Undertake-a-Pet.com Weblog Important Ideas for Making ready Meals for Your New Canine

By Amy Fox, DVM
woman feeding dog and measuring kibble
Whether or not you’ve gotten all the time had canine or are about to undertake your very first pup, determining what to feed them can really feel overwhelming — particularly with all of the choices on the market. However don’t fear: We broke down every little thing you could learn about feeding your new canine.

What do canine eat?

Canine are thought-about omnivores like people, which suggests they will eat all kinds of meals to satisfy their dietary wants. They get a balanced diet from a mix of proteins, fat, minerals, nutritional vitamins, and different vitamins, together with fiber, carbohydrates, and water. Some meals are toxic to dogs, although they’re secure for people, together with chocolate, grapes, onions, garlic, and sugar-free merchandise containing Xylitol, so it is very important preserve them out of your canine’s attain.

What are the various kinds of pet food?

The primary varieties of pet food are moist meals and dry kibble, however there are additionally some options, together with home-cooked food, raw food, and freeze-dried uncooked meals. It’s necessary to pick out meals labeled as full and balanced in your canine’s life stage and meets AAFCO nutrient profiles. Some merchandise are solely supposed as dietary supplements to a main food plan or as treats, they usually don’t embrace the entire vitamins a canine wants long-term.

How a lot ought to I feed my canine?

Determining how a lot to feed a brand new canine might be tough, particularly in the event that they got here from a shelter or had been rescued as a stray. They might be very skinny while you undertake them, so the quantity they should eat at first could also be completely different than what they may want for long-term weight upkeep. Additionally, new canine are adjusting to new experiences, new individuals, and new smells and sounds, and their urge for food could also be low for the primary few weeks whereas they settle in.

A superb rule of thumb is to make use of the rules on the meals label itself. The label will advise how a lot to feed based mostly in your canine’s weight and age. These suggestions are typically beneficiant, so don’t feed greater than the label recommends except directed by your veterinarian. In some circumstances, your canine could eat a lot lower than advised, particularly at first. If you’re involved that your pup could also be consuming an excessive amount of or not sufficient, contact your veterinarian for assist tailoring a feeding plan to your canine’s caloric needs.

It’s also helpful to be within the behavior of measuring out your dog’s food in a constant means, equivalent to with a spare measuring cup or spoon, so you employ the identical quantity every time. If you could modify your pup’s food plan as a result of considerations about their weight, having a constant place to begin will aid you simply improve or lower their feedings by a set amount.

How will you select the correct meals in your canine?

In case your canine is coming from a foster dwelling or animal shelter, it’s a good suggestion to proceed feeding them the meals they’re used to whereas they modify to their new dwelling. Sudden meals adjustments could trigger diarrhea, so if you wish to change their food plan, step by step combine small quantities of latest meals with their present food plan in rising quantities over about seven days.

You must also think about your way of life and circumstances. For instance, canned meals solely lasts a couple of days within the fridge as soon as opened and shouldn’t be not noted for greater than an hour or so. It will also be costly to feed solely canned meals to very giant canine as they may want giant parts. Dry meals is handy as a result of it’s steady for longer intervals of time at room temperature and will also be nice for coaching periods and meals puzzles. Raw food diets are controversial as a result of they will put pets and folks in danger for food-borne diseases like Salmonella and E. coli.

Finally, there are various elements to think about when selecting the right meals in your canine, together with the next.

Breed and measurement:

Some breeds are extra vulnerable to sure well being circumstances that would have an effect on the diet they want. For instance, large-breed dogs usually tend to have sure bone and joint issues and might have meals that’s low in energy and excessive in joint-supporting vitamins, particularly through the rising pet stage. There are specifically formulated large-breed pet meals obtainable because of this.


Puppies and senior dogs have completely different dietary wants than grownup canine. Puppies want meals excessive in energy and vitamins to assist their progress and growth. Senior canine might have meals that’s decrease in energy and simpler to digest. Ensure that no matter meals you might be contemplating is particularly labeled to be used of their stage of life.

Being pregnant and Nursing:

It is a distinctive time in a canine’s life when she wants a variety of additional energy and an elevated quantity of particular vitamins like calcium. It is vitally necessary to ensure all pregnant and nursing canine are consuming a food plan labeled for this life stage, or they are often in danger for critical well being issues equivalent to Eclampsia.

Exercise degree:

Lively canine want meals that’s larger in energy and vitamins to assist their power wants. Much less lively canine might have lower-calorie meals to keep away from weight acquire. This may increasingly additionally affect how usually you feed your pup, as lively canine might have extra frequent feedings, particularly after intense train.

Well being circumstances:

Some canine have well being circumstances that require them to eat a particular food plan. There are diets formulated for particular well being circumstances, a lot of that are solely obtainable from a veterinarian or with a prescription. For instance, canine with a historical past of bladder stones could have to eat a particular food plan to forestall a recurrence of stones, and canine with diabetes want meals that’s decrease in energy. It’s a good suggestion to talk along with your veterinarian if you understand your canine has well being issues so you will get a great food plan advice.

How usually ought to I feed my canine?

Most grownup canine might be fed twice every day, roughly 10 hours aside. Ensure that to determine the overall every day portion in your pup and cut up that up so that you all the time preserve the identical whole quantity of meals for the day. Additionally attempt to develop a constant routine and feed them on the similar time and in the identical place each day.

Puppies want extra frequent feedings as a result of their stomachs are so small; they will solely eat sufficient meals to supply a couple of hours of power at a time. They need to have small, frequent feedings all through the day.

Canine with sure well being circumstances might also want extra frequent, small feedings all through the day, equivalent to these with bilious vomiting syndrome who are inclined to vomit if their stomachs are empty for lengthy intervals of time.

Meals generally is a motivating reward for a lot of canine, so it may be an excellent instrument for coaching. As a substitute of giving your pet or grownup canine in want of coaching a giant bowl of kibble for breakfast, you may portion out that very same quantity of kibble and use it for treats throughout coaching periods. Canine that suffer from separation anxiety also can profit from consuming in another way; as a substitute of feeding them in a single sitting, you may cut up their every day portion into completely different food puzzles, which sluggish them down, present them with psychological enrichment, and preserve them busy while you’re out. The necessary factor to bear in mind is that you just preserve the identical whole quantity of meals in a given day, so for those who use meals as rewards or in puzzles, give your canine much less meals of their bowl at mealtimes so that you just don’t unintentionally overfeed them.

What are the frequent feeding issues?

Determining the correct steadiness of amount and frequency of feedings takes time, so be affected person in case your canine isn’t consuming completely. Just be sure you serve meals in a clear bowl and that the meals is contemporary and freed from mould or another contaminants. Remember to clear up any uneaten meals inside the really helpful time-frame, which differs for moist and dry meals. Uneaten meals needs to be discarded, and contemporary meals needs to be offered on the subsequent feeding.

For those who adopted a pup who was already underweight, obese, and/or has underlying medical circumstances, count on it to take a while to get into a gradual groove. Some issues you’ll need to pay attention to embrace:


Some canine are vulnerable to overeating. This will occur as a result of they’re being fed an excessive amount of, or their food plan is just too excessive in energy in comparison with their physique’s wants. This will also be a compulsive concern for some canine, particularly canine who’ve gone hungry for lengthy intervals of time up to now, or for canine with sure medical issues. Overeating can result in weight problems, which might improve the danger of well being issues equivalent to coronary heart illness, diabetes, and arthritis. If you’re involved that your canine is placing on weight or all the time appears hungry, see your veterinarian for an analysis.


Some canine could not eat sufficient to keep up their physique weight as a result of numerous elements, together with sickness, stress, or a choosy urge for food. In different circumstances, they could be consuming sufficient, however the meals could not have sufficient energy to satisfy their wants, which mostly happens if they’re rising, pregnant, or extraordinarily lively. In case your canine appears skinny or you’ve gotten considerations that you’re underfeeding your pet, contact your veterinarian.

Choosy consuming:

Some canine are very choosy eaters, which might result in dietary deficiencies. Attempt to keep away from providing plenty of additional yummy options when your canine snubs their meals as a result of, in the event that they be taught one thing higher comes after they don’t eat, they’ll develop a sample of skipping their pet food. Any canine who’s ceaselessly skipping meals or not consuming needs to be examined by a veterinarian to find out if there are any underlying medical points.

How can I stop meals allergy symptoms in my canine?

One of the best strategy for those who suspect your canine has meals allergy symptoms is to have a veterinarian correctly diagnose them and put them on the correct food plan to keep away from these allergens. Watch out for over-the-counter canine meals that declare to be restricted ingredient diets as a result of many are ready on the identical tools as different meals that will include allergens. In case your canine has a real allergy, they may want a prescription food plan ready on separate tools to keep away from cross-contamination.

What ought to I feed a foster canine?

In case your canine is coming from a foster dwelling or animal shelter, it’s a good suggestion to proceed feeding the identical meals they’re accustomed to whereas they modify to their new dwelling. Remember to ask the shelter or foster dad or mum for the identify of the meals and their present routine, together with what number of meals they eat, how a lot meals per meal, and what time they’re fed. Too many adjustments directly might be overwhelming, and it’s important that your new pup eats persistently.

For those who resolve you need to swap up your new canine’s food plan as soon as they’ve settled in, make certain to take action step by step by mixing small quantities of the brand new meals with their present food plan in rising quantities over about seven days. Sudden meals adjustments could trigger diarrhea, so a gradual introduction will assist to keep away from this.


When deciding what to feed your new canine, keep in mind that what works for one canine could not work for yours, and the identical goes for pet dad and mom. New pups want time to regulate to their new houses, so attempt to be affected person and keep away from making pointless adjustments of their first few months with you. You probably have considerations about your canine’s urge for food or general well being, contact your veterinarian and have your canine examined. Meals is a love language for many canine, so as soon as you’re employed out the kinks, feeding time will undoubtedly turn out to be one in all your canine’s favourite actions.

What Canine Eat FAQ:

How usually ought to I feed my new canine?

Most grownup canine want two feedings per day, about 10 hours aside. Puppies and canine with sure well being circumstances want small, frequent feedings all through the day.

How a lot ought to I feed my new canine?

To begin, use the rules on the meals label. If you’re involved your pup is consuming an excessive amount of or not sufficient, contact your veterinarian for assist.

How can I stop meals allergy symptoms in my canine?

There’s no dependable solution to stop meals allergy symptoms in canine. One of the best strategy is to have your canine’s allergy symptoms recognized by a veterinarian and observe their suggestions.

Are there any meals which can be dangerous to canine?

Sure — a few of the most typical embrace chocolate, grapes, onions, garlic, sugar-free merchandise containing Xylitol, uncooked dough, and moldy meals.

What are some indicators of a nutritious diet in canine?

Canine with a nutritious diet needs to be a wholesome weight, have shiny, full coats, and loads of power. They need to even have common, solid poops.

What ought to I feed a foster canine?

Proceed feeding a foster canine the identical meals the shelter or foster dad or mum has been feeding them and the identical quantity and quantity of meals at constant instances.


Amy Fox, DVM is a small animal veterinarian in New York Metropolis. She has labored in many alternative settings together with shelter medication, emergency medication, common observe, and animal cruelty and forensics. She is particularly considering diet, preventative medication and take care of senior pets. Dr. Fox additionally enjoys writing about veterinary medication and educating. In her free time she likes to prepare dinner, backyard, and go for lengthy runs.

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