Nutrition Basics: Understanding How to Feed Your Large Breed Puppy

Are you new to the dog owner world? While you may think food, water and love is all you need at first, there are actually a lot of intricacies that go into feeding a new puppy. Puppies are still in their development stages, and need proper nutrition to build healthy and strong bones, coats and teeth. Keep reading for nutritional advice and a general understanding of how your large breed puppy should be fed.

What to Feed Your Puppy
It is important not to believe everything you see marketed on a bag of dog food, as it can be misleading. Many dog foods don't provide sufficient levels of protein, so it is important to find the ones that do. Puppies need protein to thrive and be healthy. Foods with a good source of protein such as chicken and beef, can help your dog's digestive system, and create antibodies that fight diseases. According to most nutritionists, your puppy should be eating diets that consist of 30% protein, 9% fat, and about 1.5% calcium. Another tip when choosing food for your puppy is to look for an AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) statement. This statement assures that the food is good quality, safe and nutritional. Only choose dog foods specifically designed for puppies.

How Much Food To Give
According to Brimley-Lawrence Animal Clinic, your puppy should be eating three times a day for at least the first three to six months. After that, twice a day. Be careful not to over-feed your puppy. Over feeding is dangerous and can result in conditions such as obesity, heart disease, or even diabetes. Large breed dogs tend to put on a lot of weight too fast. You can get an idea of how to measure each serving by looking at how big or skinny your puppy is. Take them to a Toronto or local vet clinic to get an accurate measurement. For additional guidance, many packages of dog food have precise measurements of food for each serving according to your dog's weight.

Many people are unaware of the importance of proper nutrients new puppies need to thrive. The average person, especially children, gets over excited about having a pet and won't stop to think what they feed them. All they know is they need dog food so their puppy won't starve. Most of the time people will buy the cheapest dog food on the shelf, or maybe the most appealing, without checking the ingredients on the back. The truth is, dogs have a lot in common with humans. They can catch diseases, and get sick like we can. The phrase "You are what you eat" has a lot of truth. When you eat bad, you feel bad. Give your puppy a chance to feel good while maintaining a healthy lifestyle.


Brooke ChaplanBrooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She has lived and worked in her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico after her graduation from the University of New Mexico. Contact her via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.



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