Finding the right dog food is always a challenge, so making sure that your young puppy is receiving the correct nutrition for growth and development is extremely important.
The first year of your dog’s life is crucial for their physical and mental development. Scientifically, this period of your dog’s life corresponds to around 12-15 human years. Small breeds mature at between 6-9 months, whilst larger breeds can take between 18-24 months to fully mature. In the first 12 months you will notice your dog grows immensely, with correspondingly high nutritional needs. Your puppy will need plenty of energy in the form of crude fat and protein, as well as vitamins and minerals, to help develop healthy bones, joints and muscles.
From mother’s milk to first solid foods
For the first six to ten weeks, puppies will receive all the nutrients they need from their mother’s milk. After weaning from this, they will slowly get used to self-feeding. As a dog owner, it is now your turn to ensure they can get everything they need from a wholesome, species-appropriate diet!
Balanced puppy food
Puppies need around two to four times more energy than adult dogs, and it is little wonder that making mistakes in nutrition during the early stages can cause lifelong damage. Puppy food needs to contain a carefully selected combination of over fifty vital nutrients, including minerals, trace elements and vitamins. Due to the higher energy and calorie requirements of young dogs, feeding amounts also need to be adjusted accordingly. Too little food can lead to deficiencies, whilst too much can cause uncontrolled growth spurts.
In the majority of cases, the following guidelines can be followed: feed your puppy up to six times per day for the first four months of its life, to allow for the increased energy needs, then three times a day from six months. However, it is important that you consult your vet regularly to ensure your puppy is receiving appropiate nutrition.
Once your puppy is fully-grown, it can be switched over to an adult dog food diet, and meals can be reduced to just once or twice a day. However, switching your dog’s food will need to be done gradually, as it is not only a new flavour but can also result in digestive issues. Gradually mix small amounts of the adult food into your puppy’s usual diet until it entirely takes its place. Ensuring your dog’s food is at room temperature can also help with these tricky changes, and you should avoid feeding food directly from the fridge.
At zooplus you will find a large selection of specialised puppy foods. We offer a great range of well-known brands of dry and wet food in delicious, wholesome flavours.