Introducing a puppy to a new home and giving it the life it deserves is enjoyable and exciting for a family. However, many families stress about purchasing the right food for their new pup so they can grow healthy and lead a long life. There is so much hype presently surrounding the choice of puppy food that it could be confusing to know which to buy, and it appears like such a big decision it could be scary as well. It is essential to know what all the hype means, what the truth of the matter is and how you can make your choice.
Young dogs need different nutrients than adult dogs because they are actively building bone, muscles and developing their organs. Newborns get everything from the milk provided by their mother before they are about four weeks old. That is when they start consuming solid food and are reliant on their mother for only another two weeks.
There are some things that you can consider when looking for the right food for your puppy:
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To determine the best puppy food you first need to know if your pup is classed as a large breed when it becomes an adult. Food for a large breed pup needs a different ingredient balance than that for smaller breeds. The general advice is to use puppy food for the first year. The young dog will reach 90 percent of the scheduled adult weight in twelve months. But you need to be aware that a pup is a pup for 8 – 12 months for smaller breed dogs whilst the large breed dog has a puppy span of around 18 months.
Not many people realize just how crucial these development months are, and why it is so important to keep the pup on the best puppy food for the proper length of time, and not give adult food too early. It all has to do with proper bone and growth plate formation to prevent future problems which can start appearing in the early stages of the dog’s life as well as when the dog is getting older. Large breed pups need the right balances of calcium, phosphorus, fiber, protein, fats, and calories and they are quite a bit different to that of the smaller breeds. Making food available three times a day is the utmost up until six months of age because they need about twice as many calories as an adult. This is their fastest enhancement period.
Once you have ascertained whether you have a small or large breed pup and understand that size does not determine when a pup becomes an adult and how it is important to keep giving puppy food for the proper length of time for correct growth, then all that needs to be done is to select the best puppy food!
That is not as simple as looking at the pretty label on the packaging because that is purely designed to attract you at the point of purchase, and bears no resemblance as to whether it is going to be right food for your puppy. Dog food is a very unregulated market and can really be described as buyer beware – research what are good and bad ingredients. AAFCO is not a government department and has no regulatory powers.
The Hyper-processed and manufactured puppy foods have recently fallen under attack for their use of artificial ingredients and chemicals which are not natural products. This is the same attack that many junk food companies for humans have fallen prey to, and could be frightening to a puppy owner. According to many people, the brand of the food is not essential simply because they’re all the same – full of artificial nutrients, fake meat, and very little nutritional value.
The truth, sadly, is that it could be nearly impossible to gauge the information you need about puppy foods merely from the commercials and advertisements you watch on television. Basically, puppies who’re fed regularly and get an adequate amount of healthcare and physical exercise are likely to live full, wholesome lives. No particular dog food in the marketplace is recognized for making a puppy ill from eating it, and the price has little to do with the nutritional value of the specific brand. There can be a study found to support every type of dog food available for purchase over the others, so none of them could be agreed upon as the very best.
The choice for a puppy food is just that – a choice. It can be agonizing and confusing, or it can be simple and satisfactory. Puppies are likely to chow down on just about anything you feed them. However, numerous breeds of dogs cannot tolerate table scraps, particular ingredients or even particular types of meat. It is essential to talk with your vet about what your puppy breed needs and what is acceptable and go from there. Believing the hype only causes stress, and your vet should be the only one you trust with your new puppy’s health and well-being.
However, you do have plenty of options and lots to consider such as will you feed kibble or canned or raw or dehydrated or even make your own? Will it be a grain free dog food because grains are not part of a natural diet for dogs or even a hypoallergenic dog food to help prevent any possible allergies? One thing is pretty much a given and that is if you put a bit of effort in selecting what is going the be the best puppy food, you will see the rewards in a healthier, happier dog, with eyes that sparkle and a great coat.
The food listed on the label is in order of weight. Keep in mind that meat is 75% water, so even if it is listed as the first ingredient, much of that is water. Meat meal is a product that results from removing most of the water, leaving concentrated animal protein. By-products may be encompassed, which refers to internal organs and bones. Ss a precaution against illness, the FDA has prohibited certain parts from some animals. They have also disallowed brains and spinal cords from older animals since these have a higher risk of carrying disease.
Dogs cannot digest corn and can develop skin flaws if fed a diet high in corn, it is best to avoid those products corn. Several foods are downright dangerous to dogs. Do not feed the pup avocados, chocolate, alcohol or raisins. Get a complete list of foods to avoid from the family vet or an online search. Also, remember to give them plenty of fresh water on a regular basis.
When you first get your puppy, feed it exactly the same food as it has been getting and change over the food to your preference slowly over a week or so. If you do not do this your pup will have an upset stomach, be in pain, have diarrhea and possibly also vomit.
Start by putting around 10% of the new food for a couple of days then increase to 15-20% for another couple of days then 40% and increase by 20% increments each couple of days until completely changed over. Should your pup have had nothing other than mothers milk then giving a formula between milk and solid food should be considered. You will find a number of brands offer either a puppy variety or state the food is suitable for all life stages although with all life stages it may be prudent to check with the manufacturer when it comes to large breed puppies. If you choose a specialist dog food manufacturer that is using quality ingredients you will be well on your way to finding the best puppy food.
When not writing about himself in the third person, Andy spends much of his time walking his dog Mr Wox, aka Soxy Woxy. A leading authority on dog-related topics, Andy is highly respected, deeply appreciated and widely admired.