Puppies have specific dietary needs, different from adult dogs and senior dogs. A delicate nutrient balance and the proper amount of calories is important to ensure your puppy’s nutritional needs are being met.
Balanced calcium content
Calcium is responsible for strong bones, and puppies rely on it to grow. However, there can be too much of a good thing. Puppy food with excess calcium can lead to orthopedic disease as an adult, especially in large breed puppies. Look for puppy food diets that have been carefully crafted to provide optimal amounts of calcium, balanced by phosphorus, to promote adequate bone growth, while also reducing the risk of potentially debilitating disorders later in life.
Critical nutrient level
Puppies require increased amounts of protein, amino acids, essential fats, and some vitamins and minerals in their diets. AAFCO guidelines set the standard for minimum requirements of each of these. DHA is one nutrient dog food brands add to puppy diets, as it’s known to enhance brain development and learning, and is extremely beneficial during the growing phase of a puppy's life.
As cute as a chubby puppy is, maintaining puppies at an ideal weight is crucial to preventing orthopedic abnormalities, and helps with long-term health. Calculating how much to feed a puppy yourself can be very challenging, especially as a puppy's caloric needs change as often as every week. Be sure to follow feeding guidelines listed on your puppy’s food label so you don’t overfeed or underfeed your pup.
Everyone understands that puppies have unique requirements for their diets, and as a result, there is a very narrow range of what type of nutrients you can have in the diet without having accesses and without having deficiencies, both of which can cause serious lifelong health problems. As a result, the formulas that Nom Nom has created that are appropriate for puppies take this into consideration and have these optimal levels of nutrients to support normal growth, as animals lay down the structure for the rest of their life in terms of organ development and bone development.
So puppies require a distinct amount of calcium within the diet; too little calcium can cause metabolic bone disease or weakening of the bone, and too much calcium may predispose to certain orthopedic conditions, which can cause early onset arthritis. The diets have been carefully titrated to have the right amounts for puppies, including large breed puppies in those formulas that are labeled for puppies specifically.
Moreover, it is critical that puppies get the right amount of calories. Overweight puppies are prone to some of the same issues that we see in overweight adults and may actually be even more likely to be overweight as they mature. The careful proportions that Nom Nom asks for and puts into the diet is based upon the underlying premise that we can calculate roughly how many calories puppies need after a certain age by using their estimated adult weight.
So if he is a mixed breed dog, then obviously still have some sense; your veterinarian can help you with that weight. Alternatively, if he is a purebred dog, the weight of the parents can be a very good indication of how many calories to feed after about four months of age. So these approaches as well as the individualized data you provide through diet history forms and other things that Nom Nom asks for are really critical to the tailored experience and to maintain an optimal weight during growth and development.