How to feed a shichon puppy

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Shichons are hybrid dogs that come from breeding a purebred bichon frise with a purebred shitz tzu. Shichons are small -- 3.63 to 5.44 kg (8 to 12 lb) -- alert, spunky and playful dogs that do not shed. They are a good breed for families with allergies. You can free-feed a shichon puppy, or keep it on a schedule.

However, free-feeding can make housebreaking more difficult.

Feed the puppy the same food, on the same schedule it was on before you purchased it. Changing its diet too quickly can cause stomach upset. Gradually switch to your preferred food by mixing it with the old food -- adding more new food and less old -- each day until the puppy can eat the new food without problems.

Choose a high-quality dry puppy food. Puppies require different nutrients than grown dogs, so your puppy should only receive food made especially for puppies for the first year. The first ingredient listed on the food should be meat. If the first ingredient is meat-by-product, bone meal, corn, wheat, or anything but a real type of meat choose a better puppy chow.

Feed your 6- to 8-week old puppy three to four times a day. Follow the guidelines for feeding amounts based on weight, provided on the dog food package. Shichons are small dogs, so they won't eat much. If the puppy seems hungry, increase the amount of food. Reduce it if the dog appears to be gaining too much weight. You can also free-feed the puppy, leaving dry food available at all times, but watch that it doesn't become overweight.

Reduce the number of feedings to twice daily at two months of age. Continue feeding food designed for puppies until the dog is one year old, then switch to a high-quality adult dog food.

Provide fresh water at all times.