Key Ingredients for Puppies

There are so many different types, flavors, and even kibble sizes of dog foods on the market today. It can be tough to figure out what is a “good” food for puppies, adult dogs, or senior dogs. Today I’m going to be talking about key ingredients for puppies.

Puppies are usually weaned from their mother by 8 weeks of age. That is when they start eating puppy food. Key ingredients to look for in puppy food include protein, carbohydrates, fat, and calcium. Protein requirements are the highest in growing puppies and as puppies age the requirement decreases. Due to the nutrition and energy requirements for growing puppies, it’s important to feed puppies a puppy food and not an adult food. Calcium requirements are stricter in large and giant breed puppies because too much calcium can lead to abnormal skeletal development. For these types of puppies, choose a food that meets the AAFCO requirements for calcium in large and giant breed puppies. Fat is an important source of energy for puppies. Too much fat intake can lead to obesity and orthopedic problems. Puppies get energy and dietary fiber from carbohydrates. There is no specific amount of carbohydrates recommended for growing puppies, but a suggested amount is twenty percent on a dry matter basis according to VCA animal hospital.

Another important aspect of feeding a growing puppy is the amount to feed. It’s recommended to give puppies portioned or “meal” feedings. Your veterinarian can provide you more specific instructions for your individual puppy. In general, puppies are fed two to three times a day. This helps give them the best chance to not become overweight. Puppies weight and body condition should be evaluated by your veterinarian regularly to ensure they are growing as best as possible.



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