You did all of your homework. After a lot of searching you found a reputable pet store that had a team of puppy care specialists who were able to answer all of your questions. You compared the beloved Poodle to the adorable Pomsky to the honorable French Bulldog and have finally determined which breed best fits you and your family. Great!
So… The puppy’s food. What should you look for when selecting it?
Many new puppy owners contemplate what type of food is best for their new puppy. Although all puppy breeds have different nutritional needs, they all greatly benefit from high-quality dog food packed with nutrients and protein. Puppies have a very high energy demand and need extra nutrition in the first several months of their life. Similar to a baby, it is in this stage of their life that much of their mental and physical development takes place.
When buying your puppy food, the first thing you want to do is check the food’s ingredients, particularly the first three listed on the package. This will determine if food is vegetable-based with things like corn and rice or meat-based with things such as beef, chicken, fish, or lamb. Meat-based dog food will provide your puppy with better overall nutrition than vegetable-based food. Some dog food manufacturers add coloring to their food. This is unnecessary and serves no nutritional value for your puppy. After all, your pup has absolutely no preference on the color of his food. Be sure to avoid food brands that are high in salt, sugar, and preservatives such as BHA, BHT, ethoxyquin, and propylene glycol.
Wet or dry food?
Many puppy owners find a combination of both wet and dry dog food to be a good fit. As described above, the key is making sure both have quality nutrients. For those who find figuring all of this out a bit confusing, a quick way to determine if the food is of quality is by simply checking the packaging for an AAFCO statement.
This statement indicates if the food is complete and balanced for a particular life stage, such as growth, reproduction, adult maintenance, or a combination of these. It will also help you determine if the food does not meet the complete and balanced requirements and is for intermittent or supplemental feeding only. Under AAFCO regulations, this statement must be substantiated by the state and the pet food manufacturer.
Your overall puppy’s health much depends on the food he eats. Taking the time to make sure he is being fed the best quality dog food at an early age is a very wise decision that can add years to his life.