Best Dog Food for Puppies

You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure out that puppy food should come with formulas different from adult food formulas. Puppies are delicate, and therefore require easily digestible foods with greater nutritional value than adult dogs do. Their physical growth takes place rapidly, so they require a greater supply of energy for both physical and mental growth. They need nutritional contents that help build strong bones, sturdy muscles, and solid teeth.

But with the appreciable number of puppy food brands (each offering multiple products) available in the market, one can easily get lost at sea trying to find the most suitable formula for a tender fido. However, a few pointers can help you make your way to the right product.

The Difference Between Puppy Food and Adult Dog Food

Puppies require about twice the nutritional contents consumed by adult dogs on a daily basis, as their cellular activities entail a lot more because the puppies are growing. Puppies need more energy than mature dogs do, so puppy foods generally contain more fats. Also, because they need to develop strong bones and muscles, puppies need foods that come with 30% protein in addition to a unique combination of vital vitamins and minerals.

From the development of bones to the expansion of coats, and everything in between, the development of puppies goes down in all parts of their bodies, and is fueled by special nutritional contents lacking in adult dog foods. The nutritional needs of puppies are special in the sense that once the puppies grow into maturity, their nutritional needs also change.

Which Of The Three Types of Dog Food Is Best For Puppies?

For starters, it’s always advisable to consult your veterinarian about the type of dog food to feed your feline champ. There are basically three types of dog food: dry, semi-moist, and wet kibble. Dry kibbles are generally the most recommended for puppies because they normally come with more meat protein, are very digestible, and enhance strong teeth and bone development. Besides, dry foods are more pocket-friendly and easy to store and serve.

But wet foods are a bit more expensive, even though they come with lesser nutritional value as they’re made of 75% water. They also require better storage because they rot pretty quickly.

Semi-moist foods are easily digestible, easy to serve and need no refrigeration. But they’re known to cause hyperactivity in certain dogs since they come with a lot of preservatives and salts. They’re also known to cause obesity.

A combination of dry kibble and semi-wet dog food is widely accepted as the best meal serving for puppies. You can feed your pet with these two in single or separate servings. However, the servings should be more jelly with greater moisture the younger the puppy.

What Are The signs of A Puppy’s Readiness To Transition Solid Food?

You should start feeding your puppy with solid food when it’s four weeks old and above. At this stage, the calories contained in its mother’s breast milk are no longer enough to adequately fuel growth. It’s all about the timing of the weaning, and most puppies take up to six weeks to quit depending on breast milk.

How Long Should You Feed Your Puppy With Puppy Food?

A puppy should be fed and treated as such until it grows into its due adult size. You can say a puppy has matured when it grows into 80-90% of its due adult size. Small breed dogs might take up to 10-12 months to reach this level of maturity, while large breed dogs take 12-18 months to grow into adulthood. Once a puppy reaches this level of growth, you must replace the growth-stimulating foods with foods that are geared for maintenance.

However, there are exceptional cases where puppy food becomes inappropriate for a puppy while it’s yet to reach maturity. This could be due to an exceptionally faster rate of growth that a veterinarian might reckon as a cause for concern. In that case, your puppy is most likely going to develop skeletal and joint ailments such as hip dysplasia, and long bone disease if you continue feeding it with growth-stimulating puppy foods.

How To Determine Which Is The Best Among Puppy Food Brands?

The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) and the National Research Council have all set guidelines for the production of good quality dog foods. The best puppy food brand must not only totally comply with these guidelines; it must surpass it to a significant degree. You can tell if a dog food brand makes an outstanding commitment to these guidelines by analyzing the brand’s ingredients lists.

Some Important Feeding Guidelines

From the weaning period to six months or thereabouts, your puppy should have three meals per day. You can then feed it just twice daily afterward. You should feed your puppy regularly at the same place and the same intervals every day. Remember to moisten the dry kibbles to make it jelly, possibly by adding some warm water or mixing it with a portion of wet food.

If your puppy loses appetite at any point in time, don’t try to force things. Provided your puppy doesn’t look lethargic, there’s no problem if it randomly forgoes a meal in a day. However, it’s unusual for a dog to reject meals to the point where it develops serious health issues like malnutrition. It’ll always most likely come back to eat the food that has been served when it feels strong hunger pangs.

So when it turns down a meal, simply place the food inside a refrigerator, or, if the meal is a dry food, place it inside a tightly closed container to prevent it from rotting, then present the food to your puppy on the next meal interval.

However, no matter how long the dog keeps away from a meal, do not attempt to lure it into eating by offering foods meant for human consumption or any other type of foods that are not approved puppy foods. Not only are human foods unhealthy options for your dog, but they can also induce the dog into desiring human foods instead of approved puppy formulas.

However, its advisable to consult a veterinarian if your dog skips meals too frequently.

Are Regular Dog Treats and Snacks Suitable For Puppies?

It all depends on the level of affection you’ve showered your growing canine. The best treat you can ever give your puppy is some quality attention. When you’re playing with or training your puppy, it becomes filled with as much joy as it would be from any other snack or treat. Dogs revel in human company and are excited by whatever activity the human company initiates. However, wholesome veggies such as green beans, and chopped carrots are good crunchy snacks that do not fill your fido with calories.

What Foods Are Total No-Nos For Puppies?

There are some human foods which are dangerous to dogs, including chocolates, macadamia nuts, onions, garlic, grapes, avocados, and raisins. The list of human foods dangerous to dogs also includes bread with yeast contents and all kinds of baked foods, dairy products including milk and cheese, salty foods like potato chips, etc.

Also, you must keep your puppy away from drinks such as coffee, caffeine, and alcohol. Foods that use xylitol as a sweetener including baked foods and candies are also harmful to your dog’s health, as xylitol is known to trigger liver failure in dogs.

You should also watch out for the amount of calcium and phosphorus consumed by your dog, as excessive quantities can lead to skeletal ailments.

Top Three Best Puppy Foods

You’ve probably wandered up and down the puppy foods aisle of a retail store or perused page after page of puppy food e-commerce sites in a bid to pinpoint the most suitable puppy food for your waxing feline. The dog food market is replete with inordinate dog food brands, but we’ve done the grunt work for you and have shortlisted the three best puppy foods out there on the market today.

1. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet (LID) Puppy Formula Lamb and Brown Rice Dry Dog Food

Natural Balance Puppy dog foods are ideal for both small and large breed puppies. This product sources its animal protein content from protein-rich lamb. It also comes with refined carb contents supplied by the brown rice ingredient. It’s also rich in omega fat and other fatty contents as it comes with salmon content. Natural Balance Puppy dog foods are generally high-quality products, and this is no exception. The brand also produces formulas that can serve puppies from very young ages through to their adulthood. This product comes in pellet sizes that can be easily served up to little teeth.

2. Holistic Select Puppy Health Anchovy, Sardine & Chicken Meals Dry Dog Food Formula

According to the manufacturers, this product is made with 100% organic ingredients. The totally organic makeup of the product makes for a great recipe that’s ideal for puppies with intolerant stomachs, parvo, or other digestive system ails that prevent a puppy from easily digesting foods. Also, it also enhances the digestive capacity of your puppy’s guts. It is packed with botanicals, digestive enzymes, natural fibers, probiotics, and prebiotics.

3.Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Food Puppy Formula

This product is primarily designed to offer great nutritional contents devoid of grains. The fish ingredient used in the product not only makes for richer protein contents, but it also gives the product an irresistible flavor. With fruits and veggies included in the recipe, the product is rife with antioxidants. The product is basically formulated to meet all the nutritional requirements for your puppy as it charges through the once-in-a-lifetime developmental phase.