Providing proper nutrition to your dog is very essential for his growth and health. Your dog requires a certain balance of protein, fats, minerals, carbohydrates, vitamins and water, each day in order to stay healthy and function normally. These requirements change with the changing stages of your puppy’s development.
Every nutrient that your dog requires has a purpose. Without proper nutrition, your puppy’s body will not be able to maintain its muscle tone, repair and build teeth, muscles and bones, and fight off different diseases and infections. Many dog food analysis websites on dog foods or best dog treats for health say that they believe that it will be hard to take part in normal day to day activities. In other words, your puppy will lead an unhealthy life and has more chances of getting sick and dying early.
Nowadays, you can literally find numerous types and brands of dog foods in the market to choose from. There are foods made for specific stages of a dog’s life. Some dog foods are designed generally, while others are made keeping certain health conditions in mind, such as kidney and heart diseases and certain allergies. It is best that you refer to your vet before starting or changing the dog’s food brand.
Proper Nutrition for Puppies
Puppy food comprises of twice the value of daily nutrition required by a mature adult dog. This is because puppies are young and still in their growing phase. They need more nutrients for rapid developments several body features, with muscles, internal organs, bones, joints, and immune system being a few of many.
Puppy’s Age and Puppy Food
Ideally you should feed your puppy till he is one year old. However, there are situations when you may need to switch to adult dog food before then. This becomes important when your puppy is developing very quickly or your vet is concerned about his physical wellbeing. In such cases, you should follow the guidelines provided by your vet. Dogs always get this from proper dog food and some great value dog treats.
The Best Form of Puppy Food
You can find dog foods in three forms, dry kibble, moist and semi-moist condition. Dry dog food form contains the most amount of protein, thus is most suitable for puppies. It is easy to digest and does not stick to your puppy’s teeth. Moist dog food usually comprises of seventy-five percent water and has fewer nutrients. It soft texture usually leaves food particles between your puppy’s teeth, increasing the chances of getting cavities. Semi moist food is a good option if you are looking for easy to digest and practical solution. However, it is believed to cause hyperactivity and obesity in some dogs. It is best to feed your puppy a combination of dry and semi-moist dog food.
The Number of Times a Puppy Should be Fed and the Ideal Amount
You should feed your puppy three times a day, till he reaches the age of 6 months. In most dog breeds the growth rate slows down by this age. After the age of 6, lower the meals to two times per day, once in the morning and once in the evening. Follow these guidelines unless your vet recommends otherwise.
The quantity of food your dog need as a serving depends on his nutritional needs and breed. If he is large or a very active dog, he will need more calories to consume as compared to a small dog or a dog that does not move around much. Keep these points in mind and avoid over-feeding your puppy.
You should provide lots of water for your puppy to drink. However, it is not advised keep a bowl of water near a younger puppy the entire time, as it makes housebreaking your dog difficult. Provide him water at scheduled times and then take him out so he can relieve himself. Keep doing so till your dog is old and trained enough to let you know when he wants to go outside.
Proper Nutrition for Adult Dogs
It is very important to understand your dog’s lifestyle and eating habit before selecting a dog food brand for him. Does your dog gets enough exercise and weighs the right amount for his age and height? Or, you have a dog that is laid back and does not like to move around much? Asking yourself these questions will help you find the best food for your canine.
Things to be kept in Mind when Feeding an Adult Dog
Before buying an adult dog food for your canine, make sure it contains all the important nutrients that your dog requires in a balanced form. See if the food is for adult maintenance or for all life stages. Both forms are appropriate for a normal adult dog. If, however, your dog is overweight, get the product which is for adult maintenance, as dog food for all life stages contains more nutrients, which are needed for growth.
When is a Dog considered an Adult for Feeding Purpose
Your dog will be considered an adult for the feeding purposes when he reaches at least ninety percent of his anticipated adult weight. Basically the nutrients contents in an adult or maintenance diet is designed for dogs that have passed their growth stage. Most dogs are ready to be fed adult dog food by the age of 7 months. But, larger breeds may continue growing till they are 12 months old or beyond.
If you want to feed homemade diet to your dog, make sure he gets the right combination of fats, vitamins, minerals and protein. It is important that you consult a certified veterinary nutritionist to design a healthy diet, as getting the right mix of nutrients is not that easy to do.
Are you Feeding the Right Food to your Adult Dog?
Feeding your dog the right food is very important. To confirm whether the food that you have selected for your dog is suiting him or not, you should observe his body and coat condition. Is your dog very energetic and fit in appearance? Is his coat glossy? If the answer to these questions is yes, then the food is agreeing with your dog.
If he is not defecating normally, it is possible the food you have selected for him is not allowing proper digestion. Similarly, if your pet’s coat is dull or he lacks energy, it is time for you to change his food.
The Number of Times an Adult Dog Should be Fed and its Ideal Amount
Most owners like to feed their adult dog two times a day. However, feeding your dog once is fine as well. Giving two meals per day makes it easier for your adult dog to digest the food he consumes.
When it comes to the amount of food to be given, it all comes down to your dog’s size and the amount of exercise he gets. Feeding charts may help you decide what quantity of food is to be fed. If your dog is very active, he may require food that is especially designed for performance or working dogs.
Another thing that should be considered while deciding on the amount to be fed is your pet’s body condition. Is he overweight or suffering from malnutrition? Your vet can help you decide the right amount of food in such cases. Similarly, if you have a female dog that is pregnant or nursing, or a dog that is seriously ill, ask your vet for help regarding the quantity and type of food required.