If you bought your puppy from a reputable breeder you should already have been told about some of the nutritional needs of the animal. A puppy grows fast in the first few months and it is your responsibility to give her everything her body needs to grow up healthy. Scrimping and not providing her with wholesome and nutritional food at this early stage of the puppy’s life will not only cause her to grow abnormally but will make her prone to illness in later life.
Before you buy food and treats check the nutritional value of each by referring to the labels on the packs. Choose food and treats that are designed specifically for puppies of your breed of dog. You will also need to constantly adjust the amount of food she intakes because, of course, her weight is increasing (or should be) almost daily.
Choose a combined diet of dry kibble and moist food but avoid choosing one over the other. Dry kibble contains more protein and is easier for your puppy to digest; moist dog food is more expensive on the whole but contains more water. However, by feeding her too much moist dog food you will be denying her the nutrients she needs to grow and develop healthily.
When her ‘milk’ teeth have fallen out your puppy will develop adolescent teeth. You should clean her teeth regularly with a canine toothbrush; use a special meat or mint flavoured toothpaste. In addition, give her dental chews. Her chewing on a special designed dog chew will prevent tooth decay and the build-up of tartar.
3. Bones and muscle
According to an extract published by the NCBI, ‘Puppies and young dogs need 10-20 grams of protein and up to 220 calories per kg. per day.’ They also need a great deal of calcium. However, animal experts advise not to supplement the diet of a puppy that is already being fed a balanced and proper diet. Most puppy foods these days are formulated to give your puppy all of the nutrients (vitamins and minerals) she needs.
4. Mental health
Your puppy may be healthy but she may also suffer with separation anxiety or other mental stressing. Often these unhappy times pass, especially when the puppy realises that although you leave you always come back. On occasion give her healthy treats and even pieces of apple or carrot. Doing so will ease her stresses and keep her growth on course.
5. For the future
Nutrition is an exceptionally important element of your puppy’s growth. The wrong sort will lead to her having problems in later life. The right sort will make her strong and resilient. Alessandro Di Cerbo et al. concluded from their studies of functional foods that, ‘dietary interventions can be used for disease prevention and treatment.’