Types Of Food
If you do not know whether to choose between wet or dried food, note that many people will pick dried as it can be softened and is good for teeth. But the two can be mixed throughout life and when young.
These often offer the most variety and are the easiest for owners to manage too, especially if you are a beginner. Many puppies may not take to completely dry food at first, so it can be good to either add water it or mix with wet food until they are fully weaned and used to it. It is a good option if they need to get used to dried food for their adult life
This can vary in quality and can come in tins, pouches or trays. Look out for a blend which has been specifically designed with puppies in mind, as it needs to be easy to digest and relatively plain. Also, look out for one which is complete and doesn’t need additional supplements
What To Look Out For In A Puppy Food
The big differences between puppies and adult dogs are that the former are still growing, developing and becoming hardy for the big old world they have to face. This means they require different things to their grown-up counterparts.
Puppies need a high-calorie diet to ensure they have enough nutrients for their growth, yet it also needs to be balanced so they don’t put on too much weight. They may still be active, but they don’t burn off as much as adult dogs who have a few hours of exercise every day.
Calcium is a critical component of bone and cartilage, and it also has a small role in hormone transmission. Too little can cause bone fractures and stunted growth. But too much can result in increased bone density, which can be a factor in the development of hip dysplasia in dogs of all ages.
Phosphorus is also a major component of bone. It can also play a big part in kidney and liver health, so they need to get the right amount every day for overall build.
It is important to try and find food which is suitable for how large your dog will be when they are fully grown.
Puppy dog food is often split into small, medium and large groups. A small breed will hit adult years quite quickly in comparison to a larger dog, so their higher energy levels will need to be catered for.
Similarly, larger breeds need to be on the puppy food for longer, so it needs to offer them a balanced variety of nutrients to cater to their slower growth and development.
Breed Specific Foods
There are some puppy foods out there which are for particular breeds. This can be Pugs, Schnauzers, Dachsunds, or Bulldogs.
Some of these breeds have very particular needs, such as underlying breed-specific health issues with heart or development, so the ingredients have to be balanced.
Would rather feed your puppy on a vegan/vegetarian, hypoallergenic or grain-free diet? Look at our dedicated review pages for those dietary types for the best puppy food if you can’t find one above which suits.
If you find a certain food which your puppy really seems to like, do not change from this. Adult dogs benefit from some variety to prevent getting fed up of foods or developing intolerances, but puppy tummies are sensitive so abrupt changes can be harmful.
Puppies who have been fed by a breeder previously could probably benefit from staying on the same diet too, so ask them for the best food which your dog is used to. They will also be able to tell you if the mother or father has any medical history which could affect the food you choose going forwards.