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Puppy Care Feeding Your Puppy

• The first year is critical to your puppy’s development. During this time, your puppy needs the best possible nutrition to provide strong bones and teeth, proper development of body functions, clear eyes and a thick, lustrous hair coat. At certain times during this period of growth and development, a puppy requires up to twice the amount of most nutrients (per pound of body weight) than an adult dog.

• At six to eight weeks of age, he requires as much as three times the adult caloric requirement per pound of body weight. This amount declines to twice the adult caloric requirement by the time the puppy is 16 weeks old. The caloric requirements of puppies gradually decrease to the adult needs over a period of time that varies by breed. Many breeds complete growth and development is approximately one year. Certain large and giant breed puppies, like St. Bernards, may not mature until they are nearly two years old. When you’re feeding a large breed puppy, research indicates that avoiding overfeeding may help development. Monitor your puppy’s weight, adjusting food intake as necessary to maintain ideal body condition.

• IMPORTANT: Bringing a puppy home can be very stressful and can cause your puppy digestive problems. If you change your puppy’s food when you bring him home, or at any other time, be sure to do so gradually over a 7 to 10 day period. This will help to avoid digestive upsets.