Best Puppy Food
The puppy stage of dogs is a very important state that not only requires training and socialization but also adequate diet and nutrition. The feeding habits of puppies is very important as well as the kind of food they eat.
Puppy food is designed to cater for the special and rich dietary needs of a puppy from the delicate period when it is weaned till the time when it is able to eat adult foods.
The major difference between adult food and puppy food is the percentage of protein found in the meal. Puppy food mostly contains a lot of protein than adult food. This is because protein is an essential nutrient that is crucial to the growth and development of puppies.
This increased percentage of protein is only required during the transition stage of puppies as they no longer need this increased amount once they are fully grown.
Another difference between puppy food and adult food is the number of calories it contains. Puppies generally exert a lot of energy so they require lots of calories to make up for the lost energy.
Though puppies can most likely survive on adult food diet, they will not grow properly or grow up to be a poorly developed dog. Adult dog foods do not contain the essential nutrients that are needed by the puppies at this intermediate and delicate period to grow and develop properly.
Types of Puppy Food
There are three basic types of puppy foods and they are dry foods, wet foods and semi moist food.
Dry food is the most preferred choice of puppy food because it contains the highest concentration of protein and is easier to store.
It is also the cheapest of the three foods. The hard kibble bites tend to remove plaque and tartar from the teeth of dogs, thereby providing dental advantages for the maturing dog.
Wet food, just as the name suggests mostly contains liquid contents than solid ones. However, they do not contain as much protein as dry foods and do not provide as many dental benefits. Nevertheless, it is still a favorite among dogs as most dogs prefer their taste to that of dry foods.
Semi-moist foods contain as much solid and liquid in them. Though they have highly been replaced by wet foods and are no longer really available in the market anymore.
Ingredients to Look For In Puppy Foods
When shopping for puppy foods, it is important to make sure that the foods contain some if not all of the ingredients mentioned below.
1. The first ingredients to look for in puppy foods are supplements or nutritional extras. These help to improve the quality and value of the puppy foods.
Some of the most needed supplements to look out for are glucosamine, omega-3 rich fatty acids, probiotics and chondroitin. Probiotics helps to foster proper digestion, omega-3 fatty acids help to prevent inflammation while both glucosamine and chondroitin helps with joint development.
2. Proteins should be a top priority when shopping for puppy foods. It is essential to the growth of your puppy.
3. It is important to purchase medium to high priced puppy foods as cheap dog foods will not contain as many good ingredients as the pricey ones.
4. Foods marked for all life stages are also good for puppies because they contain great ingredients that will be beneficial for young puppies. However, these foods may not be great for adult dogs because they don’t require as many nutrients as a puppy. So it should be discontinued once a dog reaches adulthood.
5. Lastly, it is important to purchase puppy foods made from countries with high pet food quality standards. Countries like New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Western Europe, and the United States have high pet food quality standards. These countries will most likely produce foods with high-quality ingredients.
Ingredients To Avoid In Puppy Foods
Some ingredients to avoid in puppy foods that may be dangerous or cause issues to their health are:
1. Mystery meats: it is important to always know the meats used to derive the by-products of dog food. Puppy foods with unidentified meat or ingredients might be harmful to the puppy’s health.
2. Additive, Preservatives, and Coloring: these should be avoided because many bad puppy foods contain lots of unnecessary additives and coloring that can be harmful to a puppy’s overall health.
3. Enriched or Processed grains: grains are generally acceptable ingredients as they contain lots of carbohydrates, but when it comes to enriched or processed grains they are to be avoided. Due to basically lacking the fiber contents of unprocessed or whole grains which by the way are a healthier choice.
Puppy Foods for Large Breeds
It is important to note that large breed’s puppies require slightly different nutritional diets than medium to small-sized dog breeds. This just means they will need different foods from the ones eaten by medium to small-sized puppies.
Thankfully, there are a number of puppy foods for large dog breeds. The major difference being the contents of some nutrients or ingredients in them.
Generally, puppy foods for large breeds contain less of these nutrients like Phosphorus, Calcium, and Fat. They also contain fewer calories and are quite leaner than medium to small-sized puppy foods.
Glucosamine and chondroitin that help to provide support for their joints are found more in fod for large breed puppies.
How Much Food to Feed Puppies
When it comes to feeding puppies, most people are extremely clueless concerning how much to give. This ignorance might lead to practicing on-demand feeding by leaving a bowl of food available at all times.
Another thing that most people aren’t aware of is the proper time to start feeding puppies with puppy food. Though most people don’t have to worry about that because breeders only release puppies once they have been weaned. But what happens when your dog whelps and fills your house with adorable pooches?
The best time to start feeding puppies with puppy food is when they are around 4 to 5 weeks of age. It should be a gradual and patient process while the food is transitioned slowly.
The amount of food to feed puppies is mostly about three relatively small meals spread throughout the whole day. Make sure that their food contains the appropriate nutrients they require.
Best Puppy Food (Dry) for Growing Pooches
1. Merrick Grain Free Puppy Recipe Dry Dog Food
This is a dry Puppy food that is packed full with chicken protein and lots of nutritional supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin. The features of these dog meals include:
- Locally sourced fresh farm ingredients.
- High quality, USDA inspected and certified.
- Grain-free recipes, grains were replaced with fresh produce and vegetables.
- No artificial or Chinese ingredients.
- It is a great and healthy meal that contains lots of nutrients.
- It is extremely tasty and even picky dogs have been known to like this meal.
- It does not contain artificial ingredients or coloring.
- The food pieces are too small for some dogs to eat it easily.
The first five ingredients it contains are: Deboned chicken, chicken meal, Potato, peas and Sweet potatoes.
2. Taste of the Wild Grain Free Puppy Food.
This Puppy food which is available in two different flavors is a nutritionally balanced diet. The two flavors are High Prairie which predominantly contains bison and venison and Pacific Stream which is made from different fish species. The features of these Puppy foods include:
- It has two variants each containing essential nutrients.
- Grain-free recipe.
- Real fruits and vegetables
- It gets digested easily by most dogs.
- It results in shinier coats when eaten for just a short while.
- It provides dogs with lots of energy.
- Some dogs do not like the taste of the venison and bison variant.
The first five ingredients in this meal are: Buffalo, Lamb meal, Sweet potatoes, egg product and pea protein.
3. Purina Pro Plan Shredded Blend Puppy Food
This dog meal is a premium Puppy food available at affordable prices. It is produced in different forms called platforms such as sport, savor, and focus. The features of this meal include:
- It contains Omega-3 fatty acids and fish oils.
- It is a healthy meal fortified with vitamins and minerals.
- It contains a mixture of both hard kibble and shredded chicken.
- Most dogs like the taste of this meal
- It contains growth essential minerals and vitamins.
- It contains fish oils that aids in shinning their coats.
- It is easy to digest.
- The presence of Kibble provides dental benefits to the pups.
- It most likely becomes stale before the bag of food is finished.
- It contains some unidentified and unmentioned ingredients.
The first five ingredients in this meal are: Chicken, Brewers Rice, Poultry by-product meal, Corn gluten meal and Animal fat.
4. Hungry Bark Chicken and Brown Rice
This food is quite unique as it contains healthier and heartier kibble. This meal features include:
- Lots of healthy meats like turkey, chicken, chicken meal, and turkey meal.
- Lots of healthy grains like brown rice, millet oat grouts, and pearled barley.
- Omega-3 fatty acids and Probiotics.
- Sustainable packaging.
- It contains lots of healthy and essential ingredients.
- It contains healthy grains and not grain fillers.
- It grants a discount for subscriptions.
- It has sustainable and attractive packaging.
- It is quite expensive for a kibble diet.
- It contains only a one-grain free option.
The first five ingredients in this meal are: Chicken, Turkey, Chicken meal, Turkey meal and Brown rice.
5. Nutro Wholesome Essentials Puppy Food
This meal is also a premium meal that is derived from various healthy ingredients. The features of this meal includes:
- It is fortified with Calcium.
- It contains Omega-3 fatty acids.
- It is made with non-GMO ingredients.
- It contains high-quality carbohydrates.
- It contains very healthy and essential ingredients.
- Most dogs love the taste of this meal.
- It promotes healthier and shinier coats.
- It provides lots of energy to pups.
- It does not contain any major probiotic.
The first five ingredients in this meal are: Chicken, Whole brown rice, Chicken meal, Split peas and Chicken fat.
Best Puppy Food (Wet) for Growing Pooches
Wet foods are not exactly recommended for Puppies but they can be mixed with dry foods to create a sumptuous and well-rounded meal. Some of the best Wet foods for Puppies are:
1. Canidae Limited Ingredient Diet Puppy Chicken Formula
This one is a limited puppy food meal and therefore it is great puppy food for pups with sensitive stomachs. This meal features include:
- Protein-rich formula
- Contains salmon oil( a product of Omega-3 fatty acids)
- Grain-free formula.
- It is quite sumptuous and easy to digest.
- It contains essential nutrients needed to aid pups’ growth and development.
- It has an objectable odor that most dogs do not prefer.
- It is difficult to store once it has been opened.
The first five ingredients in this meal are: Chicken, Chicken broth, dried eggs, Peas and Salmon oil.
2. Royal Canin Puppy Food
This dog meal contains lots of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that is essential for puppy growth and development. The features of the meal include:
- Antioxidant-rich formula
- It is designed to support healthy Intestinal flora.
- Presence of several protein sources.
- It contains lots of essential nutrients.
- It also aid in developing healthier and shinier coats.
- Most dogs don’t like the taste of this meal.
- It causes digestive issues in some dogs.