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We will have a featured blogger every week once we get going and that person will hopefully be showered with comments from our members.

To be a PBU featured blogger, first become a follower through Google Friend Connect (juct click the follow button you always see). Then just send an e-mail to Pet Blogs United. We'll contact you, have you pick some of your favorite posts and feature you when your turn comes up on the list. Pet Blogs United will only feature blogs about, by or for pets & animals.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Puppy Food: How to Keep Your Puppy Healthy and Strong

When puppies begin eating solid food, their nutrition needs are at the peak for their entire life. Their bodies are growing rapidly, and they need high-nutrient food to help their bones and muscles grow properly. Complete nutrition for puppies is important in the first year of life, and quality puppy food will also support brain development and set the course for a healthy life. Here are ways that you can keep your puppy healthy and strong for a life of happiness.

Evaluate Nutrition Needs
Puppies have different nutrition needs based on their size and breed, and because of this puppy food is not one type fits all. Small-dog breeds do not need as much food as larger-dog breeds. Working dogs may need more energy, but lazy dogs can get away with less food. Evaluating the nutritional needs of your puppy can be a daunting task. It is best to get advice from a veterinarian. Food packages for puppies don't always give you accurate information.

When it comes to evaluating brands for your puppy, read the ingredients instead of the front labels. Ingredients will tell you a lot about the quality of the food.

When To Start Feeding Dry Food
Solid food should be given to puppies starting at four weeks. This may seem young to some people. Puppies stop getting all of their nutritional needs from mother's milk at that point. It's important to supplement their diet with a high-quality food. If you have adopted an older puppy, then you should continue feeding a puppy-food formula.

How Often To Feed 
A puppy should eat three times per day. Twice per day is acceptable. They have fast metabolisms at this point, and they will use up their energy quickly. Keeping the puppy full of nutritious food will be the best choice. Complete nutrition for puppies begins with feeding the right food often enough.

It's important that you do not let your puppy become obese. A healthy puppy should have very little rib fat, a tuck where the waist is and a slightly visible spine. Most people overfeed and let their puppies become too fat. This is counterproductive to the health of the pup.

Special Circumstances
Large-breed dogs need a very special diet. Rapid growth triggered by diet can cause skeletal problems. A large-breed food will be lower in calcium and phosphorus. This keeps the puppy from growing too big too quickly. It will prevent potential problems. You should also closely monitor the weight of your large-breed puppy. A lighter weight is always preferred over a heavier one.

It may be tempting to want a huge dog, but already-large breeds can suffer greatly from overfeeding. Hip dysplasia and arthritis are common ailments that cost a lot of money and make your dog suffer later in life.

Everyone wants their puppy to live a healthy and long life. If you have adopted a new puppy, then start researching ways to make sure he or she has the healthiest life possible. Quality food goes a long way to ensure optimal growth, development and health of a dog.

3 comments:

Roberta @ Silverwalk said...

Thanks, Pam and Oskar! I have two adoptable puppies whose 5 siblings starved to death and nearly so their mother (who is here, too). I was given by unknown person IAMs puppy food. IAMs is not my first choice for food but am using it with Thrive, a dry supplement and a crushed multivitamin daily. They have gained weight but I, too, prefer my dogs on the lean side - better for heart, lungs and joints. Oh, the pups are Beagle mixes (or not; don't know who dad was).

Tucker said...

I'd like to add that Great Dane puppies should never be fed puppy food. Danes require a protein level between 20- 24% as pups. It is important because of HOD. Everyone should research their puppies breed before feeding a blanket puppy food.

woof - Tucker

Catherine Anne said...

Wow this is an amazing article. I have a 13 week old german shepherd puppy, and I always wonder if he's getting enough food, too much, when do i switch him for 3 feed to 2.. the list of food related questions goes on. You have however completely cured one of my worries - I read recently he should be 14kg by now, and he's only 12.6. He's big, but by no means chubby or too skinny. I wondered if he should get more calcium as he'll be growing fast but this really helped explain stuff for me thanks!

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