Here you are, the owner of a little ball of fur. This dog who has come to expand the family barks, hops, runs around the living room, curls up against you and snores whenever he gets the chance!
But, as endearing and stubborn as he is, he needs to feed himself. Yes, despite its air of plush, it's not one, so we'll have to feed it to this little beast!
The problem is knowing what to feed him and how.
Everyone has their own advice and in the end, you don't really know what is best for your 4-legged friend: croquettes, pâté, industrial food, homemade, 1 bowl, 2 bowls...
If you want to make the most of him during the walks and games to come, here's what you need to know, here's what you need to know to take care of him.
We answer all your questions in this special "dog food" file, so take notes!
How to properly feed your puppy or dog: zoom on his bowl!
As with humans, your pet's diet is very important. It is the fuel that gives him the energy he needs, but it also constitutes all the nutrients essential to the proper functioning of his body. Feeding is all the more important for a growing puppy.
You should know that these little balls of fur grow very quickly. In a few weeks they frolic in the garden, after a few months they pass from the status of puppy to teenager and they quickly reach their adult size (generally around a year, a year and a half).
For this growth to take place in the best possible conditions, your dog must have all the nutrients and minerals necessary for its growth, in particular to strengthen its bones and muscles. The quality of his diet inevitably affects the solidity of his skeleton and his physical form.
It is generally advisable to take croquettes. The pâté is not always very digestible and making a "homemade" ration requires time and a minimum of knowledge (the dog must have all the carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, vitamins and minerals essential for his health). The advantage of croquettes is that they are carefully prepared to meet all the dog's needs. So you don't have to worry about preparing his meal. If you're the type to ask yourself "what are we eating tonight?" », do not add the useless mental load of « what am I going to be able to prepare for my dog? »
Moreover, with croquettes, there is no sorting possible. It therefore has all the necessary inputs.
Again, like us humans, canine food varies in quality. You will find, in terms of nutritional and digestive quality, croquettes at all prices depending on the nutritional richness of the croquettes.
Most people say that high-end kibbles have too big a budget and then go for mid-range or even low-end kibbles. But this is often a mistake.
Indeed, the cost per kilo is much higher, but the quality is such that you will not give the same quantities.
To give you a concrete example, the daily ration consisting of low-end croquettes is 600 g for a large dog, while only 200 g is enough for a higher quality brand (premium). Finally, your bag of croquettes will last much longer and the cost will be much the same. The advantage is that you will have to go to the supermarket less often to stock up on kibble and your dog will be in great shape! You also drastically reduce the risk of disease and therefore potentially the always quite expensive appointments with the veterinarian.
When to feed him and how many times a day?
Now that we have seen what to feed him, you also need to know how to feed him.
In the majority of cases, a dog can have only one daily ration. If your dog is a little greedy, has digestive problems, is sporty or spends a lot of energy, it can be interesting for him and for you to give him his bowl in two parts (½ ration in the morning and ½ ration in the evening). This will prevent your dog from asking you for food all day or being tempted to steal food from the kitchen.
For a puppy, the rations are a little different. This little ball of fur is still just a baby. Like a human baby, it's easier for him to digest smaller amounts more often throughout the day. We therefore advise you to favor if you can 3 rations in the day . You divide the daily amount into 3 and you give it in the morning, at noon and in the evening. Depending on your working hours and your personal constraints, this is not always possible, in which case you can opt for a ration in the morning and in the evening .
You should also know that a puppy always has a slightly fragile stomach and a digestive system, let's say... delicate! To avoid any digestive problems, do not change kibble overnight without a little time to adapt. Otherwise, you risk finding yourself walking in the morning when you wake up (barefoot of course) in diarrhea or a little vomiting… we let you imagine how pleasant it can be!
Beware of digestive problems!
The fragile digestion of puppies
As we explained to you a little earlier in this article, puppies are sensitive to changing kibble. If for any reason you need to change your furry friend's diet, you need to do it slowly. You can prepare a mixed ration between the old croquettes and the new ones.
Here is how to consider the adaptation over a fortnight:
- Start with a mixture of 2/3 old and 1/3 new croquettes,
- Then 2/3 new and 1/3 old croquettes,
- And finally a complete ration with the new croquettes.
The gluttonous dog
Some dogs have a tendency to gobble up their bowl. When some are fine gourmets, others are real gluttons!
The problem is that it is not very good for their stomach and it can lead to health concerns for your dog. To avoid this, there are anti-glutton bowls. If you want to opt for a simple and inexpensive solution, KANYMO has put together a selection of anti-glutton bowls that you can consult (link here). It's a more practical solution than putting his kibble on a mat and spreading it on the ground or giving it by hand, handful by handful.
Stomach distension syndrome in dogs is a veterinary emergency. You have to know how to recognize the symptoms and prevent this fatal risk for your animal.
Torsion of the stomach can occur following a meal eaten after a great physical effort, a bowl that is a little too large or even under stress . Large dogs are often more prone to this problem. This is why we tend to raise the bowl of large dogs to prevent them from eating with their heads and necks in the low position.
Here are some symptoms that should alert you. If your dog is a victim of this, you must immediately go to your veterinarian. If it turns out that it is indeed a stomach twist, you should know that it is very painful and that the hours are counted .
- The dog does not lie down or very little
- Breathing in jerks
- The dog tries to vomit, but cannot
- The dog drools a lot
Bone or no bone?
Some think that the dog holding the wolf must be able to eat like its ancestor. But, as you may have noticed, a wolf doesn't really play ball! So, yes, the dog is like a wolf, but it has been close to humans for decades now. His behavior as well as his digestive system have adapted. It no longer has the same nutritional needs and it does not digest bones as easily as a wolf . Finally, you should also know that consultations for a bone that has pierced the stomach or got stuck in the esophagus are not uncommon. The situation can be very dangerous .
If you don't want to deprive him of this little gustatory pleasure, then choose a very large bone so that he can cut his teeth on it without being able to ingest it completely.
Here, you have all the cards in hand to concoct a healthy and nutritious bowl for your 4-legged friend !