As you and your new puppy get to know one another, one of the things you’ll undoubtedly be trying to do is please his or her palate. But choosing the right puppy food is about so much more than just making your pup happy. It’s also a critical part of helping him grow and develop properly, providing a strong nutritional foundation that will affect him for life.
Puppies have special nutritional needs, and even different breeds of pups have varying needs. However, a few qualities to look for in a puppy food remain consistent across all breeds and types:
- Protein is super-important. Puppy food should be formulated with high quality proteins, like real chicken, as the first listed ingredient.
- The right puppy food is highly digestible and complete in essential vitamins and minerals.
- It’s important to feed your puppy food that is formulated specifically for young, developing dogs. Nutrients that are readily available and easily digested are both important for puppies.
How your puppy’s stool can tell you if you’re on the right track.
Most people focus on what’s in their dog’s food, but the true test of great nutrition is what comes out. A couple things to look for:
- If your dog’s stool isn’t firm and compact, your dog may not be utilizing the food’s nutrition as well as possible.
- Small firm stools are a key indicator of good health, and make back yard clean-up a breeze.
A word about table food
Resist the temptation to give your puppy table scraps. Puppies need food that’s specially formulated for their digestive systems and nutritional needs. Table food is simply not right for them. Canine digestive systems are fairly primitive, making it difficult for dogs to digest complex carbohydrates and grains, whether in table food or dog foods. Just remember to feed your puppy like a dog, because that’s what is best for him, and you’ll be giving him a solid foundation for a happy, healthy life.