It is a proven fact that puppies benefit from foods designed for younger dogs. While a puppy can be sustained with adult dog food, he or she will not get all of the benefits that puppy foods, which are specially formulated so that the little canine gets all of the necessary nutrients to grow big and strong, have to offer.
Puppies need a lot of nutrients to grow and support a healthy body. Most puppy food products have a higher content of protein, minerals, vitamins and essential fats than food designed for adult dogs.
Puppies can ingest far more calories than adult dogs and not show signs of obesity. Think of their bodies as a car running at high speed. It takes more gas to run it than it does an idling vehicle. A puppy’s body is like the high-speed car. Bring on the fuel. He or she needs it. An adult dog’s body is a bit like the idling car. He or she runs on a lot less fuel.
There are puppy foods that cater to breed size. A large breed of dog such as a Newfoundland requires a different nutritional balance than a small terrier.
Large breed puppies need nutrition that will promote good skeletal development because they are prone to problems such as hip dysplasia. It is important that they not gain too much weight too quickly because this is a strain on the bones.
Small puppies need food that they can get in their mouth. Kibble developed for large breed puppies may be too big for small breeds to chew.
Depending on the breed of dog, you can expect your puppy to grow into adulthood at some point between one and two years of age. Generally, small breeds tend to mature faster than larger breeds. Check with your puppy’s veterinarian for recommendations on when to change from puppy food to adult dog food.
Puppies require food more frequently than adult dogs. Puppies can be fed smaller portions several times a day, while adult dogs can do with one daily feeding. Some owners choose to feed adult dogs twice a day, but than means feeding smaller portions for each meal to avoid allowing the dog to consume too many calories.
When it comes time to make a transition from puppy food to adult food, do it gradually. Begin by mixing in a little adult food at first. Gradually increase the amount of adult food while decreasing the amount of puppy food.
There is no rule that states how much you should feed a dog. Food amounts definitely depend on breed, age, size and the amount of activity the puppy is involved in. It is a good idea to discuss feeding amounts with the dog breeder or veterinarian.
Whether feeding a puppy or an adult dog, choose a high quality food. When you find a brand that your dog likes and does well eating, be consistent. Do not mix and match foods because one happens to be on sale this week.