The period extending from birth through the end of growth is a period of intense development. Providing the puppy with a good diet is essential to obtain a harmonious growth and prevent pathological problems
This is the basic rule that’s always worth remembering: a puppy must eat neither too much, nor too little, and at any rate should not be stuffed under the pretext of pleasing him. Overfeeding has detrimental consequences. It leads to early excess weight gain in the large breed puppy and predisposes him to suffering from osteoarticular problems. In the puppy of a small-sized breed, it may promote multiplication of the cells making up the adipose tissue, and favor the installation of an obese condition at adulthood.
A well-chosen energy content and observance of intakes determined according to proper bases enable to act preventively against the risk of excess weight gain. Contrarily to a number of widespread ideas, biologically, the dog needs no “variety” in his diet and is even a poor “taster,” choosing chiefly his foods thanks to a highly developed sense of smell.
After weaning, the number of meals will have to change with age, starting with four meals a day in the weeks following weaning, before switching to three, and then to two at mid-growth. Ideally, food quantities to be distributed should be based on the growth curves of the different types of dogs and on their specific requirements or on the monitoring of the animal’s overweight condition.
Protein, lipids, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, trace elements... Every nutrient of the food intake has a role of its own. Excesses and deficiencies are just as detrimental to the puppy’s health. Thus, a large breed puppy is more demanding than a small breed puppy as regards his calcium intake. If they eat the same food, the former runs the risk of suffering from calcium deficiency.
A quality growth food is a Health Nutrition food precisely suited to a type of puppy, according to the size of his breed and his age, his sensitivities or the particular features of his breed. At the end of growth, Health Nutrition enables to adopt a so-called “maintenance” diet for adult dogs, that perfectly meets the adult dog’s requirements.
Food, his master’s attention and a good place to sleep are very important elements for the dog.
As far as his diet is concerned, here are the 10 commandments of the dog owner, drawn up by behaviorist veterinarians.