Poodle pups have special feeding requirements. A puppy’s stomach is not large enough to hold sufficient food in one feeding to provide his daily nutritional needs. When a puppy graduates from mother’s milk to solid food at about six weeks of age, he will require three to four meals a day, with the exception of Toys, who may need four to six meals. When he reaches about four to five months old, twice-a-day feedings may be sufficient. He can graduate to once-a-day meals at eight to nine months of age.
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Feeding The Poodle Pup: A pup’s nutritional requirements for growth and development are greater than those for an adult dog. If you opt to feed your Poodle pup a commercially prepared diet, feed one formulated especially for pups to ensure that your Poodle gets the nutrients he needs. A Poodle pup who eats a complete and balanced commercial puppy diet doesn’t need additional supplements. Adding supplements can cause nutritional imbalance. However, if you are supplying your dog with a home-cooked or fresh-diet meal plan, supplements may be necessary. Consult with a veterinary nutritionist.
Dry food can be moistened with warm water to encourage pups to eat. Milk can be used, too, but only in extremely small amounts. Cow’s milk causes digestive upset in some puppies and dogs. A tablespoon of canned food can be added to increase interest, as well. These are general guidelines for feeding your Poodle pup; consult with your veterinarian for more specific advice.
Feeding Adult Poodles: The adult Poodle is a mature dog, usually age one year or older. Healthy adult dogs who are not pregnant, nursing, or hardworking have somewhat low nutritional requirements. Feeding is fairly straightforward if you’re feeding commercially prepared kibble. Buy a complete and balanced diet made for the adult dog and give your dog the recommended amount once or twice a day. Add a tablespoon of canned food for taste if you wish. Adjust the amount according to the Poodle’s activity level and body condition.
Feeding Hardworking Poodles: Highly active Poodles use a lot of energy. The hard-working dog can require two to three time more kilocalories per pound of body weight than what is required for normal activity. To maintain good body condition and keep up his stamina, the hardworking Poodle must eat a high-energy diet.
Many veterinarians recommend commercially prepared “performance” diets for highly active dogs. Higher fat, higher-protein diets supply the working dog with needed calories. Because performance diets are higher in protein than maintenance diets, there s a misconception that the active dog just needs extra protein. However, all nutrients are required in greater amounts. Additionally, research indicates that moderately high-protein diets are unlikely to cause kidney damage – in spite of some breeders’ and owners’ beliefs that it does.
Feeding Your Elderly Poodle: Older Poodles (those who have reached the last 25 percent of their expected life span) are usually less active than adult dogs and pups. Thus, their energy requirements are reduced and they can gain weight easily if fed too much or fed a high-calorie diet. Some veterinarians recommend “senior” diets; foods high in nutrients but reduced in calories to keep a senior Poodle at a healthy weight.