When looking for puppy food, keep in mind that their requirements are not like adult dogs’. We understand how overwhelming it can be to pick between varying brands, meat types, and nutritional values. Don’t worry — we’ve created the ultimate guide to puppy nutrition, including a list of the best canned dog food for puppies that you should be getting!
At four weeks old, puppies can start weaning off their mother’s milk. During this time, we should help them lay the foundation for healthy adulthood. So what is needed to raise strong and happy puppies?
The Importance of Good Nutrition for Puppies
While adult dogs maintain the same length and weight for long periods, puppies grow quickly. They need to develop their organs, muscles, teeth, bones, and fur in a short time. Below are reasons why proper nutrition is crucial for puppies.
● Grow steadily: Puppies need an extensive range of nutrients to achieve their ideal growth rate. Check out this chart to learn more about recommended puppy growth by breed.
● Boost immunity: Puppies need a healthy diet to fight off diseases like cancer, diabetes, and infections.
● Prevent developmental orthopedic diseases: These disorders often cause pain and lameness in puppies. Read this 2005 study to learn more about such preventable conditions.
As mentioned earlier, puppies need appropriate foods because they need more nutrients than older dogs to support their growth. While adult dog food isn’t toxic for puppies, it may lead to harmful long-term effects. Feeding puppies dog food for adults for long periods can restrict their growth and lead to health problems throughout their lives.
Additionally, puppies have weaker jaws, teeth, and stomachs than adult dogs. Processing adult dog food will be a challenge for them.
Essential Nutrients For Puppies
Now that we’ve established the importance of proper puppy nutrition, let’s go through the components we should look for in their food.
Puppy food is typically more expensive than adult dog food because it contains more nutrients necessary for growth. As responsible fur parents, we should invest in what’s best for our puppies, including food.
We’ve listed the essential nutrients puppies need to stay healthy. The ideal combination of these components will bring out your puppy’s shining personality.
Water is critical for all living creatures — including puppies! Being 70 – 80% water, puppies won’t last three days without it. Keeping them hydrated helps them function at full strength and ward off unnecessary health concerns. Let’s delve deeper into the importance of hydration for puppies.
● Boost digestion: Water helps puppies break down the food they ingest.
● Distribute nutrients: Proper hydration enables blood to carry nutrients from the nose to the tail.
● Remove waste: Puppies get rid of toxins through urination and hydration will help the process.
For puppies, we recommend one ounce of water per pound. However, it’s okay to drink more during the summer and after long walks.
Dogs cannot naturally produce essential fatty acids, making the nutrients crucial in puppy food.
Contrary to popular belief, dogs sweat — just not the way we do. Fats provide puppies with the insulation they need to regulate their temperature. So it’ll help to make sure that your puppy food of choice contains omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids to meet daily requirements.
As with humans, it’s best to feed puppies with healthy fats, including plant oils, whole eggs, and fatty fish. Too much unhealthy fat like fat trimmings and bones may lead to health complications.
The protein in puppy food provides furbabies with the amino acids necessary for muscle, hair, skin, and nail growth. Dogs can’t store proteins, so constant feeding is essential to achieve ideal protein levels.
We recommend animal-based proteins like beef, chicken, lamb, and fish for puppies. There are several plant-based protein options in the market, but unless you’re very sure what you’re doing, we do not recommend such protein. It’s best to stick to the protein present in the canned dog food.
Carbohydrates such as barley, wheat, and rice provide puppies with the glucose they need to replenish their energy. Puppies will thrive on a diet of at least 20% carbohydrates.
When picking puppy food, choose fiber-rich foods. They can keep puppies full for long periods.
Vitamins support crucial roles in a puppy’s development, from maintaining overall health to strengthening bones. A well-balanced diet provides puppies with vitamins A, B, D, E, and K — essential nutrients for their growth. Make sure to include them in your puppy’s nutrition.
Like vitamins, puppies need minerals to boost their development. Puppies cannot produce minerals, so we have to feed them with nutritious foods. We recommend generous servings of the minerals listed below.
● Phosphorus: This mineral supports motor functions. It aids in activities like running, walking, and chewing. Animal meat often contains generous servings of phosphorus.
● Calcium: As with humans, this nutrient improves bone health. Puppies who don’t get enough calcium often experience muscle twitching.
● Sodium: Often found in animal meat, this mineral prevents swelling. We recommend at least 0.3% sodium content in puppy food.
● Iron: This mineral carries oxygen throughout the body, aiding in energy production. The lack of iron in a diet may lead to lethargy.
● Zinc: The most crucial function of this mineral is keeping your puppy’s skin and fur healthy. Generally, puppies need 25 mg of zinc for every 50 pounds of weight.
The Top 3 Best Canned Dog Food For Puppies
Considering all the essential nutrients for puppies, we listed the top three best canned dog food for puppies. All these recommendations contain substantial amounts of nutrients and calories necessary for growth.
Purina One SmartBlend Natural Puppy Dog Food Lamb and Rice Flavor
Most fur parents are familiar with the Purina brand — it’s been around for over 90 years! The brand offers an extensive range of dog food for complete and balanced nutrition for different life stages.
We love the Purina One SmartBlend Natural Puppy Dog Food in lamb and rice for puppies! It’s ideal for all breeds and also available in chicken and large breed chicken flavors. It does not contain any poultry by-products.
This wet food from Nestlé’s Purina brand contains real lamb and a fair share of healthy fats, proteins, and carbohydrates through ocean fish, lamb broth, and long grain rice. Additionally, it contains several essential vitamins and minerals, from calcium to zinc and several B vitamins.
We love how it’s reasonably priced, and fur parents can conveniently identify ingredients and check for allergens. You won’t need a dictionary to understand what the manufacturer put in your puppies’ food.
Pedigree Puppy Ground Dinner Wet Canned Dog Food Chicken & Beef Flavor
Like Purina, dog lovers celebrate the Pedigree brand. The company has been around for over 80 years, providing pets with high-quality food products. It aims to keep dogs strong and happy.
The Pedigree Puppy Ground Dinner Wet Canned Dog Food in chicken and beef is one of the best foods we can recommend for puppies of any breed.
Pedigree claims to use the finest ingredients in the country on this product, including docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) for brain development. It contains a high protein content of 9% and substantial amounts of other essential nutrients.
We recommend this product for price-conscious fur parents who need nutritious, delicious food for their puppies. You can enjoy more savings for buying this product in bulk. Get your 12-pack here.
Royal Canin Canine Health Nutrition Puppy Loaf in Sauce
Founded in 1968 by Jean Cathary, Royal Canin is one of the most loved pet brands worldwide. The company invests heavily in understanding pet needs so it can provide them with reliable tailored nutrition. It achieves desirable results by working with scientists, veterinarians, and pet owners worldwide.
We recommend Royal Canin Canine Health Nutrition Puppy Loaf in Sauce for small breeds like Dachshunds, Pomeranians, and Beagles. This product is an ideal nutrition source for them until they reach 22 pounds.
Check out its ratings to see how pet lovers praise its ability to help puppies grow without upsetting their stomachs. It’s no wonder 84% of clients gave it a five-star rating.
We love how the packaging provides detailed information on ingredients, calorie content, and feeding instructions. It’s hard to go wrong with Royal Canin!
Apart from the usual fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, it contains generous servings of vitamin C. Dogs naturally produce this vitamin, but it’s ideal for puppies who need more of the nutrient.
You can get 12 13.5-ounce cans here. Try it today — your puppies will love you for it!
The Verdict for Best Canned Dog Food For Puppies?
Puppy nutrition differs from that of an adult dog because a puppy has specific growth and development needs. Puppies need a balanced diet of water, fats, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. In most cases, you can find these nutrients in the best canned dog food for puppies.
For us, the top ones are Purina One SmartBlend Natural Puppy Dog Food and Pedigree Puppy Ground Dinner for any breed. We recommend Royal Canin Canine Health Nutrition Puppy Loaf in Sauce for small breeds up to 22 pounds in weight.
Nutrition is crucial in raising puppies, and it’s helpful to update your knowledge on the topic. Visit our website often to learn more about raising healthy, happy puppies.