If you have recently become the proud owner of a beautiful new puppy, congratulations! Welcoming a puppy into the family is wonderful and will bring you years of joy and friendship. For many pet owners, no cost is spared in ensuring that their precious puppy starts on this exciting journey with the best start possible.
Puppyhood sets the foundation for the rest of your dog’s life and very often good nutrition is at the heart of the matter. New owners often fret about how to pick the best foods and worry about the correct balance of protein, vitamins and minerals. We offer you some nutritional tips to help you better understand your puppy’s dietary needs and guide you towards his best meals yet.
The nutritional needs of dogs are greatest during puppyhood, a time of rapid growth and development. Puppy formulas often offer the correct balance of nutrients that your growing puppy needs so you don’t have to worry about working out the appropriate ratios for everything. Look out for the following nutritional components essential to your puppy’s diet:
Protein – all key body functions like your puppy’s organs, immune and digestive systems, cognition and muscles are developing quickly and need top quality premium protein to reach their fullest potential
Calcium & Phosphorus – Present in the appropriate ratios for healthy bones and teeth
Vitamins, Minerals & Fiber – Aid in supporting and strengthening your puppy’s immune and digestive systems and for overall health
Premium Puppy Foods
Now is not the time to cut back on nutrition; get the best you can afford for your new puppy. Many mass-market brands are often much cheaper because by-products, fillers and lower quality ingredients are cheaper, but the little nutrients that these foods contain are often not absorbed by your puppy. Look for nutritionally balanced holistic puppy formulas made with top-quality premium proteins and ingredients as these provide much better digestibility. More of the right nutrients are absorbed and less waste is produced. Ensure that the food does not contain any harmful additives, fillers and by-products which could severely compromise your puppy’s health in the long-term.
Always ensure that your puppy has a constant supply of fresh, clean water whenever she wants. Puppies require large amounts of water due to the rapid growth and developmental changes their bodies go through, and water helps to flush out waste and aid digestion.
Puppies Great and Small
Remember that every puppy is different! Puppies have varying dietary needs according to size, breed and personal growth. Rather than just following the guidelines on the bag of puppy food, it is important that you consult your veterinarian on the most suitable formulas and feeding quantities for your puppy to keep her at her optimal weight.
Resist The Begging
As hard as it is to resist a pleading puppy, do not feed any leftovers, table scraps or junk food. These are often not nutritionally balanced or may contain large quantities of salt, sugar or preservatives which could cause severe stomach upsets and other gastrointestinal problems.
Your puppy may also appear to be constantly hungry, but resist the urge to feed him his regular puppy food on demand. The best way to manage this is ensure that your puppy gets his 3-4 small meals a day and nothing extra in between except for good quality treats, and remember to only leave the food out for your puppy for 15-20 minutes each time. Working out a feeding schedule is a good idea as this helps your puppy settle down and makes toilet-training easier.