A growing pup’s nutritional needs are not the same as an adult dog.
During growing years, your puppy needs more nutrients to help his speedy development and growth.
And as he grows older, the nutritional composition of his diet would also change.
Generally speaking, your dog’s diet would vary in frequency and nutritional value as he grows.
Feeling a little unsure, are you?
Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.
Keep reading to know when and what to feed your growing pup.
How Often Should You Feed Your Dog?
If you are buying feed from the market, you should check its label for AAFCO approved certification.
Most commercially produced dog feeds are approved by AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials). The association governs the nutritional values of the meal.
Doctors recommend feeding 4 times a day if your puppy is aged between 2 months to 3 months. And as he starts growing older, you can gradually decrease the frequency.
For example, you can skip 1 meal per day once your pup is 3 months old. And on reaching 6 months of age, you can further reduce the diet to twice daily.
But, keep in mind that you reduce the frequency slowly and gradually. A sudden change in diet may make your pup a little cranky. And you surely wouldn’t want that.
Creating A Balanced Diet For Your Dog
As already mentioned, young and growing puppies need a nutrition-rich diet to help them with their growing weeks.
One thing that you can do when buying dog food is to check the label for nutrients.
Ideally, there are a few nutrients that your pup would particularly need during his growing months.
Medically speaking, proteins help with building muscle and other body tissues. Protein should make up for at least 30% of your puppy’s diet during the growth weeks.
You can find easy treats and feeds rich in protein for your puppies. But, make sure you pick up the soft ones, as the puppy’s jaws are still underdeveloped.
You can buy some meat treats, including jerky for dogs, meat slurries, and more.
Your puppy also needs to grow a healthy fur coat and skin. And for this, you need to ensure they eat enough healthy fats.
Besides, fats also help with the healthy brain and vision development of your puppy.
Look for a feed that contains at least 15% fats. Feeding a 200 grams diet three to four times a day would mean your puppy consumes around 120 grams of fat.
Puppies are usually more active than adult dogs, and as such, they need more energy to stay active. Since carbohydrates are the primary energy source, you need to look for carb content in the food you feed your puppy.
Ideally, carbohydrates should make up for at least 40% of their diet.
You can even feed a homemade diet to your puppy to fill in on the carbohydrates.
Vitamins And Minerals
A balanced diet is incomplete without essential vitamins and minerals. Though they are needed in minute quantity, you can not skip on them.
Some of the essential vitamins to include in your puppy’s diet are Vitamin A, Vitamin D3, and Vitamin B.
For minerals, you should look for zinc, magnesium, iron, and calcium traces in your dog’s feed.
Now, this is a no-brainer. Whether growing or grown-up, your puppy needs to drink a lot of water.
Essentially, water helps regulate their body temperature and maintain a healthy metabolism.
So make sure you always keep a bowl of clean drinking water around to let your puppy slurp on it whenever he needs to.