What to Feed Puppies

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what to feed puppies

If you’re looking for the best diet for your new puppy, just follow this guide.

Where to Buy Puppy Food

Specialty pet stores and vets can provide expert, independent advice on feeding based on your dog’s age and breed size.

Look for Quality.

Check out the ingredients list to find out what’s really in the food. It should:

  • Have animal protein like chicken or meat as the first ingredient.
  • Be balanced with whole grains and fiber in the form of beet pulp.
  • Contain no artificial colors, artificial flavors or artificial preservatives.

Look for the Best Value

  • High–quality dry foods have detailed feeding instructions based on the breed size of your dog. From this you can work out the number of meals per pound and the number of meals in each bag.

Stick with One Food

A complete and balanced food is just that; other than water, your puppy will need nothing else. If she gets an upset tummy it’s unlikely to be the food and more likely to be something she has picked up on a walk, so don’t be tempted to switch puppy food or supplement unless it’s on the advice of your vet. For rewards or play, buy some special puppy treats.

Deciphering Puppy Food Labels

Read the labels of any puppy food brand you are considering very carefully so you know exactly what you're putting into your puppy's system. The name of the food can tell you how much of a particular ingredient is in it. Brand names that include the animal–protein source—"beef formula,” for example — indicate that at least 25% of the product is comprised of that animal protein. Names that include "with” (for example, "with chunky chicken") or "flavor" (for example, "turkey flavor") contain as little as 3% of the ingredient. Labels on the back of puppy food can also clue you in to how much product you'll receive in the food. Those listed first, second and third are present in higher quantities than those listed fourth, fifth and sixth (though this order is determined according to weights taken before cooking). The product also should include a statement from the Association of American Feed Control Officials. The law requires that the manufacturer's name and address be listed on the package, but beware of products that read, "Packed for or distributed by," because these foods aren't made by the company whose name is on the front label.