Feeding Your Puppy
A high-quality balanced diet is very important particularly during your pup’s first 12 months. Your pup has different nutritional requirements to an adult dog, including extra protein requirements for muscle development and calcium for bone growth. At Macarthur Vet Group we recommend Hills Science Diet VetEssentials Puppy - a premium range of commercial puppy food. At least 75% of your pup’s diet should be derived from a balanced commercial diet. Pups should be fed 3-4 small meals a day until 4 months of age, then twice daily at least until fully grown. With a proper balanced diet, calcium and vitamin supplements are unnecessary and we advise against using them.
Puppies and dogs do not need to drink milk. However if you wish to provide milk in addition to water, please use a special pet milk. Cow’s milk contains too much lactose for dogs and can cause diarrhoea.
Ensure that your pup always has access to clean water and change it daily.
Feeding Requirements After Desexing
Desexed (or neutered) dogs have slightly greater risk of becoming obese. Obesity means being more than 15% overweight. It increases the risk of a number of conditions including joint diseases, diabetes and heart disease, and reduces life expectancy. Prevention from an early age through appropriate feeding is far simpler than trying to get your dog to lose weight after becoming obese.
Whilst larger breeds of puppy desexed at 6 months of age still have growth requirements (with an increased need for protein and calcium compared to adults) they now have a reduced need for calories. Hills Science Diet has a specialised range of foods (Hills VetEssentials Large Breed Puppy) to meet the nutritional needs of desexed growing dogs whilst reducing the risk of gaining weight (when feeding guidelines are followed) by controlling calories and improving satiety (the feeling of fullness). Even as adults, dogs are best fed twice daily to improve metabolism and reduce the risk of weight gain, for the same reason that humans are advised not to skip breakfast.
Small to Medium breeds (less than 10kg - 25kg) Hills Science Diet VetEssentials - Adult after desexing.
Large breeds (over 25kg) Hills Science Diet Healthy Mobility Large Breed after desexing.
Feeding Requirements of Adult Entire (Non-Desexed) Dogs
You may choose not to desex your dog if you are considering breeding. Refer to “Should I Get My Pet Desexed” for why we recommended that all dogs not intended for breeding be desexed.
Entire dogs can still become overweight, so for most of these dogs we recommend to feed the Hills Science Diet VetEssentials Adult range (see above). If however your dog is pregnant, lactating, very active or very thin, then we have a range of diets with a higher calorie content. Please ask our staff about the most appropriate diet for your pet.
Some dogs, particularly if they have been unwell, have more specialised dietary requirements. Ask our staff for more information about our Hills Science Diet range of foods.
The best way to prevent dental disease in dogs is to brush their teeth every day, If done properly brushing your dog’s teeth every day can reduce plaque build up by 100%. We can advise/train you on how to clean your dog’s teeth. But this may not always be practical.
OraVet Dental Chews are a new chew with a dual action. The chewing action removes plaque and it then forms a protective barrier over the tooth to help prevent the reattachment of bacteria/plaque. Like Greenies, daily OraVet is highly recommended by veterinary dental specialists.
Greenies are a nutritionally balanced treat with demonstrated efficacy in controlling plaque and tartar build up. They are gentle on teeth and are soluble (breaking down completely within 24 hours of ingestion) so are less likely to cause the problems that are associated with feeding raw bones. Greenies should be fed every day to achieve maximum benefit. Greenies are the only treat on the market endorsed by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC). Greenies are available through Macarthur Vet Group, please ask our staff which size greenie best suits your dog.
Hills Science Diet Prescription t/d is clinically proven, uniquely formulated dental diet for adult dogs to effectively reduce plaque and tartar development. t/d has a unique fibre matrix (together with large kibble size) which resist crumbling. This kibble engulfs the tooth to the gumline before splitting, effectively "brushing" the tooth surface clean. Hills Prescription Diet t/d has been awarded the VOHC Seal for effective mechanical removal for plaque and tartar.