Did you know that pet food sales reached an all-time high in 2018, bringing revenue of about $91 billion? That’s because more and more brands make specialty food and treats for various pets such as dogs, cats, and parrots.
Having a wide variety of dog foods to choose from is a good thing because you can easily find what you’re looking for. However, new pet owners struggle to decide which food is best for their pet.
For example, if you just got home with a puppy, how do you know which is the best puppy food? You definitely want the best for your dog, so you cannot make uninformed decisions. This article strives to provide basic education when it comes to the best dog food for puppies, so keep reading.
Tips To Remember When Choosing The Best Puppy Food
Dogs have been domesticated by humans hundreds or even thousands of years ago. This long process lets us enjoy a wide variety of dog breeds now. Some dogs are smaller, others are larger, and all dog breeds have slightly different requirements when it comes to food. Here’s what you keep in mind to provide the best treats for your little puppy.
1. Consider The Size of the Food
When you were a child, you probably had your own small spoon to eat with because you weren’t ready for the big “adult” spoon. The same story goes for puppies as well. Small dogs aren’t ready to chew on large pieces of food, so when you’re buying puppy food from a local market, make sure that the pieces are small.
In most cases, food packaging provides some sort of information. You will probably find out for what dog breeds the food is intended too as well as the recommended age range. Once your doggy grows larger, its teeth and jaw will also develop and it will be ready for larger pieces of food.
2. Consider the Calorie Intake
Calorie requirements are different in humans. Kids usually need fewer calories in comparison with a fully-matured adult of average height. When it comes to dogs, the situation is exactly the opposite. Puppies need almost twice the amount of calories required by an adult dog.
Why is that happening? The answer is simple. Small dogs need these extra calories for tissue, bone, and muscle development. They already spend a lot of energy running, playing, and exploring their environment, so they need more calories for the development of the body. Therefore, you’ll probably feed your puppy more often during its developing stages.
When buying puppy food from your local pet shop, check the label and see the number of calories mentioned there. These are usually written as “kcal” and they need to come from a mixture of protein and carbohydrate, not only from fats.
3. Take Into Account the Size of the Puppy
The puppies of certain dog breeds will remain relatively small no matter how much you feed them. A chihuahua is a good example in this case. On the other hand, a male Great Dane will eventually grow to be as heavy as a human adult. As you can probably imagine, these two breeds have different requirements when it comes to food intake.
That’s why great pet food companies collaborate with veterinarians to develop some of the healthiest and most nutrient-dense foods out there. For example, the foods designed for large dog breeds have different combinations of calcium and phosphorus in their composition. This happens to help the bones of the puppy grow and to prevent joint disease or bone ailments.
Therefore, make sure that you speak with your local vet and see what are the nutrient requirements for your particular puppy. You can also find some of this information online or from the dog shelter you visited to get your own puppy.
4. Be Mindful of the Ingredients in the Food
Not only calcium and phosphorus are important in a puppy’s diet, but other nutrients as well such as essential fatty acids. You probably know that these fatty acids are important in humans, but they also help with the proper development of a puppy. For example, DHA is one of those essential fatty acids which needs to be taken from food.
DHA is responsible for the healthy development of the eyes and brain. Studies show that dogs which get enough DHA during their developing stages have better memories and can be trained easier. Therefore, if you want your dog to obey your commands and make it sit when you want it to sit, check the label on pet food packages and look for DHA content.
5. Some Dog Breeds Might Need to Be Fed More Often
It has been established that most small dog breeds have a higher metabolism, in comparison with larger dog breeds. This means that their bodies burn more energy and require more calories throughout the day. In this case, it’s normal to feed smaller dogs multiple small meals a day to provide a steady flow of nutrients.
If these small dogs don’t get enough food on a regular basis, they have a higher chance of developing hypoglycemia which translates into low blood sugar. This will make your dog feel fatigued and with no energy throughout the day, so feeding it the right food at the right time is crucial.
Offer Your Puppy the Love and Attention It Deserves!
Finding the best puppy food seems a bit difficult in the beginning, but once you learn the ropes, you’ll know exactly how to care for your pet as a responsible owner. Remember that a well-fed doggy is a happy doggy and this will definitely put a smile on your face every day when it’s wiggling its tail at you!
Now that we covered your puppy’s health, how about your health? When was the last time you did something to improve your wellbeing? To get inspired, check out the articles in our Health category and see in how many ways you can help your body thrive this year!