Perfect Puppy Care Book – Chapter 5 – Feeding Your Puppy
Chapter 5 – Feeding Your Puppy
If you ate nothing but junk food, what would you be like? Probably cranky, with health problems ranging from high cholesterol to obesity to heart disease. Feed your puppy the equivalent of canine junk food and that will describe her, too. What your puppy eats will affect her health and behavior. In general, you will pay more for higher-quality food. Is it worth it? Yes. If you pay more for what goes into your puppy, you’ll likely pay less in veterinary and medication bills because your puppy will be healthier. She will have a better coat and skin, and be less likely to be irritable or hyperactive.
At first, it’s best to feed your puppy whatever she was eating before you brought her home, at least for a few days. Do your research on food, and should you decide to switch, do so gradually, over the course of a week or so. If you switch foods on her suddenly, you could upset her stomach.
Reading the Label
Dog food can be a controversial subject. Those who favor certain diets or brands are sometimes critical of those who choose another. With so many types of foods and diets, so many brands, and so many competing sales pitches, how do you know what’s best for your puppy? Learn how to read food labels so that you can understand exactly what you’re feeding her.
Start with the list of ingredients. The law requires pet food manufacturers to list ingredients by weight. So if an item is listed first, that means there is more of that item in the food than the other items listed farther down the list. You want high-quality, easily digestible foods listed at the top. Be careful of manufacturers who split up an ingredient into several different smaller ingredients. For example, let’s say at the top of the list you see “chicken, ground corn, corn gluten, corn bran.” Three of those ingredients are corn. Put together, they may outweigh the top ingredient—chicken. There is also a difference if the manufacturer uses human-grade ingredients. A cheaper brand of dog food may have a deceptively good ingredient list, but if the food is not human grade, then there is less quality going into your puppy.
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