Hi, I'm Dr. Katy Nelson for Iams with Howdini.
Today we're going to talk about dog nutrition and what
you should look for in your puppy's food.
Just like infants, puppies require different levels of
nutrients than older dogs.
Physically puppies grow fastest during
the first six months.
The right nutrition is critical to
support this rapid growth.
That said, your puppy should only receive premium puppy
food until he reaches his adult height and weight.
That's typically in the first year for small and medium
breeds and can be up to two years for
large and giant breeds.
One more thing to consider is that a puppy's energy
requirements can be nearly twice that of an adult dog.
And since their stomachs are smaller they need more
nutritionally dense food formulated just for puppies to
help them meet their energy needs.
There are three types of food.
Semi-moist, which comes in sealed packages.
And moist, or canned.
Most veterinarians and trainers recommend dry kibble
food because of its fat content and the fact that
moist food can spoil.
Dry kibble also helps with tartar control which is
particularly important for his developing teeth.
When you're shopping for food, there a couple of things you
want to look for and keep in mind.
Number one, look on the label for a statement that says
formulated to meet the nutritional levels established
by the AAFCO dog food Nutrient Profiles for Growth.
Number two, read the ingredients list on the back
of the package and look for real meat as the first
Puppies grow the fastest during the first
six months of life.
And because growth rates differ among breed sizes, you
need to feed a formula designed to address the needs
of your puppy's breed and size.
Ideally, puppy food should also contain animal-based
protein for strong muscles.
The protein requirement for growing poppies is higher than
that for adult dogs.
High quality protein is critical for puppies to create
new body tissue as they grow.
Calcium for strong bones and teeth.
Iron for healthy blood.
DHA for the brain, central nervous system, and vision.
DHA is a key ingredient found naturally in mother's milk and
is important for a baby's neural development.
Just like a baby, your puppy's ability to learn depends on
healthy brain development.
Probiotics for a healthy immune system, because 65% of
your puppy's immune system is in its digestive tract.
And high in calories for all the energy a puppy burns.
The nutritional needs for puppies differ for different
Large breed puppies grow more quickly.
Because of that, they actually need less calcium so their
bones don't grow too fast. Medium breed dogs need a
careful balance of calories and nutrients to be sure that
they don't gain excess weight.
While small breed puppies need nutrient dense food in small
bites because their metabolism tends to be faster.
and they have different energy needs than larger dogs.
Another important thing to know is that what is good for
humans is not necessarily good for animals.
Because proper nutrition is critical for optimal
development, and because human food doesn't offer the proper
balance of nutrients puppies need, it is important teach
your whole family that feeding your puppy or your dog table
scraps is a big no-no and a major health hazard.
Now let's talk about feeding schedules.
Just like babies, puppies do best on a regular schedule.
Schedules teach them that there are times to eat, times
to play, and times to potty.
Obviously the feeding schedule will largely be dictated by
your own personal schedule.
But no matter what, it is critical that puppies younger
than four months be feed multiple times per day.
Depending on your puppies breed size at around six
months you can start to limit feelings to twice a day.
Also keep in mind that eating is soon followed by the urge
to go to the bathroom.
If you work away from your house and are unable to feed
and walk your puppy as often as needed, think hiring a dog
walker or ask a neighbor to help you keep your puppy on
For more information on house training, watch "How to house
train your puppy."
Another important nutritional determinant is how much you
were supposed to feed your developing puppy.
Even though the back of the puppy food bags usually have
suggested portion sizes based on weight, they are not always
right for your puppy.
So it's best to pay attention to your puppy's body and talk
to your veterinarian.
Remember a fat puppy is not necessarily a healthy puppy.
Just as childhood obesity can lead to adult health issues in
humans, monitoring a puppy's weight is very important to
ensure proper development.
Treats are another food source to consider when determining
It is important to limit treating to less than 10% of
your puppy's daily caloric intake.
When selecting treats, hard chew treats are ideal because
they improve dental health through gnawing.
Also try to save treating for training sessions to reward
good behavior, but be careful not to overdo it.
For more information on training, watch our video
"Puppy training basics."
The last part of puppy nutrition we are going to talk
about is water.
Puppies need fresh, clean water available at all times.
Like us, is their most important nutrient.
You should change your puppy's water often, at
least once a day.
Providing fresh, clean water greatly reduces the risk of
disease, and therefore keeps your pet happy and healthy.
I'm Dr. Katy Nelson for Iams with Howdini.
And I hope that you found this helpful as you welcome your
new addition into your family.
For more information on puppy care and training, visit