Dogs are as unique as people, but despite their differences, they all need a well-balanced diet for good health. However, dogs of different ages and sizes have different nutritional needs, and this is especially true for puppies. When you factor in developmental needs, ingredients and your puppy’s size and breed, choosing the right food can be difficult.
The energy requirements of a puppy can be nearly twice those of an adult dog. This means that a puppy might not have the stomach capacity to eat enough food to meet his needs unless the food is specially formulated.
When choosing a puppy food, select one that provides a highly digestible, nutrient-dense, 100% complete premium formula for growth. Such high-quality formulas contain the vitamins, minerals, protein, fat and carbohydrates your dog needs for sound and healthy development. With a premium formula, your puppy may have:
Puppies grow fastest during the first six months of life, and because growth rates differ among breed sizes, you need a formula designed to address the needs of your puppy’s breed or size. Feed your puppy this formula based on the recommended amounts for his weight and age until he is an adult.
Although large-breed dogs have bigger bones than medium or small breeds, large-breed puppies do not need more calcium. University studies have shown that:
Overfeeding and weight gain can contribute to developmental bone problems. This makes managing food intake even more critical. Puppies are at greater risk for developmental bone problems if they are overfed.
A formula with reduced fat and calories promotes optimum growth. Controlling the rate of growth to promote normal development is another reason to feed a large-breed diet, such as IAMS™ ProActive Health™ Smart Puppy Large Breed.
Medium-breed puppies have needs between those of large- and small-breed dogs. A medium-breed puppy’s nutritional demands can be satisfied by feeding a 100% complete and balanced formula that features moderate amounts of all the essential vitamins and nutrients, such as IAMS ProActive Health Smart Puppy Original.
Small-breed puppies have unique needs due to their small mouths and small stomachs, as well as the rapid growth spurt they experience when growing to adult size. That’s why it’s important to pack a lot of nutrition and energy into a small amount of food. A poor-quality diet might fill a puppy’s stomach before he can eat enough food to satisfy his nutritional needs. The result can be improper muscle and skeletal development and growth impairment.
IAMS™ puppy foods are formulated to be energy- and nutrient-dense to meet the needs of growing puppies. The IAMS™ formula for small and toy puppy breeds, IAMS™ ProActive Health™ Smart Puppy Small & Toy Breed, has concentrated nutrition for the lifelong health of your small- or toy-breed dog.
Does your mature dog sniff at his bowl and walk away instead of digging in? You may think he’s just being picky, but it’s important to keep an eye on how much he’s eating — especially if he’s a senior. While age-related diminishment of the senses of smell and taste may account for some of his disinterest in food, appetite loss can also indicate a serious medical problem.
“It’s important to give your dog enough calories because weight loss can be debilitating to senior pets,” says Wendy Brooks, D.V.M., who warns that a loss in appetite should be mentioned to your vet. A good rule of thumb: If your pet hasn’t eaten in a day, make a visit to the vet. Here are six ways to entice your canine friend with a nourishing meal.
Many animals find canned food more palatable because they like the taste and texture, Brooks says. You can top their favorite dry food with room-temperature wet food.
Dogs like a warm or room-temperature (not hot or cold) meal. Avoid serving him day-old wet food from the refrigerator, and keep his food away from heat. Another reason he might not be eating: It's too hot outside.
Dogs prefer consistency when it comes to their food. Don't change every day, but try a new flavor, such as lamb or chicken, and see if he responds (it may trigger his sense of smell). To avoid an upset stomach, introduce a new food by mixing it with his old food in equal increments each day.
Common mature-dog health issues, such as arthritis or joint pain, can make it difficult for him to access his bowls. Keep food and water where he spends most of his time. Put a water bowl on all floors of the house, too.
Older pets are at a higher risk of dehydration. Provide a clean bowl with fresh water at all times. It will help prevent disease, such as a kidney condition, and aid in digestion.
Dogs are people pleasers. If you see him eating, give him a little verbal reward. He'll know it makes you happy and will repeat the behavior.