How to choose puppy food

Young dogs should always be fed on a specialised puppy food as it has been specifically formulated to provide all the essential nutrients, carefully balanced, to ensure puppies grow up to be healthy and strong.

Feeding an unsuitable or unbalanced diet during puppyhood can have serious consequences, not only to developmental growth, but also to overall health and immunity later in life. 

Your Choice

Most importantly, you should feel comfortable and happy with the food you choose and not feel pressured into making choices you are not entirely satisfied with. Whether you choose to feed dry food, wet food, raw food or a mixture of all three, be sure to thoroughly read the pet food label to understand the contents as many pet foods are not as good as they may first appear on the front of the packaging or on the T.V. advert.

Tips for Choosing

Ideally, you should be able to recognise all of the individual ingredients listed and they will be presented in order of highest inclusion to the lowest. Good quality pet food should have their meat listed first as this indicates what the food is predominantly made from. However, be aware of ‘meat derivatives’ and ‘animal by-products’ as this doesn’t reveal the type of meat being used and could be a mixture of several different animal proteins. Although dogs are omnivores (can eat a mix of food from both plant and animal origin), the nutrients found in meat proteins are utilised more efficiently by a dog’s digestive system and contain essential amino acids necessary for growth, development and cell function. This is why we believe dogs thrive on a predominately meat-based diet, with a healthy portion of fresh fruits, vegetables and carbohydrates.

Avoid artificial colours, preservatives and sugars, especially with young puppies as these ingredients will often result in hyperactivity and the inability to concentrate or completely rest. Look for a food which states natural ingredients, high quality meat inclusion and minimal processing, together with the company having freely available information and being able to provide professional help and advice if needed. Look at what a dog would naturally choose to eat (within reason) then decide on your puppy’s food accordingly. After all, they are your newest ‘family member’.

Our friends at Natures Menu have a wide range of food suitable to feed from weaning, until puppies reach an age when they can be transitioned over to adult food. What you choose to feed is your choice and you should research all avenues including practicalities of feeding, cost and availability before making a decision.

Thank you to Natures Menu for contributing this article. To find out more about their puppy and dog food, click here.

With an Agria Pet Insurance policy, you can access the free Pet Health Helpline, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The veterinary-trained team will advise on any concerns or queries that you may have over your pet’s health – much like the NHS 111 service for people. Call free on 03333 32 19 47.