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Choosing Puppy Food – A Complete Guide

Without a doubt, one of the hardest pet care decisions that dog parents (especially new ones) have to make is choosing the right food for their new puppy. It is quite hard to know which is the right choice without having any prior knowledge about this. Do you go with the grain-free kind because you may have read it in some pet care article that they are the best kind or you go with something with an attractive packaging that is advertised to be all organic and natural or do you just go with your friend’s recommendation of what they have been feeding their dogs for years? It is almost impossible to make such a pet care decision when you are faced with such solutions. 

How do you choose what is right for your puppy?

Your primary focus when choosing a puppy food is to ensure that it meets the nutritional requirements of your puppy. You can go with any manufacturer as long as their product meets the nutritional requirements of your puppy. After shortlisting the kinds of food that provide optimum nutrition for your puppy, you can select the best one among them based on criteria like grain-free and organic.

If you are parenting a puppy that will grow up into a relatively large dog then you must ensure that the food you choose is suitable for large or giant breeds( the ones that get over 70 and 100 pounds in weight respectively). This will be clearly mentioned on the packaging label if it is suitable for such breeds. Look for phrases like, “Suitable for Large Breeds” or “Except for large breeds.” There may be other iterations of these phrases, but it will almost always be mentioned on the packaging. If you still don’t manage to find it written on the packaging then you can do some research online on pet care forums regarding the perfect puppy food for your breed and see if the brand you have selected is compatible for your breed. 

Puppy Food

American Feed Control Officials – What is it?

Once you have decided on the one that works well with your puppy’s breed and size, you can then check the ingredients list. According to the American Feed Control Officials, some accepted ingredients are poultry, poultry by-products, meat, meat by-products along with a host of accepted vitamins and minerals. 

Makes sure that the ingredients make up a majority of the weight. The predominant ingredient that is mentioned first must be meat or meat by-products. You must avoid puppy foods that contain ingredients like propylene glycol, corn syrup, food dyes, carrageenan, ethoxyquin, xylitol, sorbitol, hydroxyanisole, and hydroxytoluene. All of these ingredients have been directly linked to health issues. 

Introduction of New Food

Just like how you introduce your puppy to dog wash either at home or at a dog wash machine, you must be patient. Just like how the process of dog wash can create a lifelong hatred of getting a dog wash if not done correctly, a botched introduction of new food will have the same effect. Once you have made the decision to go with a new kind of food for your puppy, it is important to introduce it gradually to them. On the first few days use a mix of both the old and new food.

It is important to note that you must mix more of old food initially and gradually start increasing the amount of new food in the mix over a span of a month or more for them to get adjusted to the new food. You must not rush this stage or they may not accept the food that you have chosen for them. 

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