New Puppies and what to feed them the first year

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large breed puppies

large breed puppies

Spring time is here and it seems everyone is getting a new puppy!  There are always a lot of questions regarding a new puppy but one of the most important is what to feed your puppy during the first year of its life.  If you have a large breed dog i.e. Great Dane or German Shepherd , or a small breed  Dachshund they each have  different nutritional needs, not just more food.  Too many calories for a large breed dog can put on excess weight and cause skeletal problems in overfed puppies.  If puppies are under four months of age they can eat whatever they want.  But as they age they require fewer calories per pound.  At that junction it is appropriate to limit the food intake.

Puppies that grow slower will still reach the same size as there over fed counterparts, just a bit later, and healthier.

 Too much calcium in the food is just as bad as too much.  Too much calcium can cause the bones to reshape as excess calcium is deposited on bone tissue, causing abnormalities.

Protein is important for your dog as well.  However  the needs for a large breed dog vary from the needs of a small dog.  For example, for a large breed dog  the food should contain about 26% protein. Because of these variations  It is best that you purchase food that is either breed or  size specific.

Following these guidelines are  very important, by doing this you do NOT have to provide any supplements to your puppy, but rather the food itself will provide all that is needed – Again, this will  vary depending  on the size of your pup.

Good nutrition is important  for proper development of the bones and joints.  After your dog reaches one year of age, unfortunately it is not a puppy anymore.  At this time the food will again need to be changed and transitioned to age/breed and size specific food.

What to think about before you bring a new pet into your home

Have you been itching for a new addition to your family but not sure where to begin?  We have put together a few things you may want to consider before either adopting or purchasing a pet.  If you can adopt a pet it goes without saying that you making a difference in that animal’s life.  Keeping a pet from a shelter and unknown fate feels terrific.

However before you take home your new cute furry friend from the shelter please make sure that you are right for each other.  Is the pet that is up for adoption there because it has a behavior issues or because the previous owner is under financial distress?  If it is a behavior issue, it may require you to put in more time to “straighten things out”.  If this is something that you are unable to take the time to do, perhaps this particular pet might not be the right one for you.  The last thing we want is to take home a pet and then have to “return” him/her because it did not meet up to our expectations.  In addition if you are adopting a pet that is a bit older you may be in for some additional expenses that you were not expecting.  For example perhaps they have very bad periodontal disease that needs to be taken care of.  Easily rectifiable, but needs to be in your budget.

If you have a specific breed in mind (remember to double check breed specific genetic dispositions) then perhaps you need to think about going to a reputable breeder.  But before you do please take into consideration a few things.  Does the temperament of the pet fit in with your lifestyle.  If you have small children perhaps you may not want to get a “high strung” dog like some of the terrier breeds.  Or for instance a Border Collie was bred to herd cattle and sheep.  A Border Collie needs a huge amount of exercise/space.  Would you be able to meet their needs?  If not, then that is not the dog for you.

Do you live in a four story walkup?  Then you may want to think about what would happen if you have a larger size dog that can’t go up and down the stairs anymore?  Are you able to carry the dog up and down to do his business?

Last but not least, please do not take home a pet if you are allergy prone.  Perhaps you can spend the day with a friends’ pet prior to adopting to ascertain if you will have a reaction.  Children who are asthmatic may have a tendency to be more allergic.  Please discuss with your pediatrician prior to bringing a new pet into your home.

These are just a few of the things you need to consider beforehand.  If you have any questions please give us a call.