It’s a pretty common question veterinarians get asked often. They always suggest a balanced diet that will help the puppy grow and be healthy. But there’s more to it than just a balanced meal.
Many people think puppies need the same food as an adult dog, but that’s true. To understand what you should feed your pup, you need to first understand the nutritional requirement it needs.
While there are countless dog foods appropriate for all stages of life, you still have to make sure it contains the proper nutrients. With that being said, let’s jump right to it:
A Balanced Diet
A balanced diet is vital to giving your furry friend an abundance of energy, proper growth, and a healthy lifestyle.
You can either feed your puppy store-bought dog food, or you can prepare a meal yourself. Few nutrients are essential for their well-being, for instance, water, proteins, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins.
We’ll break down the importance of these nutrients in a bit, but if you’ve decided to do the latter, remember to consult your veterinarian first.
You also need to make sure that you’re not overfeeding your pup. Obesity can lead to a number of health problems for such a small little being. Here are the 6 key nutrients your puppy must be getting:
Water is crucial for all living beings. Just as we’re recommended to have a certain amount of water every day for our well-being, the same applies to dogs as well. Some dog food contains a certain amount of water in them, and most owners mistake that that’s enough – It’s not; Especially not for a growing puppy.
It’s very important that you make sure your little tyke has access to clean and fresh water. A puppy’s water necessity depends upon how active and healthy they are, and what kind of environment they are in.
Side tip: Puppies are too young to eat solid food right away, use water to dilute the food. This way they can eat it easily and not choke themselves.
We’re all familiar with this particular nutrient – proteins. From a very early age, we’ve been taught that proteins are the building blocks of life.
Proteins are made up of amino acids, which helps to generate energy. It’s especially vital for growing puppies to have doubled the number proteins.
They help with developing a proper body structure, hormones, enzymes, antibodies and etc.
The supply of protein is both essential and nonessential. Dogs don’t produce proteins or store them at a designated level; dogs are required to have a constant supply of it. You can get protein sources from fish and eggs, beans and lentils, or even from lean-muscle meat. So, make sure you’re buying the proper ingredients for your pup’s meal.
Yes, this may sound fishy but fat actually stocks the most amount of energy.
Not only does it provide more calories than protein or carbohydrates, but it also supplies your pup with the most important acids: omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
These fatty acids help keep your little fur ball’s internal organs safe, maintain a healthy nervous system, and helps to circulate their body temperature.
Be careful not to give excessive calories to your puppy. This may cause problems such as gastrointestinal or pancreatitis issues. Refrain yourself from giving too much table scraps.
You can get fat sources mainly from fish that have low mercury in them, or fish oils, or hempseed or flaxseed oils.
Vitamins are probably the most important nutrients among all. Vitamins are an organic compound which has two different types, one that can be soluble in fat which we know as Vitamin A, D, E, and K.
Another type can be soluble in water, which we know as Vitamins C and B. They play a major role in your pup’s life. Vitamins help make sure that your pup has a strong immune system, a proper nervous system function, and also help with blood clotting.
Be mindful when you’re preparing a meal for your puppy. If it already has a balance of key nutrients no need to add extra fat-soluble vitamins in it. This can cause complications for your little friend.
There’s little to no complications with water-soluble vitamins as they can just be eliminated from urinating. You can get the proper vitamins from muscle meats or plant-based food that is verified dog-friendly.
Minerals are known to enable correct metabolic functions. Unlike vitamins, they are an inorganic compound and it’s also vital for your puppy.
Minerals are separated into two types: macro-minerals and micro-minerals. Macro-minerals are what we know as calcium, magnesium, potassium and etc. Micro-minerals are Iron, iodine, copper and etc.
Even though macro-minerals are needed more than micro-minerals, they’re both equally important. They help carry oxygen throughout the body, help make bones stronger, and helps with healing wounds.
Puppies need more calcium support, but that doesn’t mean you’ll go overboard with it. Consult your vet first and then use it in the diet accordingly.
You can get a proper mineral source from organic meats which provide iron and copper, or bone which helps with providing calcium. The choice is yours and your puppy’s, do some research and plan out a diet!
Last but not the least – Carbohydrates. It’s known that Carbohydrates are not important for dogs. This is probably the only nutrient that doesn’t play a major role in your pup’s life.
They’re made up of sugar and fibers that are indigestible and also provide glucose. Although not directly important for a puppy, carbohydrates do help to supply vital minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants that can help with your fur ball’s health.
You can get carbohydrates from dog-friendly fruits, vegetables or gluten-free grains. Avoid feeding your puppy chocolate, xylitol, alcohol, avocados. It’s not good for them at all.
Occasional treats and table scraps are perfectly fine, but they should not be frequent or in large quantities. You must remember your puppy needs to stick to their diet and not get distracted by treats and table scraps.
The most you can do for your puppy’s diet is to do your own research, talk to other pet owners, and most importantly talk to your veterinarian.
Ultimately, it’s all about what your puppy would like to gobble up. So, take some of our information and come up with your own diet routine!