Adult dogs show great differences in weight: both 1 kg Chihuahuas and 100 kg San Bernardos can be found.
This difference in size determines, when they are puppies, both their growth rate and the age when they reach sexual maturity and stop growing (there will be puppies that grow until 8 they are months old and others that continue to grow until they are 24). The growth curves give us an idea of what happens at this stage.
The growth rate of each puppy requires, therefore, a diet that meets the specific energy and nutritional needs for their proper development. That is why a large or giant breed puppy (or a mixed-race with large parents) may need different food than others. Taking care of the puppy’s diet is essential to avoid problems such as overweight or malformation, as well as bone degeneration (it is common to find problems in elbows, shoulders and hips in dogs that, during their growth stage, received an incorrect diet).
If a puppy comes into your life, it is important to keep in mind the following:
- Has the puppy been properly weaned?
Solid food begins to be introduced on the 4th week of life (each week a new foodstuff will be introduced, initially moistened with infant formula or mineral water). Ideally, the puppies need to spend two months nursing with their mother so that the weaning is gradual. That time is key for an adequate development of their digestive system, their immune system and for their socialization. If they are still nursing, and you want to start making the transition to solid food, we recommend that you take a look at our product. Natura diet Starter (very useful also for those puppies that, although they are no longer lactating, still have some immaturity of the digestive system and not have an adequate weight for their age or an adequate bowel movement yet).
- Are you giving them some kind of supplement?
If your puppy is eating good quality food prepared in a responsible manner, with good ingredients and carefully cooked, a priori there will no need for supplements. Too many minerals, for example, cause growth problems. Problems also arise if we give them an extra amount of certain vitamins, apart from what they take in their daily food.
If you believe your dog needs a supplement, check with your veterinarian in order to assess a dietary change (or the most appropriate supplement so as not to unbalance their diet, as a second option).
- Are you providing a balanced food specific to their age?
The needs of a dog during their growth differ from the needs of an adult (or those of a gestating and breastfeeding female; or of a senior dog). Recipes for adults are not suitable for puppies, as the latter may need to eat more food to cover their energy requirements, and by eating more quantity daily, they may be incorporating an excess of minerals, among other nutrients.
There is also a risk that, despite being a recipe appropriate for their age, it is not well balanced. For example, if the food provided is very rich in very fatty flavorings to improve palatability (and that the puppy shows a remarkable desire to eat, which usually reassures the owner), they may take more than recommended and become overweight, which is terribly harmful for larger breeds. Also, the food may have an inadequate calcium and phosphorus concentration or an excess of vitamin D, which can lead to skeletal problems for your pet.
At Dingonatura we love puppies and we like to offer them the best in each moment, so they grow healthy and enjoy eating. We understand variety is the spice of life, and that is why we have created different types of recipes and treats with which to help them in this stage. Both Dingo and Natura diet include complete recipes for this stage that will cover the specific needs of your puppy.
Take a look at our product selection and ask us any questions that may arise.