You are not the first person to adopt a new puppy only to cross your eyes when they look at the many choices for food. A brand-new puppy brings pure joy. You have entered a world of love and companionship, but when it comes to what to feed your new friend, there are a plethora of options. And he’s starving!
People might wonder if puppies really need a different kind of food or if the whole idea is just a marketing ploy to get dog food companies to sell more of it. But be certain: Puppies have distinct nutritional requirements in comparison to adults.
What precisely is dog food?
Puppy food contains twice as much nutrition per day as a mature dog needs in order to meet the nutritional requirements of young and still growing dogs. Puppies’ bones, muscles, joints, internal organs, and immune system are just a few of the areas in which nutrition is supporting their rapid growth and development.
The nutrients that a puppy specifically requires for this purpose are included in a well-balanced puppy food, as are the nutrients that are not required once the puppy has finished growing into a dog and are not included in adult formula dog foods.
For instance, puppy food contains the vitamins and minerals a puppy needs to be healthy and contains approximately 30% protein to build a strong body. Additionally, puppy food is not recommended for adult dogs due to its high fat content for energy.
How do you determine how long a puppy should be fed food?
Until they reach the expected adult size, dogs are considered puppies. Puppy food should be fed to a puppy until he reaches 80% of his expected adult size, which for most dogs is about a year old. In rare instances, you may need to stop feeding your puppy food earlier; especially if your veterinarian is concerned about complications because the puppy is growing too quickly (long bone disease and panosteitis are two growth diseases to watch out for). You will need to follow your veterinarian’s advice in situations like this.
How frequently ought to a puppy be fed?
Often, new owners are unsure of how much to feed their puppy at mealtime. Do you eat out of her bowl? Allow her to consume as much as she desires? Ad libitum or on-demand feeding, also known as leaving a bowl of food available at all times, is a mistake made by some owners.
In most cases, you should just follow the instructions on the packaging from the manufacturer. These guidelines for feeding puppies typically fall within the range that is recommended by veterinarians, though there are times when they are so broad that they are useless. For instance, a particular food may recommend feeding your dog 2 to 4 1/2 cups of food per day. As you can see, the high end of this range has more than twice as many calories as the low end, so it’s not really a good range.
Until she is about six months old, a puppy should be fed three times a day. Unless your veterinarian advises otherwise, you should limit her meals to twice a day, in the morning and in the evening, as growth slows at this age in many breeds. Your dog should eat twice a day for the rest of his or her life.
What Qualities Should You Look for in a Dog Food?
You probably only want the best for your dog, so there are a few things you can look for in a food to help you tell it apart from others.
Avoid the mystery meats. Foods containing fats from unidentified meats or animal meals should be avoided at all costs. Foods that do not disclose the sources of their additives are best avoided for your own safety. Meat meals and rendered fats are not necessarily harmful, but you must know which animal these byproducts come from.
Avoid artificial colors and preservatives. Try to stay away from as many artificial colors and preservatives as possible. The majority of the time, the fewer ingredients on a food bag, the better.
Protein ought to be first. Look for foods with a source of protein listed first. Although dogs are omnivorous animals who thrive when fed a variety of fruits, fats, vegetables, meats, and grains, the majority of their diet should consist of meat.
Choose foods that range in price from moderate to high. Although some lower-priced puppy foods are of comparable quality to higher-priced options, puppies fed at the lowest price point almost always perform worse. Cheaper puppy foods simply don’t have the same level of quality.
Pay attention to the manufacturing location. Choose products that are made in a country with high standards for the quality of pet food. Although it is difficult to draw broad conclusions, most dog foods produced in Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Western Europe, or Asia should not be consumed.