I’m happy to welcome Trooper Thompson to the TDT team, officially on-boarded on 8/11/19 as TDT’s new Head Taste Tester! After spending his first year & a half with Freedom Service Dogs, Trooper managed to find his way to me, bounding into my house with guts and gusto! One happy puppy ready to take on his new life, and beyond excited to learn about the perks of his forever home!
Over the last 5 months, Trooper and I have been getting to know each other through training, exercise, playtime, and lots & lots of treats. This got me wondering, how much should I feed him, and can you give a puppy too many treats? I was so in tune with my sweet old girl, Tatum for so long and knowing exactly what she needed in her senior years that I quickly forgot what it’s like to feed a puppy.
What I’ve learned through this experience is the general rule that puppies and young dogs burn more calories, so they need a greater quantity of food. Food higher in protein and fat. All natural dog treats are also a great way to satisfy your pup in between meals as well as use for training.
The amount of food & treats you feed your puppy will vary depending upon his size, activity, metabolism, and environment. Feeding too much can not only lead to a pudgy pup, but can also cause other health issues. Simple rule of thumb is the rib test; if you can feel your pup’s ribs when petting him, that’s good, but if can see your pup’s ribs, that’s bad. If your puppy appears to be gaining too much weight, gradually decrease his food intake, but if his ribs are showing, increase his portions. And, as always consult your Vet if you have questions or concerns.
Moderate exercise is essential for puppies, and all dogs alike! Keeping them fit and trim is key, and the more exercise they partake in, the better they will feel throughout their lifetime. Some dogs, like Trooper will engage in more regular, intense exercise. If this is the case and you’ve got a particularly active pup on your hands, you’ll need to fuel that energy! It’s recommended that the bulk of their calorie intake should occur one hour before/after exercise sessions, and treats given during periods of increased activity to prevent hunger and fatigue. Allowing your puppy to rest intermittently, making sure he has access to fresh water at all times is just as important.
One thing I do know, my puppy will never go hungry. The endless batches of Trail Dog Treats in and out of the oven at a nose’s length will certainly fuel Trooper’s daily activities.