Dog Feeding Guides
Puppy Dog Feeding Guide
Let’s get this puppy started!
Growing bones and brains, and energy levels off the charts – it’s no wonder puppies need their own special food to get them growing into those paws!
Puppies are usually weaned at six to seven weeks, so it’s not long before those helpless little bundles are ready for solids and bouncing all over the place! Prior to weaning, from around two to three weeks, you can offer them small amounts of puppy kibble made into a soft mush with warm water, gradually reducing the water from six weeks. Be sure to replace moistened food regularly so it doesn’t go off and make them poorly.
Naturally healthy & perfect for pups!
In the early days it can feel like they’re growing right before your eyes. In fact, their rate of growth is so fast, it's really important to provide all the nutrients they need in the right amounts and ratios to support their healthy growth and development. From supporting healthy digestion, skin and coat, to building up their immunity, it can feel like a lot to remember.
James Wellbeloved™ specially created puppy recipes contain higher levels of protein and fat* and balanced calcium and phosphorus to support healthy growth – so you can focus on the fun stuff!
How often should I feed my puppy?
James Wellbeloved™ puppy pouches can be fed alone as a complete diet or alongside our dry puppy food or junior kibble. If you’re using puppy pouches, you can keep open pouches in the fridge for the next day. Have a look at our handy chart to help you stay on track.
For further information on puppy feeding, dive into our PUPPY BLOG to read our article on how much to feed a puppy.
A lot can happen in six months!
The word ‘puppy’ is of course a broad term and a lot can happen in the six months of puppyhood! What’s more, puppies come in all shapes and sizes… It might sometimes seem like a lot of food, but it’s important for their healthy growth and development. Our at-a-glance guide below can help you figure out how much to feed them and when they will be ready to transition or adult food.
Easy does it!
Puppies’ tummies can be sensitive to change, so any adjustments to their diet should be made over time, by gradually replacing small amounts of their puppy food with their next-stage food – have a look at our food transition guide below.
Junior Dog Feeding Guide
Bye bye Pup - Hello Junior!
Puppyhood flies by in the blink of an eye, doesn’t it? After around six months, our puppies are classed as junior dogs. Their nutritional needs are changing and it’s important to make sure what’s in their bowl reflects this exciting new stage.
Moving to junior dog food
In the transition from puppy to adult, some puppies can be given specialist junior dog food, depending on their breed size (see our at-a-glance transition guide). All junior dogs should be given at least two meals per day, and of course, plenty of clean, fresh water to drink.
Making the change up to junior food guarantees their nutrition is right, not only for their age, but also for their breed and size. Just like our puppy range, James Wellbeloved™ junior food has been specially created to meet the specific needs of your junior dog, and it’s hypoallergenic and naturally healthy to boot.
James Wellbeloved™ junior food:
- Is ideal for dogs with an expected adult weight of 10 − 25kg
- Has protein and fat levels slightly reduced for slower growth stage
- Depending on breed, is a step up in kibble size
Just like us, as they grow up, your junior dog will start to develop their own unique character and personality, and with that comes their own preferences for flavours and textures.
If you’re using dry food, you may wish to moisten it with a little warm water, as some dogs may prefer this. You can also use James Wellbeloved™ moist, complete and balanced pouches as a tasty topper for dry dog food, but make sure you reduce the quantity of dry food by 40g for every 150g pouch.
When should I transition to junior or adult food?
Junior dogs come in all shapes and sizes and, depending on their breed, they may need to transition to their next-stage food at different times. Toy and small breeds, for example, can move straight to adult food at six months, whereas our giant breeds should transition to junior foods earlier.
Have a look at our handy at-a-glance guide:
Easy does it!
Changing foods overnight isn’t a good idea for young tummies. If you’re wondering how to transition your puppy to James Wellbeloved™ specialist junior or adult food, here’s our helpful how-to guide:
Adult Dog Feeding Guide
Time for a grown-up menu!
Before you know it, they’re all grown up, and it’s time for their diet to reflect their new-found adulthood.
So when is your dog officially an adult?
Depending on their size and breed, your dog becomes an adult between one and seven years of age. And whilst the growing up is almost done, we need to concentrate on keeping them in tip-top condition, with enough fuel for healthy energy levels and the right nutrients to support immunity, digestion and a healthy skin and coat – and of course, their weight.
Diet makes a difference!
The healthy average weight for your dog will depend on their breed and lifestyle. They should be weighed at their regular vet check-ups, and your vet can also advise on any health conditions to be aware of, especially those where diet can make a difference. This article in our dog blog is full of useful information on ideal weights for different breeds.
Ask your vet for advice, and diet is a great place to start. Intolerances and allergies can affect digestion, but also cause other symptoms, such as coughs and sneezes. Here’s a handy guide on what to look out for.
James Wellbeloved™ recipes are all hypoallergenic, to suit every dog. They exclude all common allergens – beef, pork, soya, eggs, dairy and wheat – and contain no artificial colours, flavours or antioxidants that could potentially irritate dogs with sensitivities.
How much is enough?
Adult dogs can be given one meal per day, but it’s a good idea to divide their daily allowance into two servings. If you’re giving them treats, take the equivalent amount of food away from their daily allowance to prevent overfeeding.
There are plenty of handy tips in our article: "How much should I feed my dog?"
Our at-a-glance feeding chart below can also help you calculate what your dog needs, according to their breed and their activity level. If you’re unsure how to categorise their activity level, have a look at our Dog blog to get a clearer idea.
Our feeding guides are based on our Adult dry dog food range, such as our best-selling Turkey & Rice dry food, specially created with chicory, oats, linseed and yucca extract.
The recommended daily serving is only a guide, as needs can vary considerably from dog to dog, and the exact serving should be adjusted according to their body condition, for example, if you’re concerned they’re overweight. If they are looking a little bit plump, it’s always best to get your vet’s opinion, and you can also find out more in our overweight feeding guide below.
Easy does it!
Changing foods overnight isn’t a good idea for tummies of any age. If you’re wondering how to transition your dog to James Wellbeloved™ adult food, here’s our helpful how-to guide.
Got a question about feeding your adult dog, ideal weight or sensitivities?
Our Expert Pet Nutritionist is standing by: ASK ALICE!
Senior Dog Feeding Guide
Who are you calling old?
Once your dog is over seven years old, they’re classed as a senior. And as for our small breeds, these mighty titans are not classed as senior until they pass the ripe old age of ten. Respect is due! All those years of running around, exploring and having amazing adventures, and they’re still going strong.
But just like us, their needs change as they get older and it’s a good idea to review their diet so they can keep you on your toes for many more years to come. Hopefully, with the right diet for their needs, age can be just a number…
Similar to adult dogs, senior dogs can eat one or two meals a day. But in addition to looking after their overall health as you have over the years, senior dogs can need more heart and joint health support than a younger dog, and an extra boost for their immune system doesn’t go amiss either. As well as thinking about the vitamins and minerals they need to support them in older age, it’s also a good idea to consider different textures too, such as a combination of wet and dry foods, as this could help support their changing digestion and older teeth.
It’s time to adjust their diet!
Naturally healthy, plus age-specific supplements
As well as being naturally healthy, hypoallergenic and free from added artificial colours, flavours or antioxidants, James Wellbeloved™ recipes for senior dogs are specially formulated according to breed size, and supplemented with:
- Essential amino acids to help maintain healthy hearts
- Chondroitin & Glucosamine – generally believed to support healthy joints
- Vitamin E & minerals to support mature dogs' immune systems
- Fibres from natural sources for mature dogs' healthy digestion
- Natural prebiotics for mature dogs' healthy digestion
HOW MUCH SHOULD I FEED MY SENIOR DOG?
As dogs mature, and perhaps slow down a bit, it can be a little easier for weight to creep on, so it’s as important as ever to keep an eye on portion control (and number of treats) according to their breed size, condition and activity levels.
This handy at-a-glance senior dog feeding guide should help:
Easy does it!
Changing foods overnight isn’t a good idea for tummies of any age. If you’re wondering how to transition your dog to James Wellbeloved™ senior food, here’s our helpful how-to guide:
Overweight Dogs Feeding Guide
Looking a little large?
It’s common to underestimate our dogs’ weight and it’s easier than you think to slip into overfeeding.
If they’re looking a little too round, you’re not alone. Weight can creep on by giving too many treats, or simply by taking your eye off the ball when it comes to portion control – or perhaps you need more information about the best food for their size, age, breed and activity levels. But don’t worry, there’s plenty of advice out there to help you get them back to the right kind of cuddly!
How do I know if my dog is overweight?
The best guide to finding out if your dog is overweight is by using a body condition score. The WALTHAM S.H.A.P.E guide is designed to help you check your dog’s weight regularly and is easy to use.
If you’re concerned your dog might be overweight, the vet should always be your first port of call – don’t try to devise a weight-reduction programme by yourself. It’s best for them to lose weight gradually, so it’s important to carefully monitor your dog’s weekly weight loss, with professional support. Further information can be found in our article: Is my dog overweight?
If you’re wondering about the ideal weight for their particular breed, more guidance can be found in our ideal dog weight article.
Does neutering make a dog gain weight?
Neutering does make a difference to hormone levels and energy, affecting a dog’s metabolism, and ability to burn calories. Female dogs generally have a greater tendency towards obesity, but neutering affects both sexes on the weight-gain front. Talk to your vet if you’ve noticed obvious weight gain or have concerns.
Light foods for full bowls
Once you’ve got your vet’s advice, they may recommend a lighter dog food. James Wellbeloved™ light dog food has been expertly tailored to meet the needs of overweight dogs, while still including all the naturally healthy, wholesome and tasty ingredients dogs love. We’ve reduced the physical density, at the same time as increasing the dietary fibres and proteins, so you can still fill their bowl while keeping their calories down.
James Wellbeloved™ light dog food:
- Larger, less dense kibble for a full bowl
- Provides all the nutrients, but fewer calories for a healthy weight
Rewarding your Dog
There’s a good dog!
Who can resist treating their best friend for their wonderful behaviour, fantastic training… or just because…
When it comes to treats, how much is too much and what can we give them to let them know just how brilliant they are – and how often?
There are plenty of foods and branded treats that can be given as rewards, but whatever you choose, remember they count towards their daily food serving and too many can lead to weight gain, or even obesity.
If you’d like to treat your furry friend, remember to portion off the equivalent of that day’s food allowance to ensure they’re not taking in too many calories. If you know they’re overweight, use a small portion of their usual main meal as a treat instead.
What makes a good doggie treat?
There’s a range of healthy treats you can feed dogs, including some fruits and vegetables, but even these natural goodies can be high in sugar, so they still count as calories.
Veggie patch treats for dogs:
- Pumpkin – low in fat and high in fibre – fresh flesh only please, no peel.
- Carrots – serve raw and chopped to an appropriate size for your dog.
- Green beans – a tasty treat, rich in vitamins and iron.
- Courgettes – a low-calorie option!
- Broccoli – high in fibre and vitamins, but be warned, things may get windy if they eat too much…
- Blueberries – full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Don’t be tempted to give your dog treats from your plate, as some foods can be toxic for them. If you’re unsure, check with your vet for advice. Our article all about Healthy Dog Treats has lots of information and advice.
If you’re introducing new treats, do so gradually and keep an eye on how they react. But whatever you’re giving them, their treats should make up no more than 10% of their daily calorie intake, regardless of what kind of treat it is – so work on your willpower if those puppy-dog eyes are hard to resist!
Naturally healthy treats – naturally!
James Wellbeloved™ treat ranges, Crackerjacks and Minijacks, are made with a carefully selected handful of ingredients, are naturally hypoallergenic and rich in vitamins and minerals. Minijacks are for our smaller furry friends and Crackerjacks for our bigger besties – there are even grain-free versions for them all. Just remember, even though they’re naturally healthy, everything in moderation!
What about dog dental treats?
GREENIES™ dog dental treats encourage great dental health. They’re made from natural ingredients, are easy to digest, help prevent plaque and tartar build-up, and keep their breath fresher for when you’re going in for a cuddle. Don’t rely on dental treats for their oral hygiene, you’ll still need to clean their teeth. Here’s a handy guide to help you get amongst their pearly whites and spare your fingers: https://www.waltham.com/pet-dental-health-guide
Nursing & Breeding Dogs feeding guide
Gestation for dogs lasts around nine weeks, and the needs of breeding bitches in the last three weeks of their pregnancy and during lactation (feeding their puppies) can differ substantially from their regular feeding plan.
How much should I feed my pregnant bitch?
Growing puppies and producing enough milk for five to eight weeks takes energy. For the first six weeks of pregnancy, bitches can be served their normal food allowance, but in the last three weeks, they need up to 30% more food than before. When their milk production peaks, in weeks 3 to 4, they need up to 3.5 times more.
However, it’s simply not possible to eat enough food to supply all the energy required to produce the right amount of milk, so they also convert body fat. By the time the puppies are weaned, your bitch could be 10% lighter than before pregnancy. So it’s vital that breeding bitches are in peak condition before mating. And that comes down to the right balance of a nutritious diet and exercise. Underweight bitches can have smaller, weaker puppies and overweight bitches can have bigger pups, which can be difficult to deliver.
What should I feed my lactating bitch?
Pregnancy is a bit of a juggling act on the food front. Bitches need a lot of energy but have a limited appetite, so they need food with higher levels of energy than normal. But we’ve got you covered: James Wellbeloved™ Puppy and Large Breed Junior Foods are also designed to meet the needs of lactating bitches and should be fed instead of adult food from the sixth week of pregnancy. Multiple mealtimes help them to eat more overall and, in weeks 2 to 4 of lactation, it’s a good idea to give them constant free access to food.