Getting a puppy for the first time in your life is a feeling beyond words. You probably already imagined all the fun things and blissful moments you’re your new family member. However, many new dog owners do not realize that dogs need constant care as well. Especially when it comes to their diet. The diet requirements of dogs vary by breed. It is very important to keep the following tips in mind in order to prepare yourself for responsibly owning a dog.

Understanding different Types of Dog Foods

The market is saturated with different types of dog foods. As a new pet owner, you will find yourself surrounded by all kinds of unknown dog food brands. However, when buying food for your dog, keep in mind two things: your dog’s willingness to accept a certain diet, and their weight. Once a certain diet is chosen, the owners must stick to it. For large dog breeds, it would be best to go for dog food which contains chicken and rice. The protein from dog foods containing chicken and rice can help in strong bone formation for larger dog breeds. However, it is important to note that some of these can cause a vomiting reaction in some dogs. New dog owners should consult a vet if such symptoms show up in the dog.

Consulting a Vet Before Choosing Diets

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image from: Homestead Kennels

New dog owners should consult a vet to draw a proper diet chart for their dogs. The vets can determine if the dog is a picky eater or has any underlying stomach problems. Some dog food on the market can cause diarrhea and vomiting in some dogs. You should be considerate of your dogs’ health problems before choosing a particular diet. Many vets recommend a diet which consists of natural ingredients, especially the rare dried beet pulp. The dried beet pulp keeps the dog’s stomach healthy and is perfect for dogs with gastrointestinal problems.

Maintaining Meal Schedules

Sometimes, new dog owners make the mistake of not maintaining meal schedules. Dogs need proper exercise, diet, and constant care from their owners. Owners with extremely busy schedules might end up neglecting their dogs. If not fed on time, the dog could develop malnutrition. Grain-free dog foods are easy to prepare and provide dogs with wholesome nutrition throughout the day. With no artificial ingredients, grain-free dog foods are healthy, build the dog’s immune system, and contain vitamins that are vital for the dog’s growth.

Giving Treats

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Dogs will do anything for treats, and you as a new dog owner might be especially tempted to give them those treats frequently. However, too many treats can cause the dog to develop an upset stomach. Owners should avoid giving too many sweets, caffeine, fatty foods, and salty treats to the dogs. Dogs, especially German Shepherds, can develop an upset stomach and gastrointestinal problems if they are fed the wrong treats. When giving small treats to dogs, dry dog foods in small quantities are a better choice for German Shepherds. A substitution can be to give your dog chew toys to chew on. When they want treats, they do not always want food, but simply something to chew on. Chewing toys can keep them busy for a while until it is time for them to eat.

Exercise is the Key

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New dog owners must be careful not to neglect their dog’s exercise routine. Choosing the correct diet for the dogs is important, but an exercise routine is also crucial for the dog’s development. You should take your dog on walks regularly in order to maintain your pet’s ideal weight. If the owners feel that their dog has gained weight, they should start gradually increasing the intensity of the exercise routine. Also, the dogs should be fed dog foods with digestible formulas. These help to control the weight of the dogs and also increase their mobility.

Checking Ingredients

If someone bought a puppy for the first time, they should keep in mind that puppies need a specialized diet. Not only do they have to be fed around 3 to 6 times a day, but they also need a diet which is strictly corn and wheat free. Moreover, puppies also need foods that contain similar ingredients to their mother’s milk for proper growth.
Kibbles are the most preferred German Shepherd puppy food these days, since it helps reducing plaque and tartar buildup from the teeth. So, if you're an owner of a GS puppy, we recommend you go for kibbles rather than regular canned puppy foods.
As a new dog owner you should pay attention to feed your puppies with high protein dog food, and must also ensure that the puppies are properly fed. They can also opt for a chicken and vegetable diet in small but frequent quantities.

Keeping Track of Diet Changes

As dogs grow, their dietary requirements also change. You should watch out for the changes in your dog’s dietary needs and make the necessary changes to adapt to those needs. As puppies grow into full-grown dogs, new pet owners should opt for an all-in-one dog food, which provides growing dogs with all of their required nutrition Puppy foods for large dogs contain natural fish oil and beet pulp, thus is perfect for growing puppies. Foods rich with natural fibers are important for a puppy’s brain development, so you should keep a lookout for dog foods with these ingredients.

Avoiding Artificial Ingredients

Your furry friend does not need dog foods with artificial ingredients. However, most dog food brands will add artificial ingredients anyway. You my dear future dog owner must be careful when buying dog foods and must make sure that the food contains natural ingredients and has no soy or corn syrup in it. Same goes for food colorings. Dog foods containing Vitamins C and E are beneficial for German Shepherds for example with better stomach digestion. The all-natural ingredients also support their big bodies and bone health. Please also note that certain dog foods are not suitable for dogs younger than 15 months. Hence, the owners should read the range on the packages before purchasing dog foods.

Switching Between Wet and Dry Food

One common misconception is that dogs are usually fed dog foods which come in dry kibble form. New pet owners tend to buy dry dog foods because they are cheaper and more convenient for the dogs to chew on. However, too much dry food can dehydrate dogs. Striking a balance between wet and dry food is important to maintain your dog’s health. Non-GMO dog foods that contain brown rice and potatoes provide a balanced meal for dogs. It does not dehydrate them, and the nutritious meal provides them with the necessary vitamins for their growth. New pet owners should pay attention on keeping their dogs hydrated with plenty of water as well.

Patience

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This is the most important rule for any new dog owner. A lot of time and patience is needed to raise and train dogs. The dog needs to be trained over time. Initially, the dog will trash the owner’s home, will steal food off of the counter, and will also excrete in random places. As a new pet owner, you might find it overwhelming to tend to your dog’s every need. But you have to be patient with the canine. They are in a new environment and needs time to adjust. You should not rush anything, take time to prepare a diet, learn your dog’s habits and work out a way to train them. Talking to vets and other dog owners will give you an idea on how to handle the responsibility of a dog. Over time, the bond between you and your companion will grow stronger and you will be able to understand each other better.

Final Thoughts

All these tips might seem complicated to follow. However, once you fall into a routine of taking care of your dog, these steps will become natural to follow. The new journey will not be perfect. There will be some rough times and you may even mess up along the way. However, with your new dog, you are in for a lifetime of happiness and companionship from a loyal pet. All you need are time and your willpower to take care of them. Everything else will fall into place step by step.