How Many Times Should My 3 Month Old Puppy Eat Is A Premium Dog Food Really That Much Better For Your Dog?

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Is A Premium Dog Food Really That Much Better For Your Dog?

==========The Scoop on Premium Dog Food========

If you’re interested in premium dog food, then I probably don’t have to tell you about the importance of diet in keeping your dog active and healthy. You already know you want something better than “average” for your furry friend.

But how much do you really know about what’s in a premium food and what your particular pet’s needs are? I’m not a vet, but I know a thing or two about health and nutrition. (As a family dentist who has practiced for twenty years, I have seen first hand the effects of poor eating habits on human health — and especially on human teeth!!).

Like you, your dog must deal with the effects of stress, age, exertion, a polluted environment and foods grown in nutrient-depleted soils. unlike you he must receive practically all his nourishment from one food. Sure, you can give him a few treats or the occasional table scrap (not too many I hope!), but otherwise he eats from the same bag or can every day. You want him to get complete nutrition from that one food.

===========Complete Nutrition?================

Even the experts seem to disagree on exactly what complete nutrition is. Perhaps this explains why there are so many premium dog food formulas out there. However, there is one thing they agree on: high quality dog ​​food is better for your pet than economy and grocery store brands. Although you will pay more, you usually get what you pay for.

Experts also agree on this, because high-quality food is more nutritionally dense and easier to digest, your dog won’t need to eat as much. One study even concluded that if you feed your dog the recommended amounts on each package, you’d end up saving money with the premium formulas. That’s because your dog needs to eat much less of it. (You’ll save on pooper scoopers, too!)

Another way to know if your dog is getting a proper diet it is simple to observe him. Are his eyes sparkling, his coat silky and shiny, and his skin free from dryness and itching? Is he at a healthy weight? What about his energy level? This can vary from one animal to another, but as you get to know yours, you’ll know when your dog isn’t feeling well.

Of course, any persistent health problems should be looked at by your vet, and the same goes for any special dietary needs. But generally you will know if your friend is doing well on the diet you are feeding him. If you see signs that he is not, try a different formula or a different brand of high quality dog ​​food.

Introduce new foods gradually, especially if you have a picky eater. And while we’re on the subject, it’s always nice if your dog enjoys eating his food. This has much less to do with taste than smell. Dogs have fewer taste buds than us, but about 40 times more smell receptors. So make sure that he eats with joy, and does not simply choose his food.
Here are some basic guidelines you can follow:

=============Essential Nutrients==============

Every dog ​​needs the right amounts of protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals and water. Your dog needs to have all of these in the right proportions to stay healthy. Needs vary by life stage, breed and activity level. Dog food companies make high quality dog ​​food for all life stages, from puppy to senior. An average adult dog needs a daily intake of about five ounces for every ten pounds of weight, with essential nutrients in the following proportions:

Protein –23% of total intake

fats –5% of the total consumption

Carbohydrates –65% of total intake

Additional vitamins and minerals your dog needs are: Vitamins A, D, E, B-complex, Niacin, Biotin, Folic Acid, Choline and Pantothenic Acid; Calcium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium Chloride, Magnesium, Iron, Copper, Manganese, Zinc, Iodine and Selenium.

It is generally agreed that dogs do better with a protein source that is primarily meat than soybeans and grains. Check the label. All US food labels must list ingredients in order of their amount. If meat byproducts are listed, they should come after the real meat, not before it. Meat products are an inferior source of protein, and are essentially what’s left after the quality meat is removed. “Crude protein” can be a similarly bad source because it can include parts of the animal that can’t even be digested or absorbed by the average dog (hair, beaks, etc.).

Omega fatty acids is a hot topic in human nutrition these days, and has been found to be just as important in the dog diet. Both should be present, and in the right proportion. Top dog food companies have done the research on this and adjusted the ratios, but as always, ask your vet if you’re unsure.

===========Wet vs. Dry=============

You can buy high-quality dog ​​food in almost any form, but which one is the best? Again, most experts seem to agree. Dry food is less likely to allow plaque to build up on the teeth, less likely to harbor bacteria if left out too long, and results in firmer, more compact stools. Semi-moist foods are convenient but for some reason (I’m not sure what) don’t offer the same nutritional benefits as premium meals or canned foods.

That said, I’ve also heard arguments suggesting that a diet of exclusively dry food can be a strain on a dog’s kidneys. So, to be on the safe side, check with your vet.

===========Life Stages=============

puppies need more calories and essential nutrients than adult dogs. They need up to twice as many calories per ounce of body weight and should get 25% to 30% of their energy from protein depending on the breed.

Most premium dog food brands consider this in their puppy formulas, but it doesn’t hurt to check the label. From six to eight weeks of age a puppy should be fully weaned and eat its dry food constantly. After that, different breeds reach their mature weight at different rates, anywhere from 9 months to 24 months. So it is difficult to give an age or weight at which you should take your pet off puppy food. Again, your vet can help here.

Also remember not to try to “speed up” the growing process by overfeeding. If she grows too fast, a dog can develop bone growth disorders. A puppy should eat three to four meals a day, because he is growing fast but still has a small belly, but do not overdo it with portions.

An adult dogs need to eat according to their size and energy requirements and should be fed two meals a day. This is often referred to by the premium dog food companies as a “maintenance diet”.

Unlike cats, dogs are not strictly meat eaters. In fact, a dog is more like an omnivore and will eat almost anything, whether it’s good for him or not! A certain amount of vegetable matter is part of a dog’s natural diet. Dogs love vegetables like broccoli, carrots, zucchini, peas and beans, and fruits like bananas, apples and melon. These also make great low calorie treats!

One thing you should never feed your dog is chocolate – it contains a chemical called theobromine which is toxic to dogs.

Old man dogs need a high quality dog ​​food that will help ward off and manage the effects of aging. Because different breeds vary so much, it’s difficult to give an age at which you should switch to a senior diet. The ASPCA recommends using weight as a guideline, and offers the following:

Small breeds or dogs weighing less than 20 pounds: 7 years of age

Medium breeds or dogs weighing 21 to 50 pounds: 7 years

Large breeds or dogs weighing 51 to 90 pounds: 6 years

Giant breeds or dogs weighing 91 pounds or more: 5 years

The ASPCA recommends that you start treating the symptoms of old age before they are obvious. Just like us, dogs will begin to accumulate more body fat as they age even when they consume fewer calories. (At least we are not alone!). Muscle mass will tend to decrease, but this does not mean that you should decrease your older dog’s protein intake. If anything, protein is more important than ever to help maintain muscle mass, so avoid senior dog food formulas with reduced protein.

One thing you want to feed him less of is calories. Obesity is a real problem in adult dogs, and many owners don’t even realize their dog is overweight. In addition to portion size and calorie content, one way to avoid an overweight dog is to resist giving him table scraps. Most human foods are not good for your dog.

===========How Much to Eat=============

How is your dog’s weight? You should be able to feel your dog’s spine and ribs with light finger pressure, but not really see them. If you have to “dig” to find them, your dog is overweight and if you can actually see her ribs, she is underweight.

If you’re not sure how much to feed, you’ll love the interactive Dog Food Calculator on the PetsMart homepage! It is the result of considerable research that has been published in scientific journals and accepted by industry experts. You can determine the right amount of food to feed your dog and find out how long that 40 lb bag will last!

===========Supplements=============

If you are all set to eat nutritionally complete premium dog food, do you still need supplements? This is another hotly debated topic. As a rule, it seems that most dogs do well without supplements. For certain dogs and certain conditions supplements can make a difference. For example, a dog that is not thriving and there is no other medical explanation for it might get better with supplements. Or, dogs with certain skin conditions may benefit from supplements. Because there is a danger of doing more harm than good, you absolutely should discuss supplements with your vet.

If you decide to use one, choose one that is made from natural sources and is designed as a multivitamin formulated specifically for dogs. That way she will get everything in the right amounts and proportions. Add it to the diet twice a week so you don’t overwhelm or suppress your dog’s own internal regulatory mechanisms.

=======Special Diets==========

There are many reasons why a dog might be put on a special diet. Some dogs are very sensitive to certain ingredients in commercial dog foods. Even if you feed her the best of high quality dog ​​food, if your dog is not thriving, her diet may be a problem for her. Owners have used alternative diets — holistic, raw food, even kosher — to optimize their pet’s health. Some choose these diets simply because they believe they are better, not because their dog has problems.

We will discuss special diets in a future article. By now, I hope you’ve gained some useful insight into the benefits of high-quality dog ​​food in addition to economical brands.

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