The growth phase is of great importance for the future life of the pup. During the growth phase the body gets its final shape and composition. Tissues and organs grow out and some have reached their final stage because they can never be re-formed. Tissues such as cartilage and nerve tissue will therefore never be able to fully recover after damage.
This means that as owner we must provide the best conditions during the growth, so that the puppy can get the most out of his genetic possibilities.
Of course, part of the growth has already taken place in the womb of the mother dog, but we can not change that anymore. Now we have to ensure that the rest of the growth goes as smoothly as possible. This page gives you information about the puppy’s nutrition. For healthy and healthy growth the puppy needs building blocks that have to be supplied by the food. A lesser quality diet can easily lead to problems in the growth with all its consequences. Unfortunately, many crossbreeds and modern dog breeds have become susceptible to non-optimal nutrition, some consequences only come to light years later.
Below you will find 10 well-founded advice from your veterinarian, which will be explained later in this booklet.
1. Perform a complete and balanced diet and do not disturb the balance!
2. Choose an A-brand nutrition
3. Choose a food that is most suitable for your puppy
4. Do not give baby, toddler or infant food to your puppy
5. Pay attention to the composition of the food
6. Pay attention to the quality of the diet
7. Choose responsible chewing materials
8. Prevent over-condition in your dog
9. Perform additions only on medical grounds
10. Changes of diet should be introduced gradually
1. Perform a complete and balanced diet and do not disturb the balance.
It is very important that the food you give your puppy contains everything the puppy needs. This means not only all nutrients that are necessary, but also that these nutrients are present in the right proportions. That is meant by a complete and balanced diet. Do not add extra ingredients to the food yourself, this can disturb the balance.
It may be clear that the diet must contain everything the pup needs for its growth, but the relationships deserve further explanation. Some of the nutrients need the puppy very little and others in much larger quantities. In a number of cases, different nutrients use the same absorption mechanisms in the intestinal wall and thus enter the blood of the animal. At the moment that nutrients are not offered in the right proportion, they are also no longer included in the right proportion and a shortage or excess of certain nutrients occurs in the body.
“Complete feed” is a legally protected term and means that the food contains everything that an animal needs, provided the food is also intended for that animal. Unfortunately, frequent use is made of marketing terms that arise as if a food were complete.
2. Choose an A-brand power supply
A-brands have a reputation to uphold and therefore work very carefully. Not only do they have research possibilities, but they also have good production processes that are strictly controlled. A-brands apply the latest scientific knowledge to their products and guarantee good quality. It is not for nothing that these are the brands that veterinarians accept as suppliers of dietary foods. These dietary foods are used in sick animals and veterinarians can assess the effect on the basis of the influence on the health of the animal and sometimes with further research such as blood tests.
These brands also work with solid compositions (recipe) of the food and safe raw materials based on a scientific choice and not based on the price of the raw materials.
By indelible batch codes and an unchangeable indication of the production date or expiration date, you know what you are buying and you can always appeal to the manufacturer if the product does not meet your expectations.
3. Choose a diet that is most suitable for your puppy
Due to the enormous variation in breeds, there is also a huge variation in puppies. Because of this variation, there are also all kinds of risks that are related to (incorrect) food. For example, pups from very small breeds can have a sugar shortage in the case of a wrong feeding schedule and puppies of medium and large dogs can be sensitive to skeletal problems again.
In addition, there are varieties that are sensitive to certain substances in the diet such as the Labrador Retriever that is sensitive to copper or, for example, the German Shepherd and Great Dane that are sensitive to the development of loose stools.
A-brands will supplement the diet with things that promote, for example, the development of good intestinal bacteria or that help to increase the resistance of the young animal in a different way. Or measures are taken to minimize the chance of growing growth disorders.
Advice: choose the A-brand you want and can pay, choose a product that best suits your type of puppy and possibly breed and feed your puppy on “the sight”. Use the nutritional table as a guideline but check the nutritional status of your pup with the eye and the hand. A puppy needs to grow up slim! Do not feed any product for adult dogs to your puppy, this causes a shortage of many important nutrients that are important for proper tissue formation!
4. Do not give baby, toddler or infant nutrition to your puppy
In the clinic, we regularly report that baby, toddler or toddler food is given to puppies. All these products are not suitable as food for the puppy. This is because these products are tailored to the needs of a child and this does not correspond at all to the needs of a puppy. Other things such as milk, yogurt, cheese, and bread can be very dangerous in the growth because of the contribution to the development of growth disorders.
Chocolate, currants, and raisins are outright toxic to most dogs.
5. Note the composition of the food
This is very difficult for you as an owner. Legal rules do not allow expressions on the packaging that say something about quality. This way you will not find any energy value, digestibility or accurate information about used raw materials on the packaging.
Here you will, therefore, have to rely on the advice of a veterinarian or a real nutritionist. With complex calculations based on the analysis of the packaging, it is possible to find out a few things, but then the picture is not yet complete.
Another disadvantage is that some raw materials such as “poultry flour” may sound, but are excellent raw materials. On the other hand, a term “chicken” does not say anything about the quality of the chicken used. The combination of expert advice and A-brand generally guarantees a good choice.
The term “fresh meat” only states legally that the meat is not heated. These “Fresh meat feeds” are not always complete.
6. Note the quality of the power supply
This is also difficult to estimate for you as an owner, but there is some good advice to give.
– never buy food from a dispenser
– buy only food in an original package with batch code and expiry date
– buy only food that can last for some time until the expiration date
– do not buy food that is stored in hot places or stored.
– packaging with little or no oxygen is the most beautiful because the properties of the nutrients are then stored
the longest. This is stated on the packaging as ‘packaged under protective atmosphere’.
Again, an A-brand in the original packaging with a good use-by date is a good choice. Dry food is a sensible choice. It stimulates the chewing by the puppy and is also the most advantageous because you buy a lot of food and little water.
A-brands only add temperature-sensitive ingredients after the chunk has cooled down. These feeds are free of bacteria and that also needs to prevent spoilage. Puppies absorb enough bacteria from the environment to build up the natural intestinal flora.
7. Choose responsible chewing materials
It is important that pups chew well and regularly. It meets a natural need and ensures a good development of the masticatory muscles.
Chewing materials must meet a number of criteria. Many chewing materials affect the nutritional balance or are useless food materials. Buffalo skin is a sensible choice. Choose an item that matches the size of your puppy’s jaws. Be careful that dogs do not eat out of competition or just from voraciousness the last too big piece in one go, that can cause problems.
Chewing materials and toys that are not meant to be used as food should not be eaten, so no pieces may come from. Too often veterinarians have to remove a piece of jammed toy/chewing material or a piece of floss from the intestine.
If a buffalo hide or floss becomes filthy, it will freeze for 24 hours and then defrost miracles. Ribs, knees, marrow pits and other bones are urgently advised against for various reasons.
8. Prevent over-condition in your dog
Today, many adult animals are overweight. Simply put, they absorb more energy than they consume. The solution is simple: eat less and/or exercise more. There are limits to less food. If you significantly reduce the daily feed, ALL nutrients are reduced, including the good ones! It is better to use a special slimming diet.
Young animals with overweight have a greater chance of growing disorders, in general it is wise to grow a young animal in a slender way.
At the end of the growth period (different from race to variety), you have to be careful, the energy requirement will go down considerably, so the feed does (quantity and type) needs to be adjusted. Keep in mind that the snacks that you give as a reward during training also contain energy. You can use the litter of puppy food as a reward or special reward packages that are suitable for puppies. Subtract these chunks from the daily allowable amount of food.
9. Perform additions only on medical indication
Nutritional supplements are offered through all kinds of channels, and one promises even more than the other. Unfortunately, these supplements are not yet covered by regulatory legislation such as medicines.
If you have a good diet (A-brand) than supplements are not necessary. For animals in the growth phase it can even be very harmful. This is mainly caused by the composition of the so-called filler, which is the non-active substance of the supplement. This part can reach up to 95% of the product!
Only give supplements on the advice of your veterinarian, your veterinarian can assess the quality and assess whether it can contribute to the health of your dog.
10. Changes in nutrition should be gradually introduced
You must gradually incorporate a new food. In this way, the bacteria in the intestine (intestinal flora) can best get used to the new food. This is especially important in puppies and if the quality between the old and the new food differs significantly. A sudden transition can give rise to diarrhea.