The diet for your puppy is different from that of older dogs. Puppies are still in their rapid development rate, so they grow about 20 times faster than the adult dogs. It is in the puppy stage that the proper amounts of nutrients are crucial in ensuring the normal growth and development of the puppy. Without proper nutrition, your puppy may have stunted growth. It is therefore important that during the puppy stage, your puppy should be given specially formulated dog food that contains all the necessary vitamins for dogs which will encourage proper growth and development.
Puppies during this age are still developing all their body organs. It is important to feed your puppy with just the right amount of nutrients and vitamins at regular intervals. This will prevent the stomachs of the puppies from stretching too much. It is recommended that up to the age of four months, you must feed your puppy four meals a day. After four months, you can reduce its feeding to three meals a day until the puppy reaches six months. Reduce the feeding to twice a day after the age of six months. When your puppy reaches one year of age, you may maintain the twice a day feeding for the rest of your dog’s life.
Commercial Dog Food or Home-Made Food for Your Puppy
Now there is a debate occurring whether homemade dog food is better than the commercially available ones. Commercial dog foods may contain chemical additives that are harmful to your dogs in the long run. When you make your dog food at home, you are guaranteed that only the freshest and all-natural ingredients are put into the mix. However, your puppy will need to have a specially formulated diet because they will need varying nutrient contents as they grow and develop. Any imbalance in the diet may cause improper growth and development for your puppy. Now, unless you are a certified nutritionist or dietician, you can probably create your homemade dishes which contain the necessary nutrients and vitamins for dogs to ensure the proper growth and development of your puppy. If not, then your best option is to stick with the commercially prepared puppy food since they will have the necessary nutrition formulated specifically to your dog’s age, breed, and size.
How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Your Puppy
Choosing the best dog food for your puppy might be challenging, though because of all the brands that are out in the market today. Many of these commercial brands, especially the cheaper ones, may contain chemical additives that may be harmful to your puppy in the long run. It is important to look at the labels to determine the nutrient formulation and the ingredients list of the puppy food you are purchasing. Likewise, over-supplementing your puppy with vitamins can cause liver poisoning. Search for commercial puppy foods that only use natural ingredients. The lesser chemicals there are in the dog food, the better.
Once you have chosen a puppy food, observe your puppy the first time you feed it to him or her. Check to see if your puppy’s stool is consistent. Watery stools may indicate that your puppy is not digesting the puppy food well. Once you have chosen a suitable puppy food for your puppy, stick with it. Do not attempt to add supplements or vitamins for dogs that are not recommended by your veterinarian. Over supplementing your puppy food may also cause long term harm to your puppy’s liver. Once your puppy is old enough, switch him or her to homemade dog food if you want.