Owning a dog is a big responsibility but, owning a puppy? Oh man, let me tell ya, it’s very much like owning a furry little baby.They poop and pee everywhere, they need constant attention, and when it comes to food, they need good nutrition, a balanced diet, and quality food.
The best dog food for puppies is
- Dry dog food(or kibble) that is labeled for puppies only.
- Canned food(or wet dog food) that’s also specifically made for puppies.
- A raw feeding diet for puppies above 7 weeks old.
So, you’re not yet a proud owner of a furry child like this, but you’re thinking about getting one? There are a few things you need to know before you get one, and most of those things are food-related.
If you want to find out more about the right way to feed a small puppy and other important things on how to take care of one then keep on reading this article.
What Type Of Dog Food Is Best For Puppies
Something that you need to know before owning a puppy is that puppies need a special type of food that is full of protein and nutrients.
Puppies are not to eat adult dogs’ food on any occasion, especially not on a daily basis because they have different nutritional values.
Let me get this straight, puppies simply just love eating food until they pass out from overeating but, that shouldn’t mean that you should allow them to do that.
At a young age, puppies will definitely need more food than adult dogs so they have a higher activity level to roam around and destroy everything in your home like the little suckers they are.
Dry dog foods are the easiest way to provide your pup with balanced food and all the proper nutrition that they need. It is also the cheapest option if you’re on a budget and can’t really afford fresh food or canned food.
The problem with puppies consuming adult dog food is that they have sensitive stomachs and can’t really handle adult dog food that much and therefore should be given only the puppy kibble.
Feeding your pup also depends on what breed they are. If your pup is going to grow up to be one of those larger breeds then they would most likely need a specific type of dry food with higher nutrition levels.
Dry food or some may know it as kibble is really important for strengthening your pup’s teeth. It. The crunchiness of the kibble can really help with getting rid of some caries that puppies develop at a young age as well
Wet dog food or canned dog food is more on the expensive side of feeding your puppy so if you don’t have the finances to afford this type of food you absolutely don’t have to buy it, kibble, the cheaper option will do just fine.
Canned foods provide all the nutrients and it’s a nice balanced meal that meets all the nutritional requirements that you can give your pup.
Again, if you’re buying wet food for a puppy, make sure to get the wet puppy food that is strictly for puppies. Puppy food is usually labeled, you can’t miss it.
What To Look After In Puppy Food
- Animal Protein-For growing up healthy and strong, your puppy needs a source of protein in its diet. Search for a protein that is derived from an animal source, aka animal protein. Protein is also very important for normal brain development.
- Fats-If you want a healthy and active puppy you need to give them enough fat to fuel their muscles and provide all the energy requirements for an active movement. Omega-3 fatty acids and Omega-6 fatty acids are very important to your pup’s development.
- Carbohydrates: The reason why you should give your pup carbs like brown rice or sole boiled pasta is for supplying energy and dietary fiber that dogs definitely need, especially at such a young age. Carbohydrates are to be given in small doses for puppies with sensitive stomachs.
- Minerals: Minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium are a must for the bone health and dental health of your pup. Calcium can be found in raw, meaty bones which are very healthy for puppies and dogs in general.
- Vitamins: Make sure to lead the food label so you can see if it contains enough vitamins. If it doesn’t, consult with your dedicated veterinarian so you can get your pup some vitamin supplements.
- Fat-Protein Ratio- For a well-balanced diet you should always balance your meal in a correct protein-fat ratio. Every meal should contain about 22% protein and 8% fat.
Is Raw Diet Beneficial For Puppies?
Apart from some popular opinions on raw feedings, which is that is very dangerous for their digestive health, it is actually quite the opposite and all the pet owners should know that.
Like I said before, pet food should always be well balanced and meet all the nutritional requirements, especially for puppies.[Source]
A raw diet is an excellent choice for puppies above 7 weeks that does just that. When combined right, it is the best choice for feeding your pup and adult dog, except if your dog has some health issues or digestive issues and can’t process raw foods. Also, be very careful around dogs with allergies to meat protein.
Raw food diets aren’t just a raw, fresh meat meal(organ meat like liver, kidneys, etc) it consists of other raw and fresh ingredients like raw eggs, fresh vegetables, and fruits. Raw food doesn’t contain any artificial flavor that dry or canned food usually contains.
Benefits Of Raw Food For Puppies And Adult Dogs
- Shiny Coat- Raw food helps your pup get a nice, healthy coat and provides healthy skin. It also helps with puppies who have sensitive skin or some dermal issues
- Dental Hygiene- Raw food intake can help with your dog’s dental hygiene and will give them much stronger teeth.
- Higher Energy Level- It’s true, once you start feeding your pup frequent meals of raw food, you’ll notice that their energy will rise to the roof.
- Smaller Stools- Another thing you’ll notice is that your pup won’t have as big of a stool as they normally had when they were on dry kibble or wet food.
- Balanced Nutrition- Of course, your puppy will also get balanced nutrition with other types of food, but this way they really get all the nutrients and energy requirements they need.
Just a side note. Not all pups will react well to switching to raw food. Some dogs have different digestive systems and raw food can cause stomach problems.
So please consult with a doctor before switching your pup to a raw diet. Also, make sure that your pup always has fresh water on their side when eating raw food as it can get pretty heavy.
What Human Food Can Puppies Eat?
Animal protein- Chicken and beef are the best of the best when it comes to animal-derived protein. They are actually the most common lean proteins used in dog food such as kibble and canned food.
A simple beef or chicken meal would make a great dinner for your puppy. You can even give them some beef or chicken broth would be a great amino-acid addition to their diet.
Peanut Butter- Xylitol-free peanut butter makes a great snack for your pup. Everybody knows that dogs love peanut butter and they would lick it right off the jar.[Source]
Veggies and fruits- Selected vegetables make a great vitamin source for dogs but, especially for young puppies. Watermelon, sweet potatoes(rich in vitamin A), blueberries, and apples are all very good for your puppy.
Rice- Don’t be surprised if your puppy has an upset stomach often, it is part of growing up to a strong, adult dog. If you see that your puppy has an upset stomach, just boil them some rice, preferably in some chicken broth made from fresh chicken.
Fish Oil- An occasional sardine meal would be the perfect way to get the essential fatty acid Omega 3 and also Vitamin D.
Puppies are a little bit different than adult dogs when it comes to feeding. They require a far more nutritious type of food with higher protein and fat levels.
If adult dogs require about 18% of protein in their food, puppies need 22%. If adult dogs require 5% of fat in their meal, then pups require 8%.
When buying food for your new puppy, you need to pick the correct type of food. This is a type of food made specifically for puppies only to make sure that it grows up into a strong and healthy adult dog.
Puppies with certain health conditions and specific needs should always be taken to the veterinarian to determine what type of food the young pup is prone to.
[Related Article: Can Dogs Eat Cat Food? Why Is Cat Food Bad for Dogs?]