Best puppy food – Everything you have to know
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Best puppy food: What you feed your puppy and how often you feed them is very important because puppyhood is a short yet critical stage in your pet's life.
The best puppy food is the kind that fulfills all the nutrition requirements of your pet.
All the puppies have different nutrition needs and come in various races.
We recommend that you purchase breed specify products.
Failure to feed your puppy breed specific food will most likely lead to nutrition deficiency which will affect the quality of life your puppy has in its adult life. Ensure you consult with your vet so that you come up with a balanced diet for your puppy.
Top 5 Puppy Foods
Why Choosing a Dog Food Based on Your Puppy's Breed Size is So Important?
There are two main puppy breeds, that is small puppy breeds and large puppy breeds.
Caution needs to be taken when choosing food for puppies because their race predisposes them to specific health issues.Feeding your puppy the right food overrides these predispositions.
Large Breed Puppies
If you have a large breed puppy, you need to know what to feed them since they are prone to joint disorders. The disorders your large breed puppy has a predisposition to include;
- Hip and elbow dysplasia 
- Osteochondrosis Dissecans (OCD) of the shoulder, knee, wrist (crapi) and ankle(tarsi)
- Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy (HOD)
Nutritional intervention ensures that your puppy is protected from these illnesses. Puppyhood is the life stage where you can reduce these incidents in predisposed breeds.  Some examples of large puppy breeds include;
Overfeeding your large breed puppy or calcium supplementation can result from free-feeding them without supervising or control their food intake.
Liberal meal portions are not suitable for your puppy because your pet is likely to exceed his or her daily caloric needs.
If you are an inexperienced dog owner, consider getting the right portion specifications from a trusted vet.
Calculation of proper ratio amounts ensures that your large breed puppy grows at a controlled rate.
A puppy under six months is unable to control the amount of calcium absorbed from the intestines. Passive calcium absorption leads to joint disorders and HOD.
Elevated blood calcium levels trigger hormonal changes in your large bred puppy which re-models their growing bones resulting in Panosteitis.
You should also avoid feeding your large breed puppy, adult maintenance food as this is the same as calcium supplementation.
Small Breed Puppies
Ensure you feed your small breed puppy high-quality, healthy food.
There are factors you need to take into consideration when you have a small breed puppy because their nutrition requirements are not the same as those of large breed puppies.
Because small breed puppies do not have a predisposition to bone disorders, you can feed them a wide variety of foods.
Ensure that the foods you purchase are of high quality and that the portions you feed your puppy meet their daily caloric need.
Food varieties you can feed your small breed puppy include;
- Dry kibble
- Canned dog food which can be moist or wet
- Semi-moist and raw frozen food
For your puppy to feel and act their best, you need to feed them more calories than their larger counterparts because they tend to be more active, leading to a higher metabolic rate.
If your puppy has any health concerns, work with a trusted vet to get the right diet for them. Your puppy's diet should incorporate meat, fruits, grain, as well as vegetables.
You can choose to prepare food from home or go for a more convenient option by purchasing commercial food from trusted brands.
Underfeeding your small breed pet can result in hypoglycemia which is low blood sugar levels.
Small breed puppies have a predisposition to hypoglycemia because they have low sugar and fat reserves which need constant replenishing due to their high metabolic rate.
A calorie-dense diet ensures that your puppy gets the energy to stay active and the nutrients to keep them healthy.
A small breed puppy needs to be fed four to six times a day to offset hypoglycemia. Some symptoms you should look out for that might mean your puppy has hypoglycemia include; 
- Muscle tremors
What Will Happen if You Choose the Wrong Food For Your Puppy?
Choosing the wrong food for large puppy breeds could lead to permanent bone damage -- or hip dysplasia - while doing the same for small breed puppies causes to have low sugar levels-hypoglycemia- because they have small sugar reserves 
It is advisable that you go with a vet's recommendation to ensure that your puppy grows into a healthy adult dog.
Some signs that show your dog has hip dysplasia is when you notice that they have trouble standing up after a nap.
Hip dysplasia causes your pet's health to deteriorate, and they go through a lot of pain because the bone at the joint is growing faster than it should.
This form of the bone disorder is caused y too much calcium intake because a puppy's intestine can control the amount of calcium absorbed into the puppy's system.
Small breed puppies, on the other hand, can eat a wide variety of foods in complementary ratios.
How to choose the best food for your puppy?
There are some commercial food categories you can choose from when it comes to dog food. Ensure that the brand you purchase from is a reputable one so that you feed your pet on quality food.
This is the highest nutrition dense dog food in the market, and you need to feed your little puppy portions to meet their nutrition requirements.
There are no fillers used in preparation o this formula making them highly digestible. The highest quality ingredients have been used in the formulation of these formulas to ensure that your puppy gets the best of the best.
There is more fat incorporated in the formula, making them tastier and your puppy will be eager to eat. Because they are highly digestible, you clean up less poop from your puppy because most of the food is absorbed into your pet's body. You can find super-premium dog food from specialty stores or vet clinics. This formula is recommended for pets who have trouble gaining weight.
- Premium Name Brand Products
These can be found in may grocery stores, and they are not as expensive as super-premium formulas. Solid quality ingredients have been used in the formulation of these formulas, and they are suitable for average puppies.
- Specialty Brand
These are formulas that can either be super premium or premium quality. These products vary in quality and are packaged in small quantities. The products are supplied regionally, and they are suitable for use based on a vet's recommendation.
- Store Brand Generic Foods
These are the least expensive dog foods in the market.
Even though they are a budget-friendly option, a lot of fillers are used in formulating the product. These foods are less tasty and are not suitable for a picky puppy.
You can find these dog foods in discount outlets and grocery stores. Because they are less digestible, you end up cleaning up more dog poop.
These products are safe for adult dogs, but you are not recommended for your puppy.
Maintaining the health and vitality of your pet requires you to meet their minimum nutrition requirements.
It is not safe to feed your dog store based dog food because not all dogs are created equal. When it comes to feeding puppies, you need to cater for their individual nutrition needs because the one size fits all model could end up harming your dog.
There are many tactics you can use when choosing dog food and brand is none of them.
Knowing reputable dog food brands helps you meet your dog's nutrition requirements.
// Always remember to check with your vet when you buy a new formula for your pet to be sure.
There are many commercial puppy foods you can choose from and once you learn how do read dog food labels you can tell which brands incorporate all the nutrients your puppy needs
You can also choose to prepare your pet's food on your own. You can either feed them cooked or raw food based on your vet's specifications and the puppy's preference.
A dog going through puppyhood requires eight times more calories than an adult dog since there are still developing. When preparing food from home, ensure you incorporate proteins, calcium, and phosphorous so that your puppy feeds on a balanced diet. 
Palpability of Food With the Dog
When you purchase or prepare food for your puppy, you need to ensure that it is palpable.
Consider purchasing commercial formulas as they are developed by specialists who understand what your puppy need at their age.
When buying commercial dog food for your puppy, ensure you look at the label for specifications. You need to choose the small breed or the large breed option depending on the puppy's breed.
Kibble is suitable for small breed puppies as it is easy to chew and they don't go bad fast. You can feed your small breed puppy kibble throughout the day, ensuring they are not overfed.
Also, consider incorporating vegetables and fruits in measured quantities. Large breeds grow fast and feeding them on kibble might trigger joint complications. You need to ensure slow growth, as well as, stabilized weight in your large breed puppy.
When a large breed puppy is overfed, too much weight is put on their immature bones.
For a large breed puppy, you need to adjust calcium and phosphorous levels, so they don't end up with joint complications in their adult life.
When you feed your large sized the right amount of proteins and calories, their growth is slowed down, and they develop into healthy and balanced adult dogs. For both large and small breed puppies, it is not advisable to feed your puppy adult dog food because the nutrient specifications in the formula do not align with a puppy's nutrient requirement.
Nature of Dog Food
The puppy phase is short and critical in the development of your dog. Choosing the best food for your pet ensures that you grow up vibrant and robust.
Making vital decisions as on your puppy's diet requires you to be well informed in dog nutrition requirements.
The perfect food should be breed based because your puppy has individual needs.
The nature of the food you feed your puppy will determine whether or not they'll reach adulthood without complications.
When you purchase your puppy, you should take a keen interest when it comes to changing their diet. With the new puppy, ensure you consult to find out what he or she has been feeding on before you got them.
A sudden change in the nature of the food you feed the pet can lead to diarrhea and other digestive complications.
Coming to a new home is naturally stressful, and you should ensure you keep feeding them familiar foods until they are comfortable and feel at home.
Once your new puppy is comfortable, mix new food with everyday food and change the ratios slowly to avoid upsetting their tummy.
Slowly introducing your puppy to fresh food ensures that the body adapts quickly.
Balanced of nutrients
You are required to work closely with your vet to ensure that you feed your puppy a balanced diet.
If your puppy has known health issues, you should assure you regularly take them for a check-up to ensure the foods you are feeding them are right for their development. 
A balanced diet for your puppy should include;
The ratios should be complimentary based on the breed of your dog to ensure that they grow into healthy dogs.
Protein is the essential nutrient for puppies as it gives your puppy the ten essential amino acids they unable to manufacture on their own.
Your puppy also needs sufficient vitamin D to help in metabolizing amino acids.
Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are got from meat, and they help in eyesight and memory development.
Carbohydrates are your pet's most readily available source of energy, and the excess is stored in fat reserves.
Also, give your puppy specific amounts of minerals and vitamins. Vitamins vital for your puppy's growth include vitamin K, A, D, C, and B-complex. Vitamins you need to feed your puppy includes;
Apart from nutrition, the flavor of the food you feed your puppy also matters.
This is because your puppy has an individual preference when it comes to taste. The two main textures of food are wet and dry food.
Wet food is more potent in flavor, and your puppy will likely be drawn by taste and smell.
Ensure you are keen when feeding your dog because some puppies are turned away by strong odors.
You should feed your puppy on food with the flavor they like best.
Consider getting a sample from the vet before purchasing to find out if your pet likes how the food tastes.
You can also buy small portions of foods with different flavors and teste them on your puppy.
Commercial products usually have the same dog food with different flavors to ensure that your pet does not miss out on essential nutrients they need for their development.
When your puppy feeds on the food he or she likes, they won't have trouble gaining weight.
Pay close attention to how your puppy reacts to different meals so that you know which formulas to include in your long-term meal plan.
Addressing the Controversy
There is a lot of conflicting information when it comes to what your dog requires to be healthy and a well-rounded pet. Whereas some people argue that because dogs are canines and all they need is raw food as their primary diet, there is information and research that shows dogs also require kibble and canned food for their meals to be balanced.
Domestic dogs have many physiological differences between them and their wild canid cousins and mimicking wild canid diet may cause your dog to have nutrition deficiencies.
With the overwhelming and conflicting information out there, it is safe to use a method whose benefits outweigh the potential risks.
As a first-time dog owner, consult with a trusted vet and come you with a diet that best works for your puppy. 
Ingredients to look for and nutritional requirements for dogs
1- Highly Digestible Proteins
Proteins help with the development of puppy tissues. Your pet needs proteins to survive because of meat supplies dogs with ten essential amino acids that they cannot produce on their own. These essential amino acids take part in biological activities that provide your puppy with sufficient energy. High-quality proteins have all ten essential amino acids, and these should be supplemented with vitamin D. dogs can also get proteins from vegetable and grain so you should consider incorporating them in your puppy's diet.
Even though canned puppy food is 80% water, puppies require much more than this for them to stay healthy. Water-soluble fats can only be absorbed into the bloodstream when your puppy is adequately hydrated. Hydration also helps maintain your puppy's body temperature by cooling them. Always ensure that your puppy's water bowl has water to aid in smooth digestion.
Because puppies are hyperactive, they require sufficient energy to remain vibrant. For your dog to have the power for exercise and growth, they need to feed on carbohydrates. Sources of carbohydrates include starch, sugars, and dietary fibers. The excess carbs are stored on fat reserves which will be used by later.
4- Fats and Preservatives
For your dog to have a healthy brain and clear eyesight, you need to feet them on foods rich in fats. Fats help in the development of healthy hair and skin. Your puppy can get healthy fats from animal meat as well as seed oils. Fats are concentrated sources of energy that sustains your puppy's high levels of metabolism. Fat and water soluble fats help with cell structure, as well as, enhancing taste and composition of food. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are the primary fatty acids your puppy gets from fats. Natural preservatives ensure that dog food has an extended shelf life.
For your puppy's diet to be complete and balanced, you need to incorporate minerals. These organic compounds help in metabolism and assist with the development of different systems in your puppy's body. Minerals help with skeletal development, the development of the reproductive system as well as eyesight. Vitamins you need to include in your puppy's diet include vitamin, E, D, K, C, and B-complex. Vitamin deficiency, as well as excess amounts of vitamins, can result in health problems. Fat soluble, as well as, water-soluble fats are all essential for the development of your puppy.
There are 12 main minerals that your puppy requires in their diet. Ensure that the minerals your puppy feeds on are not too little or too much. Some of the body functions that depend on minerals in your puppy's body include impulse transmission, bone and teeth development, muscle contraction, cell signaling, as well as, a wide variety of enzymic reactions. These minerals include;
Ingredients to Avoid
- White Flour
White floor even though good tasting has much sugar that can result in diabetes.
Gluten is a non-nutritive filter added to cheap dog foods that your puppy is not in a position to digest.
Corn is highly allergenic, and it is a poor protein source for your puppy.
- Meat Meal
When it is from an undescribed source, it may contain diseased tissues that your puppy could digest and assimilate as calcium.
Soy is not good for your dog especially when he or she has allergies. Soy mil contains high-calorie contents that may result in obesity.
- Artificial Colours
They have a negative impact on your puppy's health. Artificial coloring may result in asthma, allergies, insomnia, hypersensitivity and even chromosomal damage.
- MSG (monosodium glutamate)
Feeding your pet on food with MSG might lead to brain damage.
- Sugar Alcohols ( ex. Xylitol )
These result in bloating and diarrhea which may result in dehydration. The high-calorie content in Xylitol may also lead to obesity.
Sodium Nitrite is a preservative that may inhabit oxygen transportation in your puppy's system.
- Sodium Tripolyphosphate (STPP)
STPP is another preservative that might have adverse effects on your puppy. Feeding a puppy prone to skin problems on food with STPP aggravate skin problems.
- To many salts
Even though salt is an essential part of your pet's diet, too much salt may result in kidney problems. Too much salt also results in high blood pressure and aggravate heart conditions.
- Rendered Fat
Render fat is found in cheap dog food easily found at discount outlets. The sources of rendered fat are anonymous, and this means there is a wide array of adverse effects that can result from feeding your dog with food that contains rendered fat.
- Vegetable Oil
Vegetable oil is right for your dog's digestion, but too much of it can result in diarrhea. When your dog diarrheas for too long, they end up dehydrated, and they might also lose their appetite.
- Animal By-Products
Animal by-products in cheap dog food might be sourced from dead, dying or disabled animals. Feeding your pet on meat that is not fresh is not suitable for their wellbeing.
There is a limit to the amount of fiber a dog's system can digest. Most cheap foods incorporate unnecessary fillers that cannot be absorbed by your dog. Feeding your puppy on foods with cellulose results in increased amounts of poop.
- Brewers Rice
Brewers rice is crushed rice used in cheap dog food as fillers that don't have nutritional value for your dog. You end up cleaning more poop because your dog cannot digest brewers rice.
- Corn syrup
Feeding your puppy on corn syrup causes joint swelling, bloating and allergies. Corn used is sometimes contaminated with fungi that results in hypersensitivity and energy rushes.
- BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole) and BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene)
BHA and BHT are carcinogenic preservatives that make your puppy vulnerable to cancer in their adult life.
Feeding your puppy on ethoxyquin result in them losing healthy weight. This preservative is also linked to cancer in dogs as well as a change in dog's kidney and liver.
- Pea Protein
Pea protein can be damaging to your puppy's stomach. This is a biologically inappropriate ingredient that will not help your puppy thrive.
- Synthetic Vitamin K3
This is a toxic vitamin that your pet does not need because mon=st vitamins your dog needs is produced by bacteria living in their intestine.
- Food Dyes
Many food dyes contain cancer-causing contaminants that are not good for your puppy's health.
- Hydrochloric Acid
Hydrochloric acid is a corrosive ingredient that will have adverse effects on your pet when injected continually.
How Often Should You Feed Your Puppy
The puppy breed of your pet and their activity levels should help you work out the best diet. You should not assume that because your pet is a small breed puppy, they don't require as many calories as a giant puppy.
Small breed puppies actual need more calories than their larger counterparts because they have a high metabolic rate and them to be more active than large puppy breeds.
Even though dogs are primarily canines, you should consider including other foods other than meat so that they take in all the nutrients needed to strengthen their immune system from a young age.
Ideally, puppies should feed;
Age of puppy
Quantity per day
3 meals / day
However, you should consult with your vet and come up with an appropriate schedule for your pet.
How Much You Should Feed Your Puppy
Puppies tend to have a different rate of metabolism than adult dogs, and for this reason, they required more calories and food with high protein content to keep up with their high rate of metabolism.
Consult with your vet to ensure you get your puppy the right formula.
Your puppy's lean weight should be considered when determining their feeding amount.
As a first-time dog owner, ensure you consult with your vet to find out the calories needed by your dog on a daily basis.
Using your puppy's lifestyle and physical habits, your vet will make a reliable estimate to ensure you don't overfeed or underfeed your dog.
Overfilling your puppy can result in obesity or heart disease in the puppy's adult life. 
Portion sizing the amount of snacks your puppy gets to eat in a day is an essential decision because overfeeding or underfeeding your puppy is quite easy.
Talk to your vet so that you don't end up giving your dog too many treats.
The average size of the food you serve should be measured based on the food type you are feeding your dog.
You can choose to feed your dog dry food or wet food.
It is also acceptable to mix dry and wet foods based on your dog's preferences.
How to Be Sure Your Dog's Food is Safe
Working with individual nutrition requirements and purchasing breed specific food ensures your puppy grows into a healthy adult dog.
The American Kennel Club has breed specifications that you can use to determine your puppy's nutrition requirements.
Breeds were developed with specific purposes in mind, and for this reason, they need to be fed differently if they are to grow into stable adult dogs.
The immune function of a puppy is hugely influenced by the food they feed on.
You can help your dog overcome common illness by feeding them with a highly nutritious diet.
Ensure that the dog food you purchase is approved by the Association of America Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) by looking at the end of the recipe read down in a review.
The minor differences between different breeds translate into completely different nutrition needs. Fully understanding your puppy's dietary requirements ensures their long-term health and wellness.
Choosing the right food for your dog requires you to know the right ingredients to look out for when shopping for dog food. Serving your healthy dog food ensures that they grow into well-balanced adult dogs.
Purchasing food from trustworthy food brands provides that your dog feeds on ingredients appropriate for their life stage.
Choosing the right food for your dog requires you to know the right ingredients to look out for when shopping for dog food. Serving your healthy dog food ensures that they grow into well-balanced adult dogs. Purchasing food from trustworthy food brands provides that your dog feeds on ingredients appropriate for their life stage. 
Puppy Feeding Schedule
Your puppy should receive all the nutrients that are essential for their growth.
Retail food brands have suggested food portion sizes but ensure that your vet approves of these portions before you implement them.
Make a habit of weighing your dog on a regular basis to ensure their development is as it should be. 
Knowing your puppy's current weight provides that you don't overfeed or underfeed them. If your puppy is already overweight, your vet should be able to recommend a diet that will keep them out of danger and bring them down to their healthy weight.
Mark down how often your dog feeds and take note of how often you give your dog treats.
When you take your dog to his or her next checkup, give your vet this information as well as information on the kind of foods you feed your dog.
Consider carrying nutritional labels to the appointment so the vet can asses your pet's diet
. Before you begin feeding your puppy a new food, consider consulting with your vet to get the specific amounts of nutrients your puppy requires. 
Best Puppy Food -Top 5 puppy foods we love
1- Purina Pro Plan Focus Puppy Dry Dog Food, Lamb & Rice
This Purina Pro plan consists of real lamb and rice formula.
It The proteins incorporated to ensure that your puppy grows with lean and strong muscles. The trusted and sustainable ingredients are from a natural source, guaranteeing your puppy's safety.
There are vitamins, minerals, lamb, eggs, fish meal, and oil, and grains ensure that your puppy feeds on a high protein and energy foods.
Purina Pro Plan Focus Puppy Dry Dog Food
There is no artificial flavors included, providing that the formula is highly digestible.The formulation follows a food safety protocol to guarantee quality.
- Brewers rice
- Poultry by-product meal
- Whole Grain
- Corn germ meal
- Fish oil
- Fish meal
- Dried egg products
- Antioxidants help in puppy immune system
- Fish oil for vision and brain development
- Balanced blend
- Tailor-made for puppies
- Some puppies may suffer from diarrhea after feeding on this product
2- Hill's Science Diet for Small Breed Puppies
This barley recipe dog food provides balanced nutrition for your puppy.
The natural DHA incorporated in the formulation is made from high-quality fish oil.
Hill's Science Diet ensures that your small breed dog develops good memory and eyesight. The vitamins and minerals provide that your puppy's learning ability is boosted.
This nutritious meal is breed specific, and your puppy will be eager to eat.
Hill's Science Diet
There are no artificial preservatives, color or flavors incorporated into the formulation, making it easy to digest.
- Chicken Meal
- Cracked pearled barley
- Pork meal
- Whole Grain
- Fish oil
- Lactic acid
- Breed specific
- Boosts your puppy's learning capabilities
- Easy to digest
- Natural ingredients
- Strong scent puts off some puppies
3- Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain Free Natural Puppy Dry Dog Food
This formula is specially formulated for puppies to ensure they grow into healthy adults.
The chicken meal and turkey meal food are blended in complementary proportions to ensure that your puppy maintains a healthy weight.
This formula has optimal levels of calcium ensure that your puppy does not undergo calcium supplementation.
The antioxidants, minerals and amino acids ensure that your puppy grows into a healthy adult dog.
Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain Free
The method guarantees a robust immune system, strong muscle, brain and eye development, healthy skin, and healthy bones.
- Turkey Meal
- Chicken Meal
- Pea Starch
- Sweet potatoes
- Blueberries and cranberries
- Whole peas
- No artificial preservatives or flavors
- Ingredients from natural sources
- Optimal calcium levels
- Balanced food blend
- Inconsistent stool for some puppies
4- Wellness Complete Health Natural Grain-Free Dry God Food
The chicken and salmon blend is one of the best puppy food.
It is complementary to ensure that your puppy feeds on a balanced dog food formula.
The balanced ingredients are from a natural source, and the great protein encourages your puppy to eat. The whitefish has essential vitamins and minerals, and there is no wheat, soy or meat by-products included in the formulation.
Wellness Complete Health Natural Grain-Free
This product is suitable for your puppy's daily nutrition as it incorporates all the nutrients your puppy requires for good health ns wellness.
- Deboned chicken
- Tomato pomace
- Salmon Meal
- Balanced ingredients
- Essential vitamins and minerals
- No white soy or meat by-products
- Makes some puppies sick
5- Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Dry Dog Food
This is a tailor-made formula that provides your puppy with all the nutrients required for healthy and robust immune system.
The ingredients are blended ensure your puppy's high energy levels are met.
Royal Canin ensures to provide your small breed puppy with kibble they can comfortably chew.
This formula is suitable for small breed puppies with a picky appetite.
Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition
Puppyhood is a short, intense growth period where your puppy requires a dense amount of elements.
- Brewers rice
- Chicken by-product meal
- Dried beet pulp
- Silico aluminate
- Wheat gluten
- Good taste
- Suitable for puppies with a picky appetite
- Easy to chew
- A healthy blend of ingredients
- Packaging not strong
I hope you enjoyed this comprehensive outline on how to feed your puppy based on their breed.
It is essential to make an educated decision when it comes to feeding your puppy because puppyhood is a short life stage where your dog develops most of the critical body parts.
Understanding the predispositions, your puppy has about its breed enables you to feed them with the right foods, so they develop into health and well-rounded adult dogs.
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