The dietary needs of a human child are different from those of an adult. Why should this be any different for your puppy compared to a full-grown dog? Simple answer is that it isn’t any different. Puppies do not have the same dietary requirements as their adult counterparts. Proper nutrition for a growing puppy is different from proper nutrition for a grown dog.
When an athlete is putting on muscle, they change their diets to fit their body’s new needs. This will mean more protein and certain amino acids. A puppy is like an athlete. Full of energy, bounding from one place to another, playing and wrestling. They are growing.
It is vitally important to provide your puppy with the foods that will meet the requirements to ensure he grows as fit and as healthy as can be. But be careful once he reaches adulthood. It’s the same for dogs as it is for humans—if we eat like we did when we were young, we can become obese and unhealthy.
What does a growing puppy need?
Did you know that your puppy burns more calories than an adult dog just by being there? He doesn’t need to run in the back yard or wrestle with the kids to burn more. The act of daily growing new tissue and muscle is enough to ignite the caloric fires. Puppies also need more calories to maintain their internal body temperatures—something adult dogs can do better.
Proteins. A puppy cannot grow without them. Their bodies use the proteins to build and strengthen tissues, bones, and muscles. You shouldn’t feed your puppy adult dog food because it will mean he is not going to grow as strong or as healthy as he could by eating food with the proper ingredients. Adult dogs don’t need as much protein because too much for them can lead to high cholesterol along with joint and heart problems.
Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids make up an important building block in the development of your puppy’s nervous system. Specifically, the omega-3 docosahexaenoic acid builds strong nervous systems and is considered “brain food,” making your puppy smarter and easier to train. Look for these fatty acids and high protein in a puppy food.
The best time to start your puppy on solid food
About four weeks after birth, puppies are no longer able to get sufficient calories from their mother’s milk alone. They need more to properly develop and grow healthy. Most puppies are typically weaned completely from mother’s milk after six weeks.
When you bring your puppy home, you’ll need to offer puppy food: food specifically made for puppies.
Getting a recommendation from your veterinarian on puppy foods is going to be a safe bet. They went to years of school to gain this knowledge. And there are reasons they will probably not recommend the cheapest, most accessible food at the grocery store.
You don’t want to give your puppy whatever you find off the shelf. The proteins and amino acids your puppy needs are best supplied by meat. There is no simple way to get away from this. They descend from wolves. Wolf pups eat the meat their mothers bring back to the den.
Remember, your puppy will not have the same needs as your adult dog in its diet. Check with your vet. Check with a reputable breeder. And feed properly.