The foundation of a dog’s health in the later stages of life is laid by the nutrition they are provided with as puppies. As a pet parent who desires good health and longevity for their pets, it is in your best interest to opt for nothing lesser than the best puppy food. But with the market teeming with brands, several of them packed with unhealthy flavors and animal byproducts, it pays to tread with caution and do your research before deciding on any brand of puppy food.
As a lot of people have discovered the hard way, compliance with AAFCO nutritional profiles often has very little to do with the quality of the food.
Instead, here are a few factors that you must consider while analyzing any product that advertises itself as the best puppy food.
Understanding the nutritional requirements of puppies
Puppies are a bundle of energy and they need to expend this energy to become healthy and active dogs. Naturally, the food that they eat must be packed with enough fats, carbohydrates and protein to ensure that they have a never-ending supply of energy. In addition to this, this is also the stage when the puppy’s bones, organs, and muscle tissues develop.
Most vets recommend that any puppy food must have at least 30% of protein which should account for 25% of the daily calories consumed by the dog. But merely mentioning the protein percentage doesn’t cut it. The protein source is equally important. Meat proteins are the most desirable choice. But even blends of corn and soybean are pretty good because they can complete the desired amino acid profile that a puppy needs.
Fats can account for almost 30-50% of a puppy’s diet due to the higher energy that they can provide.
Also, always check the Vitamin and Mineral blend and most importantly, the essential fatty acid DHA which is a key component of a developing dog’s nutritional requirement.
Inexpensive and mass-produced low-cost dog food contains low-quality protein like collagen which are often sourced from the animal by-products. Never give your puppy these low-quality foods because other than the poor quality protein, it is also packed with cheap carbohydrates which translate into more calories than what the dog requires.
Type of puppy food
Another conundrum that pet parents face is what type of kibble to feed the puppy. Despite the puppy’s teeth still developing, dry kibbles are a better choice because as they chew the kibbles, it helps to rid the teeth of plaque and tartar. The kibble size should be suited for the dog breed too. A poodle puppy cannot chew the kibbles that a Great Dane puppy can chew easily.
Moist kibbles are best avoided due to the obvious problems with storage and the fact that they can promote dental bacterial infection.
Last but not the least; always consult your vet before you try the best puppy food. Your vet can suggest a daily caloric requirement for your puppy based on health and weight. Sticking to this caloric intake will prevent diseases in adulthood and in the geriatric stage.