Dogs start a very rapid growth process in the early period after they are born. Their muscles, bones, skin, teeth, and internal organs develop at a tremendous speed right after they are born. Although mother’s milk meets the nutritional needs of puppies for a while and effectively strengthens their immune systems, after a certain period of time, puppies need to be supplemented with external nutrients and fed with quality puppy food after weaning from mother’s milk. Because ideal nutrition in dogs cannot be considered only as a stomach filling. Feeding dogs with a complete and balanced diet in accordance with their developmental stages, breeds and general health status from the puppyhood period is considered the most important step for them to enter a healthier and more comfortable adulthood. In this article, you can find information about the things to be considered about puppy nutrition.
Puppies Have Special Needs
Nutrition in puppies has fundamental differences compared to feeding in adult dogs. Puppies need to be fed puppy food formulated to fully meet the puppy’s developmental needs. The transition from puppy to adult is not the same for every dog. For example, while the breeding period of small breeds lasts about 12 months, the hatching period of large breeds lasts for 24 – 36 months. This difference will also affect the choice of food for puppies and how long the selected food will be used.
Under normal conditions, puppies are fed with mother’s milk within the first 3-4 weeks of their birth, or if they are deprived of breast milk for some reason, puppies are fed with powdered milk. From this period, the weaning period begins, and it is recommended to eat wet and dry food to a certain extent with milk for about 3-4 weeks. Since dry food can be difficult to chew, it is recommended to give it wet with water during the transition phase.
Puppies’ Meals Should Be Carefully Planned
What our little friends eat in their diet, as well as how often they eat, is a routine that should be carefully planned. Although veterinarians make a dog-specific nutrition plan, it is possible to talk about a period-specific nutrition routine in general. Experts recommend that puppies be fed 4 meals a day for the first 2-3 months, 3 meals a day for 3-6 months, and 2 meals a day for 6-12 or 6-24 months depending on the breeds. As mentioned earlier, the frequency of feeding can be adjusted according to the dog’s breed, general health and activity level.
Puppy Nutrition Should Be Complete and Balanced
The nutrients in puppy food are basically the same as adult dog food. The difference is in the amount of these nutrients. Healthy fats are the most important components in the development of puppies. Thanks to healthy oils, skin and hair health improves, vision becomes sharper and brain development is supported. Carbohydrates meet the energy needs of our restless friends. Proteins and amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins, have many different benefits, from muscle and skeletal system development to the production of red blood cells. The nutritional ratios of puppy foods vary and these foods contain higher calories to support the rapid development process. Mineral and vitamin balance is also critically important. It is necessary to pay attention to the ratios of the minerals and vitamins that play a role in the development of the dog, as well as the inclusion in the diet. In addition to all these, the amount of water in the food is also very important. Although the food contains a certain amount of water, the fact that dogs in all developmental stages always need fresh water should not be ignored.
Not All Puppy Needs Are The Same
Although it can be said that all puppies have different nutritional needs compared to adults, it cannot be stated that all puppies have the same nutritional needs. Depending on their physical size and breed, the growth rate of the offspring differs. For this reason, it is important to choose food alternatives that meet the needs of small, medium and large breeds.
To make a general statement about large breed puppies, it can be stated that they need less calories per body weight compared to small breeds. Compared to small breeds, the foods chosen for large breeds that mature more slowly should not contain too many calories and the development should proceed in a balanced way. Otherwise, it can cause the growth pattern to go out of the ideal and cause the problem of excess weight. In addition to these, the skeletal system may also undergo physical stress due to rapid growth. As a result of all these factors, large breed puppy food has been formulated with the goal of gradual and healthy growth. They usually have a lower calcium and phosphorus content than other formulas. As a result of this difference in formulations, the risk of skeletal problems decreases.
In the case of small breeds, the diet is also specialized. Small breeds grow very quickly and need high calories per body weight. Foods formulated to meet their rapid growth needs should contain abundant protein and fat, as well as B vitamins. The fact that they have a long developmental path to cover in a short period of time creates the need for distinctive nutrition for small breeds.
Complete and Balanced Nutrition for Puppies Is Possible
Pro Plan puppy food, formulated with different flavors, offers both a delicious and healthy experience. Pro Plan branded puppy food, which mediates a healthier and more comfortable life for our friends with its special formulas for sensitive digestive system and sensitive skin, contains quality nutrients. Thanks to Pro Plan foods, which contain special formulas prepared by nutritionists and veterinarians considering the needs of small, medium and large breeds, the puppies meet delicious meals and the risks of encountering nutritional deficiency due to loss of appetite are minimized. While their optimal development is supported, they also meet with the energy they need to explore the world in the cleanest way. If you want your puppy to be fully developed, you can view the Pro Plan puppy food varieties, which offer complete and balanced nutrition with their customized formulas, by clicking here.