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Before we address the burning questions of “when to stop soaking dry food for puppies", it is important to know what to be feeding your puppy, dependant on their age, breed or weight. Here at Laughing Dog we feel it is important to educate fur-baby owners on the healthiest of ways to feed their four-legged friends to ensure they grow up big, strong, sociable and loving.
Most puppy owners don’t take their bundles of joy home with them until 8-weeks of age at the earliest. Puppies should not be removed from their mother and the rest of their litter until around 7 weeks, so if you’re buying a puppy that is being rehomed before this time, alarm bells should be ringing! If you are a breeder, however, it is important to know the stages a puppy goes through in those very early weeks, to ensure they get the right nutrients from the off.
A puppy aged 0-3 weeks will be living from their mum’s teat, generally eating every 2-4 hours, some puppies do require more encouragement than others, but they soon get the taste for it!
From the age of 3-4 weeks the weaning process starts, at this point small introductions to puppy food is welcome, however, it should be noted that at this stage puppies have only just started teething and it can take them up to the age of 6 weeks to have developed their teeth. Therefore, we would always recommend soaking dry food for puppies in warm or hot water from the age of 3 to 4 weeks to help them eat it easier. It also helps provide your fur babies with essential water as at this stage they often don’t drink enough on their own accord.
From the age of 6 weeks your puppy should be able to eat solid foods, many owners still choose to soak their food at this time and puppies who have just developed their teeth will welcome the softness!
As a new puppy owner, collecting your newbie at around 8-12 weeks of age, your fur-baby should be well customed to eating a certain type of puppy food from the breeder. It is always recommended to initially keep them on this same type of food when you first get them home and gradually wean them onto your own choice.
Laughing Dog highly recommends Naturally Baked Puppy Complete Food White Fish or Grain Free Puppy Complete Chicken. Both of these are scientifically formulated to provide your puppy with all of the essential nutrients to grow up big and strong. A puppy grows around 20 times faster than an adult dog and they, therefore, require regular feeding and the right ingredients to go onto live a full and happy life.
An individual dog’s requirements may differ from food to food. Always check the labelling for helpful guides based on dog’s age or weight. At Laughing Dog, we keep our guides really simple, here is an example of how many grams per day you should be feeding your puppy or dog:
This is an example feeding guide, please check packaging specific to your chosen product as it is likely to vary!
Introduce Laughing Dog puppy complete food at around 6 weeks of age and continue feeding until your puppy reaches adult age. At this stage, a change to Laughing Dog adult complete is recommended. It is advisable to soak dry food for puppies under 12 weeks of age. When introducing Laughing Dog, do so gradually over a period of 7 days, increasing the proportion of food each day.
It is recommended to feed your puppy four meals a day up until the age of 4 months (16-weeks), and then reduce their feed to three meals a day until they are 6 months old. They can then move to two meals a day, and stay on this routine for the rest of their life.
As puppies from the age of 3-4 weeks will be transitioning to soaked dry puppy foods, they are still very tiny at this point so make sure the food is accessible, without them having to climb over high rimmed bowls. Many puppy owners use a flat surface or plate to place the dry food on, pour warm water over it and soak for 10-15 minutes. Give it a quick mix, check the temperature is okay then place on the floor for the puppy to access.
It usually takes 10-15 minutes to soak puppy food enough for it to loosen and soften. This makes it easier for young puppies to chew as they are only just developing their teeth. Make sure if you have used hot water that it is cool enough to give to your puppy – this might take longer than 10-15 minutes.
It is recommended that puppy food is soaked from the age of 3-4 weeks up to 12 weeks. However there is no set rule for this, some puppies or even older dogs will always prefer to eat dry food when soaked and it is providing your puppy or dog with more water intake, so certainly nothing wrong with that!
Be sure to use warm or hot water to moisten the dry food, the idea is to make it softer for developing teeth! But always allow time to cool before providing the food to your puppy.