When you get a new puppy, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is what to feed them. There are so many different types of dog food on the market, and it can be challenging to know which one is best for your pup. Below, we share five main factors you should focus on.
Puppy Food Brand
Puppy foods are formulated with higher levels of nutrients, especially calcium and phosphorus, to support their rapid growth rate. They also include DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), an omega-3 fatty acid essential for brain development in young dogs. Puppy foods are typically lower in fiber than adult dog foods to minimize the risk of diarrhea. Always be sure to check with top dog food review sites like dogfoodcare.com for reliable information on the best dog food brands for your dog.
Puppy’s Age and Size
As your puppy grows, its nutritional needs will change. The amount of protein, calcium, phosphorus, and other nutrients they require at six weeks is very different from the amount she needs at six months. The same goes for size; large dogs tend to grow more slowly than small ones, so they will need less food and fewer calories per pound of body weight during their first year than smaller breeds do.
Type of Food: Canned or Dry Dog Food?
Dry dog food is a better choice for your puppy, as it contains more fiber and less fat. Dry food also provides dental benefits, helping clean the teeth of any leftover soft tissue. Canned food is great for dogs that rarely drink water as they are highly hydrated. They also contain fewer calories than dry food, making them ideal for obese puppies. However, you should use them in moderation and keep them refrigerated once opened as they can become moldy if not used quickly enough.
If you think your puppy may have food allergies, it’s important that your vet performs an allergy test to identify which foods are causing a reaction before choosing a new brand of dog food. The most common allergenic foods for dogs are beef, dairy products, and chicken. Some common signs that your pup could be allergic to some foods include:
- Itchy, red, swollen eyes
- Excessive itchiness on the hindquarters or ears
- Hair loss and excessive scratching. The most common areas are around the head and neck, but can include any body par.
Once you spot any of these issues with your dog, especially after introducing them to a new food, you should call your vet for immediate help.
The AAFCO has a classification system to rate how well a food digests, and this can be found on the label of nearly every bag of kibble. Look for a highly digestible food that has a rating of 85% or higher.
When choosing food for your new pup, always keep their individual needs in mind. A good diet is essential to keeping them healthy and happy. By following these tips, you can ensure that you are providing the best possible nutrition for your furry friend.