How to Find Foods Best for Puppy Nutrition
Choosing the best puppy food for your new baby dog can be a daunting task. After all, today there are thousands of commercial dog foods on the market.
So, where do you start?
When searching for puppy food, the best place to start is simply knowing what the ideal dog food might look like. And what a puppy needs for proper growth. Puppies are growing rapidly, building bone and muscle, and developing organs. Adult dogs are maintaining their bodies. Your puppy needs extra nutrients to fuel his growth.
We tend to favor puppy foods that are…
- Higher in meat-based protein
- Higher in natural fats and oils
- Lower in carbohydrates
- Formulated from a named (non-generic) animal source
- Free of animal or vegetable by-products
- Free of artificial flavoring, coloring or preservatives
- Complete in all essential vitamins and minerals
- Not excessive in calcium for large breed puppies
Doesn’t Higher Protein Content Cause Hip and Joint Problems?
No — but overfeeding does.
Contrary to popular belief, hip dysplasia and skeletal diseases in dogs are not related to dietary protein. They’re much more likely the result of genetics, excessive dietary calcium or overfeeding during growth.
Studies have clearly demonstrated the greatest risk of developing skeletal problems later in life is directly linked to overfeeding — allowing a puppy to eat all day on demand.
To greatly decrease the risk of your dog suffering the ill effects of serious growth problems, avoid leaving your puppy’s food in the bowl all day long.
Serve measured amounts — on a regular schedule. Puppies should eat three times a day from weaning through four to six months, if possible. After six months, twice-a-day feedings are fine.
Proper Puppy Nutrition
Unfortunately, when feeding puppies, you need to pay attention to protein minimums and fiber maximums. And fat content, too. Too little (or too much) calcium can cause bone problems. And the same for phosphorus and magnesium, too. Getting everything right can be challenging. After a month or six weeks on the food, assess your puppy’s health. He should be playful and energetic, with a shiny, thick coat. Formed brown feces are a sign that your puppy is digesting most of the nutrients in the food.
Source: Pets MD
Is It Safe to Feed Adult Dog Food to a Puppy?
Puppy foods contain more of certain nutrients — and less of others.For this reason, and even though it’s safe to feed your adult dog a puppy food, never feed any puppy a food designed for adult maintenance only. Adult foods can be deficient in certain puppy nutrients.
Also, some foods that people enjoy can be harmful to dogs. Keep your puppy away from avocados, chocolate, grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, and raw bread dough made with yeast. Also avoid onions, garlic, and chives; milk and large amounts of dairy products such as cheese; alcohol; coffee and caffeine; salty food, such as potato chips; and food sweetened with xylitol, such as gum, baked goods, and sweets. Xylitol, also used in products such as toothpaste, can cause liver failure in dogs.
Source: Dog Food Advisor