Why Young Dogs Need Puppy Food According to Breed Size
Although you may be tempted to start your puppy directly on adult canine kibble simply because you don’t want to risk the animal not wanting to change from puppy food to adult kibble, you should feed your pet according to its age, adult breed size, and energy requirements.
Puppies are still growing and as such, require more protein than adult dogs. Indeed, a deficiency in protein can cause stunted growth, as explained in the article by Dr J Coates “The Special Nutritional Needs of Puppies” published on PetMD on the 25th of May 2012. Your pet requires a well-balanced diet that includes vital nutrients such as protein, arginine, histidine, leucine, valine, fat, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, and other nutrients, which can be found in well-balanced puppy food as available from Montego Pet Nutrition.
The article also explains that puppy food contains a higher concentration of particular amino acids, certain minerals, and fats than adult dog food, including more omega-3 fatty acids needed for good skin, brain, and eye development. In addition, the caloric density of the kibble differs from that provided for adult canine companions. Since puppies are growing and playing, they need more calories to sustain their energy levels.
You also need to consider whether it is a small or large breed, as large breed puppies are at higher risk for developing hip and other orthopaedic conditions related to a rapid increase in size. As such, large breed food has less fat, phosphorus, and calcium than small breed kibble. This ensures that the animal can grow at the correct rate to ensure optimal health as an adult dog.
The right time to switch from puppy food to adult dog kibble depends on the breed size. However, in most instances, you can switch to adult kibble once it has reached more than two thirds of its approximate adult size. Keep in mind that there is no specific time to work with. Susan Paretts explains in her article “How Long Does It Take for a Puppy to Reach Its Full Size”, as published at Daily Puppy, that very small breeds quickly reach 80% of their adult size (normally around nine months), while medium breed puppies often only do so at around a year. The larger breeds can take up to 16 months before they do so.
To prevent your pet from suffering from nutritional deficiencies that can affect its health, it is best to stick to age and breed appropriate food. However, you should not keep the dog on puppy kibble for long after the correct size has been reached, as it can lead to obesity because of the higher protein and fat content in the food.
Our range of adult and puppy food has been designed specifically to address the nutritional needs of dogs living in South Africa according to breed size and age. View the various options and if unsure, speak to your veterinarian or give us a call to help you determine which kibble is suitable for your dog.
Coates, J. “Special Nutritional Needs of Puppies”. PetMD. Web Accessed May 2018.
Paretts, S. “How Long Does It Take for a Puppy to Reach Its Full Size?” Daily Puppy. Web Accessed May 2018.
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