What to feed a puppy

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Choosing the right nutrition to support the best puppy food for large breeds in the early stages of life is essential. Here are some factors to consider.

After the first month of the puppy’s life, it is possible to start weaning him by switching from mother’s milk to solid food. But what should be considered when choosing food for the first time?

Dog size and breed

The breed and size of the puppy are two of the most important aspects to think about when choosing his diet for the first time. Many breeds have particular caloric needs and health conditions, and personalized nutrition that meets the puppy’s nutritional needs will ensure that he receives everything he needs to live a healthy life as a youngster.

The size of the dog has a great influence on the type of food to be administered, and has a strong impact on its way of feeding, digesting and responding to different foods. There are five different size categories for dogs:

  • X-small: weighing up to 4 kg in adulthood
  • Small: weighing up to 10 kg in adulthood
  • Medium: weighing between 11 kg and 25 kg in adulthood
  • Large: weighing between 26 kg and 45 kg in adulthood
  • Giant: weighing over 45 kg in adulthood

Make sure you choose the puppy’s first feeding based on the weight he should have as an adult (quantifiable by researching the breed and consulting with the veterinarian). The food was made specifically to meet the needs of that category, which means nurturing the puppy’s growth.

Nutritional requirements

The specific energy, daily care and health support your puppy needs to get from food depends on the breed and size.

Small dogs have weaker jaws and smaller teeth than large dogs. For this reason, the food they need must be of the right size and consistency to be chewed easily. It also needs to be easily rehydrated during the weaning phase.

Medium-sized dogs tend to spend a lot of time outside the home, so their food needs to provide adequate levels of energy and develop their natural defenses. Food must therefore fortify the skin and coat, which represent an important barrier to insects and disease.

Large breed dogs grow slower than small breed dogs and develop muscles later in the growth phase. They need a food that supports growth and also has a texture and shape that is appropriate for their mouth to encourage chewing and slow down the rate at which they eat.

Protect the puppy from potential health problems

All puppies have sensitive digestive systems due to the strains of rapid growth, however this condition is exacerbated in larger breed dogs. The best food for these types of dogs will have the right nutritional balance and will be designed to be digested as easily as possible.

Small breed dogs can suffer from dental problems, such as tartar buildup, which is why all puppies, regardless of their size, must maintain good dental hygiene. Croquettes that are the right size can be a great help in this regard, as they encourage puppies to chew.

Large breed dogs are at risk of fatigue or stress during the growth phase as they rapidly develop muscles on a large skeleton, so the food used must contain nutrients that can support joint health.

All dogs, regardless of size, need immune support between 4 and 12 weeks, a period in which they are in an “immune gap” as they no longer receive support from their mother’s milk, but are not yet in able to maintain their immune defenses. Whatever type of food you choose for your puppy, he will need to support his immune system during this crucial moment.

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