Finding the best dog food for puppies can be a little overwhelming, when you consider the number of brands on the market, all of which boast that they have the best formula a growing puppy needs. Before you bring your new dog home it’s a good idea to research puppy food options, in order to be prepared for your little one’s arrival. Some dog owners prefer buying dry kibble, while others purchase wet dog food, which can be slightly more expensive, unless you buy in bulk. Others choose to make their own dog food in order to ensure that their pup is getting the very best from healthy protein and fat sources. Keep in mind that homemade dog food is often pricey to make, especially if you have a large breed dog.
Is a High Protein Diet putting your Puppy at Risk?
Puppy food should be high in natural oils and fats, low in carbs, have a high meat-based protein content, and it should not contain an excessive amount of calcium. It should also be free of preservatives and additives, veggie or animal byproducts, and it needs to contain all the essential vitamins and minerals essential for growth and development.
Some pet owners will refuse to feed their dog commercial puppy food because it has such a high protein content. Many owners believe that large amounts of protein can lead to a number of health problems. In actuality, a diet that’s high in protein will not cause your dog to suffer from weight gain, skeletal diseases or hip dysplasia. Both skeletal diseases and hip dysplasia are not diet related. Usually, genetics will play a major role when it comes to a dog’s risk for developing either condition. Other risk factors include overfeeding during the first year of life and a diet that contains excessive dietary calcium.
Studies have shown that a dog’s greatest risk for developing skeletal issues later on in life is linked directly to overfeeding. This means free-range feeding; allowing your pup to eat on and off all day long. In order to decrease your dog’s risk for this condition avoid leaving puppy food out. Instead, designate two feedings times, one in the morning and one at dinner. This also helps to reduce your dog’s risk for other types of gastrointestinal issues later on in life.
Read Dog Food Labels Before you Buy
To determine which brand offers the best food for your pup you’ll need to pay attention to the fiber maximums and the protein minimums, in addition to the fat content. Too much calcium can cause skeletal issues. Also, keep an eye out for large amounts of magnesium and phosphorus, which can also lead to bone problems.
Puppy food should contain ten to twelve amino acids, eleven vitamins and twelve minerals. This type of information will help you to breeze through the pet food selection quickly by eliminating brands that don’t meet these requirements.
You should never feed an adult dog puppy food, especially an older, less active dog. You should also never feed a puppy adult dog food, which lacks the amount of protein, vitamins and minerals that a growing dog needs. If a puppy consistently eats adult dog food each day this can lead to vitamin deficiencies.
Good puppy food should not contain any controversial chemical preservatives, anonymous ingredients, artificial coloring or genetic animal fats. Instead, it should include a modest carb content, a substantial amount of meat based protein and a reasonable fat to protein ratio.
Contrary to popular belief, skeletal diseases and hip dysplasia isn’t related to dietary protein issues. Both of these disorders are often more a matter of genetics, overfeeding during growth and excessive dietary calcium. Studies have shown that overfeeding puts your dog at the greatest risk for developing skeletal problems later on in life.
Look for the AAFCO nutritional agency statement to ensure that the puppy food you choose is both balanced and complete. This can be found on every package of puppy food and it assures consumers that a product contains all of the vital nutrient requirements puppies need.
Creating your own Puppy Food
Like any other aspect of life, dog ownership can be do-it-yourself friendly. You can make your own dog beds, dog shampoo or even toys. Or you can try your hand at using popular home remedies for common dog ailments. Making your own puppy food is also a great option and one that can be more earth friendly than purchasing a commercial brand. Some pet owners also swear that it’s more financially manageably and better for a puppy’s overall health.
If you have lost trust in commercial pet food due to the numerous product recalls lately, creating your own puppy food can offer a lot of peace of mind. Or maybe you’re having a hard time finding the right food for your puppy, who just so happens to be a very picky eater. Whatever the reason, there are a number of puppy food recipes to choose from, all of which are designed to provide your pup with a nutritional, well-balanced meal. But before you make the switch to homemade puppy food for the long haul, make sure you have the energy and the time to keep your pet’s diet consistent. Without proper attention and care, a puppy may suffer from a wide range of nutritional deficiencies, which in turn can affect their developmental health and growth. If you’ve made up your mind to try making your own puppy food, make sure you can commit to doing it properly and have the budget to buy the very best for your dog.
A puppy should enjoy a well-balanced diet that includes vitamins, minerals, carbs, fat and protein. The carb, fat and protein ingredients are pretty easy to throw together. Most vets recommend that supplements be added to dog food, especially for puppies, to be sure that their diet is well rounded.
Portion size will depend on the breed and the size of your pup. Carefully following portion control guidelines can help to prevent obesity and weight gain, which in turn can result in a number of health issues later down the road.