Canine Weight Management Tips for Feeding a Puppy

Feeding a puppy properly is central in controlling his weight. There are several ways to ensure that your puppy gains weight at the proper rate and that he then maintains a good weight throughout his life. It's helpful to provide a varied diet using a puppy feeding chart. The type of food and good water habits are important for weight management.

Choosing the Best Food

One primary part of feeding a puppy well is choosing the best food. You want to maximize the nutrition in every calorie. This means that you want to avoid empty calories from ingredients such as grains, soy, corn, sugar or any kind of fillers. You also want to avoid meat by-products. The best food for a puppy is a raw diet formulated for puppies. In a raw diet, each calorie is easily utilized by the body and provides only the nutrition that your puppy needs. A raw food is made up primarily of lean meats with a little bit of vegetable and fruit as well as raw bones. This type of biologically appropriate raw food diet gives your puppy minimal calories and high nutrition. Thus, the risk of weight gain and associated diseases such as diabetes can be more easily prevented.

A good second option to raw food is a high quality canned food. If the ingredients are closest to their natural state, your puppy gets the best nutrition possible in every calorie. Look for a low-grain, lean meat formula that's made for puppies. The first ingredients should be simply, "chicken" or "lamb". Avoid dog food with chemical additives or ingredients such as "chicken meal".

Keeping Your Puppy Hydrated

There are several ways to make sure your puppy has enough hydration in their diet. Your puppy should always have access to clean, fresh water in a glass, ceramic or fully intact plastic dish. Wash the dish every day and sterilize it once a week to keep it free of bacteria. Water from toilets, pools, or ponds is not good for puppies especially because their immune systems are more vulnerable. Another important way to provide hydration is to feed food that contains moisture. Puppies ingest water the most thoroughly through their intestines. Even with fresh water available, canned or raw food is vital to your puppy's health. Hydration helps with weight control because it keeps the puppy's system functioning at its optimum. 

Regular Veterinary Visits

It's important to take your puppy to the vet every 3 months during the first year of life. This way, you'll know if he's gaining weight at the proper rate for his unique body and build. You can also weight him at home and write down his weight. Your vet will also show you exactly how to visually estimate whether he's at the correct weight.

Following a Feeding Schedule

A puppy feeding schedule is central in weight control. It establishes predictability and consistency in your home. A high quality puppy food will come with a chart telling you the exact amount your dog should get for his weight. At first, you'll have to measure it out, but eventually if you use the same dish, you can eye the amount. This will help establish habits for healthy eating. It will start you off on the right foot of knowing exactly how much you're feeding your dog.Include treats in your calculations about the daily calorie intake your puppy is getting. There are many treats with healthy and whole ingredients that still provide nutrition.