Today we are going to talk about dog nutrition and what you should look for in your puppy’s food. Just like infants, puppies require different levels of nutrients than older dogs. Physically puppies grow fastest during the first six months. The right nutrition is critical to support this rapid growth. That said, your puppy should only receive premium puppy food until he reaches his adult height and weight. That’s typically in the first year for small and medium breeds and can be up to two years for large and giant breeds.
One more thing to consider is that a puppy’s energy requirement can be nearly twice that of an adult dog. And since their stomachs are smaller, they need more nutritionally dense food formulated just for puppies to help them meet their energy needs. There are three types of foods, dry kibble, semi moist which comes in sealed packages, and moist or canned. Most veterinarians and trainers recommend dry kibble food because of its fat content and the fact that moist food can spoil. Dry kibble also helps with tartar control, which is particularly important for his developing teeth.
When you’re shopping for food, there are several things you want to look for and keep in mind. Look for the label for a statement that says formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO dog food Nutrient Profiles for Growth. Read the ingredients list on the back of the package and look for the real meat as the first ingredient. Puppies grow the fastest during the first six months of lives. And because of growth rates differ among breed sizes, you need to feed a formula designed to address the needs of your puppy’s breed and size.
Ideally, puppy food should also contain animal-based protein for strong muscles. The protein requirement for growing puppies is higher than that for adult dogs. High-quality protein is critical for puppies to create new body tissue as they grow. Another important thing to know is that what is good for humans is not necessarily good for animals. Because proper nutrition is critical for optimal development, and because human food doesn’t offer the proper balance of nutrients puppies need, it’s important to teach your whole family that feeding your puppy or your dog table-scrape is a big no-no and a major health hazard. In the next, we are going to talk about puppy feeding schedules.