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Dog Basic Care

Dog and Puppy Care

Dogs can bring enormous joy into our lives. If you have recently adopted an animal, this guide has been developed to help answer some common questions about settling your new dog into your home.

Feed your dog premium dry food 

Dogs need a premium food for energy and health. SPCA recommends a quality dry biscuit. Biscuits clean your dog’s teeth and have higher nutrients than soft foods. Premium food is available at SPCA and most vet clinics. Dogs need some variety in their diet – discuss options with your vet.


Your dog should have easy access to fresh clean water at all times, inside and outside.

Foods to avoid

  • Cat food is not suitable for dogs
  • Human food has salt, sugar, or additives which can be harmful, fattening or cause severe reactions
  • Cooked or small bones can splinter and get stuck in the throat or gut. Only provide large, uncooked cannon bones and supervise when eating
  • Do not give your dog milk, most are lactose intolerant and will get diarrhoea

Choose food for the age of your dog

Puppies need high-energy puppy food for bone growth and a healthy immune system. After 12 months, most dogs need an adult dog food for healthy weight and nutrition maintenance. Larger dog breeds may need puppy food until 18 months (discuss with your vet). Dogs over 7 years old need
a senior diet with reduced calories, lower proteins and elements to support bone structure.

Introducing a new food

Introduce any new food gradually over one or two weeks to avoid stomach upsets, mixing in new biscuits with the old, slowly changing the proportions.

How much and how often?

Puppies need to be fed more regularly to provide regular nutrition for growth. For amounts see the daily feeding guide on the packet.

  • Feed pups under 6 months three times a day
  • Feed pups between 6 and 12 months twice a day
  • Feed adult dogs once or twice a day