Basswood labrador puppies
CARE OF BASSWOOD PUPPIES
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Feeding Your Puppy When You Get Home

Puppyhood is a time of rapid growth and development, so puppies require nearly double the amount of nutrients per pound of food than do older dogs.  Because of their special nutritional needs, your puppy should only receive puppy food for the first year. Most dog food manufacturers offer a special formula for puppies that is higher in  protein  (28%-30%), and enriched with other essentials your growing puppy needs.


Guidelines to Good Basic Feeding 
  • Feed your puppy the same kind of food every day. Unlike humans, a dog's digestive system cannot handle changes in food. It can cause upset stomach and diarrhoea.
  • When changing to a new food, make a gradual transition to the new food by mixing portions of both foods until you slowly phase the old food out. (Your puppy may experience diarrhoea if  his food is suddenly changed.)
  • We recommend feeding your puppy on dry complete meal (available from supermarkets or  pet shops) mixed with water. Puppies need a balanced diet.  The good thing about commercial foods is that you know that your puppy is getting exactly the right balance of calcium and phosphorus, vitamins and minerals. This is particularly important while they are growing and their bones are changing size so rapidly. 
  • Don't overfeed your puppy (follow the guidelines on the puppy-food package for recommended feeding amounts.).  Puppies should be kept lean while they are growing so that they do not grow too quickly. This is especially important in large breeds where growing too fast puts great stress on their bones.  If  bones do not develop properly it can cause lameness problems later. 
  • Always feed your puppy at the same times every day.  Most puppies need to be fed three or four times a day at first as their tummies are too small to cope with large meals. 
  • Always have fresh drinking water available. 
  • Keep food and water bowls clean. 
  • Don't be alarmed if your puppy's appetite changes. It is normal for your puppy to lose his appetite or experience digestive upset occasionally. However, if your puppy's upset stomach becomes severe or lasts longer than a day or two, contact your vet.
 
Type of food

We never recommend tinned food or the semi-moist fake meat. Tinned foods are typically higher in calories and fat and are usually 80 to 83 per cent water, which makes them pretty expensive. The semi-moist foods are about 55% water and use high salt or sugar levels for preservation. Again, you are paying too much for water and puppies don't need the salt and sugar. Dry foods are only 9 to 11 percent water and are made of the same quality ingredients as the other types. They are more economical, easier to use and, in our opinion, better for your dog. 
[
from a report on veterinary opinion] 

Dogs on dry foods typically have fewer intestinal upsets, either diarrhoea or constipation. They have fewer problems with unwanted weight gain.   Probably the most important advantage of using dry foods and feeding them dry is that the abrasive action of eating them is good for the dog’s teeth and gums. Dog’s that constantly eat any of the softened foods always have more dental problems ranging from tarter and plaque build up, abscesses, tooth loss and gum disease. Any or all of these cause bad breath. 
[
veterinary advise]. 

Table scraps are a "No-No" for puppies
Young puppies should not be given table scraps because their digestive tracts are not fully developed and table scraps could cause diarrhoea or other gastro-intestinal problems. Table scraps fill them up but do not provide the nutrients their rapidly growing bodies need. Feeding them from the table teaches them the bad habit of begging; this may make house training more difficult for you. 

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