When Should I Stop Feeding My Dog Puppy Food
It’s appropriate to feed your new dog puppy food until 12 to 15 months of age. At this time, you can transition to all life stages foods and follow our traditional feeding guidelines listed on each product and product page. You can vary the amount fed to manage your pet’s changing needs. You’re the best judge of what your pet needs because you know the factors in play.
For instance, if your dog spends most days snoozing on the couch, feed less on those days. But, if you take him on a 5-mile hike in the mountains on Saturday, then you’ll want to feed him extra food on Saturday evening and maybe even Sunday morning to help his muscles recover. If the weather is extremely hot or cold, your pet may need a little more food because of metabolic changes associated with temperature change. Illness or injury will also alter nutrient requirements.
Knowing your pets life stages is a key to keeping her healthy and happy throughout her life.
Summary: What Do We Ultimately Recommend
The optimum diet for most pets will be a combination of wet and dry foods. That said, so long as your dog drinks enough water, a solely dry food diet is fine. A solely wet food diet is only acceptable if you have great dental care on board, such as 6 monthly scale and polish procedures at your vet, or daily tooth brushing. Read more about gold standard Dental Care for dogs.
Weaning And The Journey To Solid Food
Weaning refers to the natural process where a puppy goes from solely surviving on their mothers milk to eating solid foods. Its a process that begins between the age of 3 4 weeks and takes several weeks to complete. Puppies are fully weaned when they reach 8 10 weeks old.;
To transition from milk to solid:
In most scenarios, your dog would have already been weaned off milk by the time they come to live with you. If they arrive shortly after having been weaned, its best to start by feeding them food that is easy for them to chew and digest.;
While you can feed your puppy moistened and mushed up dry food at this stage, wet food can be a better and more convenient choice.
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Benefits Of Wet Dog Food Compared To Dry Dog Food
Wet dog food, or canned food, sometimes provides benefits that dry food doesnt offer, such as:
Higher moisture content: Wet food may be a good choice if your dog doesnt drink as much as they should, or if they have a medical condition that could benefit from proper hydration. One example would be a dog with a history of urinary or kidney disease.
Palatability: Canned dog food is often more aromatic and flavorful when compared to dry food. This may entice sick or older dogs to eat if their appetite is decreased.
Satiety: Wet dog food tends to create a longer-lasting feeling of being full. Increased satiety is useful in weight management, especially in dogs that seem to have a never-ending appetite.
Easier to chew: Dogs that have dental disease or other oral abnormalities may find wet food easier to chew than dry food.
What About Organic Puppy Food
There is no official definition for organic pet food yet, although you may see some pet foods labeled this way. The U.S. Department of Agricultures National Organic Program, which regulates the use of an organic label, is weighing a November 2008 recommendation from its standards board and is expected to issue rules soon.
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What About Raw Meat
Supplementing raw meat into your dog’s diet is fine, but only if it is very fresh. The reasoning behind feeding raw meat is usually to mirror your dog’s natural diet, but remember that meat from the shops is not the same as freshly hunted meat. Meat from the butcher has been processed in an abbatoir, and often transported for days before being sold.
Whats The Difference Between Dog Food And Cat Food
Dogs are omnivores and therefore can consume a more varied diet that includes both plant-based and animal-based ingredients.
On the other hand, cats are true carnivores, meaning they eat solely animal protein and have greater protein and fat requirements than dogs.
Additionally, cats require 11 essential amino acids to be provided by their diet, whereas dogs require 10 amino acids. The additional amino acid required by cats is taurine.
To meet these greater nutrient requirements, commercial cat foods must provide greater protein, fat, and taurine concentrations than commercial dog foods. This implies that all commercial dog food is nutritionally deficient for cats.
For dogs, however, the greater protein and fat contents of cat food make it more tasty, fragrant, and therefore enticing, and allow it to meet or even exceed a dogs nutrient requirements.
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Ingredients To Avoid In Your Canned Dog Food
Cheap fillers are some of the worst things you can give your dog. They offer nothing but empty calories, which can cause weight gain, and some dogs may even have allergies to those fillers. Corn and soy are two common ones. We recommend avoiding any foods that have them listed in the ingredients.
Artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives are other ingredients that can cause allergic reactions such as skin issues and trouble with digestion. Foods shouldnt have heavy artificial ingredients because the whole, natural ingredients provide much better results for health.
As we mentioned above, some gluten free and grain free foods are under scrutiny following a recent study showing a possible link between diets heavy in potatoes, peas, or legumes and a condition called canine dilated cardiomyopathy. Theyre unsure what the relationship may be but suspect it has to do with altered taurine levels because of protein sources other than animal sources.
Until were sure of the link, we wont say to avoid those foods entirely, but we do recommend you avoid foods that have these ingredients listed in the first three on the ingredients list. If your dog is the type of breed particularly susceptible to this condition, talk to your veterinarian about what your options may be.
What Are The Advantages Of Wet Food
Whilst dry food mainly brings advantages for the owner in terms of price, cleanliness and convenience, the advantages of wet food benefit the dog itself. Most dogs would probably opt for wet food if they could choose themselves, since wet food, more intense in smell and taste, simply tastes better to them. The high water content in particular has a positive effect: since the food already provides the body with a large quantity of liquid, it’s easier to cover a dog’s fluid requirements with wet food than with dry food. Hence, wet food is particularly recommendable for dogs that don’t drink much during the day.
For dogs that have a tendency to become overweight, wet food can also be the better choice at times, provided that the cause of the excess weight is that the dog loves eating. Dogs with a substantial appetite in particular often maintain a lower weight with wet food. Due to the lower energy content per portion, they can eat a great deal without exceeding their calorie requirements.
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Complications Of Feeding Cat Food To Dogs
If your dog eats a lot of cat food on a regular basis, or if you are feeding your dog a diet of cat food instead of dog food, complications may arise, as it does not have the correct balance of protein, fiber, and all of the nutrients dogs need to stay healthy.
Dogs can certainly survive on cat food in a tough spot, but the nutrient imbalance can lead to gastrointestinal upset, obesity, and pancreatitis. Pancreatitis requires immediate veterinary care. Symptoms include abdominal pain and a hunched back, lethargy and weakness, appetite loss, vomiting and diarrhea, a distended abdomen, and fever. Even if your dog eats cat food and suffers no obvious ill effects, the high protein levels can be hard on his liver and kidney.
Balance A Healthy Diet With Exercise And Play
The best guide to how well your puppy is doing, both physically and mentally, is how interactive, sociable and happy they seem. Puppies want to play, they want love and affection, and they want to eat and sleep. So long as they are doing these things, you are doing a good job!
While it is up to you which puppy food you buy for your new family member, avoid the traps of home remedies or food meant for human consumption, just as you should avoid giving your puppy adult dog food. Puppies need to get the right amount of nutrients to ensure they have the energy to grow strong, and the best way to achieve this is to feed your dog puppy food that has been designed with their breed and health in mind.
Once youve established which food your puppy enjoys, a meal plan throughout the day, and a healthy exercise routine, your puppy will soon settle into the habits you set for them, including when to expect meal times. From then on, just keep an eye on their eating habits and behaviour and let your vet know if anything changes. Otherwise, focus on enjoying your time with your puppy; training them, playing with them, and maybe slipping them the occasional puppy treat as a reward.
We wont tell if you wont.
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What Is Wet Dog Food
The fundamental difference between wet and dry food is the water content. Dry food has a moisture content of between 3 – 12%, while wet food is between 60 – 84% moisture.
Wet foods are either canned or sealed in pouches, while dry foods usually come packaged in big waxed paper bags or packaged in cardboard boxes.
Whilst dry food brings many advantages in terms of ease of storage, price and cleanliness, wet dog food can be a good choice for puppies with poor appetites as the smell and texture is more likely to appeal.;
What To Look For In A Quality Wet Dog Food
An excellent wet dog food can help keep your dogs proper fiber content up because the moisture required to process the food helps in digestion. It should have an adequate protein and fat balance to give your dog energy all day and help build muscle.
Omega fatty acids, especially those from natural sources like fish, can help keep the skin and coat healthy and shiny. Things like glucosamine promote healthy joints and bones. Whole fruits or veggies can provide valuable prebiotic materials and vitamins for immune system support and proper digestion.
For sensitive dogs, single sources of protein are better than multiple sources. Make sure the protein source is a whole, animal source and not a by-product meal or from legume sources, which can impede the production of taurine and cause issues.
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It Is More Palatable To Your Pup
Most wet dog food is free from synthetic preservatives and contains more real ingredients. This combined with real chunks of meat and veggies makes wet food more palatable to your pup. Remember that dogs have a much more intense sense of smell than we do. This means that the wet food might also smell better to you pup than a dish of dry kibbles.
What Is Dry Dog Food
Dry dog food contains less than 11% water. The majority of dog food is dry and comes in bags that have a long shelf life. Dry kibble may contain pieces of dried meat, but they don’t have a high water content like canned or pouched food will have. If you walk down the aisle of a pet store, the bags of dog food stacked on the shelves contain dry dog food.
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Feeding Your Dog Dry Dog Food
Dry dog food is the go-to choice for many dog owners. It is the more economical choice of the two dog foods, meaning you can buy a more significant amount of food for your money.
However, there are more advantages to dry dog food than its budget:
- You can leave dry dog food in the open for a long time. It doesnt spoil quickly, so if your dog likes to pick at his food throughout the day instead of eating it all at once, his food should still be good after sitting out for a day.
- It helps clean your dogs teeth. Many dry dog foods feature ingredients that assist with cleaning and shaping your dogs teeth.
- It promotes healthy jaws, especially in puppies who are still developing. Chewing hard foods helps strengthen the jaw. Adversely, this may be difficult for older dogs or dogs with weaker jaws.
- It is easy to measure. If your dog needs to eat a specific portion of food every day, it is easy to measure out the correct portion with dry dog food.
Dry dog food is easy to store too. You can keep it in its bag if you roll up and seal the bag, or you can store it in a container with a lid secure enough to keep out insects.
Dry dog food does have its drawbacks. As the name implies, dry dog food is dry!
There is not much moisture in this food, so if your dogs diet is primarily dry dog food, he needs to drink plenty of water.
Furthermore, not having much moisture in the food is challenging for older dogs or dogs who live in hot and dry climates.
What Are The Pros And Cons Of Dry Dog Food
Dry dog food – generally referred to as ‘kibble’ – remains the foundation for the dog food industry, and has a number of advantages:
- Kibble is by far the easiest to feed and to portion-manage.
- It is an excellent choice for dogs that prefer to graze because the total daily portion can be measured into the bowl in the morning, and then offered at specific mealtimes throughout the day.
- It comes in many sizes and shapes, so you can choose one that your dog prefers. Some very big dogs prefer very tiny kibble!
- Kibble lends itself well to food toys or interactive feeders that either move about and dispense kibbles intermittently or are stationary and make the dog work for its food. Food toys can be just as entertaining for the humans as they are for the dogs!
Work with your veterinarian to determine the calorie content of the kibble you have chosen in order to determine an appropriate daily portion.
“It is a myth that dogs need variety in their food choices.”
It is a myth that dogs need a variety in their food choices. Consistency is generally best. Once you find a nutrient profile that agrees with your dog, or one that has been prescribed by your veterinarian, stick with it. Your veterinarian will recommend food changes based on changing nutritional needs as your dog ages and his body changes.
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Cons Of Dry Food For Puppy
- Very active dogs need ample protein. If you choose a dry dog food for your pup, make sure the amount of protein is adequate if your dog is exceptionally active. Wet foods are generally higher in protein, but you can find dry dog foods such as Red Mills Engage and Leader Supreme with all the protein a hard working dog needs.
- Dry dog food can be difficult for dogs with dental problems to chew. It is more of a concern for senior dogs. Younger dogs should have good, strong teeth, so it isnt an issue in deciding between wet or dry food for a puppy.
Tips For Mix Feeding Dry And Wet Food For Dogs
mailOf course, there are plenty of benefits in giving your dog a mixture of wet and dry food. One of these is that wet food helps to keep them hydrated. However, it only does part of the job. That’s why you should always make sure that there is a constant supply of cool, fresh water on hand. Keep it out of the sun so it doesn’t get hot, have more than one bucket or bowl so there’s a backup if one gets tipped over while you’re not there and keep an eye on how clean it is. Some dogs are notorious for dipping their dirty paws into the water.
Tip 1: Start by talking;with your vet or retailer
A lot of dog foods are now specifically formulated for different life stages or for particular health conditions. Before you begin combining a wet and dry diet, it’s worth having a conversation with your vet to make sure that you’re giving your dog the right amount of the right food for their age stage and health profile.
Tip 2: Maintain portion control
Tip 3: Make the change gradual
Dogs might seem like they can eat anything, but sometimes their stomachs can be quite sensitive. This is why it is recommended that any change in their diet is handled gradually over a number of days. That way their digestion has time to adjust. A good rule of thumb to follow is to mix in a very small amount of the new food on day one and gradually alter the balance of new to old over seven days until you’re serving the final balance of mixed food on day seven.
Tip 4: It doesn’t have to be all-in-one
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