Most 5 7 month old puppies will not need the same number of daily feedings as they did when they were younger. Now is the time to skip the bedtime feeding and give only two meals a day: morning and late afternoon or early evening. The amount of food he consumes, however, must be increased to compensate for the dropped meal and also because his rapid growth puts an extra demand on the puppy at this stage.
The amount of food required depends on the individual puppy, the extent of his activity, exercise, size, and weight. You will find more information in the chapter on “Basic Nutrition and Feeding.”
An important point is that at least three fourths of your puppy’s diet should consist of a balanced, prepared dog food that will give him all the necessary food elements. You will probably be able to judge the amount of food needed to keep your puppy satisfied and in good weight, neither too fat nor too thin, by observing him. The feeding chart, based on the puppy’s weight and caloric need, can serve as a guide.
There is a method called self feeding in which dry dog meal is kept out for the dog to eat at will. Although self feeding more often appeals to the kennel owner, it can also be adapted to house pets, especially when the owners are away during the day. The self feeding method is described on.
Bonesshould they or should they not be given to your dog? Let us consider the negatives: bones provide little nourishment, can cause constipation, and can irritate or even tear the digestive tract when swallowed. Continuous gnawing of bones wears down the teeth. On the positive side, bones provide chewing exercise and most dogs enjoy them tremendously.
At one time bones were considered quite beneficial for dogs, but today they are looked upon as more risky than nutritious. Most pet owners give synthetic or rawhide bones instead to satisfy their dogs’ chewing urge. If you want to give real bones to your dog, though, limit the number to about one a week. Never give him a bone near his regular feeding time. And only give a well cooked large bone, such as a beef shank or knuckle bone, that will not splinter. Poultry, chop, and other small bones are too sharp; they can splinter or be swallowed and do great harm.
Don’t forget that your dog needs water as well as food. In fact, a dog can live without food a great deal longer than he can without water to drink. Keep fresh water in a bowl where he can drink at will unless you make it a practice to offer a drink several times a day. The water should be renewed frequently, especially in hot weather when it can quickly become warm or fouled by insects.