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Feeding Puppies and Kittens

Ideally, puppies and kittens should be allowed to nurse until their mother chooses to wean them. Orphans can usually start the weaning process around 3 weeks of age. The new food should be made soft and easy for them to lap, but not so mushy that it is inhaled through the nostrils.

Providing good quality nutrition for your pet is one of the best and easiest ways you can help them live a long and healthy life. Good nutrition will also keep your puppy or kitten looking great, with a shiny coat and a healthy body weight.

Puppies and kittens have different nutritional needs from adult dogs and cats. They need higher levels of protein and fat to help them grow up big and strong. Specially formulated food for puppies and kittens is ideal, and make sure there is always fresh water available.

Most mother cats suckle their kittens until they are 7-8 weeks of age, gradually decreasing the time the kittens are allowed to nurse. With this natural weaning process, by 7-8 weeks of age, kittens obtain 80-90% of their nutrition from supplements, and 10-20% from their mother.

Weaned puppies should be fed four times a day until three months of age. With any puppy, but especially puppies of the large and giant breeds, feeding so that the puppy grows slowly is the way to go. Do not overfeed. If puppies are growing properly and gaining weight, reduce feeding to three times a day. After six months of age, feed puppies twice a day. Gradually introduce a variety of puppy foods and textures so your puppy will mature into an adult willing to eat a variety of healthy foods. If you are changing foods, always remember to make the transition gradually.