It’s puppy season and a lot of people are bringing home a new puppy to be part of their family. There’s a lot involved in being a new pet parent and one of the most important decisions you’re going to make is picking what food is right for your new furry family member.
Walking down the dog food aisle at your local pet supply store can be an overwhelming experience. You definitely want to pick a brand you can trust, with quality ingredients, and complete and balanced nutrition so your puppy can grow up to be happy and healthy.
Many puppy foods are going to be higher in protein and enriched with vitamins, minerals, and fats to speak to the higher calorie needs of an active, growing puppy, but keep an eye out; if you notice that your puppy is gaining too much weight you may need to adjust the portion size. Obesity is one of the biggest health concerns for our pets, so it’s important to keep your puppy at a healthy weight from the start. You’ll want to pay attention to how your puppy reacts to their food as well: if you notice that your puppy has an upset stomach or other symptoms that might indicate a sensitive tummy or food allergies, you’ll need to talk to your vet to address those issues as soon as possible.
Symptoms that your puppy may be allergic to his or her food may include:
- Ear infections
- Hair loss
- Excessive scratching
- Dry flaky skin
- Hot Spots
- Unable to sleep through the night, fidgeting
- More than one to two bowel movements a day
There are a lot of people who may not want to start their puppy off on a puppy-specific formula for various reasons and that’s okay too. You might have another adult or senior dog at home and who wants to have to buy different kinds of food for different dogs who may be in different life stages? Changing from puppy food to adult dog food later in life can be a complicated process that many dog owners are looking to avoid altogether. Whatever your reasons may be, many modern dog food companies offer all-life-stages formulas so that your puppy can eat the same food from the moment you bring him home, until he is an adult and even into his senior years.
Companies like Natural Balance have created many complete and balanced formulas like their latest innovation Natural Balance® Wild Pursuit™ which is designed specifically to meet the needs of all your dog’s life stages. Wild Pursuit™ is designed for both puppies and adult dogs alike. It’s a high-protein, grain-free food with a balanced blend of three animal-based protein sources. Products like this meet the needs of growing puppies and can be fed throughout adulthood (as long as the feeding quantity is adjusted for your dog’s age and activity level) so you never have to switch formulas and can avoid the complications and hassle that can come when changing any dog’s food.
Whatever you decide to feed your pup, you’re going to want to make sure to pick a high-quality, easily digestible, dog food whose main ingredient is an animal-based protein source. Check the dog food label for quality ingredients (like animal-based proteins, garbanzo beans, peas, blueberries, etc.) and to make sure you are using the right feeding portion. Be on the alert for upset stomach or symptoms of possible food allergies. With the watchful eye of a loving human and the right dog food, your pup will grow up healthy and live for many happy years!