Choosing the right food for your puppy is important for many reasons – right Lassie? Woof. First, your little ruff-houser will grow very quickly. In less than a year, he’ll be the equivalent of 20 human years – no bones about it. And with all this growing going on, your mini Mastiff will need lots of energy. But because young dogs only have teeny tummies, you’ll want to feed him a good, quality food designed for puppies.
We recommend premium puppy foods. Not only do they give you the best value, paws down – they also contain top-dog ingredients that are easy for Fido to digest, so you’ll feed less. They’ll also give your tiny terrier:
- Muscle tone fit for a Boxer.
- Shiny, luxurious coat – yip, yip!
- Healthy skin, bones and teeth. See. Spot. Smile.
- Clear, bright eyes – what a looker!
- Small, firm stools (as carpet sighs with relief).
- Playfulness. Shake, rollover, play dead, let’s cha-cha…
- Happy, healthy attitude – you dig?
Large-breed puppies are a little prima-dogga, because they have special needs. So, it’s a good idea to give them a food that controls their growth rate, which will help ensure normal development. (Although most dogs are anything but normal – which is why we love ‘em, of course!)
Medium-breed puppies are quite Zen, preferring a complete and balanced food with moderate amounts of all the essential goodies – that is, vitamins and nutrients. Namaste.
Small-breed puppies have unique needs, with their small mouths and stomachs, and a very short growth spurt to adult size. So, it’s important to feed your teeny tiny Toy a food that satisfies his nutritional requirements. Anything else could result in poor muscle and skeletal development. (Aw, chin up, Japanese Chin. Just eat healthy and you’re fine!)
Choosing a wag-worthy puppy diet.
So, you’ve chosen a premium puppy formula – good petlover, good petlover! Now it’s time to decide whether you’ll feed your pup dry or moist foods. Dry foods offer more value than you can shake a rubber T-bone at, plus keep your puppy’s teeth clean. If your oh-so-particular pup needs a little encouragement, simply add a little canned or sachet food to the dry formula.
Your dog can’t help but dig premium dry food. It’s great for healthy chompers, made from top-dog ingredients and is easy to digest – much like the value. You’ll just want to dog those cheapo brands that contain mostly cereals. As for wet foods (sachets/canned/dog rolls), they’re great for adding variety to your Maltese’s menu, or mixing right in to his dry food – butta bing butta woof.
If you’re like us, you love giving Fido a little off your plate now and then. And that’s fine, as long as you follow the ’10 Percent Rule’: If Foo-Foo is woofing down a good-quality, premium puppy food most of the time, 10 percent of his diet can be table scraps or other human foods. So, Boo-Boo can save the begging for bigger stuff, like belly rubs or Chanel.
‘I have needs!’ bark puppies of particular sizes, types and breeds – and fortunately, there are special foods designed to satisfy them. Some contain certain minerals needed for joint health in giant breeds, for example. Others may have cartilage nutrients for arthritis-prone dogs. Spot at risk for skin disease? He’s in the clear, since there are foods with essential oils for his ailment. (See. Spot. Wag.)
Dogs are like part of the family, so it’s only natural you’d want to give him a home-cooked meal. However, based on nutritional evidence, most vets would recommend saving your spaghetti bog for the boys and finding a premium dog food alternative. For example:
Feeling sheep(dog)ish about synthetic preservatives in store-bought, dog foods? Try a dog food preserved in vitamin E.
Worried that commercial dog foods aren’t healthy enough? Buy a premium dog food that contains high-quality ingredients.
Now, if Princess Pooch has been graced with too much people food, she may refuse dog food completely, and unfortunately have an unbalanced diet. The good news is, you can actually teach an old dog – and owner – new tricks. Ask your vet for the scoop on coaching your furry friend to eat proper dog food.
Most dogs would probably eat their food, our food, and the kitchen sink, if we let them. So, it’s up to us to moderate their mealtimes. Some tips to feed by:
Start with a good-quality, premium food that meets your dog’s health or breed needs. Looking at the package, follow the guidelines for your pet’s weight. Measure the food carefully, and adjust the amount according to your dog’s weight loss or gain.
Adult and senior dogs can be fed once… twice… three times, a dog-gy – day, that is. In all seriousness, it’s about how much you feed Mr. Foxhound in total, rather than how often. You’ll just want to remember that older dogs can get fussy about their food and lose weight, as a result. In this case, try mixing moist or people foods into their dry formula, so they’ll eat well.
Follow these steps, and your pooch will lap it up.
Sorry, Porky Pug – there’s a lot of evidence that says trim dogs tend to be happier and have fewer health problems than overweight ones (shamelessly adorable as they are). Just ask your vet to help you work out your pet’s ideal weight. Some starting pointers:
Your dog should have a waist, or tuck-in at the ribs. (And if she’s got it, flaunt it!)
You should be able to feel his ribs through a thin layer of body covering.
Not all dogs can have skin like Angelina Col-lie or energy like Jim Cairn-ey, but if your fetching friend has skin problems, food allergies or other medical conditions, ask your diet to recommend a special diet.
Particularly for older dogs, who are more likely to develop health problems than terrier tykes, choosing a customised diet can help take control of many illnesses. In fact, prescription diets from veterinarians have been known to greatly improve the wellbeing of elder dogs with arthritis, kidney failure, skin and liver diseases. By following the doctor’s menu, your ailing Akita can start feeling better with every bite.
Of course, there’s no ‘one-diet-fits-all’ for every dog. You may have to try out different yum-yums to find the diet that keeps your pint-size pooch in the best health. (And don’t worry, it’s your dog who’ll do the actual eating.) But for the wellbeing of our waggety friend, it’s worth it. Good luck!