Best Food For Puppies: Basic Ideas To Get You Started
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Best Food for Puppies: Basic Ideas to Get You Started

Choosing the best food for puppies may be tricky at first but with some helpful tips you should be doing fine. Many puppy owners ask me whether it is better to feed the puppies with homemade food or commercial food. At a glance it would seem advisable to feed the puppy on homemade food, but you must take into into account that such a choice is not easily sustainable in the long term, in regards to costs and time management. I have written a couple of articles on the subject which should help you cut costs and time, but still it is much easier to open a box of commercial food rather than, preparing it yourself. My personal advice would be to feed the puppies on homemade dog food or on BARF diet. I must also add that there are some very good brands of commercial dog foods that I tend to suggest to people who do not intend preparing food on their own. The important thing is to learn to discriminate between products; there are many commercial dog foods that are of a very low quality, but with time, and a little help from me, you will learn to choose wisely.

Best food for puppies

A basic premise: when it comes to dog feeding, you must consider that I am speaking of best food for puppies in general which are therefore good for every dog, I am not making reference to any specific breed. It is not possible, and it is not in the scope of this post, to make suggestions tailored to each individual breed of dog, what I intend to do is to give you a few tips and some basic guidelines.

Best food for puppies

Basic rules for best food for puppies

In order to not affect the future life of the puppies it is important to know the various aspects and the precautions to take into account to give a good meal to a dog especially when it is a puppy. Puppies, more than adult dogs, require a greater amount of nutrients and calories, but it is essential to give the right ones, especially those that are essential for its growth. There are some basic rules to keep in mind when talking about best food for puppies. You always have to feed your dog at the same time interval, in the same place and in the same bowl. In the first 3-4 months the puppy should be fed at least 3 times a day and then, when it is older, only twice. The puppies’ stomach is not large enough to incorporate all the nutrition it needs in one meal. The food should be left out for about half an hour; if our fickle friend does not eat or does not finish all of its food, you must not let leave it there for hours.

Best food for puppies

It is also very important to always leave a bowl with fresh water next to the food bowl.

Best food for puppies

The puppy should get used to eating its meal without distraction, it will thus learn to consider the meal to be a nice relaxing time at which, perhaps, a nice outdoor walk in your company may follow. The digestive system has the function to transform the complex molecules of food into simpler components, which can then be absorbed and used by the body. The difference in digestion between dog and man is in the fact that the dog’s saliva contains very little ptyalin, the enzyme used for the transformation of starch. This makes the digestion of carbohydrates much longer and more difficult than ours. The stomach, however, produces large amounts of hydrochloric acid making the protein digestion a very simple task. This is the main reason why dogs should not eat bread, pasta, pizza, and wheat based products; rice is by far the best food for them. In general the duration of the digestion of the dog is longer than ours and on average lasts between 9 and 10 hours. It is always important to remember that the nutrition of your dog depends on you.

Best food for puppies

Puppy food in the first month

In the first month of life of the mother’s milk is a complete and irreplaceable food. If the puppy’s mother does not have any particular health problems, letting her feed the puppies is the best thing. It is important to verify that the puppy is not showing any signs of insufficient feeding (crying, hyporeactivity, lower than normal weight gain). The mother’s milk contains more calories than other types of milk: 135 kcal/100 g (about double of cow’s milk which is 66 kcal/100 g), if this alone is not sufficient to ensure a correct weight gain you should ask for the advice of a veterinarian who will indicate the correct way to integrate the diet.

Best food for puppies

Puppy weaning

Puppy Weaning starts between the third and fourth week of life, depending on the breed. As is the case with children, the transition to a new type of diet (solid food) must be done gradually: in the very beginning of the weaning phase you can make use of particular foods which will help you, like small pieces of dry food softened in water. Not all puppies will be able to accept the passage immediately, this means that you will have to encourage your puppy to the new type of food and have lots of patience with it with.

Six weeks after birth, at least a quarter of the puppy’s food requirements should be made ​​up of the new food. Weaning generally ends after seven or eight weeks; it is important to avoid weaning abruptly, which could create problems for both the puppy and the mother.

Best food for puppies

Essential in the first months of life (but also in later stages) is to avoid overeating; overweight can create osteo-articular problems; many puppy foods are supplemented with chondroprotective substances, such as glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, which help reduce the risk of osteoarthritis as well as with vitamins and minerals (such as calcium and phosphorus).

The achievement of maximum weight varies from size to size: small dogs reach their maximum weight within ten months, medium-sized dogs within a year, big dogs in one year and half, while in large dogs it take about two years.

Best food for puppies

During weaning the number of recommended meals is four; after weaning should go down to three and then stabilized on two. Large and giant size dogs should be fed three meals to prevent substantial amount of food to create problems in the stomach. It is important that the digestion takes place correctly, and therefore the meals should be administered at appropriate intervals (at least 8-9 hours between one and the other). You should not administer the evening meal too late at night.


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