Dogs are as unique as people, but despite their differences, they all need a well-balanced diet for good health. However, dogs of different ages and sizes have different nutritional needs, and this is especially true for puppies. When you factor in developmental needs, ingredients and your puppy’s size and breed, choosing the right food can be difficult.
How to Select a Puppy Food
The energy requirements of a puppy can be nearly twice those of an adult dog. This means that a puppy might not have the stomach capacity to eat enough food to meet his needs unless the food is specially formulated.
When choosing a puppy food, select one that provides a highly digestible, nutrient-dense, 100% complete premium formula for growth. Such high-quality formulas contain the vitamins, minerals, protein, fat and carbohydrates your dog needs for sound and healthy development. With a premium formula, your puppy may have:
- Exceptional muscle tone
- A shiny, luxurious coat
- Healthy skin, bones, and teeth
- Clear, bright eyes
- Small, firm stools
- A happy, healthy attitude
Puppies grow fastest during the first six months of life, and because growth rates differ among breed sizes, you need a formula designed to address the needs of your puppy’s breed or size. Feed your puppy this formula based on the recommended amounts for his weight and age until he is an adult.
Large-breed Puppy Nutrition
Although large-breed dogs have bigger bones than medium or small breeds, large-breed puppies do not need more calcium. University studies have shown that:
- Rapidly growing large-breed pups are more inclined to exhibit developmental bone problems.
- Controlling the rate of growth is more beneficial than promoting rapid growth.
- Moderating calcium, phosphorus and calorie levels in the diet of large-breed puppies promotes normal skeletal development.
Overfeeding and weight gain can contribute to developmental bone problems. This makes managing food intake even more critical. Puppies are at greater risk for developmental bone problems if they are overfed.
A formula with reduced fat and calories promotes optimum growth. Controlling the rate of growth to promote normal development is another reason to feed a large-breed diet, such as IAMS™ ProActive Health™ Smart Puppy Large Breed.
Medium-breed Puppy Nutrition
Medium-breed puppies have needs between those of large- and small-breed dogs. A medium-breed puppy’s nutritional demands can be satisfied by feeding a 100% complete and balanced formula that features moderate amounts of all the essential vitamins and nutrients, such as IAMS ProActive Health Smart Puppy Original.
Small-breed Puppy Nutrition
Small-breed puppies have unique needs due to their small mouths and small stomachs, as well as the rapid growth spurt they experience when growing to adult size. That’s why it’s important to pack a lot of nutrition and energy into a small amount of food. A poor-quality diet might fill a puppy’s stomach before he can eat enough food to satisfy his nutritional needs. The result can be improper muscle and skeletal development and growth impairment.
IAMS™ puppy foods are formulated to be energy- and nutrient-dense to meet the needs of growing puppies. The IAMS™ formula for small and toy puppy breeds, IAMS™ ProActive Health™ Smart Puppy Small & Toy Breed, has concentrated nutrition for the lifelong health of your small- or toy-breed dog.
adp_related_article_block229 372 YOUR --spice-- MAY ALSO LIKE …
adp_related_article_block229 Continue scrolling for next content
Switching your dog to a new food takes some planning. Because dogs are creatures of habit, they tend to prefer their current food to a new food. Like us, they become accustomed to a food and might not be thrilled about a new routine. These useful dog-feeding tips will help you keep your dog satisfied.
4 Tips to Successfully Transition Your Dog to a New Food
1. Introduce the new food gradually.
When easing your dog into a change in diet, think “slow and steady.” Start by mixing 25% new food with 75% current food. Slowly change the proportions over the next three days or so by gradually increasing the new food and lessening the amount of the current food. Here’s a sample feeding schedule:
- Day 1: 25% new food, 75% current food
- Day 2: 50% new food, 50% current food
- Day 3: 75% new food, 25% current food
At the end of this weaning process, you should be feeding 100% of the new food. Your dog may want to eat only the old food, or not eat at all. Don’t worry — a healthy dog can miss meals for a day or two with no ill effects.
2. Watch your body language.
Bringing a new food into your home, pouring it into your dog’s bowl and declaring that he should eat it might cause your dog to go on a hunger strike. This is not the time to show who’s boss. It’s better to introduce the new food by using a pleasant tone of voice and gently encouraging him to try the new food.
3. Don't give in to demands.
Persistence is key! For the first two days of the food transition, don’t give your dog treats or table scraps. Dogs train us as much as we train them. Giving in to their demands only reinforces refusal behavior and makes it more difficult to make a nutritious dietary change.
4. Be patient when switching from wet food to dry food.
Switching diets may be more challenging when changing from a moist food to a dry food. If your dog continues to resist eating dry food, mix in a little warm water. You might even want to put the moistened food in the microwave for a few seconds. If you mix the food with water, be sure to throw away the uneaten portion after 20 minutes to prevent spoilage. The same rule applies for canned and pouch food. After the dog has become accustomed to the moistened food, you can wean him onto completely dry food. To do this, follow the same mixing instructions outlined above.
adp_related_article_block79 295 YOUR --spice-- MAY ALSO LIKE …adp_related_article_block79Continue scrolling for next content