow at a healthier rate and may have a greater resistance to disease.
Naturediet Puppy-Junior foods are high quality, high calorie and packed with protein to provide a complete, nutritionally balanced food from weaning to 12 months of age. It is not necessary to add vitamin or mineral supplements if feeding our food.
It’s important to monitor the growth rate of your puppy and ensure that they are not growing too rapidly or becoming overweight. Overfeeding in large breed dogs can result in a rapid growth rate which may predispose to skeletal problems and in smaller dogs overfeeding may lead to obesity. Feeding a diet that is easily digested will benefit your growing puppy as they’ll be able to absorb all the nutrients from a high-quality food more effectively. If a puppy is fed a poorly digestible low-quality food then they’re likely to need to eat larger quantities of it which can result in future health issues.
Puppies of different breeds will grow and develop at different rates. Larger breeds of dogs take longer to become fully grown than smaller breeds. If you are not sure your puppy is growing at the correct rate contact your veterinary surgeon for advice.
Young puppies only have small stomachs so they need several small meals a day, however as they grow their stomach enlarges so they can then consume and digest larger quantities of food.
- At 8 weeks old you’ll probably be feeding your puppy 4 meals a day.
- This can be decreased to 3 meals per day when they’re around 4 months old.
- Decreasing to 2 meals per day when they are around 6 months old.
- When your puppy reaches approximately 8 months of age, introduce them to one of our adult ranges. Giant breeds take longer to mature and would need to be fed puppy food for longer.
To help support you we’ve developed a puppy feeding guide for our foods, however it’s safe to adjust the amount of food accordingly depending on activity levels and metabolic rate.
Feeding guides for puppies are also detailed in the FAQ section below.
If you are unsure about how many meals you need to feed your puppy each day then either ask your breeder or vet for advice.
Please note that Naturediet Senior-Lite is not suitable to be fed to puppies and growing dogs.
Always make sure that clean fresh water is constantly available for your puppy.
Puppies are reliant on their mother during their first few weeks of life. After giving birth the mother will lick her puppies and they will crawl towards her nearest nipple. It is very important they suckle as this first milk or colostrum contains essential nutrients and antibodies therefore transferring immunity from the mother to the puppies.
If the puppy doesn’t find the nipple you can carefully place them onto the nipple and observe that they suckle. Puppies are born with their eyes and ears closed and do not begin to open them until they are around 10 days old. Therefore they are unable to see or hear but respond to touch and smell. They will cry out to their mother if they are hungry or cold.
During these first few days and weeks of life it is important to check the growth of the puppies by weighing them regularly to ensure they are growing at the correct rate. If a puppy is weak and unable to suckle or not gaining sufficient weight you will need to contact your veterinary surgeon.
By careful observation and monitoring of the mother and puppies you will be able to ensure that the mother is producing enough milk to satisfy the appetites of the puppies. If a bitch encounters problems during lactation or has a very large litter then you would need to contact your veterinary surgeon for advice.
Puppies are unable to regulate their body temperature during the first 3 weeks of life and will lie close to their mother and littermates for warmth. It is important the puppies are in a warm area and away from any draughts so that they can keep warm. They are also unable to defecate or urinate without stimulation from the mother who will vigorously lick the puppy’s perineal area until urine and faeces are passed.
Lactation is a very demanding time for the mother and she will require extra nutrients so that she can produce enough milk for her growing puppies. It is advisable to feed her a good quality high energy, easily digested food during this time. Naturediet Puppy-Junior can be fed to lactating bitches as it is high in protein and calories. The added egg is a particularly beneficial as an additional protein source, and the diet has the appropriate quantities of protein, essential fatty acids and minerals that help to optimise milk production.
During the first 2 weeks of life the puppies will spend their time sleeping and feeding. Around 10 – 14 days of age their eyes and ears begin to open, although full vision and hearing takes time to develop. Until the puppies are around 3 weeks in age they will be receiving all their nutrition from their mother. Once they start to eat solid food the mother will spend more time away from her puppies and the puppies will obtain more nutrition from the solid food.
Food can be introduced to puppies between 3-4 weeks of age as they begin to lap at this age. A high quality puppy food, such as ours, can be mixed with either water or a canine milk replacement to make a porridge type consistency. Please note that cow’s milk has a higher lactose content than canine milk and may cause diarrhoea so shouldn’t be used to mix with the puppy food.
Our Puppy-Junior foods can be fed to puppies at this age to provide them with a high protein, tasty and easily digested meal. Puppies have small stomachs so are unable to eat large quantities of food so frequent small meals are necessary.
Puppies are born without teeth. They have two sets of teeth just like humans and the deciduous (or milk teeth) will erupt between three to six weeks of age. Their permanent teeth will develop later when the milk teeth start to fall out at around 3 months of age. Their food can therefore become gradually less mushy and more solid in consistency as they get older and they are able to chew more.
Weaning and separation from the mother and littermates usually occurs at around 7-8 weeks. If the mother has encountered problems during lactation weaning might have to occur earlier. The puppy should be fed several small meals daily as he/she cannot ingest large quantities of food at one meal. They require high levels of nutrients and at the time of weaning must be able to eat enough food to meet their nutritional requirements. It is important that the mother and puppies are wormed regularly to prevent a large worm burden developing. Your veterinary surgeon can advise a suitable worming protocol.
Welcoming a puppy into its new home is a very exciting time. However, your puppy will feel very unsettled at first so take time with your puppy to help ease him/her through this period.
It’s natural for this to be a stressful time for a new puppy as not only have they been separated from their mother and littermates, but they’ve been transported for the first time to a new environment. It is important that this transition is as stress free as possible and that you give your puppy time to adapt to his/her new home.
At the age your puppy comes home for the first time they are likely to be eating 4 meals per day. To help his transition to his new home you can feed him the same food your breeder was feeding him however, once he has settled in you can gradually change him onto the food you would like to feed him.
Make sure you have time to spend with your puppy during their first few days to relieve the stress of the move. They will be very inquisitive and will want to explore their new surroundings. As they will no longer have their littermates to play with, you will need to spend time playing with them to provide them with stimulation and develop your bond.
It’s recommended that their new bed is placed in a quiet area of the house so they can retreat to this safe place when they need some peace, calm and rest. Be prepared for them whining during the first few nights in their new home as they’ll be getting accustomed to their new surroundings and routine. If you have children ensure they respect your puppy’s space and not disturb them when they are resting or sleeping.
From 3 weeks of age the puppies are able to walk and play more with their littermates and they will learn valuable lessons from their mother and siblings. When they’re introduced to a new environment away from their mother and siblings, it is important that they continue to be handled and are gradually introduced to everyday sounds such as washing machines, vacuum cleaners and TVs etc so they are aware of their surroundings and not frightened by them. However, make sure the puppy isn’t getting stressed or anxious by too much handling or external stimulation.
Dogs need to be accustomed to being left on their own. Therefore, as a puppy leave him/her for short periods so they learn to cope with solitude otherwise a puppy that is never left may develop problems when you do need to leave them.
Your puppy will need to be toilet trained and there will inevitably be accidents in the house until he is fully toilet trained. There are puppy toilet training mats available for this purpose however, newspaper may also be used. It is important not to become angry with your puppy if they have an accident in the house. They will learn eventually, just like us humans do!
You’ll need to take your puppy to a veterinary surgeon for a full examination and vaccination shortly after bringing them home. The immunity their mother passed to them will start to wane as the puppy ages and they are therefore vulnerable to infection. Your veterinary surgeon will advise on a vaccination schedule which usually consists of two vaccinations and also on a regular worming regime. Full immunity to the vaccinations doesn’t occur until after the last vaccination.
It is essential that you socialise your puppy from an early age (usually once fully vaccinated) to help prevent future behavioural problems.
Check out local puppy training classes in your area so that your puppy can mix with as many other puppies as possible and learns basic commands.
Start to introduce them to social situations but be aware of signs they’re getting stressed.
Start a regular grooming routine so they become accustomed to being groomed.
It is advisable your puppy becomes used to travelling in the car. Start with short journeys and if your puppy is travel sick ask your vet for advice.
Keep them safe in the car in a suitable dog crate or behind a dog guard. Another person in the car may be helpful for reassurance.
Puppy Feeding Guide: Naturediet Puppy-Junior Wet & Dry Food Meals
Follow the below daily guidelines if feeding our Puppy-Junior Wet &Dry Food meals to your puppy. These guidelines have been designed to provide your growing puppy with the correct amount of nutrition for healthy growth and development.