How to Choose the Best Food for Your Puppy

best puppy food

The best type of dog food for your puppy is supposed to consist of all the essential supplements and nutrients. This is because of the fact that the right combination of nutrients and supplements are essential for healthy growth and the overall health of the puppy.

Making the Most Important Choice for Your Puppy

Selecting the best food for your puppy is among the most important choices you will have to make in order to ensure that the new member of your family enjoys a healthy and long life. These choices will have to revolve around carefully choosing food with soil-based organisms, digestive enzymes, essential nutrients, and the best ratios of vitamins.  

By making all the right choices for your puppy, you help them get the greatest nutritional value out of their meals. This nutritional value will be aimed at impacting their behavior, brain functions, development and growth; all of which will lead to them experiencing life-long health benefits.

What makes the task of choosing the right food for your puppy even more complex and confusing is the plethora of puppy food options out there. You may already know about the mind-numbing number of choices and dog food brands that are available in the market.

The Different Categories of Diets for Your Puppy

Puppies, as well as adult dogs, have been traditionally fed with what can only be described as commercial foods. Owners had to choose between canned and dry commercial diets and while this is still a popular option, home cooked and raw diets are steadily gaining popularity.

All three of the above-mentioned diets have their own unique lists of pros and cons. Choosing between these options requires careful research on part of the owner.

Commercial diets have been the standard food for dogs for quite some time now and to this date, it remains the obvious choice for owners. That being said, we’ll take you towards a completely different train of thought. Did you know that not all the types of commercially prepared foods are made the same way? This is another reason why owners need to closely examine the dog food they are thinking about purchasing in order to decide which is best for their furry friend.

When you’re browsing through commercial foods for dogs, even the name of the product is very important. For example, a commercial diet which has been named after its primary ingredient – such as ‘beef dog food’ gives a clear hint about what you can expect from the brand.  If this is the case, then the food should consist of at least 70% weightat least 70% weight of the advertised primary ingredient.

If the commercial food for your puppy has been named something like ‘beef dinner’ or ‘beef formula’, then the advertised main ingredient should be at least 25% weight of the product. If the diet follows these rules, then the remaining content of the product will simply work as fillers and can have little or no value addition for nutrition for your puppy.

What Is An Animal By-Product?

It is very common to find commercial dog foods adding by-products in the mix. These are the part of the meat which is classified as unfit to consume for human and they consist of diseased animals, organs, intestines, feet and the likes.

It isn’t uncommon to find ingredients which have been billed as crude protein but are actually tendons, hooves, and the hair of animals. Sometimes they also consist of the feathers and beaks of chickens too.

While, theoretically, they may be boosting the protein content in these commercial foods, very little of this will actually get absorbed by the digestive system of your puppy.

read the labels on puppy food

 

Does Reading Labels Help?

Unfortunately enough, reading the labels on these commercial dog foods will not be of much help in order to determine what is in them. Unlike the labels on human food, pet food manufacturers are allowed by the government to list any of the five ingredients in the product – and in any order they deem fit.

This is the reason why the labels on pet foods tend to be misleading. One factor that sets good quality dog food apart is when the very first listed ingredient would be meat instead of by-products of meat. There should also not be any other type of protein or carbohydrate source.

Organic foods, on the other hand, utilize organically derived or grown ingredients – which should belong to 2 categories. The first category will be that of those foods which are tagged with labels that read ‘Made with organic ingredients’. If this is the case, the product should consist of a minimum of 70% weight of organic ingredients.

If, however, the label of the dog food simply reads ‘Organic’, then it should be manufactured with a minimum of 95% organic ingredients. Having cleared that out, organic dog foods are usually made with ingredients that are of higher qualities.

This doesn’t, however, necessarily mean that they are better. Owners will still have to carefully scrutinize the products to make sure that these products pass the meat test – which means meat should be the prime ingredient. Also, these products should also not consist of by-products.

What About Home-Cooked Dog Food?

As we mentioned above – home-cooked meals for your puppies are steadily gaining popularity amongst owners. This is because of their ability to induce complete control over the ingredients and quality of the dog’s diet. This, in turn, gives the owners peace of mind of providing their dogs with delicious, nutritious, and freshly-made meals.

Another kind of home-prepared meal that is gaining popularity over all the commercial products is the raw-food diet which comprises of unprocessed and fresh meats. There are also quite a lot of books out there that can help you formulate your balanced and home-prepared diet for your beloved puppy. Another great resource for finding answers to questions about nutritional value can be your veterinarian.

Whether you’re going ahead with fresh meals at home or commercially-prepared food, you should ensure that your puppy is receiving the best balance of minerals and vitamins. Your choice should entail the best nutritional value for your puppy.   

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