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5 Things to Consider When Choosing Canine Chow

By on September 3, 2017

Alexandra Seagal is a prolific and widely-read dog blogger who we’re happy to have here to help communicate things every dog owner should consider when choosing food for pups. These five items are essential in deciding what’s best for your specific dog and every dog is different. You can find more of Alexandra’s work on her website, Animalso.com, the Huffington Post, and other places. Thanks to Ms. Seagal for writing this post for us!

It is essential to a puppy’s immediate and future growth that she is fed the best quality food. But it isn’t as simple as walking into a pet store and buying whatever food you see first. There are important considerations to take into account.

Here are 5 things to think about when choosing a dog food for a puppy.

1. Research the ingredients in puppy food.

One of the best ways to avoid the worry over which food is best is to figure it out beforehand with appropriate research. Many excellent, reliable sources on the internet can educate you on the various quality dog foods that are available.

Learn about the different ingredients in dog foods as well as which ones you want in it and which ones you want to avoid.

Due to their need for high nutritional and caloric values, puppies need to eat food that is twice the number of the daily requirement for adult canines. Puppy food should have a high-fat content, between 21 – 30% protein, and the vitamins and minerals that your puppy will need to grow up healthy and energetic.

The best puppy food will include ingredients like whole meat, natural preservatives, whole grains, and fruits and vegetables. Low-quality foods will contain ingredients such as meat meal, rendered fat, wheat gluten, corn, and corn syrup.

Find the right kind of kibble that will give your pup the nutritional values she needs to grow up happy and lively. Avoid the kind of foods that will adversely impact her bone and skeletal health.

 

2. Food choice should be based on your dog’s breed and size.

The breed and size of your puppy will dictate what kind of food you should feed to her.

For example, small breed puppies metabolize their food at a higher rate than large breeds. Therefore they need to be fed three to four times a day. Otherwise, a lack of caloric value can result in serious health issues and growth deficiencies.

Medium breed puppies don’t need the specialization that smaller or larger breeds do, but you still want to make sure your dog consumes the best food possible. The nutritional requirements necessary for a medium sized puppy are foods with at least 22% protein and 10% fat content.

The large breed puppy needs a diet that will allow her to develop as she matures properly. Bigger sized canines need less energy density so they can safely grow into their larger frames. Look for food that is low in calcium and phosphorous, that has a fat content between 12 – 15%, and that contains a protein level of 23 – 25%.

 

3. Learn how a breed’s potential health problems can be affected by food.

Thoroughly investigate your puppy’s breed, so you familiarize yourself with the illnesses and diseases associated with it. Aside from being better prepared for what you may encounter as your dog ages, a breed’s potential health problems are important to know when choosing a puppy food.

Breeds that are more prone to food allergies, like Golden Retrievers or Jack Russell Terriers, will require food that does not contain fillers or grains that trigger allergic reactions.

Many breeds like Weimaraners and Rottweilers are predisposed to gastrointestinal issues such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Both of these conditions are related to specific foods or proteins.

Know what illnesses your puppy’s breed is susceptible to and use that information to help steer your dog clear of future health concerns.

4. Know your food types and brands.

There are three general categories of dry dog foods and all three offer varying ranges of nutrition.

Super premium foods are higher priced but include the minerals and proteins your puppy needs. Additionally, these brands are easily digestible because of their excellent content.

Premium name brand foods are above average in quality. These brands tend to be less expensive than super premium, although they are not as superior in content.

Store brand generic foods are the cheapest option, but you are paying for more filler and less nutrition. These foods are full of inferior ingredients that make digestion more difficult and inappropriate for your dog.

 

5. Choose dry food or wet food.

Whether to feed your puppy dry or wet food depends on the dog’s health and any special circumstances. Dry food is considered the best option for puppies who are healthy as it helps your dog develop and maintain strong bones and teeth.

There are times when a puppy’s health may be compromised by gastrointestinal disorders, or a puppy is teething, and wet food is the best choice because it is easier for a young dog to chew and swallow. It’s also helpful for puppies with weight issues and prevents urinary tract infections.

 

Final word

Just like senior dogs have food designed for their aging needs, puppies need special food to spur proper growth. They need quality food to meet the nutritional requirements to give them a healthy future and to prevent medical concerns further down the line.

It can seem daunting trying to find the best brand, but the right information can help you succeed in feeding and raising an energetic, active puppy.

About Eric Forrest

Eric is a pet lover, bookworm and dad. He's had 5 family dogs, 4 cats, a cottontail rabbit he nursed back to health, and two ducks. Cats are his preference, but Eric loves all little critters.

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