We are happy to provide some general guidelines for offering food and water for your new pup. For specific recommendations or any questions about your dog’s weight or type of food to offer, please talk to your veterinarian. It is common for transitional stress to impact a dog’s appetite and elimination. It is normal for dogs to refuse meals or need a little encouragement to eat during the first few days in their new home. They may also need a few days to get on a good potty schedule and it isn't unusual to have some accidents or loose stools.
Ask for some of the food your pup was eating prior to taking your pup home. If you prefer to feed another food, many dogs benefit from a transition period when shifting to the new diet. Start after they are having normal stools and seem to be comfortable eating in the new home. Start by mixing in 1/4 the volume of the new food, then 1/2, then 3/4 for 1-2 days at each transition. Most dogs can be transitioned over a week, but go more slowly or even take a step back if they stop eating or have any GI upset (vomiting/loose stools). Consider a different food if they are not adjusting after 2 weeks.
Offering regular meals is the best feeding strategy for most dogs. They usually do well with meals 2x a day. Puppies may do best with more frequent meals, especially under 6mo you may consider feeding 3x a day.
If your new dog isn't eating or seems picky - it can be tempting to leave food out all of the time. It is actually best to offer small/frequent meals regularly so they learn to eat when food is offered vs expecting food will be available free choice.
Offer water free choice, the only reason to limit water for a dog is if your vet recommends it - it is typically not required for effective potty training.
You can use the calorie calculator here, and discuss the type of food, treats, and the number of calories your dog should be fed with your vet.
There's so much more to learn to understand your pup. Check out more great articles here!
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