Puppies grow 20 times faster than adult dogs hence need a well-balanced diet for the major growth spurt. Puppy food can be; tinned, homemade, semi moist and dry complete diets.
There are certain growth foods given to puppies to support their constant growth. However, these foods should strictly be given at specific intervals otherwise their little stomachs will overstretch which is harmful to their health. At a tender age of below four months, puppies should be fed four times a day. The number of feeds reduces gradually as they grow.
A puppy requires 37 nutrients for proper growth. These include 10 amino acids, 12 minerals and 11 vitamins. However it is important to note that there are nutrients that you should be extra careful about to avoid putting the puppy in danger. The calcium, phosphorus and magnesium content in the dog food for puppies should neither be too high nor too low. If it is, the puppy is put at risk of developing bone problems.
Trying to check the dog food packages for individual nutrient content might be a daunting task. However, there is an easier way whereby the Association of America Feed Control Officials puts up a nutritional adequacy statement on the packaging for easy identification. This stamp of quality is only present in puppy food that is nutritionally balanced.
Puppies should strictly be fed on puppy food and not ordinary dog food. This is because puppies require certain nutrients in large quantities and others in lesser quantities. Therefore, feeding them with adult dog food might lead to malnutrition.
Before starting your puppy on any specific dog food, it is advisable to ask for advice from its breeder or a vet. If buying ready packed dry food, ensure that the age recommendation indicated on the pack matches your puppy’s age. This way, you are assured that the contents and food servings will give the puppy the necessary nutrients for proper growth and nutrition.
Apart from the dry foods, you can feed the puppy with some natural foods such as raw meat. Diced chunks of fresh lamb is an ideal choice. Never feed the puppy with cooked bones at a tender age as this might bring forth some deficiencies. It is fine for some puppies to feed on bones as long as they are raw. A vet is in a better position to advice on the type of puppies that are allowed to feed on raw bones and which ones aren’t. Human grade fresh raw meats is a better option as packed pet meats include preservatives that might pose danger to the puppy’s health.
Access to fresh grass is also important as puppies might eat them as a source of micro-nutrients and vegetable matter. Water should also be available at all times for the puppy. You might be advised to empty the puppy’s feeding bowl every now and then but there should be a constant supply of water available.
Foods To Avoid include; chocolate, onions, avocado, coffee, macadamia nuts, bread dough, grapes, sultanas, fruit stones, fatty trimmings, green tomatoes, cooked bones, mushrooms and very small piece of raw bones.
Taking the time to research and find the best dog food for puppies is something that will benefit your puppy for many years to come.