What Should You Feed Your Puppy?

Owners have a variety of option on the market to choose from when looking for a dog food. Your dog’s nutrition impacts every aspect of their lives. Growth, behavior, health, and mood are all affected by what goes into your dog’s body.

If you are a new dog owner, you may be overwhelmed when you walk into a pet store and go into the food isle. You will be inundated with choices:

  • Premium
  • Natural
  • Healthy
  • Organic
  • Lite
  • Raw

With so much to decide on it seems like almost an impossible decision. Many dog owners find it so overwhelming they will just go to their vet and see what they recommend for them to use. This is not a bad idea. I always recommend having a veterinarians’ input on the health and care of your dog.

Feeding Your Dog

The key components that we want to get out of the food we feed our dogs is health. This encompasses how long your dog will live and the quality of their life.

There are three main types of dog food categories that you have to choose from.

  1. Commercial Dog Food
  2. Homemade Dog Food
  3. Raw Dog Food

Commercial dog food is going to be the food that you find on the shelves at your local grocery store, pet store or veterinarian. This includes wet and dry foods. Commercial dog food is by far the most popular and easiest choice to make. If you Google the term “dog food” you will find over 60,000,000 matches and most are all links to places to buy commercial dog food products.

Homemade dog food is anything you make yourself. The problem with homemade dog food is that there are food items available on the market, which are not good for dogs. Unless you are well educated on what your dog should and should not eat, this option is not for you. If you have read up on the safe foods for dogs and want to experiment with this option, there are many recipes out their on the net for homemade dog food. You will get over 30,000 matches if you Google “homemade dog food recipes.”
A lot of homemade dog foods do not contain the micro elements and a balance of the minerals necessary for your dog’s health. If you want to give it occasionally, then I think it is alright.

Here is a sample recipe:

Lucky and Rippy’s Favorite Dog Food

Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Cook Time: 35 Minutes

Ready In: 50 Minutes

Servings: 12

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds minced chicken meat
  • 2 1/2 cups frozen vegetable blend (no garlic or onions), minced
  • 4 cups rice
  • 6 1/2 cups water

Directions:

  1. Place chicken, vegetables, and rice into a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Stir in water until the mixture is smooth. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
  2. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the rice is tender and all of the liquid has been absorbed, about 25 minutes. Cool completely before serving; store covered in the refrigerator.

If you are interest in going the Raw Dog Food way there are many websites that tailor to this food option. Nature’s Variety is a popular choice. Most of the meals on a raw diet are sent to you are frozen organic meals composed of meat, organs, and raw ground bone, with wholesome fruits and vegetables. Common ingredients found in the meals are: Chicken, Turkey, Apples, Carrots, Squash, Flaxseed, eggs, Broccoli, Lettuce, Spinach, Dried Kelp, Apple Cider Vinegar, Parsley, Honey, Salmon Oil, Olive Oil, Blueberries, Rosemary, Sage, Clove.

The BARF diet is another popular choice amongst raw food diets. BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) is all about feeding pets a diet based on human grade whole foods.

Dogs can be expensive to care for, and food is one of the main costs that go along with a dog. Some dog owners feel that they wouldn’t feed their dog what they wouldn’t feed themselves and chose the homemade or raw food choices. Other dog owners feel that millions of dogs every year eat commercial food and survive just fine.

I recommend the premium commercial dog foods and I am wary of the raw diets because of potential bacterial contamination and unbalanced nutrients. The premium pet foods undergo rigorous testing and meet the nutritional needs of your pet at each stage of their life.

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