So, your new pup will be here any day, and you are so excited to bring home that little bundle of joy. However, like any new parent, you are concerned that you won’t know what to do when that happy day finally arrives. Rest assured, there is plenty of information to help you learn what to expect and how to care for dogs of all breeds. Of all the things you should learn, perhaps knowing what to feed your puppy is most important today and throughout his life.
Here are a few essential tips to help you feed your puppy by choosing the right food for your dog’s breed and the various stages throughout his life.
Choose food with nutrients locked in
Perhaps you have been going through pet stores in your area or have been shopping around online. What you’ve found doesn’t seem to make much sense. You can find two very distinct brands that appear to have the same ingredients, but one brand costs considerably more. Have you ever wondered why?
What you might want to do is check out a few reviews on ordering fresh dog food online. You will immediately discover why this food is rated so highly as an option to feed your puppy. The key is in the process known as sous-vide.
If you have an InstantPot or a slow cooker with pressure settings at home, you are probably familiar with the healthy benefits of meals cooked using this setting. To put it briefly, it’s how foods are vacuum-sealed first and then cooked on an exact pressure setting. Amazingly, all those nutrients are locked in, and that’s what you can expect from Grocery Pup food for your new pup.
Remember age-specific nutritional requirements
Another thing you will soon discover is that no two breeds have the same nutritional needs. If you check out the Puppy Nutrition Handbook provided by the American Kennel Club, you will find that, as your puppy grows, his feeding needs will vary. As a rule of thumb, the AKC has divided those changes in growth cycles listed as:
- Six to twelve weeks
- Three to six months
- Six to twelve months
- Adulthood: One year and older
The AKC believes that by the age of 1, dogs require a diet specific to their breed and size. The AKC authors say that it is common among dog owners and breeders to provide two meals a day in half-portion amounts to feed your puppy correctly.
Understand breed-specific nutritional needs to feed your puppy
Technically, what you feed your puppy according to breed is based on breed size.
For example, a Newfoundland weighs 150 pounds compared to a Pomeranian that weighs an average of three pounds. You can see that Newfoundlands will require 30 times the amount of food as Pomeranians, but will the ingredients vary?
The answer to that is!
One of the significant health issues in larger dogs is developing problems with their bones and joints; growing too fast as puppies cause this issue.
That’s why food specific to large breed pups should be a reduced-calorie diet. Dogs like Newfoundlands will not reach adulthood or maturity until anywhere between 18 and 24 months, unlike smaller breeds that typically mature in size at just a year.
Beware those little odds and ends
You should be aware from the start that you should keep fresh water available to your pup all day, every day. While potty training is a concern, don’t withhold water. Instead, invest in some good-quality puppy pads and work a little more on potty training your new fur baby.
Don’t worry if your puppy skips an occasional meal or nibbles a little bit. This is normal, so don’t be alarmed. If the pattern continues, it’s time to consult your puppy’s veterinarian. It could be that you are not reducing his food amounts after giving training treats.
There are so many things that can cause a puppy to eat a bit less, so until you see an ongoing pattern, there is no cause for concern.
A final note on what to feed your puppy
Yes, it is good to read and learn all you can, but remember that, like humans, puppies can have underlying conditions that require special diets.
Always take your puppy to the vet at prescribed stages of its life, from annual checkups and shots to biannual healthy dog physical exams.
Only your vet can tell you what is right for your dog and address any concerns. In the meantime, feed your puppy the healthiest diet you can find and watch him blossom into what is truly man’s best friend. There is nothing quite as extraordinary as unconditional canine love.