How to keep your puppy healthy
Adopting a puppy is a big decision – after all, your new little friend will keep you and your family company, hopefully for a long, long time. The nutrition and the experiences a puppy makes in the first few weeks of his life influence him sustainably and lay the foundations for his further development. For this reason you should keep the following points in mind
The right nutrition from day one
For optimal development, mother's milk is the best nutrition for a puppy in the first few weeks of life. Only if the mother doesn't have enough milk, will it be necessary to supplement. However, puppies should not be fed cows milk; they need a special composition like our "Happy Dog Supreme Baby Milk" with low lactose content and special probiotic cultures to stabilise the gut.
At about four weeks, puppies begin to get curious about solid food, they want to investigate how it tastes and start making their first shy attempts at the feeding bowl. Some mothers will nurse their pups until they are eight weeks old, but most of them stop nursing after six weeks. This is the time to wean and start putting the little ones onto solid food.
The transition from mother's milk to solid food puts a considerable strain on the constitution of the little fellow. To help him manage this phase and avoid digestive problems, they should be fed first class puppy food from the very beginning. This is also important because the nutritional needs of young dogs differ considerably from the dietary needs of adult animals.
Puppies need much more energy
Anyone watching their puppies play, will soon realise that the curiosity and playfulness of their little fur ball seems endless. Puppies are considerably more active than adult dogs, for this reason feeding them "normal" adult food would be inadequate. Puppies need relatively more calories than adult dogs and they also have higher requirements for protein and mineral substances. In the case of large breeds, it is important to provide them with the right calcium to phosphorous ratio: it ensures healthy bone formation while avoiding an excessively rapid growth. Nutritional deficiencies might result in life-long impairments. Choosing the right puppy food is therefore of crucial importance.
Avoid nutritional deficiencies
Happy Dog's dry food offers you the security you need. Our top quality dry food is ideally suited to the nutritional requirements of young dogs and puppies. Happy Dog dry food contains all the essential vitamins and nutrients your puppy needs to grow big and strong. The breed also largely determines the energy requirements of puppies and young dogs. For this reason, Happy Dog puppy food is tuned to these necessities: We have puppy food for small, medium and large sized breeds.
Our 2-phase concept focuses on what wolf mothers instinctively ‘seek out’ for the food of their offspring. Pups are not weaned abruptly from mother's milk to solid food, but rather in a two-stage process. When the pups are about ten weeks old, the mother first starts feeding them on regurgitated, predigested meat, and only very gradually do they start getting small prey animals with parts which are difficult to digest. With the 2-phase Happy Dog concept, your puppy is first fed a high protein diet, since this is equivalent to predigested food. Between the fifth and the seventh month, there's a switch to lower amounts, aligned with natural conditions.
Let our Happy Dog Customer Service Team advise you, if you're not sure which is the best food for your dog. Our experts will be happy to advise you on all your questions.
The first meal in the new home
When giving a dog his first feed, or even when changing a dog’s food, it is a good idea to take things slowly. Because moving to a new home is every bit as exciting for your new puppy as it is for you. New surroundings, new smells, being separated from its mother and siblings – all these new experiences and stimuli can upset a young puppy’s stomach. To avoid placing even more stress on the tiny animal’s body, it’s a good idea to offer the puppy a small bowl of fresh water straight away but wait until it has been in its new home for a few hours before offering any food. By the way, there’s absolutely nothing to worry about if the puppy doesn’t seem keen to eat immediately. Its appetite will usually return by the following day, once the initial excitement has worn off.
Dry food for puppies
Dry or wet food – which is best? This is a question many dog owners ask themselves. In fact, neither type of food can be described as essentially “better” than the other. The most important thing for your dog is getting a product which has been certified as a “complete food”. Because only this type of food is guaranteed to provide your puppy with all the minerals, nutrients and vitamins it needs.
Dry food also offers certain practical advantages over wet food. Vigorous chewing strengthens the gums. And it is more hygienic that wet food, in that it can stay in the dog’s bowl longer without ‘going off’ in warm weather. It is also easier to dispose of. Even when the packet has been opened, dry food has a comparable shelf life. And with no empty cans to dispose of every day, it is clearly better for the environment. Dry food also has a higher energy content, which means less is needed, making it a relatively cheap option.
If dry food is the preferred choice, you must make sure your pet is getting enough fluid by making fresh water available at all times. The best way to encourage your dog to drink is by putting out several drinking bowls in different parts of the house.