Rapidly growing puppies have a greater need for nutrients. The goals when feeding a puppy is to feed them so that they:
- Grow to be a healthy adult
- Grow at a healthy rate
- Grow to prevent developmental and orthopedic disorders
Buy A Commercially Prepared Food
Because puppies have very specific requirements, I recommend that for the first eight months you feed a commercially prepared food that is labeled so that it says the following:
Exceeds AAFCO canine nutritional standards as a complete meal for all life stages.
Raw Brands That I Recommend Are:
Oma’s Pride Complete Woof
Small Batch Dog
Steve’s Real Food
By feeding any of these brands above, you won’t have to add anything to them as they are already formulated for puppies.
Each brand will have its respective feeding instructions on the portions to feed. And if you have any questions, you can reach out to the company directly. In my experience, their customer service response time is prompt and courteous.
DIY Diets for Puppies – Nutritional Concerns
If you are comfortable making your puppy a DIY raw meal, make sure you pay attention to their needs.
- Puppies have a higher need for calcium. In addition it has to be in the right ratio to phosphorus. You can achieve this by feeding raw meaty bones in the 17% ratio
- Puppies have a greater requirement for iron. This is best met by feeding beef or lamb spleen and raw meaty bones.
- Puppies must be fed their daily zinc requirement. Make sure you balance it out with your copper ratio to avoid a zinc or copper deficiency. Zinc is best sourced through cooked oysters.
- Puppies need Omega-3 during their growth stage. Feed fresh oily fish to fulfil their nutrient requirements.
- Puppies also need their Vitamin D and E. Feeding oily fish meets Vitamin D but you may need to supplement to meet your Vitamin E with a liquid mixed tocopherols supplement.
- Puppies need manganese. Easily sourced through cooked blue mussels.
- Puppies need iodine. Easily sourced through seafood and pasture raised eggs.
Feed Puppies Three Times A Day
The amount of food puppies need is too much to be fed over two meals.
You need to split their meals into three or four meals per day for the first twenty weeks. After that, you can decrease it to twice a day.
Hold Off On Probiotics
Don’t feed your puppy any probiotics until they are twenty weeks of age. During their early months, they are establishing their own microbiome, and feeding them probiotics might overwhelm them.
- Rapidly growing puppies have very specific needs which need to be met daily.
- The easiest way to feed your puppy is to choose a brand that says “Complete and balanced for all life stages”.
- If you are feeding DIY Raw, be sure to pay attention to the nutrients that puppies need during their growth period. Also make sure Raw Meaty Bones are an integral part of your puppy’s diet.