Go into any supermarket or pet store and you will see aisles of dog food both in cans and bags. One would think it would be easy to choose which food to feed your dog and for adult dogs there are many options, but puppies require different nutrients than adult dogs and, therefore, should be fed different food.
It simply won’t do to feed your new puppy an adult food, so you must choose a food specially formulated for puppies. Your best bet is to actually use the food that he was being fed before you brought him home, at least at first. That’s because puppies digestive systems are very delicate and changing the food abruptly can cause a lot of stress and digestive problems.
If you don’t like the brand of dog food your puppy was being fed, you can gradually change to your preferred brand. Remember that you get what you pay for so don’t go with the cheapest kind. Your growing puppy needs lots of nutrients and good proteins in order to be healthy – feeding a puppy poor quality food can result in a lot of illness later in life. Also, good quality food is more nutritious so your dog will actually eat less and he will have fewer stools and they will be less smelly so even though you are paying more for the food to begin with, you will have to buy less of it.
Now, if you are changing your puppy to a new food you want to do it slowly. Replace only about 10% of his old food with new for the first couple of days. Then move to 20% for the next few days, then 30% and so on. If your dog vomits or has diarrhea, then back off on the percentage of new food until his system adjusts.
Getting your puppy on a feeding schedule is important. Remember that younger dogs will need to eat more often, but probably by the time your pup is old enough for you to take him home, you should be able to feed 3 times a day. After your puppy reaches 6 months, you can taper off to twice a day.
Your puppy can switch to eating adult food when he reaches his full height which is usually around a year for most breeds. Again, you want to gradually switch the foods so that there is no digestive problems.
Feeding your puppy the right foods will help him grow properly and help him look healthy and feel great. Proper nutrition in the beginning will help with your dogs health his whole life and result in a healthy long lived pet.