As exciting as a new puppy is to those who decide to purchase or adopt a dog, choosing what to feed their new furry friend can be overwhelming. With so many choices lining the shelves of local pet or grocery stores, it can be difficult to know which option is best for meeting nutritional needs, while also being sensitive to budget requirements. However, when considering how best to meet your puppies nutritional needs there are a few key things to look for that can help you make a wise decision.
It is essential that you take the time to acquaint yourself with puppy nutrition to give your new addition the very best start in life. While dogs are tough, they are just like any other child – they need to be fed and looked after, because the start they get in life will have a direct impact on how they do in later life. By getting the essentials right right now, you and your puppy can look forward to a long, healthy and very happy life together. With this in mind, let’s get started and take a close look at puppy nutrition and the foods available for your new pooch:
Puppy foods that are more desirable have higher protein levels from a meat source, a low level of carbohydrates, the absence of vegetable or animal by-products, greater amounts of fats and oils (naturally based), an acceptable level of calcium for larger breeds, have all necessary vitamins and minerals, are absent of artificial flavoring, coloring or preservatives and is created from an identified animal source. For those wanting a quality food that doesn’t involve analyzing the nutritional labels, a simpler way to ensure you are selecting an adequate puppy food is to look for the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) nutritional adequacy statement on the package. Before dog food manufacturers can print this statement on their product they are required to demonstrate their food will meet the nutritional needs of puppies. While individuals with adult dogs can safely share the puppy food with their full grown pooch, puppies should never receive adult dog food.
Puppy foods are formulated specifically for their needs during development, while adult dog foods are nutritionally lacking for puppies as they grow. Dry puppy foods are the best choice over moist or semi-moist foods because they have higher amounts of meat protein, dental health benefits, and are easily digested. Dogs eating only moist food are more prone to dental problems due to the food becoming trapped between their teeth. Also, moist foods contain a high level of water (typically 75%) so they are comprised of less nutrients. Finally, moist foods are the least sensitive to budgeting needs as they are usually the most expensive option.
Taking the above information into account you should be well on your way to selecting the best food for your new furry friend. For puppies with special health considerations or dietary needs, your veterinarian can recommend a food to best meet the needs of your new puppy.
- License: Image author owned
- License: Image author owned
Karl Hindle owns three dogs, Filo, Filmore and Frodo and also owns Blue Ridge Dog Chews supplying healthy dog chews made from elk, deer and moose antlers. You can find the website at www.BlueRidgeDogChews.com