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So, you’ve got a new puppy at home. This is obviously an exciting time for you. However, don’t let that excitement distract you from the more important things. A puppy is a living, breathing creature and it’s dependent on you to take care of it. One of the most important things you need to pay attention to about pups is what they eat. Diet plays an important role with regard to the overall development of your pup. Now, this is where a certain amount of confusion can step in. There are so many options out there in terms of puppy-specific food. But, how do you know which one’s right for your little guy/gal? Especially, when each breed has its own set of nutritional requirements? Well, that’s why we’ve created this guide to help you out.
First things first
Pups are highly energetic and they actually require more nutrition than an adult dog. In fact, they have twice the energy requirements of an adult dog. However, they are too small to eat in heavy quantities in order to source that level of energy. That’s why they require specially formulated puppy food. So, when choosing, look for foods that offer easy digestion, maximum nutrition, and a growth formula that is 100% premium. These foods come packed with optimum amounts of minerals, proteins, fats, vitamins, and carbohydrates. They are developed specifically to provide benefits such as clear eyesight, a rich coat, healthy bones, healthy skin, healthy teeth, and a good muscle tone. Other than that, your pup is likely to develop a positive attitude if his/her diet is healthy.
You must also factor in size when choosing food for your pup. As mentioned earlier, each breed has its own set of nutritional requirements. For instance, the way a pug grows isn’t the same as how a German shepherd grows. They have their individual mechanisms in place. Larger breeds need a formula that offers a certain calcium-phosphorous ratio. This is to make sure that their bones are healthy and that they do not get affected by joint disease. Apart from the size of the breed itself, it is also necessary to focus on the size of the kibble. If you have a small breed, obviously large kibble sizes are going to be a problem. Similarly, large chunks of wet food are also going to pose the same problem.
Ingredients are also very important. For example, a fatty acid known as DHA plays an important role in a pup’s nervous system. In fact, puppies need more DHA than adult dogs. An optimum amount of DHA leads to the development of better eyesight, better hearing, and even better brain functions. In other words, your pup can be smarter, faster, and sharper than normal, if there is enough DHA in his/her diet. For more information on puppy nutrition, talk to your vet.
The Best Natural Foods for Your Puppy
A growing number of pet owners across the world are looking for more natural and holistic diets for their pets. This is especially crucial for puppies, as they are at a critical developmental stage where good nutrition can make all the difference when it comes to their health and development.
What’s in a name?
Natural can be quite tricky to define when it comes to pet food. It usually means something which is derived from nature and not from man-made processes. However, that is not the case when it comes to pet food. If you are looking for pet food that has only natural ingredients that are untouched, you are not likely to find one.
Natural pet food is a feed or feeds ingredient that is derived solely from animal, plant, or mined sources. They can be unprocessed or subjected to a little physical processing such as extraction, heat processing, purification, and other such options. However, if a pet food is labeled as natural, it cannot contain any processing aids or additives which are chemically synthetic. This means that natural food cannot contain preservatives, flavoring, and colorants.
The ingredients that you need to look for in natural food
Look for names that you can recognize when reading the labels. Go for foods that contain real-named meats and not unfamiliar names like meat meals or meat byproducts. If you are looking for grains, go for whole grains or the actual nutritive part in the grain, not the bran, hulls, or the indigestible parts.
Pros and cons of natural foods
A lot of pet food manufacturers go for ingredient splitting in the labeling. For instance, they might list corn more than once as corn meal, corn gluten, and ground yellow corn. It means that the food contains a lot of corn. The same happens with foods that are grain-free. They just use a lot of lentils, peas, potatoes, and other starches instead of grains, which is not a necessarily better alternative.
Natural supplements and foods do not contain additives like Propylene Glycol, which is added to a lot of pet food to keep it from becoming dry. Propylene Glycol is a derivative of Ethylene Glycol, which is used as antifreeze in vehicle engines. Although not toxic, Propylene Glycol must strictly be avoided in pet foods. They are also free of chemicals like BHT and BHA additives. Both of them have been associated with an increased risk of cancer. As for the downside, there aren’t many. With any treat or food, there is always a small risk that it will not be digestively tolerated. If that’s the case, it will lead to a decreased appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea. However, feeding foods that do not contain moistening agents, chemical preservatives, or artificial colors are safer and less likely to cause toxic exposure, cancer, and other diseases.