Why Puppies Will Overeat If You Let Them

By John Carter

Puppies are naturally predisposed to eat a lot of food very quickly; in centuries past, when many dogs lived in the wild, they were forced to consume their grub very rapidly in order to satisfy their hunger (before a predator came along and attempted to grab their hard-won sustenance). Today, puppies are served meals by their owners – they don’t need to fight for their fair share; however, the primal urge to overfeed and “wolf” down food is essentially “hard-wired” in many breeds.

Knowing how your puppy thinks- and getting a handle on his or her animal instincts- is the first step to understanding your beloved canine pal and controlling his or her appetite. So, yes, your puppy will overfeed if it is permitted, but there are ways to ensure that your young dog gets all the nutrition that he or she needs, without excess calories (or painful indigestion) that might lead to health problems later on…here are some things you need to know:

Feed Fido at Set Intervals

Your beloved canine pal has a very small “tummy”, and he or she just can’t handle a huge quantity of food at one sitting; this means that overfeeding will result in a sore stomach and potential intestinal distress. To keep your puppy healthy, feed the young dog three or four times a day, according to a fixed schedule.

How much you feed your pup should be dictated by the animal’s body weight. Most pet stores sell dog food just for puppies; usually, this is called kibble, and it is a dry blend of nutrients that must be mixed with water before serving. This type of pet food will feature instructionsfor measuring out a serving based on a puppy’s body weight – just be sure to weigh your puppy frequently to be certain that you’re following the directions properly.

By giving your pup the proper amounts of kibble puppy food at set intervals, you’ll control his or her insatiable appetite as best you can -and you’ll make it easier for your puppy to feel satisfied. Never go too long without feeding your puppy – he or she is growing at an amazing rate, and your pet needs constant nutrition to support this important phase of development.

If you don’t feed your dog at set intervals, he or she may begin to eat things that are decidedly unhealthy, including dirt and rocks.

Of course, proper hydration is also a vital component of caring for your loyal puppy friend. A healthy and hydrated pup will have rosy pink gums, rather than dry and pale-looking gums. Give your pup access to water during the sunlit hours, and reduce access during the moonlit hours – this sensible approach tends to work very well. Always make sure that your puppy has access to clean, fresh water during the day, as this type of hydration supports his or her general health and well-being.

If you’re still concerned about exactly how much food and water to give your puppy, be sure to ask a licensed veterinarian for advice.

Start With Kibble at Four Weeks

Puppies should be nursed by their mothers until they reach one month of age – at this point, it’s time to move on to commercial puppy food. Healthy puppies will display intense hunger that hardly ever seems to dissipate; however, three or four bowls of kibble per day (mixed with water) should fulfill all of their caloric and nutritional requirements. It may be tempting to augment kibble puppy food with other treats, such as chicken, steak and so on – bear in mind that “rewarding” your pet with these rich foods can be a big mistake.

Typically, meat dishes prepared for human consumption feature spices, oils and other additives that react negatively with a puppy’s fragile system – it’s really unwise to offer “people” food to pups – even if it seems pure and harmless. While what you feed Fido is a personal choice, experts seem to concur that dog food formulated for puppies is always the best choice for a growing canine. In some cases, giving a puppy human food that is not ideal for its digestive system may lead to intestinal distress or an expensive trip to the veterinarian.

To help your puppy manage his or her healthy appetite, balance the dog’s lifestyle – build plenty of exercise, proper food, hydration, and affection into Fido’s daily schedule. When your puppy is getting all he or she needs to grow well and thrive, you will know that you are caring for your pet responsibly – and compassionately.

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John Carter

About the Author

love dogs. And if you love your dog as much as I love mine, you’re probably concerned about how to find a safe and healthy food to nourish her. What’s more, you’d probably like to know a little about me and how my website can help you. I’m a graduate of the Medical College of Virginia with a doctorate in dental surgery. My undergraduate studies include a major in chemistry and a minor in biology. In addition to my professional studies in human nutrition, I’ve also cultivated a personal passion for canine nutrition, too.

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