It’s time for puppy food for your new pet, and you want to make sure you start them off right. Puppies grow rapidly. Giving the proper nutrition it needs is necessary for building healthy bones and teeth, adding muscle, and providing all the energy required for play and learning.
Starting at about four weeks, puppies can get solid food if they can’t get all the calories they need from their mother’s milk. After six weeks, most puppies are able to wean.
To fuel their rapid development, puppies need to take in a ton of calories. That means about twice as much per pound at the beginning as an adult dog of the same breed. In their first five months, puppies grow the quickest.
On commercial puppy food labels, look for feeding maps. As a reference, you can use them. They give prescribed quantities depending on the age and weight of a puppy. To keep your puppy in the best shape, change as needed, something you will need to do regularly.
Four of the veterinarians we spoke to suggested Purina Pro Plan puppy foods for larger dogs, because veterinary nutritionists have studied and tested all the company’s foods for advanced diets.
Three of the specialists we talked to suggested Hill’s Science Diet, including veterinarian Jessica Kirk, who likes that this formula has undergone AAFCO feeding tests, is easily accessible in many pet supply shops and is inexpensive for most puppy parents.
Royal Canin puppy food was suggested by three of the vets we met. Dr. Sara Ochoa, a vet based in Texas and a vet consultant for doglab.com, likes Royal Canin puppy formula since it is designed not just for the size of a dog, but also specifically for certain breeds, such as Chihuahuas and French bulldogs. (That includes Zacharias, who raised six of her own dogs on Royal Canin.)
The Italian brand Farmina, Richardson notes, is a perfect alternative for puppies. The brand not only uses high-quality products but also works closely with an Italian veterinary dietician to manufacture foods that are prepared to the best standard, whereas several other brands merely formulate their foods on the basis of data contained in current studies.
If you’re trying to cut costs without compromising your pup’s healthy diet, don’t worry: a premium cost doesn’t always mean that your dog gets better quality food. You will always be able to find something on a budget that your furry friends will benefit from!