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.

  • 3 reasons why animal-based protein might be better for your dog​
    3 reasons why animal-based protein might be better for your dog​
    3 reasons why animal-based protein might be better for your dog​

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    A balanced diet with high-quality protein is essential for your dog's optimal wellness.

    Author: Dr. Saza Curaming

    Dogs are semi-carnivores. They can be nourished by protein from animal sources, plant sources or a combination of both. Although dogs are often fed a plant-based diet, they are not herbivores. 

    The difference between animal-based protein and plant-based protein sources is that animal-based ones incorporate chicken, lamb, fish meal, and beef while plant-based protein sources include corn-gluten and soybean meal. 

    Similar to their carnivorous ancestors–wolves, coyotes, foxes, and jackals, the body structure of dogs is optimized for eating meat which is relatively easier for them to digest than a plant-based diet. 

    Even though dogs are semi-carnivores, it is important to not leave out animal-based proteins from their diet. Feeding our dogs meat-based products are closely related to their natural ancestral diet. There are three main reasons animal-based proteins are better suited for our furry friends than plant-based proteins.

    Not all proteins are created equal 

    Including protein in your pet dog’s diet serves several functions. For one, a high-quality protein food for dogs can provide amino acids. Amino acids play a key part in building hair, skin, nails, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage. Protein plays a key role in hormone and enzyme production.

    Amino acids are building blocks and are considered critical to our furry best friend. Different studies have shown that out of the 20 amino acids, 10 of these are called non-essential and can be made by your dog when they need it.


    Protein is crucial throughout a dog’s lifetime

    A dog’s need for amino acids will also change depending on age and condition. As dogs age, their body composition and muscle-specific proteins decline and for that reason, giving them protein in their meal helps them maintain a healthy body throughout the years.

    That said, it goes without saying that puppies require sufficient protein for growth. According to a study, a puppy's diet should consist of at least 22% protein. For an adult dog, 18% of protein should be incorporated into their everyday meal. 


    Protein a day, keeps doctors away

    Animal protein sources contain an average of 35% higher protein concentration. It contains higher doses of calcium, phosphorus, omega 6, methionine, cystine, and taurine. 

    While protein can be derived from plants, the canine digestive system typically has an easier time utilizing animal-sourced protein. Our dog's gastrointestinal tract is not designed to digest large amounts of plant-based products.

    To deliver a healthy balance of amino acids to support your dog's health and vitality, IAMS created a recipe that uses chicken as their number one ingredient and aids in maintaining healthy digestion, immune system, skin and coat, and even provides dental care support that is developed with veterinarians. 

    Ready to achieve your dog’s optimal health with an animal-based protein food? For more information about IAMS Dog, visit https://iams.asia/my/. IAMS Dog is available at all leading supermarkets and grocery stores nationwide.