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    What Is The Best Dog Food For Puppies

    Puppies need special diets for proper physical development. The best dog food for puppies provides proper nutrition during the crucial first year of life.

    Puppies should be fed in several, consistent intervals so that you don’t overstretch the pet’s stomach in the process. A properly trained breeder would have provided detailed information about how to handle your puppy’s diet upon the adoption.

    Your puppy should be fed four meals per day until the age of four months. This should be reduced to three per day during the fourth to sixth months. After that, you can feed your pup two meals per day.

    When to Feed Puppy Food

    Puppy’s first start to eat store-bought puppy food at about the age of  3-4 weeks. This is a time when the mother is still close by. Gradually mixing solid food into the puppy’s diet is the easiest method to help them fully adapt to the new food intake.

    A preferred time-frame to feed puppy food is until a dog is about 85-90 percent fully grown. This is within the guidelines issued by most dog breeders and veterinarians. Small dogs can start eating adult food when they are 9 months to a year old. Large dogs will need to be fed puppy food during the first year to 18 months or longer.

    Changing from puppy food to adult dog food is easier to achieve if the process is steady. When moving over to adult food include a mix of ¾ puppy food and ¼ adult foods. After several days, the volume of adult food can be increased from 50/50 to 25/75 (higher amount is adult food). Once the dog is fully accustomed to eating the adult food, you're good to go.

    Feeding Large Breed Puppies

    The larger dog breeds have more particular dietary needs when still in the early stages of life. Giant breed dogs have significantly more weight that needs supporting. 

    As the puppy grows a lot more stress is put on the body. A low-quality puppy diet can result in skeletal problems. Because of the special needs, it benefits to feed the giant breed with the right type of puppy food.

    A large dog breed might continue to eat the nutrient-rich puppy food until the age of about 12-18 months.

    Take a moment to read the ingredients list on the back or side of the puppy food. A preferred puppy food will list several protein types including beef, fish, turkey, chicken, or pork.

    Also, make sure there isn’t a high concentration of corn or salt in the puppy food because this can have a negative impact on the early growth cycle, especially for larger breeds.

    Overall, make sure to discuss the changes in a pet’s diet with the local vet to ensure it is still able to provide the required nutrients for proper growth and further well-being.

    Best Dog Food for Puppies vs. Adults

    When comparing dog food vs puppy food a noticeable difference is the high concentration of nutrients in the puppy food.

    Adult food is created with a formula that is balanced and perfect for the dogs that have stopped growing. Puppies shouldn’t be fed adult food because this can result in skeletal abnormalities.

    Dog food formulas can differ from brand to brand. Some are developed to help puppies meet their nutritional needs, and some are intended to help dogs through all age-cycles.

    A puppy shouldn’t be given pet foods with a high calcium and protein count. This is certain to have a negative impact on the growth and development and might lead to the improper growth of muscles and tendons. 

    Plus, a diet too rich in calcium can lead to limping in later life caused by malformations of the bones.

    Dry Complete Dog Food

    dog food vs puppy food

    The selection of dry complete foods is endless on the shelves, but the quality varies a great deal. The best strategy to have is to pick a food that best suits your puppy, as well as your budget. 

    Keep in mind that “premium” brands will utilize the highest quality ingredients. Most dog foods incorporate rice, corn, or chicken as their main ingredients.

    The premium brands might seem a lot pricier than the cheaper options, but you should take into account the fact that your puppy will require a lower amount of high-quality food than its low-quality alternative.

    In the end, you may pay the same price, if not less, for purchasing the best product.

    There are certain dogs that may reject complete dry foods, but most will adjust to them over time. If your puppy prefers to avoid this food, try to soak the dry food in water or mix it with wet canned food. 

    Slowly wean the puppy off the wet food until it is completely comfortable with the complete dry dog food.

    Semi-moist and Canned Dog Foods

    Canned and semi-moist dog foods also vary a great deal, both in type and quality. It is your responsibility to choose one that your puppy can easily digest and will obtain the proper amount of nutrients from.

    Your pet should be able to remain healthy and active without needing additional sustenance. As with complete dry foods, you should try different methods and food types to find a food best suited to your puppy before you choose a permanent option.

    Dry vs. Fresh Meat Ingredients

    The only difference between dry and fresh meat dog foods is how much water is in them. For example, up to 80% of a fresh meat option might be comprised of water.

    Home-Made Food

    Puppies rely on a high-quality diet in the early stage of life and even a small imbalance can have a negative impact on the growth and development. For this reason, it isn’t best to start life out on a diet consisting of home-made food.


    Buy the best quality treats that are free of high concentrations of fat, milk products, colorings, and sugar. 

    Even some of the low-fat treats can include a lot of lactose (milk sugar) and sugars. Make sure to read the ingredients list to help determine the worthiness of the food.

    Also, treats must be a limited part of the diet and amount to no more than 10-15 percent of the dietary intake.

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    About the AuthorAngela Miller

    Hello, my name is Angela Miller. Several years ago, I rescued a little seven-year-old Bichon Frise. I started looking into dog nutrition so I could keep my little love bug for as long as I possibly could. I love my dog too much to feed him unhealthy food. I hope some of the things I've learned along the way will help you and your dog.

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