Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Healthy Dogs

Select An Article
Font Size

Puppy Food -- Types, Feeding Schedule, and Nutrition

From homemade puppy food to store brands, WebMD helps you choose the best food for your puppy’s nutritional needs.
(continued)

What kind of puppy treats should I give?

Many pet owners like to reward their dogs with treats, but it’s best to limit them. Because puppies need so many nutrients to grow, it’s important to give them food that provides complete and balanced nutrition. A puppy should get most of his calories from puppy food rather than from treats, which typically don’t provide complete nutrition.

Aim for no more than 5% of calories from treats, say nutrition experts at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Choose treats that are the right size for your puppy. A Yorkshire terrier, for instance, doesn’t need an extra-large dog biscuit. And avoid table scraps, which teach your puppy at a young age to beg for treats at the table and can cause digestive upset and pancreatitis, a serious illness.

Consider giving other types of treats to deepen the bond with your puppy. Healthy snacks like bits of carrot, green beans, or bell peppers give your puppy something to crunch without many calories. And remember, in your puppy’s mind, spending time with you is the best treat of all.

“Play is a treat, training is a treat, learning tricks is a treat,” Buffington says. “Dogs are a pack species, and they want to be a member of the pack. Anything a member of the pack does with them is positive reinforcement.”

When should I switch from puppy food to adult dog food?

Once puppies have reached 90% of their expected adult weight, they should switch from a growth diet to one that’s suitable for maintenance. Small breeds may finish growing by nine to 12 months; for large breeds, expect 12 to 18 months.

What foods are dangerous for my puppy?

Some foods that people enjoy can be harmful to dogs. Keep your puppy away from avocados, chocolate, grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, and raw bread dough made with yeast. Also avoid onions, garlic, and chives; milk and large amounts of dairy products such as cheese; alcohol; coffee and caffeine; salty food, such as potato chips; and food sweetened with xylitol, such as gum, baked goods, and candy. Xylitol, also used in products such as toothpaste, can cause liver failure in dogs.

1|2|3
Reviewed on July 09, 2009
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

boxer dog
Slideshow
dog on couch
Evaluator
 
bad dog
Slideshow
Sad dog and guacamole
Slideshow
 
Pit bull looking up
Article
Pets: Is My Dog Normal
Slideshow
 
Dog scratching behind ear
Slideshow
dog catching frisbee
Slideshow
 

Love your pets, hate your allergies?

Get tips for relief.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Dog Breed RMQ
Quiz
puppy eating
Slideshow
 
pooldle
Slideshow
bulldog in party hat
Slideshow