Up to what age to soak the food for a puppy
Feeding puppies under one month of age
In order to control the growth and development of puppies, in order to know how they eat, they should be weighed daily. This procedure should always be carried out at the same time and preferably before meals. But sometimes this can be difficult due to the fact that hungry puppies are horny and difficult to keep them on the scales. Then you should try to weigh the puppies after eating: the well-fed behave calmer. But in this case, you will continue to weigh them after eating.
In order to make it easier to distinguish between “babies”, it is necessary immediately at birth to put colored woolen threads around their neck, which must be changed as the puppies grow, so as not to cut into the neck. Weighing results should be entered in the table.
During the first day, puppies may not gain weight, this is not a big deal. But on every next day there should be stable gains. Those puppies that do not gain weight well should be placed more often on the back, the milkiest nipples, making sure that they are not pushed away by the stronger ones. If you feed puppies “in two shifts”, these puppies should arrange “extraordinary” feedings.
For newborn puppies, the ambient temperature is very important. Hypothermia in puppies is very dangerous and can lead to their death. The temperature should be maintained at 22-24 ° C. Starting from 6-7 days, the temperature is gradually reduced. Drafts must not be allowed.
Puppies should always be full. If no more than six puppies were born or left behind, then they are with the mother all the time. You only need to make sure that strong puppies do not push back the weak.
Puppies that are losing or poorly gaining weight require special attention. Perhaps they should be fed. The weakest, especially if there are fears for their lives, can be supported with aminovit or gamavit (0.3-0.5 ml intramuscularly once). Well-fed puppies sleep, hungry ones crawl and squeak. However, it happens that puppies become so weak that, despite hunger, they lie still.
The following indicators should serve as a guide in the development of puppies:
- 9-day-old puppies should double their daily weight;
- 15-day-old puppies should triple their daily weight;
- by the 25th day, puppies increase their daily weight by 5-6 times;
- by the 30th day, they increase it 6-7 times;
- on the 5th-8th day, the puppies open their auditory canals, they begin to hear;
- on the 10-15th day, the puppies open their eyes;
- by the 14-16th day, hearing becomes normal;
- on the 20-25th day, the puppies erupt milk teeth;
- after that, within 8-10 days, the canines and incisors completely erupt;
- by two months milk false-rooted teeth appear;
- the puppy’s limbs begin to grow in length from four weeks of age.
In the first two weeks of life, the development of puppies is largely dependent on the nutrition of the mother. Their only food is mother’s milk. How to increase the amount of milk in a bitch. see the chapter “Feeding a lactating bitch”.
If there are more than eight puppies, they should be divided into two batches. The first batch of puppies is under the bitch and eats, the second batch is in a box and sleeps. It is necessary to take care of those puppies that will lie in the box. It is very good to cover the bottom of the box with a piece of fur, under which you place a heating pad. If there is no fur, any natural shaggy fabric will do. You can also cover the puppies from above, but the main thing here is not to overdo it, otherwise the puppies may suffocate. The heating pad should be placed before the 8-9th day.
If your puppies are divided into two parties, then before placing the “babies” from the non-feeding part to the nipples, you should first give them to the bitch so that she licks them. At this age, the puppies are not able to do their own thing, so the help of the bitch is necessary. If the bitch is not good at licking the puppies, then either you have to do the massage yourself to simulate the mother’s licking (using a piece of cotton wool dipped in vaseline or vegetable oil), or make her lick the puppies. To do this, you can resort to trick. If after your massage with the use of vegetable oil the bitch does not begin to lick the puppies, then you can try to lubricate their tummies and anus with honey, sour cream, butter, then surely the “mother” will get down to business.
In the absence of such massage, the puppies will not be able to go to the toilet and gastrointestinal problems will begin, and so serious that the puppies may even die. Puppies with stool retention are immediately noticeable. they are anxious, refuse to eat, they have a swollen belly.
Comparative composition of milk from domestic and farm animals
With numerous litters, due to a lack of milk, puppies may gain weight poorly, daily gains will be very small and, inevitably, you will have to start early feeding. In this case, it is very important that the bitch feeds the children on her own for at least the first 3-5 days, while she is producing colostrum.
If there is a need for early feeding, another nurse bitch is the ideal solution. This may be a bitch who has few puppies or who has false puppies at this moment.
If a wet nurse cannot be found, artificial feeding should be resorted to. Not knowing the composition of the bitch’s milk leads to the use of inadequate substitutes.
It is not recommended to feed newborn puppies with infant formula. Infant formula contains a lot of sugar. Their use often leads to the development of severe forms of diathesis in puppies, and sometimes to the death of puppies.
For feeding newborn puppies, experts offer various options for mixtures, the closest in composition to the milk of a bitch.
For example: take 800 ml of cow’s milk (pasteurized), 200 ml of 20% cream and one raw egg. Mix all this and add, with rapid stirring, 4 g of citric acid dissolved in a tablespoon of boiled water.
Or: 800 ml cow’s milk, 200 ml 20% cream, one yolk, two drops of a multivitamin.
Such a mixture is prepared for a maximum of a day, stored in the refrigerator, and heated to the dog’s body temperature (38-39 ° C) before feeding. Puppies of this age are fed often, after two to three hours, not forgetting every time about the abdominal massage.
And although Western experts assure that cow’s milk is not suitable as a complementary food for newborns, since it can cause severe allergies, during the fifteen-year practice of breeding schnauzers by the author of this book, this has never been noted. Possibly allergy-prone breeds such as Chow Chow or Shar Pei cannot tolerate milk.
At present, Western feed manufacturers produce milk powder that best suits the bitch: W1, Bosch, Germany; A1, Royal Canin, France, etc.
The puppies should be fed before they suck the mother. Fed until the puppies eat, after which they are placed under the bitch.
If the bitch has enough milk, then complementary feeding begins with a decrease in daily weight gain. This period can even fluctuate for one bitch in different litters. The approximate time for starting complementary foods in large litters (10-12 puppies) is 5-6 days, for litters up to seven puppies, complementary foods begin from 14-16 days. It is advisable to start feeding the puppies no earlier than their eyes open.
Typically, puppies are recommended to be fed from a bottle with a nipple in which the hole should be such that the liquid drips by itself. But practice has shown that it is much more convenient, especially for feeding newborn puppies, to use a children’s 50-gram syringe with a rubber tip. If the puppy does not suck well, you should lightly squeeze the sides of the syringe with your fingers, making sure that the puppy does not swell.
If you start feeding the puppies at the right time. on the 14-16th day, then at this age the best complementary food is calcined cottage cheese, removed with a certain amount of whey and mixed until smooth. It’s a good idea to add two drops of multivitamins and yolk to this mass, if the mass is thick, you can add a little milk. Puppies can be given kefir.
You will have to cook the calcined curd yourself. To do this, milk is brought almost to a boil and calcium chloride is poured into it at the rate of 4-5 tablespoons of 10% calcium chloride per 1 liter of milk. The milk is immediately removed from the heat and allowed to stand for a while with constant stirring. As soon as the milk is separated from the whey, it is removed with a slotted spoon or filtered through cheesecloth, without squeezing, and given to the puppies. Serum is given to drink to the bitch.
Complementary foods begin to give the puppy once a day, then two, three, and so on. During this period, you should not introduce more than one new product per day in order to know exactly how the puppy’s body perceives it. If a food is causing a disorder, it is temporarily removed from the diet.
Your task during this period is to accustom the Puppy to a variety of foods, so that when he gets to the new owner, he does not have digestive problems. By 1-1.5 months, the puppy should be accustomed to a wide variety of foods.
From the 18th day, cereals are introduced from well-boiled cereals in broth or milk. For puppies whose complementary feeding began in a timely manner, milk porridge from finely ground cereals can be introduced into the diet. It is best to prepare “assorted” from them: oatmeal, buckwheat, millet, rice, grind in a coffee grinder, add a little semolina there and cook liquid milk porridge from such a mixture. They should be well boiled and liquid enough to flow out of the nipple or syringe.
From the 20th day, when the puppies have teeth, they begin to give ground meat. “Shop” minced meat is not suitable for this purpose. it contains too much fat, and pork is very often added to it. Meat should be given as follows. The ground meat should be divided into equal portions, rolled into balls and given to each puppy his “share”. Meat is initially given once a day. Meat feed can be substituted with ground boiled boneless fish, boiled rabbit or poultry. After a few days, you can already give scraped meat or fish. After five days, they switch from minced meat or scraped meat to finely chopped meat. At the age of one month, puppies of large breeds should receive 100-150 g of meat per day.
From the 20th day, you can feed soups with vegetables, pre-mash the vegetables with a fork.
From the 25th day, you need to give raw grated vegetables with animal or vegetable fats. Best of all. grated carrots with sour cream.
Feed the puppies one at a time. The puppies do not master the technique of self-feeding at once. They either dip their nose to the very eyebrows, then slap their tongue in the air, so the first days you should feed everyone, holding them in their arms, placing a bowl under their nose and adjusting the baby’s actions. When each puppy has mastered the process independently, sitting in the owner’s arms, you can feed them on the floor, and it is more convenient to feed each one from a separate bowl. After the puppies have mastered independent food from the bowl, the food should be made thicker.
With age, the number of feedings is gradually increased so that by the month the puppies eat six times at regular intervals. At night, at the age of one month, you no longer need to feed them.
Sometimes puppies, especially weak or “artificial” puppies, have indigestion. The reason for this may be the mother’s inadequate diet. In this case, it is necessary to give a decoction of chamomile with a few drops of dill water. Five-day-old puppies are watered with a decoction for 36 hours, gradually adding the milk mixture (first 3/4 of the decoction of 1/4 of the mixture, etc.) in order to go to normal feeding by the second day. The already mentioned “Heel” preparations can come to the rescue: “Diar-heel”, “Echinacea compositum”, “Berberis-gommakord”. (How to give them. see above).
If the puppies are three weeks old and eat from a bowl, oak or elm bark powder added to the food works well. Good results are obtained by using bifitrilac on the tip of a match.
If diarrhea begins in several puppies in a litter and does not respond to usual treatment within a day, this may be a symptom of a formidable disease. colibacillosis, from which the entire litter can die. Overfed “artificial” people are most prone to this.
As soon as you start feeding the puppies, you need to take care of the water, otherwise the concentration of salts in the urine increases, the mucous membrane of the bladder may become irritated and mucous secretions may appear from the urinary organs, sticking together the wool. Several times a day, you should give them water, first pouring it into their mouth from a syringe or from a nipple, gradually accustoming them to drinking on their own.
As the puppies grow, the bitch will move away from them more often and the intervals between feedings will increase. You should not force the bitch to constantly be near the babies. As she accumulates milk, the dog will come to them on its own.
During this period, the puppies very quickly grow sharp claws, with which they are able to severely scratch the bitch’s nipples. This, by the way, can also serve as a reason for the fact that she will not be very willing to go to the puppies. Therefore, as long as the puppies suck their mother, they should trim their claws once a week. The very tip of the claw should be shortened without touching its sensitive and painful pulp, after which the claw should be well processed with a nail file.
Do not forget that up to four days of age it is necessary to dock the puppies’ tails (if you are going to do this), and remove the dewclaws on the hind legs (recently they have been removed on the front ones as well).
The growth and development of a dog is divided into several stages. Over the period from 2 to 6 months, the length of the puppy’s limbs increases and in fact ends there. The most intensive growth of the puppy occurs generally up to 6 months. The height at the withers from birth to 4 months increases by an average of 87-108%, from 4 to 6 months by 3-7%, from 6 to 8 months by 7-8%. At 8-10 months, growth actually ends, although the dog develops and forms up to two and a half, and sometimes up to three years. From this we can conclude: the younger the puppy, the faster it grows, and therefore, it needs more energy, and only proper nutrition can provide a sufficient amount of energy.
By the age of one month, puppies should gain a certain weight, typical of their breed. The breeder should know about this in advance, and you can get this information at the club from the leader of this breed. As a rule, if dogs are knitted according to plan, then the latter must promptly inform the owner of the requirements for the weight of the puppies. In case the puppies have not gained such weight, the litter may be rejected and not activated. In a month, the puppy should be well-nourished, but not fat, active and be able to eat well on its own.
If you decide to feed the puppies with ready-made foods, then complementary foods, as a rule, begin at about the same time as when feeding with natural products, that is, from the moment the puppies open their eyes. Dry food is soaked in water and kneaded to a mushy state. The density of the feed should be medium. The lips are smeared with the puppy and a bowl of mashed food is offered. Usually puppies start eating this food. As the puppies grow older, the amount of liquid in the feed is reduced and gradually they are accustomed to dry. If, in terms of dry matter, the amount of calcium in the feed is 1.8% and phosphorus is 1.6%, then these mineral salts should not be added additionally. Higher levels of these minerals in the diet can only harm growing puppies.
Growing puppies should only be fed super premium food. It is impossible to save on feeding during this period, since what the puppy cannot receive during this period of life will never be compensated for in the future.
The use of low-calorie or economy-class foods when feeding puppies, especially large breeds, leads to the fact that the animals may develop conformation disorders, such as a saggy belly, lack of muscle tissue and bone, and growth retardation. The use of low-protein feed (no more than 20%) at this age can lead to the development of hip dysplasia. Optimal for puppies are foods with 29% protein.
However, do not chase the high m of protein in feed, which is especially characteristic of Royal Canin products. This company produces some types of feed with such a large m of protein that no other company has analogues. When using such feed, it should be remembered that although protein does not have a direct harmful effect on skeletal development, its excess amount is broken down by the liver and used as an energy source, increasing insulin-like growth factors in the body, which contributes to accelerating the growth rate of animals. Therefore, feeding large breed puppies with high protein foods (more than 32% protein) can cause serious orthopedic pathologies.
When to switch to adult dog food?
Your pet’s diet requires a lot of fat, protein and calories for healthy growth. During the period when the dog becomes an adult and is no longer considered a puppy, different proportions of nutrients, vitamins and minerals are needed. Adult dogs consume much less energy than puppies, so continued use of a puppy diet can lead to excess weight and stress on the joints.
The best option is to gradually switch to a new feed within 5-7 days. Each day, increase the proportion of the new feed in relation to the previous one until it is completely replaced. As a result, he will get used to the new taste and composition and will not experience stomach problems.
Some owners of large breed puppies believe they can switch to adult dog food at an earlier age (for example, when the puppy is 6–8 months old) in order to limit calorie intake in this way. But at this stage, the puppy’s body is still growing at a fast pace. Using feed with a reduced energy value can lead to problems with bone growth.
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How old is a dog considered a puppy??
It would seem that only yesterday you brought the puppy home. But after a year he has grown a lot and can be considered an adult dog. True, it all depends on the size of the puppy’s breed. Large breed dogs usually reach full physical and emotional development later, by the age of two. However, other dogs may consider them adults much earlier, becoming less tolerant of their puppy behavior. Despite the fact that the puppy still loves to play and play pranks, his needs change with age. Therefore, you need to adjust his diet to help him stay healthy and happy.
Visiting a veterinarian
This is probably not the first time you visit a veterinarian. The puppy was vaccinated, he underwent anthelmintic procedures, treatment against lice and ticks. Once your pet grows up, you will most likely visit your veterinarian much less frequently (a routine check-up is recommended once a year), but by 14 months it will need a booster vaccination to protect against diseases such as rabies, parvoviruses, distemper and flu. This examination is the time to take measures to protect the dog from parasites: anthelmintic procedures and treatment from lice are carried out.
It is also worth talking to your veterinarian during this consultation about the changes that are happening to your pet. Ask questions about exercise, toys, treats, and anything else that needs to be changed once the puppy has grown.
Exercise for a growing dog
Puppies need a lot of physical activity to burn all the extra calories during training and education. For an adult dog, regular physical activity is necessary to keep fit and to stay active and strong.
A healthy adult dog needs at least 30 minutes of physical activity twice a day. This can include jogging, swimming, walking, and playing in dog grounds. Organized games with rules (“Bring-Bring!”, Tug-of-war) solve several problems at once: calories are burned and your relationship is strengthened, and the dog learns to commands.
Do I need to soak the feed?
Despite the manufacturer’s recommendations, breeders say dry puppy food should be soaked for several reasons:
- hard granules can damage the baby’s delicate gums;
- milk teeth are not strong enough to gnaw such hard food;
- the stomach of a small pet does not have the necessary enzymes to digest dry granules, which can cause disruption of the gastrointestinal tract;
- the consumption of dry food during the teething stage can lead to curvature.
There is a common belief among dog owners that chewing dry food helps to strengthen and cleanse the teeth, but this is a misconception. To remove plaque, it is necessary to resort to the usual brushing of the teeth, and for strengthening it is recommended to give the puppy special toys. It should also be borne in mind that as a result of damage to the gums by hard granules, the baby will experience discomfort with each meal, which is why he will not be able to eat the prescribed portion or will refuse to eat at all.
The soaked food can be fed to puppies over 1 month old. It can be either a separate dish or an addition to soup, porridge and other food. It is recommended to feed the dogs with soaked granules until their baby teeth change. For each breed, this period lasts differently, usually no more than six months. Therefore, at the 7th month of life, dry granules can be added to the pet’s food, but their amount should not exceed 25% of the serving.
Gradually, the ratio of solid to soaked food increases, at about the age of 1 year the dog will be completely switched to dry food.
Complementary feeding rules
From birth, puppies feed on mother’s milk, but as they grow older, they become interested in other foods. First of all, they get acquainted with what their mother eats, and even taste the food. But if she eats specialized dry dog food, then it is unlikely that the puppies will be able to bite through such a delicacy, because the baby’s teeth are not yet strong enough.
Complementary foods begin to be introduced in the second month of puppies’ life. Some breeders prefer to feed their pets with natural food, so they use meat broth, boiled minced meat, dairy products and milk as complementary foods.
A fairly large percentage of breeders believe that commercial dog food is an excellent choice as it provides the animals with all the nutrients they need.
Industrial feeds are divided into several classes:
- super premium.
The latter option would be a good choice for pets. Its rich composition replaces a full-fledged diet, therefore, eating such food, animals grow and develop according to the norms. As a rule, food for puppies is produced in the form of pates, pastes and canned food, consisting of small pieces of soft treats with sauce or jelly.
There is also dry food for babies, but it is recommended to give them only after 4 months. The appearance of such food differs from treats for adult dogs in the size and density of the granules. Also, the food has a shiny surface due to its high fat and caloric content.
How to soak dry puppy food?
Transferring dogs to dry food has benefits for both owners and pets. There is no need to waste time on cooking, you can quickly feed your pet, while he receives all the vitamins and minerals necessary for his body. But it should be noted that the transfer to dry food should be gradual, and if we are talking about puppies, then this issue needs to be approached more scrupulously. The first time for babies you need to soak the food. It is important for dog breeders to know how to do it correctly.
Rules for soaking feed
There are several ways to soak feed using different liquids. The main condition is that the liquid must be warm or at least room temperature. Quite often, boiled water with a temperature of 40-50 degrees is used, which allows you to quickly steam the feed. At the same time, his smell increases, becoming more attractive to the puppy.
It is recommended to use a metal bowl to soak the food as it keeps the temperature better. The granules filled with warm liquid are covered with a lid or plate, and left for about 20-30 minutes. After the food has increased in volume and becomes soft, you need to drain the excess liquid and knead with a fork, turning it into a gruel. But you can also feed your baby with softened food without additional chopping.
In addition to water, you can use warm chicken or beef broth for steaming dry food.
In this case, you do not need to remove the remaining liquid after softening the granules, the puppy will enjoy it with pleasure. It is important to remember that the broth should be low-fat, because the stomach of the crumbs will not be able to digest it, which will cause indigestion. Milk is often used to soften dry dog food, but it is important to note that it should not be cow milk. Breeders recommend the following options:
- powdered milk. especially if the puppy has a poor appetite;
- industrial substitute for bogus milk, the composition of which is as close as possible to natural;
- diluted goat milk in a 1: 1 ratio.
It will take longer to soften dry granules in milk. The prepared amount of food should be enough for one meal, since it is impossible to store food soaked with milk, each time you need to prepare a new portion. In rare cases, kefir is used to soak feed, since it is not suitable for all dogs. When choosing this option, it is important to take into account some of the features of cooking for a baby:
- you can use only natural kefir with a low percentage of fat;
- the temperature of kefir should not exceed 38 degrees, therefore it is better to heat it in a water bath;
- it will take at least 20 minutes to completely soften the granules;
- the prepared treat cannot be stored.
Soaking dry food in kefir is good for babies with dysbiosis. Typically, this disorder of digestion is observed in puppies that lived on the street or in the countryside. But it should be remembered that dysbiosis can begin as a result of stress associated with a change of residence.
If the puppy comes to your house, and you notice he has a digestive upset, then it is recommended to feed him with kefir for some time, but in small quantities.
Prohibitions and recommendations
In order not to harm the growing body of the puppy, it is necessary to adhere to several recommendations.
- Starting to introduce dog food into the diet, at first only water should be used for soaking. After 1-2 months, you can try to soften the food in low-fat broth and milk, but if the baby has indigestion, then it is better to refuse this venture.
- You can use exclusively warm water, the temperature of which does not exceed 40 degrees. When dry granules are steamed in boiling water, some useful substances are simply destroyed, therefore, the feed will be less useful and nutritious.
- After feeding the puppy, food leftovers should be refrigerated, but they can be stored for no more than 12 hours. The food should be warmed up a little before the next feed. It should be noted that such manipulations can only be carried out with feed soaked in water, and in other cases, the leftovers must be thrown away.
- For steaming feed, it is imperative to use purified water, and it is also important not to forget to wash the bowl before and after preparing food.
Dog owners should remember that water should always be freely available for the pet, as due to lack of fluid, the digestive process of the pet can be disrupted.
For how to properly soak feed, see below.
Small dog’s first food
The beginning of feeding puppies is a serious question, since during the period of active growth and development, the pet’s body must be provided with a minimum, but necessary complex of vitamins, minerals, macro- and microelements.
Once you’ve figured out when to start feeding your puppies, it’s important to decide on the composition. It is recommended to give preference to the feed that will be introduced into the diet in the future on an ongoing basis. If a natural diet is preferred, the diet consists of healthy and nutritious foods suitable for the puppy.
Note! Each breed, for example, Jack Russell, Yorkshire Terrier, Labrador, Laika, German Shepherd, Toy Terrier, Husky, Chihuahua, Spitz and others have individual characteristics in the work of the digestive system. They need not only be known, but also taken into account when drawing up a diet.
First Natural Puppy Food Products
It is impossible to create the most balanced, fortified natural food at home, therefore, vitamin and mineral complexes must be added to the diet. That is why many breeders prefer ready-made industrial dry or wet food of the highest and highest quality.
Important! The role of the first complementary food is ideally suited to a special dry one, designed just for this purpose. They call him a starter.
How to soak feed
One of the basic rules for soaking dry food is not to stock it up. Dry food diluted with water quickly deteriorates and loses its beneficial properties, which can cause disruption of the digestive system. You need to cook food in the amount that the puppy will eat at one time.
The feed soaking algorithm is incredibly simple and consists of only two points:
- Pour the required volume of granules with purified or boiled water at a temperature of about 40 degrees.
- Leave for 20-40 minutes to soften, then offer the puppy.
The degree of soaking directly depends on the exposure time in water. The longer you wait, the more the food will resemble porridge.
Note! If the puppy has not eaten all the soaked food, the leftovers must be removed to the refrigerator and stored there for no more than 12 hours.
Many novice dog breeders do not realize what improper feeding of a puppy can lead to. In the first months of life, the fundamental foundation of the pet’s health is laid, and the wrong diet will do everything possible to undermine the condition of the puppy. If you have difficulties in compiling the menu yourself, it is better to seek help from a veterinarian.
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What to use as complementary food?
Feed your puppies with whatever food you plan to give them in the future. When choosing a natural type of feeding, suitable natural products are gradually introduced into the puppy’s diet. However, you need to be very careful here, because a beginner can make a mistake with the choice of products. Forming the diet of an adult dog on your own, and even more so when introducing complementary foods into the diet of a puppy, you must take into account many nuances on which the health of your pets directly depends. In addition, it should be understood that it is impossible to ideally balance the useful components of feed at home, and with a natural type of feeding, additional vitamin and mineral supplements are needed. Therefore, these days it is much easier to make a choice in favor of high-quality ready-made complete feeds, since their composition fully meets the daily needs of the dog. Also with the first complementary foods. Best suited for this role is a special dry food for the first feeding of puppies. It’s called a starter.
Adult dogs: to soak or not to soak food?
Before answering this question, it is worth clarifying whether it is possible to constantly feed the dog only with dry food.
There are two types of dog food: dry food and natural food. In the first case, the dog gets all the nutrients and vitamins from the pelleted food. In the second, you will need to prepare food for the dog yourself, carefully selecting and weighing the products. Depending on the feeding method, the puppy’s digestive system is formed, therefore it is not recommended to use both types of food together. The owner decides which feeding method to choose on his own, however, a veterinarian’s consultation will not be superfluous.
Prepared food for dogs has a number of advantages:
- Saving time. No need to spend it on finding and preparing dog-friendly food.
- Quality assurance. Granular dry food contains a balance of all nutrients and vitamins necessary for the proper development and functioning of the dog’s body.
- The key to health. With dry food, the dog receives the entire vitamin and mineral complex, which would have to be purchased additionally in the case of natural feeding.
- Material benefit. Even premium food will be cheaper than quality natural food alternatives.
- Convenience. You can easily take dry food with you on the road if you have a trip, or even for a picnic in the park.
It is important to remember that if your dog only eats dry food, he needs to drink plenty of water.
Dog weight x 20 mg = minimum amount of water per day
Dog weight x 70 mg = maximum amount of water per day
Based on this formula, a dog weighing 10 kg should drink 200 to 700 ml of water. This amount is influenced by the temperature, activity of the pet, as well as the individual characteristics of his body.
So, in the heat, you need to try to give the dog more water so that the natural heat exchange is not disturbed.
Despite all of the above benefits of dry feeding, there are situations in which dry food for adult dogs needs to be soaked:
- the dog has damage to the mouth, teeth, or throat;
- on the advice of a veterinarian;
- if the dog refuses to eat dry pellets, but loves them in a framed form.
Some dogs do not wash down dry food with the required amount of water, and then digestive problems can occur. Soaked feed in this case will help solve them.
Dry dog food: can you soak?
There is an opinion that dry food can be soaked only if the package has the appropriate permission. In any other case, the liquid will dissolve the vitamins contained in the granules. However, veterinarians say that this is a myth: if necessary, you can safely soak any dry food. Some vitamins can actually dissolve faster, but regardless of whether the dog ate dry food or soaked food, they are still excreted from the body along with urine. this is inevitable.
The fact is that all vitamins contained in dry food are divided into fat-soluble: A, D, E, K and water-soluble: B, C, and all other vitamins that do not belong to the first group. Water-soluble vitamins are removed from the body faster, but at the same time they still have time to be absorbed, since they are first absorbed in the intestines and then enter the blood.
It turns out that there is nothing wrong with soaking any dry food, if the need arises.
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How to soak dry food?
Contrary to popular belief, you can only soak dry food for puppies and adult dogs with water. Neither milk, fermented milk products, nor broth are suitable for this purpose, as the nutrients contained in these liquids can upset the balance of the feed and harm the pet’s digestive system.
In addition, it is important to maintain an acceptable water temperature in which the feed is soaked. For example, boiling water should not be used as it can destroy some of the vitamins in the feed.
Whether to soak dry food for a dog and a puppy: how to properly and until what age
Dog nutrition is a topic of concern to all conscientious breeders. In this article you will find the answer to the question whether it is possible and necessary to soak dry dog food, in which cases it is relevant, as well as all the nuances associated with soaking dry food.
Instructions: how to properly soak dry pet food?
In order for dry food to become soft, just add water to it. In this case, you need to follow a number of simple rules:
- the water temperature should not exceed 50 degrees;
- the water should completely cover the granules;
- add water 30-40 minutes before feeding: so much time is needed for the granules to swell.
If the feed needs to be made into a creamy soup, it is recommended to grind the granules in a blender before adding water.
The bowl should be washed before each feed, even if the puppy has thoroughly licked it. Dry food soaked in water is a more fertile ground for bacteria to spread.
It is not forbidden to soak the feed for a longer time. For example, you can pour dry granules in the evening and put them in the refrigerator until the morning when the next feeding period comes. However, do not leave a bowl of soaked food outdoors or in a warm room for a long time: raw food deteriorates much faster.
Puppies: When to Introduce Dry Food?
At the beginning of their life, puppies, like other children, feed on mother’s milk, and then liquid food. After two months, you can transfer your pet to solid food. It is during this period that it is recommended to feed the puppy with soaked dry food. Gradually, dry granules can be added to the soaked granules, each time increasing the proportion of their presence in the bowl. Over time, the puppy will completely switch to solid food, and his body will gradually get used to digest dry food without stress.
In addition, do not forget that puppies are teething in the first 1.5-3 months of life. There is a widespread belief that it is easier for a puppy to relieve itching during teething if he chews on dry food and “scratches” his gums on it. However, the hard granules can damage the puppy’s mouth. It is much more important that he gets the amount of nutrients he needs without feeling discomfort; for this you need to soak dry food. It is worth completely transferring the puppy to solid food only after the final change of teeth.
Some puppies refuse to eat dry food even if they transition gradually. In this case, you can spread the dry granules on a flat surface and spray them with water from a spray bottle. The smell of the food will become stronger and will whet the pet’s appetite.
A natural question arises: to what age should you soak dry food for a puppy? No veterinarian will give an unambiguous answer, since this value is due to the individual characteristics of the puppy’s body, as well as the level of its metabolism.
How long the soaked food is stored?
It is recommended to soak dry granules before each feeding. There is simply no point in doing this for future use, since it is impossible to store food soaked in water for more than 12 hours. If, nevertheless, the portion was calculated incorrectly and there is excess food left, it should be refrigerated until the next feeding.
It is important to remember that water will increase the total feed volume, so the dog will be satiated faster. In order for the pet to fully receive its daily food intake, it will have to be fed more often.