Puppy Food

After breast milk, puppies need a good healthy diet to aid in their development.

For this, the energy and nutrient supply must be adjusted. Small dog breeds, with a maximum height of around 30cm, reach their full growth size within one year and have a much faster metabolism than comparable large breeds.

For example, German Spitz Klein puppies or a Jack Russell Terrier require an increased intake of proteins, calcium, fats and phosphorus for a well-developed bone growth. In turn, medium-sized dog breeds, which have a height of no more than 50cm, require different nutrients for growth.

Larger dog breeds, with a height of over 50cm, need a food which is geared to a rapid growth. Basic components of puppy food should therefore be calcium, phosphorus and a balanced energy content.

However, from dogs origins in the wild, there is no different sized prey for extra small or large dogs!

This is why high quality dog ​​food is equally suitable for all dogs. For us, the dog foods at the breed and size level are typically just marketing campaigns. Puppy food does make sense due to a higher protein content for the growth of the puppy, however the others are questionable.

Top Tip: Attention must be paid to beta-carotene, antioxidants and vitamin E to promote better bone and muscle development. Additional omega-6 or omega-3 fatty acids make for a shiny coat, and should be included in the puppy food if possible.

Puppy Nutrition

First Food during the Acclimatization Phase

Directly after the mother’s milk, begins the so-called acclimation phase. This process should not be abrupt but rather be done within a timeframe of around 2 weeks / 14 days. To make the conversion is not too difficult and you can still mix the puppy dry food with some breastmilk substitute at the beginning.

During this time, there may be 3-4 meals per day for the puppy, with the milk substitute being reduced from time to time.

Once the puppy has become accustomed to the dry food, it is necessary to make sure that the dry food is of high quality and that it is precisely tailored to the small or large breeds of dogs. However, it is always important to understand that wet food is more appropriate and beneficial than dry food.

Developing Fixed Eating Habits

Small or large dog breeds tend to have completely different eating habits. These need to be considered when feeding. Small breeds tend to develop good eating habits much faster compared to larger breeds. Fixed eating times are important for the routine of our four-legged friends. With medium-sized and large dog breeds, fixed feeding times and portion sizes are indispensable, as large breeds like to eat more than they would actually need. Here you have to remain persistent and must not be influenced by the dogs moaning. Instead, it is best to understand your puppy and have confidence that the portion sizes you are providing are sufficient and that no overfeeding is necessary.

Small Dog Breeds: Too Much Food Is Harmful

The growth phase of a small dog breed is already completed in a time frame of around 9-12 months. Due to the small amount of time, it is important to provide the puppy with the right food, so that the bone structure and the muscles can develop properly. Therefore, as a main ingredient in a food, you should choose protein, minerals and energy. Although strict attention must be paid to regular feeding times, as an overdose of puppy food can have huge consequences. For example, if you give too much protein, it can promote obesity. Also, an overfeed of calcium contributes to bone malformation and can make them porous in the long term. In order to completely avoid such mistakes, you should resort to high-quality products from the start. Puppy food is closely matched to the growth process of the dog and contains all the nutrients your dog needs. You may also occasionally give small treats, however these rations should be deducted from the meal value.

Suitable Food for Small Dog Breeds

With a puppy food purchase for small dog breeds, it depends mainly on the quality of ingredients. A sufficient supply of protein and calcium must be guaranteed, as well as the simple digestion quality of the feed. For example, digestible crude protein is only digested to a percentage of up to 70%. Chemical additives, sugar or even artificial flavours, do not belong in a high-quality puppy food and should be avoided.

Larger Puppy Nutrition

Puppy Food for Larger Dog Breeds

Large dog breeds require different diets compared to smaller dogs due to their growth rate. With this growth rate, a dog can hold up to 18 months constant and therefore requires a well thought-out puppy food. For example, in a Great Dane, they have around a 24-month growth phase. An over intake of energy sources would therefore be completely wrong and can only lead to bone malformation.

High quality puppy food for large dog breeds is packed with all the essential nutrients your dog needs for perfect growth. Calcium supplements are not recommended, as it can inhibit the absorption of zinc, phosphorus, iron and copper. This in turn leads to a lack of minerals and can cause a discomfort for your dog.

If you choose a cheap food for financial reasons, you should definitely resort to a specialist puppy food. Otherwise, the risk of nutritional shortages, can’t be excluded. For high-quality dog ​​food (and we do not mean the brands you see on TV!) you can provide adult food to your puppy. Often, these manufacturers have no special puppy food, as it is simply not necessary. As already stated, there is no rabbit in the wild which has written on it “only suitable for puppies”!

A cheap and inferior adult dog food contains the vital nutrients and energy supply only in an attenuated form, which can be rather detrimental to a puppies development.

To conclude, a high level of energy can only be maintained with a special puppy food or high-quality dog ​​food.

Puppy Food

Only when puppies are supplied with required vitamins and nutrients from their earliest stages do they develop into strong and healthy dogs.

Puppies are born with a low immune system and therefore are prone to deficiency symptoms and other diseases from a young age.

The first most nutritious puppy food is breast milk, which contains everything the young dog needs for healthy growth.

During the third or fourth week, in addition to their mother’s breast milk, puppies start taking their first puppy food.

After the sixth, sometimes the seventh week, when puppies wean from their mother, they should feed only on solid quality food.

Dry Puppy Food

Firstly, dry food for puppies is easier to portion, as the quantity is easier to measure, as compared to wet dog food.

Furthermore, its firm consistency rubs off the plaque and thus ensures good dental health of the puppy. If your puppy is struggling to eat dry food, you can soak the dry food with a little water, so it becomes easier to eat.

The different croquette sizes are also advantageous, as all sizes of puppies can easily feed on this type of food. Additionally, not to forget the fact that high-quality dry food for puppies contains all the nutrients and vitamins the puppies require for their growth. However, some have hidden ingredients. For this reason, we have tested numerous puppy dry foods in our dog food test.

High-Quality Nutritional Puppy Food

The balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats within a puppy’s diet is vitally important. In essence, puppy dry food should contain a lot of energy and protein.

Proteins are very important for a puppy as they allow diverse biochemical body reactions and provide for strong tissue. Additionally, a suitable amount of fat can help to build up the body tissue and to start the metabolism.

Moreover, puppy nutrition should contain a sufficient amount of minerals. These are crucial for the development of tissue, blood, teeth, and bones. They are divided into trace elements (iron, iodine, copper, fluorine, zinc, and manganese), as well as quantity elements (calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, and potassium).

A particularly high priority is given to a harmonious calcium-phosphorus ratio in the framework of bone growth.

Puppies eating grain free food from their bowls

Quality Puppy Food - Nutritional Content in Ingredients

When looking for highquality dog food, always look for the ingredients. The ingredients contain the nutritional element; clearly and precisely declared therein. The main ingredient should be meat and not cereal and/or grain. Moreover, the meat should be as high quality as possible.

A precise description of the variety and the proportion of meat is a key identifier of quality dog food. While animal by-products are okay, we recommend that you choose a dog food with human food quality meat inside.

Grains are available in a diverse variety, namely: corn, maize meal, cornmeal, rice, rice bran, barley, and so on. However, grain remains grain and should not be used in excess within dry food composition.

Vegetable by-products are mainly as waste. Therefore, reputable puppy dry food producers generally do not include vegetable by-products in their feeds.

Healthy fats and oils are certainly desirable in dry dog food if the nutritional information on the dog food cans lists them having accurate quantities. Always pay attention to the quantity contained and those suitable for puppies.

Top Tip: It is important to understand that the needs of a puppy will differ from an adult dog.

In the dog food test for puppies, we have researched the requirements and specifics for puppy food. However, it is not only dry dog food that is prone to too much fat and oil. Wet food, chewing bones, and treats also fall short of puppy quality.

For the best purchase, we recommend that the buyer gives a closer look at the ingredients for the nutritional content of puppy food. There are enough reputable manufacturers whose products we recommend and are safe to give your puppy.

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