Puppy Needs New Food! – Whole Dog Journal

Michael Pollan, creator of the best-selling books on weight loss plan The Omnivore’s Dilemma, In Defense of Food, and Food Rules, as soon as got here up with the world’s most succinct information for a wholesome human weight loss plan: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

If solely we might give you one thing that straightforward for puppies! The recommendation might begin in a really related trend: “Feed food. Not too much….” But to ensure that the slogan to be nutritionally sound, the following half can be far too sophisticated to placed on a e-book cowl or tote bag: “Mostly quality sources of animal protein, delivered at adequate levels. Same goes for fat. Not too much calcium, but enough, depending on the expected adult size of the puppy . . . .” 

There’s extra, however you get the concept. There are lots of elements that must be rigorously thought-about when feeding puppies – that’s, if you would like them to develop into wholesome and sound grownup canine.

On the opposite hand, I don’t need to scare anybody; feeding puppies isn’t rocket science. But there are a number of little particulars that that you must attend to to be able to be certain your pup grows at an acceptable price – issues that aren’t as essential with an grownup canine. 


The variations between the nutrient necessities for puppies and people for grownup canine are specified by tables developed by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO); these are known as the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles, and so they embody the requirements for what includes the authorized definition of “complete and balanced” diets for canine. One lists the nutrient ranges required for the “maintenance” of grownup canine solely; the opposite lists the nutrient ranges that meet the wants of breeding animals, pregnant or nursing females, and rising puppies. The latter is also known as the “growth and reproduction” nutrient profile.

These tables differ in notable methods. Puppies want greater quantities of protein (together with greater quantities of many particular amino acids that contribute to the meals’s whole protein), fats, calcium, phosphorus, and several other different minerals than the quantities wanted by grownup canine. This is why you should be sure that the meals you purchase on your pet (any canine lower than a 12 months previous) is formulated to satisfy the requirements for full and balanced diet for progress.

Often, pet food labels say that the meals contained within the bundle meets the requirements for canine “of all life stages.” This implicitly contains puppies. If a meals is labeled as both assembly the nutrient ranges or passing a feeding trial for canine of “all life stages,” it has to satisfy the “growth” necessities. 

Often – however not all the time – meals that’s formulated to satisfy the wants of puppies has the phrase “puppy” within the title of the meals. Again, if the label signifies that it’s “complete and balanced for dogs of all life stages,” it has met the AAFCO requirements for progress (puppies). But if the label says it’s “complete and balanced for adult maintenance,” it’s not appropriate for puppies. 

Always search for the AAFCO (for dietary adequacy) assertion to ensure the product you’re contemplating is meant for puppies – and puppies of the scale you count on your pup to be as an grownup.

Where will you discover this info? This is the place issues get bizarre: This assertion is the most essential factor to verify on the label of your pet’s meals, and I’ll virtually assure that will probably be printed on the bag or can in teeny, tiny sort. Scan the label rigorously for the phrases “AAFCO Nutrient Profiles” or “AAFCO Feeding Trial.” The block of textual content containing one in every of these phrases will in all probability seem on the again and even the facet of the bundle, and it’ll reference both “growth” (nice!), “dogs of all life stages” (tremendous!), or “adult maintenance” (womp, womp, no!). 


All pet meals was once formulated to satisfy the identical nutrient requirements. In latest years, nonetheless, animal diet specialists got here to grasp that large-breed puppies ought to obtain much less calcium than puppies of smaller breeds to stop their bones from rising too shortly. Excessively quick progress may end up in the event of bone and joint abnormalities in large-breed puppies. So, in 2016, AAFCO started to require meals makers to explicitly state whether or not their merchandise contained calcium at an acceptable stage for big breed puppies (outlined as these pups anticipated to achieve an grownup weight of greater than 70 kilos). 

If the AAFCO assertion says the meals is for progress/all life levels together with progress of large-size canine (70 kilos or extra as an grownup),” it’s protected to feed to massive breed pups. 

If the assertion says the meals is for progress/all life levels “aside from progress of large-size canine (70 kilos or extra as an grownup),” it ought to not be fed to large-breed puppies. 

To be protected, when you have a large-breed pet, or a mixed-breed pup who seems to be like he might develop to greater than 50 or 60 kilos, it is best to select meals with the “including growth of large-size dogs” assertion. Smaller-breed puppies may be safely fed meals with both assertion.

Dog Food Selection Criteria

Hallmarks of Quality 

✓ Lots of animal protein on the prime of the elements checklist. Plant-sourced protein is much less acceptable than animal protein.

✓ When a recent meat is first on the elements checklist, there needs to be a named animal-protein meal instantly or carefully following the meat. 

✓ Whole greens, fruits, grains, and/or carbohydrate sources (versus meals “fractions”). 


* Meat byproducts, poultry byproducts, meat byproduct meal, and poultry byproduct meal.  

* “Generic” fats sources (e.g., “animal fat”).

* “Animal plasma” or blood meal as a protein supply. 

* Added sweeteners.  

* Artificial colours, flavors, or preservatives (similar to BHA, BHT, ethoxyquin). 


Once you’re assured which you could establish meals which might be acceptable for puppies of the scale you count on your pup to be, you may search amongst these merchandise for diets that meet our traditional choice standards (listed within the field beneath) and which might be in your worth vary. 

Check the protein and fats content material of the meals you’re feeding your pup proper now. If his weight and power are good, attempt to purchase solely these meals that comprise related ranges of protein and fats. Be conscious that these ranges vary broadly. If you begin feeding him a product with double or half the protein or fats content material of the meals you’re giving him now, you will see adjustments in him; his urge for food, weight, stool high quality, and/or power could also be affected.

Finally, don’t be afraid to attempt completely different meals. Pet meals firms need to win your loyalty, however the truth is, selection is definitely good on your pet. The extra you modify meals, the extra accustomed his digestive tract will grow to be to all kinds of elements. Also, as a result of every producer’s merchandise comprise completely different ranges of every required nutrient (inside the AAFCO specs), by routinely switching merchandise, you’re certain to offer “balance over time” and forestall him from struggling ailing results of any probably extreme or poor nutrient ranges. 

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