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What Nutrients Do Growing Puppies Need?
You love your puppy, and you want to do your best for them in all aspects of life—and that includes feeding them well so they get everything they need to stay healthy.
However, there are a lot of different choices out there in terms of puppy food—so, how do you choose which is best for your pup?
When it comes to dog food, there’s no one size fits all. Your puppy may have their own preference in terms of flavors, textures, and more.
But regardless of their individual tastes, there are a few key factors that let you know you’re providing your pup with everything they need nutritionally.
Choose a Food for the Right Life Stage
Dog foods should state which age group the diet is appropriate for. Age categories typically include puppy, adult, gestation/lactation, or senior, although some diets are labeled for all life stages.
These foods have different nutrient profiles, with the puppy specific food being geared toward healthy growth.
Food labeled as ‘all life stages’ can also be appropriate for puppies, if fed in appropriate amounts for growth during puppyhood.
Large breed puppy foods promote optimal (ideal, not too fast) growth for breeds that have a lot of growing to do.
Whereas typical puppy foods are optimized for the growth of small and medium sized breeds.
Look for Balance over Ingredients
Individual ingredients can be very important, especially if your pup has a favorite flavor or if they develop a special dietary need such as a food sensitivity.
However, a single ingredient only tells part of the story…
So, it’s important to look at the entire balance of the food as a whole.
For this purpose, it helps to look for a statement from AAFCO (The Association of American Feed Control Officials). Usually, you’ll find this statement right on the bag and it will be worded similar to this:
Fromm Family Puppy Gold is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for gestation/lactation and growth, including growth of large size dogs (70 lb. or more as an adult).
The last part of that statement indicates the ‘life stage’ that food is designed for—in this example, it’s an appropriate food for healthy puppy growth.
Think of it as nutrition in perfect harmony—each ingredient provides its own nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Put together, these ingredients provide exactly the right balance your growing pup needs.
So, don’t worry about chasing trends in terms of ingredients, or in terms of a particular food style such as raw or home cooked. Those options may be right for some puppies, but again there’s no one size fits all. You have many options depending on what you and your pup prefer.
Also, don’t stress about avoiding certain ingredients.
Instead, focus on the ‘big picture’ and know the food is complete and balanced.
Ask Your Veterinarian Before Supplementing
If you feed a nutritionally complete and balanced diet, most pups won’t need supplements of vitamins or minerals.
In fact, too much of certain supplements—such as calcium, for example—can have negative health effects.
If you have a supplement you feel may benefit your pup, simply check with your veterinarian first to see if it’s right for your individual pup.
Focus on Quality
When thinking of ingredients, it’s also important to think about quality rather than quantity.
In other words, when it comes to certain nutrients—such as protein, for example—it is possible to have too much of a good thing.
If a food is nutritionally complete and balanced and made for growing puppies, it will have enough of these nutrients to meet their needs, so there’s no need to look for a food based on the quantity of just one nutrient.
Remember, it’s all about balance.
So, rather than thinking about more protein—think about other factors such as digestibility and sourcing (wholesome ingredients and whether they undergo USDA inspection or other testing for quality and safety).
Look for Results
No matter which food you choose, another good indication of the food’s quality is how your puppy is doing in real life.
Do they have plenty of energy? Healthy stools? A shiny coat and sparkling eyes? Are they gaining the right amount of weight?
Your veterinarian can give you further advice. But, as you get to know your new puppy, your observations at home will be very important, too.
Your pup will appreciate your thoughtfulness and will surely be wagging their tail each time you fill their bowl with their favorite food!
From our family to yours,
Fromm Family Pet Food