Feeding the right puppy food is super important!
Puppies are usually weaned when they are about 6-8 weeks old. The goal of feeding growing puppies is to lay the foundation for a healthy adulthood. Proper nutrition is needed to achieve healthy growth (neither too rapid nor too slow), optimise immune function, minimise potential for obesity and avoid developmental orthopaedic disease.
Why We Need To Feed Them The Right Puppy Food
Puppies grow quickly. Growth rates for puppies vary by breed. Small and medium breeds mature to adulthood by the time they are 10-12 months of age, and 18-24 months for large and giant breeds. Growth involves a complex process of interactions among genetics, nutrition and environment. Proper nutrition is critical to the health and development of puppies, regardless of breed. There is a massive difference between small, medium and large breed puppy food. It is of the utmost importance that large breed puppies are on a large breed puppy diet! The breed of the dog will be indicated on the packaging. The exact amount that needs to be fed daily will also be specified on the packaging. Be sure to follow those guidelines so you won’t over- or underfeed your pup.
An optimal growth rate in puppies is ideal. It is a slow and steady growth rate that allows the puppy to achieve an ideal optimal adult body condition while avoiding excessive weight.
Growing puppies need higher amounts of all nutrients in comparison to adult dogs, but excess energy and calcium can create serious problems. In small to medium breeds, excess energy can lead to obesity. In large and giant breeds, excess energy and calcium can also lead to abnormal skeletal development.
Optimal feeding must begin during the weaning stage and continue through to adulthood and old age.
Poor nutrition can have life-long repercussions, setting the stage for many complications and diseases. These include hypertension, heart disease, diabetes mellitus, osteoarthritis, heat intolerance and decreased immune function.
Free-choice feeding increases the risks for higher levels of body fat, leading to obesity, and, especially in large breed puppies, skeletal abnormalities. Puppies grow rapidly and should be fed measured amounts at regular feeding times, generally 3-4 times per day, based on their body condition and age.
Your puppy’s weight, body condition and growth rate should be regularly assessed. With planning and attention to detail, you can lay the foundation for your puppy’s optimal health and longevity.