Making sure you give your puppy the right nutrition is vital to their overall health and future well being. It is true that puppies actually grow twenty times faster than fully grown adult dogs; this means that they need a diet specially formulated to give them all the micro and macro nutrients needed for growth.
As a puppy grows their bones are developing and getting stronger, they are building up muscle and their brains are developing. This means choosing the right puppy food is important. Puppies experience the quickest phase of growth during the first 6 months of life.
In terms of Puppy food, there a lots of options available. To begin with, they can be divided into dry food and wet food. Dry food is often the easiest and most convenient. It is easily stored and contains all the specific nutrients needed for puppy growth. Manufacturers such as Iams, Hills, James wellbeloved, Arden grange etc all produce a range of dry puppy food. Dry foods are usually split down further into value, premium and super premium categories. Brands such as those mentioned above usually fall into the Super premium category. It is argued that these products are better quality and they typically contain better ingredients. Meat is usually the number one ingredient in these products, as opposed to cereal or some other filler ingredients often found in value foods. Moreover dry puppy foods are often available in small, medium and large breed variations. The thinking behind this is that small breeds develop faster and therefore need more protein and calcium. Whereas large breed dogs develop slower and dont need as many nutrients per serving.
On the other hand some people prefer to feed their puppy wet food such as tins or pouches. These products usually contain real chunks of meat and vegetables. Manufacturers such as Naturediet, Pedigree and Winalot etc produce a range of wet puppy food.
It is true that each manufacturer recommends different amounts of food to be fed, so it is best to look at each manufacturers recommendations. However a good tip is to take away their food bowl after your dog has had access to their food for thirty minutes. This should prevent overeating and weight gain.
The question is often asked as when to switch over from puppy to adult food. As a rule of thumb, it is often suggested that when your dogs growth in terms of height starts to slow down, it is usually time to move your dog onto adult dog food. For small dogs, this process typically occurs between nine to twelve months. For Medium breed dogs it usually takes a year and for large breeds this can take between one and two years
When switching your dog over to another food, it is advised that this process is done gradually. If you gradually introduce the new food for around a week, you should have no problems with upset stomachs.