Puppy Basics: Keeping Your Puppy’s Skin and Coat Healthy
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Keeping your puppy’s skin and coat healthy is as easy as 1-2-omega-3. Feeding studies have shown that dogs thrive on high-quality animal proteins from chicken, fish, lamb and eggs. IAMS™ ProActive Health™ Smart Puppy Original and other IAMS formulas are made with these highly digestible proteins, which promote excellent skin and coat condition and enhance your dog’s overall health and well-being. When your dog’s coat looks good, the rest of his body will likely be well nourished, too.
Learn more about two important nutrients that can maintain your puppy’s skin and coat health.
Fatty Acids Keep Your Puppy’s Skin and Coat Healthy
Fat plays a key role in keeping your puppy’s skin and coat in top condition. Fat not only provides energy, but it’s also a source of essential fatty acids that are necessary for the skin’s healthy structure. Fatty acids in the diet keep the skin moist and supple. They also contribute to a thick, lustrous and healthy coat. The lack of or imbalance of fatty acids can cause dry, scaly skin and brittle hair. A diet with vitamin-rich fish oils is vital to your puppy’s coat health and appearance.
Although there are many kinds of fatty acids, a few are important to coat health and appearance:
- Linoleic acid is an essential omega-6 fatty acid for dogs and is necessary for healthy skin. It is found in beef, pork, chicken and some vegetable oils.
- Omega-6 fatty acids, including linoleic acid, can be found in the fat or oils provided in ingredients such as chicken and corn in your dog's food.
- Omega-3 fatty acids are found in cold-water fish oils and in flax. Although not essential to a dog's diet, they have been found to help manage skin and coat conditions and promote a shiny coat.
An appropriate balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids helps maintain your dog’s healthy skin and coat. An optimal range of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty-acid ratios is between 5:1 and 10:1 to enhance skin and coat quality and help nutritionally manage skin and coat conditions.
Natural DHA Supports Proper Brain Development
DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) is a key nutrient found naturally in breast milk and is important for a baby’s neural development. And just like a baby, a puppy’s ability to learn depends on healthy brain development.
At 6 weeks, a puppy's brain mass is approximately 70% developed. At this stage and in the months ahead, feeding your puppy a diet rich in DHA can help support neural development. Premium puppy foods such as IAMS™ ProActive Health™ Smart Puppy provide DHA in their formulas.
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- adp_description_block223Understanding Puppy Food Nutrition Labels
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How much do you know about the food you’re buying for your puppy? When shopping for puppy food, pay attention to these three sections of a dog food label.
1. The Ingredient Panel
This section lists all the ingredients that make up the product. The ingredients are listed in descending order according to weight before cooking. In dry food, look for a source of high-quality animal-based protein: chicken or lamb, for example. Dogs thrive on animal proteins.
Manufacturers who use large amounts of vegetable proteins might be saving money by providing basic — but not optimal — nutrition. You should also avoid artificial colors and flavors, which offer no nutritional benefits.
2. The Guaranteed Analysis
Near the ingredient panel should be a chart of percentages called the "guaranteed analysis." These figures reveal the basic nutrient makeup of the dog food's formula and protein content. The minimum percentages of protein and fat and the maximum percentages of fiber and moisture (water) should be listed.
3. The Manufacturer’s Name and Address
This information must be included on the label by law. A toll-free number or web address for the manufacturer may also be listed. Manufacturers who list a phone number, such as IAMS™, generally have a high-quality product and welcome consumer calls and questions. If you would like information about IAMS products, visit our website or call us toll-free at 800-525-4267.
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