Getting a puppy can be a really exciting time in your life, but it can also come with an onslaught of questions.
Who is the best vet in town? Do I need to get my puppy fixed? Should I crate train? What should I feed my new puppy?
Luckily for you, that last question is the one where we are bonafide experts. Read on to find out what the best food for your new family member is, and how to feed a puppy properly.
How Much Do Puppies Eat?
Your new little puppy is so cute and tiny but did you know that s/he actually requires more food than an adult (relative to their weight)? That’s right!
Once they are weaned, a puppy should eat between 6-8% of his body weight in food every day. When he reaches eight weeks old, he should be eating 5% of his body weight.
Sound like a lot? All those extra calories are necessary to fuel their rapid growth as they transform from pup to full-grown dog in that first year. The good news is that their meal schedules tend to slow down around the 12-month mark. By the time they are an adult, they only need to eat about 2-3% of their body weight.
Your Puppy’s Nutritional Needs
When it comes to feeding any living thing—whether human or canine—getting the right nutrients is paramount.
A puppy’s diet should consist of the right amount of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, and water. Does that all sound familiar? That’s right, it’s the same stuff humans need!
You might be asking why these ingredients are important for a growing puppy, but the answer is the same as why they are important to humans.
Protein helps to build strong muscles, fat helps with brain development and weight gain, carbs give them that classic puppy energy, vitamins and minerals provide the necessary components to make a well-rounded diet, and water is essential for hydration. It is important that any dog, puppy or adult, has access to fresh and clean water at all times.
What Is The Best Puppy Food?
Unfortunately, very few commercially available dog foods provide the proper nutrition for your growing puppy.
At best, dog foods are mostly fillers such as corn and wheat. At worst, they’re contaminated with heavy metals such as lead and arsenic.
At Rick’s Dog Deli, we believe the best puppy food looks a lot like the best human food. That’s why our healthy meals are made with 100% human grade ingredients that have been gently cooked and flash frozen to lock in the nutrients your puppy (and older dogs) need.
To give your new fur baby the best start in life, we recommend our TNT (or Total Nutrition Top-Dress) supplement. This combination vitamin + pre- and probiotic is the answer to prolonging the life of your pet and preventing many common health problems.
How To Feed Your Puppy
Contrary to what the big brands will tell you, your puppy does not need a special “puppy formulation.” As long as they are eating a wholesome, nutrient-dense diet, they can eat the same food as an older dog (just more of it).
While an adult dog does just fine with two meals a day, a puppy should eat 3-4 times a day until they are 12 months old.
However, avoid the temptation to leave their food out all day. With “free feeding,” it is hard to determine how much your puppy is actually eating.
Instead, feed them at regular intervals through the day. When your dog has scheduled meal times, they are more likely to finish (and enjoy) their meals and less likely to beg for table scraps.
Our signature meals are perfect for all stages of your dog’s life. Just take a look at our handy feeding chart for the best way to feed your dog or give us a call today and we’ll help you figure out the best feeding regimen for your puppy.
Helping Your Puppy Thrive
Regular veterinary appointments are just as important for your new puppy as good nutrition.
Your vet will have you come in for frequent check-ups while your puppy is still little. At these vet appointments, they will weigh your puppy to make sure s/he is on track for weight, growth, and development. If something is amiss, they will address it and likely have you feed more or less to your puppy.
If your puppy is underweight, they will have you feed more and higher fat content, and if your puppy is getting a little too big, they may have you lessen the amount you’ve been feeding him.
Either way, don’t worry. There are solutions for most puppy food problems. It can take some tweaking to get it right (just like human babies!)
At Rick’s Dog Deli, we make it easy to choose the best puppy food because that’s all we carry! We make sure that each choice is balanced, healthy, and nutritious—no fillers, preservatives, or junk here!
Our goal is to get your puppy started on a life-long road to optimum health. Feel free to call now to discuss the nutritional components of our foods and congratulations on your new puppy!