You have a 6-week-old puppy in your home, and all that energy needs to be fed. Just like a human baby, her tummy is tiny and needs frequent fill-ups, meaning you need to find just the right kind of food for your wide-eyed gal.
Your plump, rear-wagging little girl needs specific ingredients so all her body systems grow normally into adulthood. She’s a little carnivore, so find puppy food that contains United States Department of Agriculture Grade A meat – in other words, human-grade meat. If you are worried about the effects of pesticides and other additives, go ahead and buy holistic, all-natural or organic meats.
She also needs USDA Grade 1 whole grains and, again, all-natural products are good.
Any quality puppy food should have an identifiable animal-based protein listed as the first ingredient. If not, pass it by and keep looking. Buy puppy food that contains buckwheat, oats, maize or rice for the whole grains. Look at the fat source. Fat gives your little girl her boundless energy, but it should be vegetable oil or chicken fat. Any puppy foods containing beef tallow should be bypassed. She also needs pro-biotics, Omega 3 and Omega 6 oils and vitamins A, C and E.
Your canine baby deserves the best nutritional start, so keep these undesirables in mind. Your little girl needs to keep a slim, svelte appearance, so keep sugar out of her diet. No ingredient in her food should come into contact with growth hormones, antibiotics or pesticides.
Vague ingredient categories such as “by-products” or “animal fat” are unacceptable. You don’t know the sources of these ingredients, which could harm your fur baby’s health. Nor should your precious girl’s food have any grain hulls, cellulose, meat bone-meal or beef bone-meal. Finally, don’t buy any puppy foods with synthetic vitamin K – menadione sodium bisulfite. Her food should not have BHA, which is butylated hydroxysanisole, BHT – butylated hydroxytoluene or ethoxyquinine, which is a preservative. Foods with propylene glycol, hydrochloric acid or any artificial flavors or colors should be left on the store shelf.
Puppy Food Labeling
You read labels for your food when you do your family’s shopping. The same precaution goes for your canine family member. She deserves the best, so get into the habit of reading those labels on those cans and bags of food. Commercially made dog and puppy food are regulated by the Association of American Feed Control Officials. Choose only foods that comply with the standards this association sets. Also, you should see a printed statement that says the food is “complete” and that it is “balanced for growth.” This simply means that it’s puppy food.
Future Size Counts
The future adult size of your little girl does matter. Rushing into the dog food aisle and grabbing any old bag of puppy food won’t do, because, for your pup, a “one-size-fits-all” approach could harm her.
If your little gal is a toy or teacup breed as opposed to a larger breed, her nutritional requirements are distinctly different.
Here’s another consideration. Your pup may grow fast, but her body may mature more slowly. This means she needs a food that’s formulated for her specific needs.
Puppy foods high in certain ingredients may cause health conditions in some puppy breeds. Talk to your vet and get his recommendations for the best food for your little gal. Your little girl is still teething, so you will need to moisten her dry food, if you buy this for her.
Genevieve Van Wyden began writing in 2007. She has written for “Tu Revista Latina” and owns three blogs. She has worked as a CPS social worker, gaining experience in the mental-health system. Van Wyden earned her Bachelor of Arts in journalism from New Mexico State University in 2006.