Puppy Nutrition

Proper nutrition is vital for puppies to get a jumpstart at a healthy life and prevent many illnesses and diseases that can be rooted in poor nutrition. When it comes to feeding your new puppy, there are several things you want to pay attention to.

First, you want to make sure you are choosing an appropriate food for puppies. Raw diets, when fed correctly, are appropriate and quite healthy for puppies. Make sure to do as much research as possible before embarking on a raw diet for your puppy so that you can ensure it is properly balanced and safely prepared. The next healthiest food for your dog after raw is a freeze-dried or dehydrated diet, followed by canned food, and then dried food or “kibble.” These foods are usually AAFCO approved, and when feeding a puppy, the label should read:

“X BRAND DOG FOOD is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles (either) for growth, for growth and maintence or for all life stages.”

While you are reading the label, make sure to read through the ingredients. You want to avoid inferior ingredients like by-products, corn, wheat, soy, artificial coloring, preservatives, or flavorings. I recommend feeding grain-free diets to both puppies and adult dogs, as there is no nutritional requirement for carbohydrates in dogs, and grains are simply a low-cost filler that often cause intolerance in dogs. If you do choose to feed a kibble or grain that is inclusive of grains, make sure that the food is meat based (meat meal or meat AND a meat meal should be listed before the grains in the food) and that the grains are whole and not divided, like rice meal and rice bran. Also check the serving size to determine the daily serving for a puppy. Puppies need more calories than adult dogs of the same size, and should be fed twice a day. Keeping these feedings routine helps aid in housebreaking and begin good eating habits.

When it comes to feeding a large-breed puppy, there are special concerns. One myth is that large-breed puppies need a lower-protein diet to prevent too-quick growth that can lead to hip and joint problems. In reality, it is actually overfeeding that does the most damage to a young large-breed puppy. All puppies, but particularly larger ones, should be kept lean during puppyhood so as to not “overload” the growing body and contribute to skeletal diseases like hip dysplasia or osteochondrosis. It is also important

The first year of a dogs life is a crucial time to build a solid foundation and start good feeding habits. Building a solid foundation can help to prevent health problems in the future and ensure a long and healthy life for your puppy!

Further Reading

Best Puppy Foods

Why “Overgrowing” Your Large Breed Puppy is Dangerous



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