What You Need to Know About Your New Puppy’s Nutrition
You wouldn’t feed your baby the same food that you eat. Similarly, a puppy shouldn’t eat the same food that an adult dog does. If you already have one or more adult dogs when introducing a new puppy to the home, you may be tempted to use the same dog food for everyone out of convenience. This can ultimately cause growth and digestion issues in your new friend. Finding the right food may seem like a daunting task but keeping in mind some fundamental information makes the decision pretty simple.
All puppies need the following, in correct proportion, for appropriate growth:
If a commercial brand dog food meets these requirements, it will have the words “complete” and “balanced” diet or nutrition. The American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) monitors and allows these claims in one of two ways. The preferred method is through feeding trials that determine what AAFCO defines as “proper growth rates”. Foods that verify the nutritional components this way feature wording on the label that “complete and balanced nutrition” for a growing puppy was established through AAFCO trials. The alternate method of verification is through chemical analysis and provides a statement that the food meets the nutritional standards established by the AAFCO. It is important to note that AAFCO provides the minimum standards to survive and not to necessarily to thrive.
Pet parents should discuss their medical care preferences with their veterinarian, as well as discuss other preventative care options such as a natural pet nutritional supplements. NuVet Plus is a natural pet supplement product that is formulated to provide your pet with all of the vitamins, minerals, nutrients, amino acids and antioxidants that it needs
Why It Matters
When your puppy eats a balanced diet, he’s more likely to grow at the average rate for his breed. This minimizes the risk of skeletal issues while still resulting in the proper adult weight.
Meat and by-product meal ingredients offer higher value proteins than vegetable sources. Proteins supply amino acids which are necessary for tissue development. “Essential amino acids” are the 10 types that your puppy’s body can’t produce itself.
Fats, in proper amounts, supply energy, transport certain vitamins, minerals, and help to improve the skin and coat, while making the food tastier for your pup’s palette. Carbohydrates also supply energy. With either fats or carbohydrates lacking in his diet, your puppy will need to break down proteins for energy, thus lowering the amino acids available for tissue growth.
Pet owners often want to know whether to feed a puppy dry food or wet food. Wet or moist food is best for young puppies, who are still developing their teeth. Once your puppy has his full set of teeth, you can transition from wet food to dry food. Slowly decrease the amount of wet food in the bowl until your pup is comfortable eating dry kibble, or continue to give him the wet food if you prefer.
Avoid free-feeding your puppy, as this can lead to overeating and joint problems. Break his daily allotment into 2 to 4 meals until about 6 months, when 2 feedings will suffice. Your puppy should always have access to fresh water, but remember—the more your puppy drinks, the more often he will need to use the bathroom.
Don’t jump from food to food or brand to brand as this can cause digestive issues and create a fussy eater. If you have to change foods, mix the new with the old in increasing amounts over 4 or 5 days until there’s only new food in the bowl.
Make sure treats and human food comprise no more than 10% of your puppy’s total diet. If he’s getting balanced nutrition but you fear your puppy still isn’t as energetic or gaining weight as he should be, consult your vet about adding a supplement like NuVet Plus.
Monitor your Scraps
It’s a scenario that every pet parent has seen play out in their home. The family is sitting down to a delicious dinner complete with a perfect dessert. The aromas circulating throughout the home are enticing, and the beloved family dog is sitting beside the table just hoping for a few scraps. It’s tempting to throw your dog something that is delicious and good for you, but it’s important to remember that some table foods can be very dangerous. There are certain foods that your dog should never eat.
- Avocados — They might be a super food for humans, but they are dangerous to dogs. Avocados contain persin, which is toxic to dogs in large amounts.
- Chocolate — All chocolate is bad for dogs, especially dark chocolate and unsweetened baking chocolate. It can cause gastrointestinal issues.
- Alcohol — Even in small amounts, alcohol can be dangerous to dogs.
- Garlic and Onions — Garlic and onions might make every dish in your home more delicious, but these substances can hurt your dog’s red blood cells.
- Grapes — They appear to be a healthy, bite-sized snack for your pet, but an excessive amount of grapes can lead to kidney problems in dogs. Since grapes can be made into other items, including wine and raisins, take care not to feed these items to your dogs, either.
- Peaches — The pits of peaches contain cyanide, which is dangerous when consumed by both humans and dogs. Dogs often inadvertently eat peach pits when they snack on this tasty fruit.
- Raw meat — The bacteria on raw meat can cause your dog to suffer from food poisoning.
- Candy — Many candy products contain xylitol, which can disrupt your dog’s production of insulin and ultimately lead to liver problems.
- Macadamia nuts — Even eating just a few of these nuts can make a dog very sick.
- Ice Cream, Cheese, or Milk — Dairy products can upset your dog’s stomach and result in irregular bowel movement.
Warning Signs Your Dog Has Eaten Hazardous Food
While you may have the best intentions never to give your puppy any dangerous food, accidents happen. For your pet’s safety, it is important to know the warning signs your puppy has eaten something potentially hazardous, so you can seek veterinary attention.
Irregular bowel movement is an obvious sign of an upset stomach. If your pet overate, their stomach may be distended. Some harmful foods cause increased thirst. If your pet is shaking, drooling, panting excessively, or acting restless, they are trying to tell you something is wrong.
If you observe any of these signs, do not take a wait and see approach. Fast action can limit the reaction and may save your pet’s life. Call your vet right away or head to an emergency vet if it’s after hours.
Instead of giving your dog any human food, stick to high-quality pet food products. Be sure to supplement your dog’s diet with a product like NuVet Plus, which is specifically formulated to meet all of your dog’s daily nutritional requirements. The NuVet Plus reviews page provides pet parents with hundreds of NuVet reviews to peruse. On this page, you will find many satisfied pet parents who are thrilled that they chose NuVet Plus for their own pets. Check out the NuVet Plus reviews page today.