Good health in puppies plays a significant role in how they will be affected as adults. Just as infant humans cannot eat their parent’s’ food, puppies should not eat adult dog food and expect to maintain good health.
All puppies grow their fastest within the first 6 months. Dogs from smaller breeds develop almost to full size within the 1st year of life. Large breed dogs take a little longer to reach total growth at around 18 to 24 months, although their growth for the first six months is more rapid.
During this time, puppies need the right food designed for them to live a healthy life as adult dogs. Young dogs in this category should only eat premium puppy foods until they reach 90 to 100% of full growth.
While eating the proper food for their diet, your puppy should lose his or her potbelly and pudginess by 12 weeks.
Now, let’s discuss nutrition for puppies and tips on choosing food that is healthy for their development. As always, consult with your vet about how much your puppy should be eating each day and to receive advice on your specific pet’s best food needs.
When it comes to the types of puppy foods to serve your dog, dry kibble, semi-moist, and moist are the types available. Most veterinarians recommend dry kibble food to control tartar buildup on teeth and for its lower fat content, making it easier for dogs with sensitive stomachs. More wet foods can be used as a treat and add diversity within their eating program, as long as they receive it occasionally.
All premium puppy foods should be dense in nutrition and meet all nutritional levels established by AAFCO. A label is provided on each dog food container stating it meets the dietary needs of your pet. Always check to make sure your puppy food package is labeled with the AAFCO seal before purchasing.
As with checking for the label, take a look at the ingredients listed on the packing and make sure meat is the first ingredient in the product. The right puppy food for your dog starts with animal protein, such as chicken, beef, lamb, or fish.
Growing puppies also need calcium, probiotics, and iron in their diet, although the ratios for these nutrients are different by breed. As stated, larger dogs grow the fastest of the breeds in the first six months and require less calcium. Too much calcium in larger breeds can cause joint issues later in life. This is why puppy foods are divided at stores by the size of dogs.
Make sure to pick up the proper type for your dog, and if you own both large and small dogs do not allow them to share each other’s food as they are formulated specially to their size and breed.
The science is still out on organic versus commercial-grade puppy food. As of now, most do not see any differences as long as the food meets AAFCO nutritional requirements.
The correct choice is puppy food formulated for growing dogs. Human food is not nutritionally balanced for your puppy and can cause health issues, immediately or later into adulthood.
Although dog snacks are not considered human food, they also should not be given in excess to your puppy, as 90% of your puppy’s diet must come from formulated premium puppy food. Treats are to be used as the name implies, on rare occasions. They should be used sparingly and more for training than as food substitutes.
We proudly serve the communities of Simi Valley, Moorpark, Thousand Oaks, Chatsworth and areas near Ventura County. The staff at Dr. Ron’s are here to provide you with the best information when it comes to your puppy or any of your other pets.
Our excellent and experienced staff will make sure your pet receives the best treatment possible. Contact us today for advice or treatment of your pets.