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puppy treats - what is too much, too little - please critique me, thanks!

1142 Views 5 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Bordermom
Hi guys - we are getting an almost 9 week puppy shihtzu in a few weeks and I am trying to figure out the feeding/treat schedule. I think puppys eat 2x a day or 3? Is the below too much/too little? I really don't know. I don't want to overdue anything and feed the puppy too much but I know it will need treats for training etc. thanks everyone.

morning - walk (2-3 cheerios), morning feeding, when we leave for work --> kong with kibble and peanut butter and 2 non stuffed toys.

midday - walk (2-3 cheerios), midday feeding

evening - walk (2-3 cheerios),evening feeding

What should I do for treats midday or evening?

Is 1 kong per day okay or do I need more?

Thanks! :)
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Puppies should be feed 3-4 times a day until they're about 5 months, then you can switch to twice daily. Cheerios is okay once in a while but it shouldn't be given everyday. Kongs once a day and make sure to use all natural peanut butter. Treats count as their daily food intake, so if you give lots of treats, reduce food. You'll need to calculate it according to the calories per cup which varies by brand. In the evening, giving a dental chew would be good.
Ours got 3X/day feeding until last week. He's 6 months old today. We're still tweaking it because he's acting starving in the afternoon now, though he had stopped eating more than a bite or two of food at lunch time.

I'd just use kibbles as treats for pottying, not cheerios. When our puppy was that young, it needed to be taken out every 20-30 min to avoid accidents. That would add up to tons of cheerios. In fact, when you first bring the pup home, you'll want to make sure it's eating the same kibble it was at the breeder, and I'd only add in one type of treat at a time. Sometimes just changing homes will be stressful and upset the puppy's stomach, so I wanted to leave as many variables constant as possible until I knew my pup was settled, then added in different kinds of treats and people foods. Peanut butter is also really rich. You might want to try a bit of canned food for kong glue instead.
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If the puppy is food motivated I would use the regular meals for training treats. Alternatively, mix cheerios or other yummy treats with the regular food. That way the food will smell more like the treats and you can use them as rewards, and over time the puppy will associate its regular food with the treats and you will eventually be able to use just the regular food.

I would also feed all meals out of a kong, if the meal hasn't already been used as rewards for good behaviour. No reason why a puppy should get food for free when there's so much to learn. Measure out the daily amount of food, and whatever hasn't been eaten by evening can be given in a bowl.
I agree with the above advice - use kibble for treats. Cheerios is all grain, plus sugar, which dogs don't need.

The puppy will need to be taken out to potty a lot more at first than the schedule you outlined. Small dogs especially, have small bladders and can't hold it very long. The puppy needs to go out at least every hour, after meals, after playing, and after waking from a nap. That's why many people get a new puppy when they can take at least a week off of work to help them settle into a routine.

Are you going to crate the puppy? It will help speed up housetraining. Get a crate that has a divider, so that it can be adjusted in size for your growing pup. It should be big enough for the pup to stand up in and turn around, but no bigger. Otherwise, the pup will find a spot to potty in.
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Rather than using a lot of peanut butter, get a good quality canned food and combine it with canned pumpkin. Something like Trippett is stinky enough to work with a lot of pumpkin and won't upset the diet.
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