Welcoming a new puppy into your home is an exciting life event that likely has your entire family looking for the “right” way to do everything. Keeping your newest family member well fed with proper nutrition is perhaps the best gift you can give to your new pal. A well nourished animal will lead a healthier and longer life and is likely to be better behaved as well. Here’s a look at the best and easiest ways to make sure your new puppy is getting exactly what he needs to start life off right.
How Long Is My Dog a Puppy?
The first thing you must understand is that your dog only needs puppy nutrition while considered a puppy. This duration varies based mostly on the dogs size. A good rule of thumb to keep in mind is that dogs smaller than about 50 pounds (expected mature weight) will remain a puppy for a full year. Larger dogs take up to two full years to reach mature size and weight. During this time several important changes are happening to your puppy. Internal organs are developing and muscle and bones are growing and maturing. Additionally, your dog is developing an immune system and cognitive brain development. All the more reason why you need to ensure proper and healthy feeding habits now!
The best way to nourish your puppy is to choose a puppy specific food that makes you a COP.
C-Calcium. Look for a food with a strong showing of Calcium, Vitamin D and Phosphorus. These elements help in creating strong bones and teeth. Dental concerns can be costly and painful later in life if the building blocks are not laid properly for a puppy.
O-Omega Acids. Just like in human infants, the presence of Omega fatty acids and Linoleic acids will greatly aid in the development of your puppy’s brain. This has also been proven to help create a vibrant coat that shines year round as well as a strong immune system.
P-Protein. No sissy salads for your pup! Dogs are carnivores and need to ingest large amounts of protein in order to stay strong. The protein also aids in development of muscle tone, tissue and organs. Externally, additional protein also helps create a beautiful coat that is strong.
Many puppy chows will have these elements in ratios that vet’s agree is best for a developing puppy. Many chows are also specialized for the size of your breed. If you’re confused on brand or ratio be sure to call your vet to ask before you go shopping. Chances are they have a favorite brand that they’d be happy to recommend.
In order to create a healthy eater for a lifetime you should follow a few additional tips when introducing a puppy to your family.
Never allow your dog to eat from the table. This creates poor behavior and an imbalance in nutrition that can lead to pet obesity. If you insist on giving your dog food from the table, only offer it after the family is done eating and only by placing it in the dog’s bowl.
Feed and water your pet regularly. Create a schedule of feedings that happen at the same time everyday in order to create a routine for your pet’s metabolism. Offer fresh water as often as needed, and fresh food two to three times a day.