Puppy Basics: Selecting the Right Food
Puppy Basics: Selecting the Right Food

Tips on Choosing a Puppy Food

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Dogs need a well-balanced meal for their adequate growth and development. Different breeds and sizes of dogs require a different amount of nutrients. Puppies are at their growing stage, and hence they require more energy for overall development. Nutrients like fat, protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and water help the puppy nourish into a healthy dog. Choosing a puppy food is a crucial decision to make as the type of puppy food you choose directly affects your fur baby’s development in the initial years.

IAMS™ is one of the leading puppy food brands that is known for offering food packed with energy and nutrients to support a puppy’s growing age.

How to choose puppy food?

Pet parents often face the dilemma of how to choose puppy food for their fur baby. Puppies often need twice the amount of nutrients compared to an adult dog. While choosing a puppy food, you must look for meal options that are highly digestive and nutrient dense. The food should be packed with vitamins, proteins, fat, and carbohydrates for your puppy’s healthy growth. Some benefits of selecting the right puppy food are:

  • Shiny fur
  • Exceptional muscle tone
  • Improved vision
  • Better digestion
  • Improved bowel movement
  • Pleasant and playful mood
  • Healthy, happy attitude

How to choose the right puppy food brand?

While home food can be nutritious, it can sometimes not be sufficient for a puppy’s growing body. Hence, pet parents need to depend on formulated puppy food that is packed with the goodness of protein and other essential nutrients to support their fur baby’s growth and development stage. However, how to choose the right puppy food brand amongst so many available options? Read the following to know more.

  • Recognised brand: When you buy formulated food for a puppy, always pick well-known brands that do not compromise on quality and quantity. Choosing a well-recognised and established brand that adheres to the law ensures your canine friend gets all the necessary nutrients for its constant and consistent growth.
  • Check the label: Read the product’s name and label to get all the necessary information about its nutritional values. The net product weight and nutrient chart are mentioned on every recognised puppy food brand’s product. Along with checking the nutritional values, you must also look for the manufacturer’s address and contact details. This helps in sending suggestions and grievances directly to the brand. The list of ingredients should be read thoroughly to ensure you do not pick a product with ingredients that do not suit your pooch. The product’s manufacturing and expiry date are also mentioned on the label. Lastly, the label also contains information and directions for feeding your puppy.
  • Ingredients: Puppies need a good source of protein, fibre, and carbohydrates. Puppies need 22 amino acids to produce the right protein needed for their survival. Hence, pet parents have to be very careful and selective when choosing puppy food for their fur babies. Thoroughly going through the list of ingredients allows caregivers to analyse the ingredients and choose the best for their canine buddy. Glancing at the list of ingredients also allows you to avoid products that contain ingredients your puppy is allergic to.

Moreover, you must also consider your puppy’s breed, size, and weight when confused about how to choose food for the puppy. Smaller breeds of dogs mature faster than larger breeds, this means your puppy’s breed decides how much nutrients it will need for how long. While most puppies can start consuming solid food once they turn 4-weeks old, their transition from puppy food to adult dog food varies depending on their breed, size, and weight. Please consult a vegetarian doctor if you are unsure about your pet’s breed and the amount of nutrients required for its adequate growth.

Nutrients required by different breed sizes

Different breeds of dogs require a different amount of nutrition for their proper growth and development. Feeding the puppy as per its breed’s requirement ensures that it gets the right amount of nutrients for its physical and psychological growth. Hence, to help you choose the best for your fur baby, we have curated some insights on how much nutrition is required for which breed size.

  • Small breed: This type of breed is smaller in size, which means their anatomy and organs are compact compared to other breeds. However, as these breeds do not grow larger, they mature faster, and hence need more nutrients in their primitive age. Small and toy breed puppies are recommended to feed at least 3 to 4 meals a day to provide all the essential nutrients required for their growth. However, because they have smaller organs, it becomes essential to choose food that can offer more nutrition in a limited quantity.
  • Medium breed: Dogs that are bigger than the toy breed but smaller than giant and large breeds are considered medium-size breeds. You can accomplish a medium size breed’s nutritional quota by offering an adequate animal-based diet. Two meals a day is ideally sufficient for medium-size breeds, provided the food is packed with healthy nutrients required for its growth.
  • Large breed: Contradicting the common belief, this breed does not require more calcium even though it has larger bones. A moderate amount of calcium, phosphorus, and calories are sufficient for a large-breed puppy’s skeleton development. Overfeeding can cause developmental and bone issues in such breeds. Hence, ensuring large breed puppies’ consumption limits while providing them with the right nutrients is essential. You should choose formulas with lesser fat and calories to promote growth in such breeds. Besides, feeding should be limited to 2 to 3 meals per day.

The physical growth and development of a puppy are at stake during its initial years. Therefore, choosing a diet that meets all its nutritional requirements and provides appropriate nourishment is essential. Caregivers should be mindful of their puppy’s allergies, breed size, and age before selecting a puppy food brand. IAMS offers a wide range of puppy food varieties for different breed sizes based on their nutritional requirements. However, you should consult a vet if you are unsure about your puppy’s nutritional needs and breed.

Why choose IAMS™ for your puppy?

At IAMS™, we focus on preparing highest-quality food for dogs of all ages and breeds. Our puppy food — IAMS™ Proactive Health™ Starter Mother and Baby Dog – is the ideal pick for your little pooch’s optimal growth and development. Along with being loaded with proteins, vitamins, and minerals, it also contains DHA and colostrum. While DHA ensures healthy cognition for better trainability, colostrum provides essential nutrients that’s only found in the mother dog’s milk.  Enriched with best-quality proteins, fibre, and FOS natural prebiotics, IAMS™ Proactive Health™ Starter Mother and Baby Dog ensures healthy muscles as well as digestive system.

Frequently asked questions

  1. How do I know what food is best for my puppy?
  2. Puppies ideally prefer animal-based meals. You can select the best food formula by choosing a puppy food brand that caters to your puppy’s breed size as different breed sizes require a different amount of nutrients for overall development and healthy growth.

  3.  Do puppies need special puppy food?
  4. Yes, puppies need more energy compared to adult dogs. Hence, they do require special food that can offer twice the amount of nutrients in smaller quantities. Besides, puppies also need to be fed more frequently to support the nutritional requirements for growth and development.

  5. What is the healthiest food to feed a puppy?
  6. This is subjective to the puppy’s nutritional requirements and allergies. Most puppies rely on animal-based food for their nutritional needs. Nutrient-packed formulas offered by puppy food brands like IAMS are also suggested for providing a well-balanced and nourishing food to your puppy.

  • How to Take Care of Newborn Puppies
    How to Take Care of Newborn Puppies
    How to Take Care of Newborn Puppies

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    Bringing a furry friend home is one of the greatest things you will do. If you are someone who has been longing for a furry companion, you should wait no more... however, only if you are confident that you can take complete care of this four-legged angel. Puppies need love and care, so as their caregivers, you need to help them grow into happy and healthy dogs.

    Stay by your pet’s side throughout its growing stage. This is that time of its life where you need to do more than just provide food, love, and fun times; you must understand dog nutrition, follow the vaccination schedule, and potty train your puppy. Sparing some time and energy to provide your pet with basic puppy care can help you build a loving relationship with your pooch. So, let us explore a few things you can look into while nurturing a puppy. This basic puppy care guide will also keep you informed with what to expect in the first few months of being a caregiver.

    • Bringing your puppy home

    Wondering what to know about taking care of a new puppy? Let us start with the most basic things like puppy proofing your house. That is right. Puppies and babies fall in the same category: delicate and fragile! You need to be careful about their surroundings and make sure that there is nothing hazardous around. Puppies are naturally curious. Make sure they do not encounter things like chemicals, electrical cords, harmful houseplants, valuables, and especially breakables. You also need to get necessary pup supplies like a feeding bowl, collar, leash, and more. Set up a cosy corner for your puppy to rest in!

    • Feeding your pooch

    Choosing the right puppy food is of paramount importance. You must pick out puppy food that is specifically formulated for growing puppies as it needs the right kind of nutrients to grow stronger. So, avoid adult dog food if your pet is still a pup.

    Not sure when to make a switch to adult dog food? Well, it totally depends on the breed size. If you have a small or medium breed dog, you can switch to dog food once it turns 9 to 12 months old. If you have a large breed dog, continue feeding puppy food until it turns 12 to 24 months old. Apart from that, make sure your pup always has access to fresh and clean water!

    This is what a typical puppy feeding schedule would look like: 

    • 6-12 weeks old: Four meals per day 
    • 3-6 months old: Three meals per day 
    • 6-12 months old: Two meals per day 

    At IAMS™, we offer a range of puppy as well as adult dog food that nourishes your furry friend with vitamins, minerals, proteins, and other essential nutrients. Our products are made with premium-quality ingredients to ensure that your dog enjoys every bite of its food.

    • Vet visits and vaccinations

    Taking your furry friend to the vet is the most important part of taking care of a puppy. Your dog’s first visit to the vet will help you learn about your dog’s overall physical health. Vet visits will also keep you informed about the vaccination schedule.  In fact, it is recommended to make a list of all questions that you may have. This list should include topics like: 

    • Vaccination schedule 
    • Spaying or neutering 
    • Potty training 
    • Basic obedience training 
    • Any symptoms 
    • Diet and nutrition 
    • Deworming
    • Socialisation

    Puppies should meet a variety of different people, dogs, objects, and situations – all in a positive way. The most important time for pups to socialise is between three and 12 weeks of age, however, it should continue throughout a puppy’s development. As pet parents, you can take your pooch to puppy classes as it provides a great opportunity to socialise puppies.

    • Potty training

    You can get started with potty training from the day one. This will help inculcate basic bathroom manners in your dog and will save you from cleaning the floor every time your pooch excretes. So, pick a bathroom spot outside your house and take your pup to the same place whenever it is potty time. Praise it right after it is done. You can also reward it with treats. However, under no circumstances must a puppy be yelled at since it may ignite fear.

    The best way to train is to reward good behaviour and ignore unwanted behaviour. It is never too early to begin training a puppy, but owners must remember that very young puppies become tired or distracted easily so training sessions should be kept to a short duration.

    • Oral care

    Dogs are prone to losing tooth, bad breath, and periodontal diseases. Moreover, they are good at hiding their dental pain. Hence, owners should introduce some form of oral care for their puppy as early as possible. Consult your vet to ensure that you pick the best dental care option for your pooch.

    • Exercise

    Amounts of exercise should be controlled for puppies during growth. They should not be forced to exercise beyond the amount of time they would engage in with another puppy of the same age. Moreover, your furry friend must be allowed to rest when they need to. So, instead of offering a one long playtime period, go for two short walks.