The puppy’s feeding schedule will be somewhat dictated by your own personal schedule. You do not want to leave food out for the puppy so that he can just eat it whenever he wants. You need to be there for the feedings because you want the puppy and his entire body on a set schedule. This is best accomplished by feeding the pup what he will eat at specific times on a specific schedule. Puppies under six months of age should be fed three times daily; after 6 months they may be fed twice daily.
By feeding on a set schedule, the dog will then go to the bathroom on a more set schedule and make housetraining easier and faster.
Make it a habit to give the puppy some quiet time after the meal. Do not let the children romp and play with him for the first hour to an hour and a half after eating. This can lead to some stomach upsets that can sometimes be very serious. The puppy will probably need to go to the bathroom, however.
A puppy’s meal schedule must include three measured meals a day, preferably at the same time every day. The best time for your puppy’s first meal is around 7 a.m., noontime for lunch, and 5 p.m. for dinner. The last meal should always be around 5 p.m. so that he will have ample time to digest his food and eliminate one last time before bedtime. Stick to this schedule until the puppy reaches 14 to 18 weeks old, at which point the meal schedule should change to two meals a day (unless your veterinarian suggests otherwise).
The meals should consist of a healthy and well-balanced diet that has been designed for puppies. This means refraining from cheaper dog foods that contains fillers and sugars rather than high quality nutrients. While these foods will make your dog appear to be full and satisfied, they are not giving your dog all the nutrition his growing body requires, and he may feel the need to eat more as he tries to meet those needs. Lesser quality foods can undoubtedly affect the long-term growth and overall health of your puppy as well as cause constipation or diarrhea, which makes house training that much more of a challenge.
Also make sure not to overfeed your puppy, even if he is begging for more. This is especially tricky with some breeds, who always appear to be hungry and who are predisposed to becoming overweight as a result. If you have any questions regarding exactly how much food your puppy should be eating in the course of a day, talk to your veterinarian or the breeder rather than guess. Do your research on the ingredients that go into different dog foods and how labels are written so that you can make the most informed choice on which foods you will buy.
In addition, it is best to allow about fifteen minutes to pass after giving the puppy water before you take him outside to eliminate. Of course, you will need to be patient during the learning process and be ready to take him outside again if it appears that he needs to eliminate again.
This is just an example, you have your own life schedule so the exact times can obviously be adjusted.
In the first stages of house-training your puppy, it is best to take him outside to eliminate every 1.5 hours. Give him some water to drink about fifteen minutes before taking him outside. As the house-training progresses, the puppy will be able to last for longer intervals without feeling the need to eliminate.
Right before bedtime, after the puppy has eliminated outside, spend a few minutes playing gently with your puppy – nothing that will get him too excited. Congratulations. You are on your way with a well trained puppy that sleeps well all night.
With a new puppy sometimes you need to make a rapid diet change especially if you have an older dog who is already eating a certain brand of food or if you like a brand other then what your puppies breeder was feeding then then you should gradually mix in small amounts of the new brand with the old brand.
Probiotic supplements can also reduce the chance that your dog will develop diarrhea when its diet suddenly changes. (Yogurt on top of the new food can help)
Here is the transition process to use when changing your dog’s food:
If at any time your dog does develop diarrhea, take them off food entirely for 12 hours to allow the stomach to calm down and then feed them small meals of boiled white rice and boiled white chicken meat for a few days. Then transition them with the chicken/rice mixture instead of the old food over a longer period of time.
Location: Woodland, Washington State