How to feed puppy properly

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If there is one thing that everyone knows, it's that you have to start out puppies on puppy food.Today, more and more passionate, educated, dog-loving people are turning their attention to improving the health of their dogs and innovating new ways to feed quality dog foods. But when you’re shopping for puppy food in store or online, the sheer number of options can be overwhelming.With so many options to choose from, how do you know what to feed your puppy? How to select a quality food that can help your puppy grows into a happy, healthy dog,and how long?


There’s more, but you get the idea. There are a lot of factors that have to be carefully considered when feeding puppies-that is, if you want them to grow into healthy and sound adult dogs.


1.Be Aware That Puppies Have Greater Needs

Growing puppies have greater nutritional needs than adult dogs. They require more calories per pound of body weight than adults-and they need a diet that contains a higher percentage of fat and protein (including higher amounts of many specific amino acids that contribute to the food's total protein) than adult dogs. Their needs for calcium, phosphorus, and several other minerals are also higher than the amounts needed by adult dogs.


Simply put, puppies need puppy food. Puppies grow fast and need a high-calorie, nutrient-dense food to support their growth and development.


2.What to Feed Your Puppy

Although puppies need puppy food, it’s not that simple when there are so many to choose from. Puppy food comes in a variety of options, from dry kibble to canned wet food. Plus, there are formulas for large and small breeds and other specific health needs.


Regardless of the specific type of food you choose, there are essential nutrients all puppy food should contain.


Key nutrients to look for in a high-quality puppy food include:

High-quality sources of protein to support a growing body

Minerals like calcium and phosphorous to support growing bones and teeth

High-quality fats to support growth and energy

Antioxidants to support your puppy’s developing immune system

DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid, to support brain and vision development


If your puppy’s food contains these essential nutrients, you can feel confident he’s getting the nutrition he needs to grow up healthy and strong.


3.How Long to Feed Puppy Food

Puppies need a complete and balanced puppy food until they reach maturity. Although dogs who are one year or older are often considered adults, this isn’t always the case.


For dogs, adulthood depends more on breed size than their age. Because large and giant breeds take longer to mature, they need to eat puppy food longer than small- or medium-sized breeds.


Here’s how long to feed puppy food based on breed sizes:

Toy and Small Breed Dogs: Many toy and small breed dogs weigh less than 20 pounds at maturity and reach this size between 9 and 10 months of age.

Medium Dog Breeds: Medium-sized dogs weigh between 21 and 50 pounds at maturity. They tend to reach maturity around 12 months of age.

Large & Giant Breeds: Large breeds and giant breeds weigh between 50 and 100 pounds, respectively, and can take 18 months to 2 full years to reach maturity. They need to eat puppy food longer than small- and medium-sized breeds.



4.The Usual Criteria

Once you are confident that you can identify foods that are appropriate for puppies of the size you expect your pup to be, you can search among those products for diets that meet the usual selection criteria and that are in your price range.


Check the protein and fat content of the food you are feeding your pup right now. If his weight and energy are good, try to buy only those foods that contain similar levels of protein and fat. Be aware that these levels range widely. If you start feeding him a product with double or half the protein or fat content of the food you are giving him now, you will see changes in him; his appetite, weight, stool quality, and/or energy may be affected.

One more thing, don’t be afraid to try different foods. Pet food companies want to win your loyalty, but the fact is, variety is actually good for your puppy. The more you change foods, the more accustomed his digestive tract will become to a wide variety of ingredients. Also, because each manufacturer’s products contain different levels of each required nutrient, by routinely switching products, you are sure to provide”balance over time”and prevent him from suffering ill effects of any potentially excessive or deficient nutrient levels.


5.Ensuring puppies grow at a healthy rate

 Pet obesity had reached epidemic levels before the coronavirus pandemic, and unfortunately, lockdown restrictions have only aggravated the problem.Ensuring puppies get the right balance of nutrition and exercise to allow them to grow at a healthy rate is vital for their overall health. Owners should monitor puppies’healthy development and identify the ideal weight they should maintain in adulthood. 


Enjoy your dog’s puppyhood while it lasts. Take lots of pictures and take the time to laugh, play, and bond.