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Healthy diet is all your pet pup needs from you!

Your comfort depends on your pet and your pet’s, on you. How you take care of your pup makes all the difference, just as its behavior impacts your life. For their wellbeing, one essential ingredient is diet. They need proper nourishment to be healthy and active. Else, they can succumb to mood disorders, which tend to have repercussions. Anxiety, obesity, aggression, and other unwanted things can manifest. Hence, if you have a pet or plan to adopt one, be careful about what you feed them, how, and when. Here are some crucial insights on these aspects to help you in this journey of a pet parent. 

  • Factors leading to the selection of the healthiest pet food  

Diet is not a one-dimensional area. You analyze your dog’s needs from different angles to understand what suits them best. For starters, you can pick something based on its age because a pet’s life cycle tends to have many similarities with humans. Their dietary requirement changes as they grow from puppy to adult to old.

At each stage, the intake of protein, fat, fiber, carbs, and other vital nutrients will matter. Also, what you give them at a young age can influence their growth ahead. Hence, you have to be more specific when selecting nutritional puppy food. For example, chicken and milk-based food can be suitable for puppies. You get several varieties for distinct breeds, like Golden Retrievers, Labradors, German shepherds, Beagles, Pugs, and others. Hence, you can leave the options alone.

Furthermore, pups and dogs are fond of special treats. If you have a small furry friend at home, you can arrange for his favorite biscuits or flavored eatables. They will surely enjoy them. Often, people need clarification on whether they should buy dry or wet food for their little pal. As you know, dry processed food contains 10% water and 90% dry matter compared to wet food. You can pick these items based on your pet’s likes, dislikes, and health. 

Nutrition experts say that dry food is accessible on the stomach because of the absence of starch from the stored meat. Conversely, wet food preparations are better as they consist of fresh ingredients. Hence, it can be good to introduce a balanced mix of both. Still, it may be challenging to decide what to give more than the other. For this, you can follow your vet’s advice. However, it’s just the beginning. When shopping for your pup’s food, ensure you read the product label for details like nutritional value, storage requirements, pet category, ingredients, by-products, etc.

Usually, manufacturers guide you about the adequacy of a specific food for your puppy regarding its nutrient value and age. More precisely, some labels tell you that it’s a complete food for all the stages of a dog’s life or more adequate for growing pets. 

Consequently, you know if you can continue giving your pup dry or wet food. With this, you also need to note that fruits, veggies, fluids, and grains should feature in your pet’s everyday diet to help it grow without suffering from the issues of malnutrition or obesity. Some people feed home-cooked meals also. But again, it requires careful consideration. 

If your pet has weight issues, giving them high-fiber food for easy digestion and weight management is good. It is relevant for growing pets also, which usually weigh more than older dogs. On the other hand, senior dogs need more calories, proteins, and essential fats as their body weight can be lower.

  • The optimum diet for your small pet 

Large breeds need more time (about 1-2 years) to grow their body weight from puppy to adulthood. For others, it is just a matter of nine to ten months to gain 99% of their adult body weight. A pup’s diet can be vastly different from humans and may be more demanding than an adult dog’s requirements. You have to give them high amounts of digestible proteins than newborns or adult dogs. Generally, adult dogs need 25g protein intake from 1000 calories, while puppies need 56 g per 1000 calories. Nursing or pregnant dogs need 50 g of proteins.

  • Feeding portion by age

Breed size determines a dog’s growing up period, which, as mentioned, can be between ten months to two years. Let’s have a quick view of which breed size reaches adulthood at what time.

  • 9 -10 months for small breeds under 20 lbs 
  • 12 – 14 months for medium species, about 20-60 lbs
  • 16 – 24 months for giant breeds weighing 60 lbs +

As your pup’s dietary needs evolve, you can start introducing new food to his diet with the existing portions – 25 and 75%, respectively. After 10-14 days, you can add more new ingredients before fully transitioning to the new diet. For adequate proportion, you can watch your dog’s stool condition and adjust it accordingly. Also, the breed type will be an essential criterion. Generally, a 6–12-week-old growing pup should do well with a specially formulated diet consisting of all the nutritional values needed for healthy development. At the same time, you can add some good treats. Pups get all the nutrition from their daily four feedings. If you have a large breed, you can feed it dry food from nine to ten weeks. For smaller ones, it can start from age 12 or 13 weeks.

Now, the next big question comes – how much food should you give your puppy a day? You can refer to his body weight for guidance. Generally, it should be 20g for every kg of his weight. In simple terms, if your pup is 6kgs, you can give him 120 g of food daily. Since four feedings are there, you can divide that by four (120g/4) = 30g. It indicates each portion can be 30g throughout the day. While doing this, another essential component will be his daily caloric needs. 

Suppose your dog weighs 26 kg. There is a formula to calculate this – (body weight by kgs x 30) + 70. You can calculate his calorie requirement like this:

(Body weight 26kgs x 30) + 70 = 850 calories daily

  • Different nutritional requirements and foods containing them

A dog’s diet should include a mix of carbohydrates, proteins, minerals, vitamins, and fats. His meals can contain 40 – 50% carbohydrates, 20 – 30% proteins, 5% – 20% fats, 1% – 4% minerals, and 1% minerals. If you give him veg food, here are some resources to fulfill his nutritional needs:

  • Brown rice, millet, oats, and potatoes for carbs
  • Vegetables, fruits, and multivitamin powder for vitamins
  • Lentils, chickpeas, pulses, cottage cheese, yak/ cow cheese for proteins
  • Chia seeds, nuts, avocado, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, and canola oil for fats
  • Cauliflower, tofu, broccoli, and green beans for minerals
  • The final thoughts on the puppy diet

You can follow the above calculations to create a diet chart for your beloved pet’s health and wellbeing. Serving a balanced amount of wet and dry food and treats can be the best. Some pet parents tend to overfeed their pets. Please avoid this because being overweight can soon become a concern. You can reserve treats, especially for training purposes. But these should not contain any artificial additives or preservatives. A pup aged 3 – 6 months usually requires three feedings if they are chubby. It will give them a leaner appeal. If they are pudgier, you may maintain this path for longer. Don’t forget to take your vet’s opinion for more accurate knowledge.

When they turn 6-12 months old, you can give them more significant portions twice daily based on their weight and the calculations, as hinted earlier. You can move to adult food after consulting your pet’s doctor. They will check your pup’s health to understand if they are fully developed and ready to eat the food meant for older dogs. Typically, a year-old puppy can have two meals of equal proportions daily. However, as you have to start with four feedings until then initially, you can set their time in the following manner:

  • 7 am for breakfast 
  • Noon for lunch
  • 4.30 pm for evening snacks
  • 8 pm for dinner

When you give them two portions a day, you can maintain a gap of 12 hours between them. Remember, dogs follow habits. Any change in the pattern can confuse them. So, designate a place where they will get their daily meals. The spot should be clean and devoid of distractions. 

It is essential to ensure this even more if your pup is slightly fussy. Also, the first feeding session of the day for an adult dog can fall between 7-9 am. But puppies tend to need four feedings. Hence, it will be better to stick to the 7 am schedule for them. You should keep their food out for consumption for a specific duration only. It should be there for a short time. Else, they will not eat their food on time. 

These are some general ideas you can keep in mind to give your pet the best health and food experience. Talk to the vet also to avoid any confusion. Also read about best text-to-speech service.

Written by Ocean

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