Dog Food Plan For A Puppy
By Hungry Bark | December 29, 2020
If you have recently become the proud “parent” to a puppy, then you know first hand how much energy they have. They are always on the move from the time they wake-up to the time they fall asleep.
Puppies also grow incredibly quickly. From one day to the next it can seem as though they’ve doubled in size.
All this playing and growing requires a lot of fuel. A puppy requires a well balanced, nutrient-rich diet to help support their growth and maintain their energy levels. There are hundreds of foods on the market as well as conflicting information about the best way to feed your puppy. With so many options out there, it can be hard to know which food is best for your puppy.
Keep reading to find out what to look for in food for your puppy to help them achieve their full potential.
What To Feed Your Puppy
For the first year of their life - sometimes longer for some breeds - puppies’ systems are growing and developing. Since so much energy is being diverted to grow and maintain their bones, muscles, brain, and other systems, they need to consume even more calories in proportion to their body size than an adult dog.
You don’t want to just give them empty calories. A diet too high in calories can cause a puppy to grow too fast and possibly develop weight problems. Puppies should be fed twice as many calories per pound as an adult of their breed. If you are unsure how to determine how much to feed, your vet can help you determine the correct amount of calories for your puppy.
In addition to the right number of calories, puppies need a good balance of fat, protein, and carbohydrates to support their growing bodies. Protein is a major part of muscle and brain development while fat is necessary for a healthy immune system and for sustainable energy. Carbohydrates are also vital for energy and brain development.
The best food for puppies is either a food developed specifically for growing dogs or a food developed for all life stages. The bag should clearly state which life stage the food was developed for, as well as the ratios of protein, fats, and carbohydrates.
Puppies do their fastest-growing in their first 5 months of life. Ideally, from the time they’re weaned until they reach around 6 months of age, puppies should be fed 3 times a day. They can adapt to being fed twice a day provided their caloric needs are being met.
Selecting The Right Puppy Food
When deciding on the right food for your puppy, opt for high-quality food. Dog food is not all formulated the same way and high-quality food is made with better ingredients and is more nutrient-dense. High-quality food also has fewer unnecessary fillers. A filler ingredient is anything that adds bulk without providing any nutritional benefit.
Food for your puppy should have several protein sources listed as the first ingredients. Fruits and vegetables in their food provide other vitamins and nutrients that are essential to growth. Fats should come from a healthy source such as fish or oil. Whole ingredients provide more nutrients than byproducts or extracts, so make sure they list whole foods as ingredients.
Digestive support is very important in puppies. Studies show that healthy gut bacteria help a dog stay healthier. In fact, gut health has been linked to everything from fewer allergies to better cognitive function. Puppies are still developing their gut biome. Food that contains probiotics will help support your puppy’s digestive system and maintain gut health.
You’ve probably heard of superfoods. These foods provide amazing health benefits. Giving your puppy food that contains superfood ingredients gives them a nutrient boost that helps their growing bodies develop properly.
Some superfood ingredients that you should look for in food include:
- Fish oil and fish meal - These are full of essential fatty acids that promote skin and coat health and also support brain development.
- Inulin - This is a source of fiber commonly found in plants. It helps keep gut bacteria healthy and supports the digestive system. It also aids in the absorption of minerals like calcium, which is vital to a puppy with growing bones.
- Fava Beans - These beans are filled with amino acids that aid in the body’s uptake of protein.
- Field Peas - These are an excellent source of dietary fiber and vitamins.
- Blueberries - Blueberries are filled with antioxidants as well as vitamins and minerals.
- Pumpkin - Pumpkin provides dietary fiber as well as vitamin A and beta-carotene.
Hungry Bark Custom Meal Plans
It can be overwhelming to find just the right food for your puppy. Hungry Bark Custom Meal Plans take the pressure off by designing a diet that is perfect for your puppy. There is no charge; you simply answer a few questions about your pup including breed, activity level, and any specific health concerns you have.
Since puppies need extra protein, the Hungry Bark Custom Meal Plan may also recommend a Protein Mix-in to ensure your puppy is getting the perfect amount of protein. Some puppies, especially breeds that are prone to specific problems like joint disorders, can benefit from a supplement early on. Hungry Bark completes its meal plan by recommending any supplements that might also benefit your puppy.
Hungry Bark recipes include high-quality protein sources (and are always the first and second ingredients), whole fruits and veggies, and superfood ingredients. Meals are highly nutritious, and recipes are veterinarian approved for all life stages. All dry food varieties contain probiotics to promote and maintain gut health. Hungry Bark dry food recipes include only high-quality ingredients that can be traced directly back to the source.
Good nutrition is vital to growth and development and is important for good health. Starting your puppy on a healthy diet early will help prevent problems that could occur later in life. Try one of our Custom Meal Plans to give your puppy a healthy start.