Here’s the scenario:
A guy named Fred recently adopted a 6-month-old puppy from his local Humane Society. He named the puppy Nacho. Nacho joins Fred’s two other dogs: Obie, 9, and Dakota, 10.
Nacho is a hyper, playful little pup. He follows Obie and Dakota everywhere and even eats out of their bowls. Whereas some of the nicest dogs can get testy when dogs get near their food, Obie and Dakota are laid back. They don’t mind when Nacho sticks his muzzle into their bowls and crunches away. It puts a smile on Fred’s face to see his pack getting along and eating together.
Nacho seems healthy to Fred, and since Nacho prefers Obie and Dakota’s adult food, Fred starts buying a single bag of dog food for his pack. It’s more convenient and cheaper. Plus, Fred is a cynic; he thinks the concept of puppy food is a sales gimmick.
Fred is wrong.
Proper Puppy Nutrition
The fact is, puppies have different nutritional needs than adult dogs. Puppies are at a point in their lives when they’re rapidly growing. They’re building bones, teeth, tissues, muscles and organs—things they’ll need for a lifetime. Puppies require more nutrients than adult dogs to help fuel their development.
The Association of American Feed Control Officials has established dog food guidelines. In order for dog food sold in stores to be labeled as “complete and balanced,” it must meet the AAFCO’s nutritional profile standards. Look for the following terms on the package to find out if a brand is fit for puppies:
- Growth and Reproduction means the food is formulated for puppies and pregnant or nursing dogs. Nacho can eat it.
- Adult Maintenance means it’s formulated for adult dogs. Nacho shouldn’t eat it.
- All Life Stages means Nacho, Obie and Dakota can all eat it.
Do well by your puppy and feed her high-quality puppy food. You and your puppy will appreciate it down the road.
P.S. Naturally, every dog should be given the best diet possible. How can you determine which dog food products are the best? Cost isn’t always the best factor to go by. Read this article to learn what to look for the next time you go shopping for dog food.