If Labrador puppies grow too quickly because they are not given adequate nutrition, they can later suffer from joint problems. To avoid this, you can follow the tips below.
Why do Labrador puppies need special food?
Labradors, like other larger dog breeds, run the risk of developing hip dysplasia or elbow dysplasia in old age, causing joint pain. A large part of the risk can be prevented by always keeping the Labrador puppies age-appropriate. The nutrients are then composed in such a way that your little four-legged friend gets everything he needs for healthy growth, but does not receive too many nutrients.
This would cause the bones and joints to grow faster than the dog gets. The faster the growth, the more unstable the bones and joints become and the sooner there will be problems with it sooner or later. In addition, puppies must first switch from breast milk to solid food and the digestive system of the young dogs must first adjust to the new food. If you have any questions or are unsure, you can contact your breeder or veterinarian.
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Proper nutrition for the puppies
In principle, you only need to follow the guidelines of the veterinarian or breeder to properly feed your Labrador puppy. It is best to get a kitchen scale and always measure the portions exactly. Under no circumstances should it be too much. Labradors often tend to be a little gnawed, and your four-legged friend may even be begging. For Labrador puppies, it's best to try not to let the cute dog look soften you. On the one hand, you quickly lose track of the appropriate portions of food, on the other hand, your little cheeky girl will get used to being rewarded for begging; Getting used to it later is not easy.
On the packs of finished food you will usually find a note for which age or phase of life it is suitable and how much you should feed each day. As a precaution, stick to the lower limits and distribute the feed in several small portions a day. Labrador puppies need proteins, fat, vitamins, minerals and only a few carbohydrates, just like adult dogs. However, the protein content for the Labrador babies is reduced, otherwise the feed would be too nutritious. The ratio of calcium to phosphorus should be correct and be about 1.5 to 1. You can also help your puppy, but it is more difficult to achieve an optimally balanced nutrient composition. It is not impossible, but it requires extensive knowledge and very precise planning.
Adapt feeding to growth
As your Labrador puppy gradually grows up and grows into a young dog, you will also need to adjust the amount and frequency of feeding. The individual portions become larger while the frequency is reduced. It takes about nine to 15 months until Labrador puppies are fully grown and can get the adult food once or twice a day.
For safety reasons, ask your breeder or veterinarian about portion sizes and amounts of feed. A small Labrador puppy of about two months can best process its food if you give it five small servings a day. With four months, you can increase the amount of feed slightly and only give four servings a day. A five-month-old Labrador only gets three servings a day, and from six months you can gradually get used to two servings a day.