Puppies can begin to be given solid food at 4 weeks of age, where at that age their nutritional needs cannot be fulfilled only from their mother’s milk. at 6 weeks generally puppies can be weaned or released from their mother’s milk. for puppies under the age of 8 weeks giving commercial solid food can be done by softening it first with warm water.
The nutrients needed by puppies are protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, energy, balanced amounts of water. If there are parts that are lacking or excessive can cause health problems.
Puppies do not need too high an energy level in their food because if excessive they can cause bone growth abnormalities. Fat is needed to supply energy, amino acids and transport of vitamin ADEK, if less fat can damage vitamins and amino acids so that thin and hair growth is inhibited, and if excessive growth of the body can be too fast, obesity and cause bone growth disorders. carbohydrates and energy are needed for bodily activity, without this the body will convert the protein in the body into glucose to be used so that the protein needed for tissue formation is disrupted.
The important thing is vitamins and minerals that play an important role in chemical reactions in the body. but on a special commercial puppy diet that has been measured, adding vitamin and mineral supplements is no longer needed. Excessive vitamins and minerals in the body especially calcium and phosphorus can cause impaired bone growth.
Choosing the ideal food for puppies is very important especially in the first 6 months of his age because it will determine the quality of life that appears from good body and bone growth, ideal weight gain, thick and radiant hair / fur, cheerful and energetic behavior, the dirt is solid in brown until it is rather dark.
Complete and balanced commercial food is in 2 forms, canned (wet) and dry. the difference is in the amount of water, wet food is also preferred because it smells and tastes better, while dry food is chosen because it is more economical. however, it should be noted that giving wet food should not be left more than 2 hours in the open air because it will allow entry of bacteria, as well as storage in the refrigerator should not exceed 3 days.
What must be considered is the availability of sufficient clean water, not limited at all times because it is needed by the body’s metabolism.
Giving solid food can be divided 3-4 times a day, and after 6 months can be given twice a day.
Small to medium sized dogs get 50% of their adult body weight at 4 months of age, whereas in large breeds weighing more than 25 kg they reach 50% of their adult body weight around the age of 5 months, but this also depends on the breed of the dog. Special puppy food in small to medium dogs is given up to 12 months of age while large breeds can start using special foods adult at the age of 14-16 months.
To introduce new foods to puppies mix the two types of food and provide it with a ratio of 25% – 50% – 75% – 100% within 7 days. This is so that digestion can adapt, not be surprised and cause diarrhea.
Giving treats and human food should be avoided or reduced in number because the amount of excessive nutrition will cause obesity, disruption of bone growth and generally human food will be preferred by dogs so that dogs become spoiled do not want to go back to special diet foods that are more balanced. besides that it must be supervised by the ingredients in human food which are harmful to dogs such as onions.
Likewise, the provision of milk, should be avoided if the puppy can already eat solid food. if you still want to give milk, you should give a special puppy or kitten formula, low lactose baby milk, or goat milk. this is to avoid diarrhea caused by lactose intolerant in sensitive digestive puppies.
Also do general health checks on puppies regularly by veterinarians, to prevent infectious diseases by vaccination from the age of 1.5 – 2 months and regular worming to avoid disruption of absorption of nutrients due to intestinal worms.