You want to give your 5-month old puppy the best food possible, but you're overwhelmed by the options.There are several different types of food you can feed to your puppy, including dry, canned and even homemade food. Some pet enthusiasts recommend nothing but the B.A.R..F. diet, which means feeding your dog only bones and raw food to mirror what its ancestors ate.
What Puppies Need
During the first year of life, different breeds of puppies need different nutrients. For example, smaller breeds grow at a fast rate and have a high metabolism. They require high levels of energy-boosting nutrients including fat, protein and calcium. Larger breeds grow slower, so their diets don't need high levels of these ingredients. Diets that contain high-energy ingredients can cause larger breed dogs to grow too fast and lead to bone issues.
Puppy food can cost more than dog food, especially if it's higher-end food that can be easier to digest because the ingredients used are usually higher-end products. The cost can be even more if you decide to feed your puppy canned food as opposed to dry food. Out of the three types of food -- dry, moist and canned -- if you're trying to get the most bang for your buck, dry food is the way to go. Moist and canned food contain more water than food. Some moist foods are more than 55 percent water, and canned food can be more that 80 percent.
If you choose to make your own puppy food, factor in the nutritional needs of your specific breed of puppy. This can be tricky in the beginning, so seek advice from your veterinarian about a menu that ensures you're providing everything your puppy needs. If you choose to give your dog raw meat, such as you would on the BARF diet, stay alert for signs of sickness, which can mean your puppy has a parasite.
Regardless of what type of food you choose to feed your puppy, feed him three times a day, as close as possible to the same time every day. This puts your puppy on a routine to eat at mealtime instead of snacking throughout the entire day. In doing this, he will also set going to the bathroom on a routine. This can assist you in potty training. Once your puppy reaches 6 months old, you can drop the feedings to twice daily as long as you're following the suggested feeding amounts listed on the food label.
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