Want to get a glimpse into your puppy's future? Peer into his food bowl. Most small and medium dogs are considered puppies until they reach 12 months of age. Miniature and toy breeds mature a little earlier and may be physically mature by 9 or 10 months of age. Large and giant breeds mature later, at 16 to 18 months of age. What and how you feed your puppy during this time will affect the adult he will grow up to be from the condition of his coat to the health of hips and joints. Help keep your puppy healthy and happy with these nutritional guidelines from PetSmart experts:
What Type of Puppy Food is Ideal?
Did you know puppies use about 50 percent of their total energy just for growing? Puppies require more protein and additional energy to grow up strong and healthy which makes choosing premium puppy foods with high-quality ingredients so important. Better ingredients have better digestibility which means your puppy will absorb more of the nutrients he needs.
How Much Should I Feed My Puppy?
Be careful not to overfeed your puppy. Overfeeding can cause obesity in small and medium breeds. It can also increase the risk of skeletal abnormalities and even shortened life spans in large and giant breeds which are especially prone to these issues. To help avoid obesity and the potential risk of hip, joint and other skeletal issues, feed your puppy the amount of food specified on the bag or can for his age and weight. Choose of premium puppy food, and feed two to three times a day, or as directed by your veterinarian, to help support their rapid metabolism.
What About Feeding Large or Giant Breed Puppies?
There are foods specially formulated for large and giant breed puppies. These foods tend to have fewer calories than regular puppy food to help prevent obesity and also provide proper calcium and mineral levels for healthy bone growth.
The information used in this report is approved by PetSmart nutritionists and vet experts.
Information from "Small Animal Clinical Nutrition," 5th Edition, Hand, Thatcher, Remillard, Roudebush, Novotny, Copyright 2010 by Mark Morris Institute was used in this report.