Puppy Nutrition Tips

You may be surprised to learn that nutrition is a bit of a controversial subject nowadays. There are a plethora of homemade diets (both cooked and raw) and various dog foods out there; however, most advocates will tell you that their diet is the best.

The reality is that unless you know what you're doing and have a diet analyzed, homemade and raw diets can be risky due to potential deficiencies and bacteria. They can be costly and somewhat inconvenient to prepare as well. If you choose to do the homemade or raw diets, be sure to discuss them with your veterinarian and perhaps a veterinary nutritionist to determine if you're meeting all the nutritional requirements your dog's needs.

If you're not interested in raw or homemade diets, there are plenty of good puppy foods available. In most cases, skip the grocery store and bargain brands because they tend to be chock-full of sugar, salt, artificial colors, flavors, and fillers that do nothing nutritionally. Although grocery stores occasionally carry premium brands, the best place to look for puppy food is a pet supply store or even a feed store. Look for a premium dog food formulated according to AAFCO(American Association of feed Control Officials) guidelines as complete and balanced for growing puppies or for all life stages.

The basic rules for choosing a puppy food are these:

- The puppy food must be complete and balanced and have some statement of meeting or exceeding AAFCO guidelines for formulation or in feeding trials. It must be formulated either for all life stages or for growth.
- The puppy food should be a premium brand. "Premium" is only a marketing term; nevertheless, you need to look for a food that is highly digestible.
- You should be able to buy the puppy food at more than one retailer near you.
- Your puppy likes the food.

Look at the dog food's label for feeding guidelines. Most dog food have some sort of feeding guidelines for size and age of your. If doesn't, ask your veterinarian what would be an appropriate amount for your puppy.

Part #2

Puppy Nutrition

The nutritional needs of puppies are very important for proper growth and health! Understanding what your puppy will need can help you make the right dietary choices.

Physical development of a puppy happens in a very short time. Here are some of the major development's your puppy will incure:

  • Bones and Joints
  • Cognitive development and brain growth
  • Muscles developing and growing
  • Internal organ growth
  • Immune system

Your Puppy’s Nutritional Needs #1
In order for your puppy to grow proper, he or she will need the right levels of nurtition. This includes:

  • Protein – A key building block of muscle, skin, coat, organs and other tissues. During this period of growth, a puppy needs abundant protein
  • Calcium and Phosphorus – Necessary ingredients for healthy bones and teeth. They must be present in the correct ratios to grow bones and teeth correctly
  • Omega Fatty Acids, including Linoleic acid – Provides complete and balanced nutrition, promotes a healthy immune system and helps keep your puppy's skin and coat healthy

What your puppy eats will need to supply all of these and more. So be sure to READ your dog food labels!

Do’s and Dont's
Be sure to follow the feeding guidelines. One of the worst things you can do is allow your puppy to become overweight – it has serious health implications.  People food often adds calories and unneeded fat to a dog’s diet, so try to avoid table food as much as possible!!!
When you change foods, gradually mix the new food in with the old over two weeks.
The puppy stage sets the foundation for a dog’s entire life, so proper nutrition is essential!

 






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