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How to Feed Your Puppy The Best, Most Nutritious Diet



You want to feed your new addition the best food for puppies. But what goes into a nutritious diet that ensures growth and optimal health?

When compared to adult dog, puppies need tailored nutrition for growth. What does that mean exactly? I asked an expert – Wellness Pet Food Veterinarian, Dr. Danielle Bernal – what you need to do to ensure that you choose the best food for puppies.

Check the Label

Just like you would with food you’re purchasing for your meals, the same goes for puppy food – always check the label.

When you’re shopping for food, Bernal says to look for the following on the label:

  • Breed size specification: Nutrition varies for the breed size of the pup (small, medium and large), so a brand that caters to each size needs is key to making sure the bowl is customized for every pup.
  • Made specifically for puppies: so you know it is formulated for growth and not maintenance, because an adult has different nutritional needs
  • Quality of the ingredients: You want fresh meat first and concentrated meat meals, ingredients you can recognize
  • Ingredients you want to avoid: By-products, unnamed meat, artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.
  • Pups will need more energy so you may see the fat increase vs adult and ideal sources to look for are animal fats like chicken fat as well as omega rich sources like flaxseed and fish oil.
  • Fibers, prebiotics and probiotics will also help support digestive health which is key for puppies who are often beginning toilet training so less frequent small firm stools is a good thing
  • Added vitamins for immunity, glucosamine and chondroitin for healthy joint growth and DHA which is proven to make puppies smarter and more trainable.

The best food for puppies helps give your pooch the best start in life by being built on the foundation of the best quality ingredients. For example, Wellness CORE Puppy Formulas contain ingredients that each serve a purpose - from fresh meat for taste and protein, to DHA from fish oil that makes them smarter and more trainable as well as high quality, real and wholesome ingredients.

Protein Quality and Quantity

When it comes to the right protein, Bernal says to go for quality and quantity.

On quality, look for meat based proteins that deliver a complete amino acid profile and support easy digestion. On quantity, Wellness tailors our amounts for healthy growth so they are higher than foods for adult dogs, but tailored to the puppy's breed size.

Feeding Times

How many times should you feed your puppy? Your pupper needs small, frequent feedings. For the first few months of a puppy’s life, puppies will need small meals of food throughout the day as they transition from their mother’s milk to solid food. “Starting around four months, puppies can begin eating about three times a day,” says Bernal. “After that, puppies will quickly graduate to twice-a-day feedings. Feeding them three or four times per day makes it easier for puppies to digest and help keep energy levels consistent.” It’s important not to overfeed your pup, since overweight puppies are more likely to become overweight adult dogs.

Wet or Dry?

Should you feed your puppy wet or dry food? This varies according to each dog’s (and owner’s) preference, but a mix of wet and dry helps support health and wellbeing. Bernal suggest the following when your choosing to go dry or wet:

Dry Food: A convenient and the most economical option for pet parents as it can be left out for free feeding. As a more nutrient dense form of nutrition, dry food contains the extra health superfoods and inclusions that promote wellbeing as well as support dental health with the crunchy texture.

Wet Food: Canned puppy food will have a moisture content upwards of 75 percent, making it not only a tasty meal to help encourage a puppy to eat or simply enjoy their meal, but it's a great source of hydration. Superior quality brands of wet food should contain the same high quality ingredients that you find in dry food so make sure to avoid foods that add unnamed “meat” ingredients, by-products, sugars and artificial ingredients that are often abundant in grocery brands.

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