Things to consider when selecting a dog food for your puppy
There is nothing quite like new puppy energy in the house! So adorable, so playful, and so cuddly! You want the best for your puppy, and a big part of that starts with proper nutrition. To get them on the best path, you’ll need to do some research and carefully select a dog food for puppy.
Weaning a puppy is very stressful to their systems, digestive, immune, mental, and physical. They go from being with their mom and siblings, nursing, to being alone, in a new environment with a lot of sensory overload. New sights, new sounds, new people, new water, new things to taste and touch. They probably switched foods. This change and excitement can all cause a digestive upset that plays out with diarrhea, vomiting, lack of appetite, and more. Hopefully, the puppy adjusts quickly so as to not stress out the immune system. Before the puppy has gotten its shots and built immunity, it is even more susceptible to illness. But, having a strong nutritional background can also help stave off any hazardous viruses and sickness.
It is always a good idea to talk with your breeder or rescue ahead of getting your puppy to find out what kind of food puppy is currently eating. Many breeders will even give you some to take home, but be prepared ahead of time, even if you are going to switch foods, it should be done over a period of time as to not shock the puppies system. We suggest mixing the foods over a period of at least 10 days and even wetting the food with warm water to encourage them to eat.
- Key concept: Find out how the puppy has been fed before, and try to make any changes gradual.
Support Their Digestive System
Another great idea to support the new baby in transition, and to set up their gut health for their entire life, is to feed a probiotic (Learn more in this blog 8 Pros to Probiotics). We offer two options for probiotics, the Dr Verwers Functional Digestive Topper that can be added on top of kibble at home as needed, and we also offer additional probiotics to be added directly to customized premium kibble (we hand mix it each order and then bag it fresh!) in the My Custom Dog Food section. Adding it to the kibble allows it to coat the kibble and takes the guesswork out of proper feeding. This is great for busy households and if kids help to feed the puppy. It also ensures that the puppy can’t sort out the yummy stuff from the healthy stuff.
- Key concept: support puppy’s gut health
Growth & Healthy Weight
Another concern for puppies is proper growth. Of course, you want a healthy weight on your puppy (not too fat!), with a good hair coat, and great skin. But, you don’t want your puppy to grow too fast, especially with a large or giant breed puppy. If that’s your puppy, it is very important to make sure that your food has the proper calcium to phosphorus ratio and that it is rated for large breed puppies. Talk to your vet to determine a growth plan for your large breed puppy. At Muenster, most of our kibble is OK for all life stages, including large breed puppies. Another benefit is that our kibble (except large breed) is a very small kibble size, making it easy for puppies to eat, even the tiniest ones!
We love the Ancient Grains line for puppies, as the high protein and higher fat, along with high meat content, is great for their growing bodies. While puppies are in growth mode, the extra oomph is great for them to get all the premium nutrition they need, but if you have puppies that need a little less richness in their food, we also have good luck with puppies on the Perfect Balance Chicken.
- Key concept: Talk to your vet about your puppy’s ideal growth rate, especially with large or giant breeds, and ensure that you are feeding the proper amount of food and that they are getting adequate exercise to ensure bones and joints grow strong.
Another good option for those that want to add additional power to their puppy’s food is to add freeze dried raw. A raw coating or pieces of freeze dried meat protein can also be put on/in the kibble during customization in My Custom Dog Food, or it can be added in the format of treats or bites at your home. These little freeze dried meat yummies are great for rewarding the puppy for all of those training exercises such as potty training, leash training, sit, and more that he will need for his future as a great companion! Freeze dried is also extra tasty, encouraging finicky eaters, or puppies that are too distracted to eat.
For puppies with skin or coat concerns, adding salmon oil in the My Custom Dog Food section can help with itchiness or dry skin. Additionally, salmon oil extra Omegas are amazing for cognitive function on puppies as they learn so many things during their first few months!
- Key concept: Ensure you have a supply of healthy training treats that support your puppy’s diet.
Healthy, Long Life Success Begins with Puppy Nutrition
Setting your puppy up for whole life success early is imperative. Things happen quickly when they are babies, and having great nutrition as youngsters will allow proper development of bones and muscles. This just gives you an advantage to avoid any weakness or injuries later in life. Having healthy gut bacteria will allow your puppy to have a strong immune system and to assist in avoiding illness. Great nutrition will also allow your puppy to mentally focus on learning all the life skills he will need to be a valued family member!