If you've just brought home, or are soon to bring home, your brand new puppy, congratulations! This is such an exciting time, but it will also be a time you might be filled with a lot of questions. One of the most important questions you'll be asking yourself if "What food should I feed my puppy?"
With so many options available, it can become a daunting task. Choosing a quality puppy food is essential for growth, development and overall health. Our comprehensive guide will give you all the information you need to make an informed decision about your puppy's diet
Understanding Different Types of Puppy Food
There are a variety of different types of food for puppies, including:
Raw Puppy Food
Raw food is as unprocessed as you can get! Regularly famed for being as close to nature as possible, it contains everything your dog needs to thrive.
There are many different types of raw available, whether you choose to opt for Raw food or Raw Frozen.
The main difference with Raw Frozen Dog Food is that once it's minced and packaged, it's put straight in the freezer, making it easier for you to store for longer periods and keeping it as fresh as possible.
Because it's unprocessed, it retains all the nutrients from its ingredients so your dog gets all the goodness from its food, and it boasts a host of benefits including improved coat and skin condition, better digestion and helping to keep dogs healthy.
You can find different mixes of raw food on the market; 90|10 which is a mix of 90% meat and 10% bone, 80|10|10 which is a mix of 80% meat, 10% bone and 10% offal, and 70|10|10|10 is a complete meal with a mix of 70% meat, 10% bone, 10% offal and 10% vegetables.
Which option you choose is purely down to each person, but we generally recommend that those who are new to raw feeding opt for 70|10|10|10 range, as it has all the vegetables and minerals already included, and for those who are more experienced and are looking for a DIY meal, our 80|10|10 would be perfect if they are looking to make up their own mix of meals. The 80|10|10 range is also perfect for dogs with allergies or intolerances as you can tailer every meal specifically to your dog.
We get a lot of questions asking "Can puppies eat raw food?" - yes! All these great benefits listed above is just what a growing pup needs.
When choosing the best raw food for them, you do need to be aware of the contents of the food. If it contains bone make sure you know what kind of consistency the food is, young or small breed puppies can choke on large bits of bone so it can be best to wait until they are a little older/bigger before feeding these.
Dry Puppy Food
Probably one of the most recognisable types of dog food is dry kibble. It's a traditional dog food that has been very popular for a number of years, and is widely available
It's generally easy to find, has a wide range of prices and options available and is easy to feed - direct from bag/box to bowl.
Cold Pressed Dog Food
Cold pressed dog food is a relatively newer option, that was first manufactured in the UK by Wilsons Pet Food in 2018.
It's the perfect option for dog owners who are looking for a food that combines the benefits of both raw and dry but is much more nutrient-dense compared to kibble.
Cold pressed, put simply, is a dry food but it's pressed at much lower temperatures than traditional kibble (around 100 degrees less!). This means the nutrients from the quality ingredients are preserved and not lost through high heating, this then breaks down much quicker when eaten, helping to improve digestion and prevent bloating.
This makes it perfect for dogs with sensitive tummies and for ensuring they get all the goodness! We select only the best ingredients so we don't want to cook all those nutrients away - think of it like cooking vegetables on the hob at a really high temperature for a long time!
As it's gently pressed, it also makes it great for puppies, seniors and adult dogs alike! It is easy to chew, easy to break up and easy to digest.
Another great option for puppies, our cold pressed is designed to promote good intestinal health with natural antioxidants, and supports strong, healthy bones, eyes, skin and coat - perfect for growing pups and protecting young tummies!
Wet puppy food
You'll find a variety of different wet dog food products on the market, and they include trays, pouches and cans.
Wet food usually include chunks in gravy or jelly, as a casserole and also in meatloaf formats.
Wet pet foods have a high moisture content (approx 70-80%). They are sealed and then cooked at a defined temperature for sterilisation, which ensures safety and helps to maintain quality during shelf life.
Determining the Right Puppy Food Portion Size
Feeding a puppy the right amount of food is crucial to ensure they don’t become underweight or overweight. Appropriate portion size depends on a number of factors;
Age: Puppies require more food when they’re younger because of the rate they grow. As puppies age, their nutritional needs change so portions will need to be adjusted.
Breed: Smaller breeds need less food than larger breeds. Large breed puppies have unique dietary requirements to support bone growth.
Activity level: More active puppies will burn more calories and require a slightly larger portion size.
We always recommend viewing our cold pressed feeding guide and our raw frozen feeding guide thoroughly and re-reading regularly as they grown up, and measuring out every meal, to ensure they are getting the right amount of food.
Choosing the Best Food for a Puppy
When selecting food for puppies, it's important that you do your research. Every brand of dog food is made in it's own way using their own chosen ingredients.
We recommend looking at;
Ingredients - Look for a brand that lists real meat as the primary ingredient, and that all ingredients are both quality and nutritious.
Nutritional Balance - It is important that you make sure the food you choose has all the nutrients and calories you puppy will need and is correctly balanced for optimal development, as well as being both highly digestible and palatable.
Brand Reputation - Research the brand's reputation and read reviews from other puppy and dog owners to gauge the food's quality.
If you're ever in doubt, always get in touch with the dog food manufacturer.
Feeding Guidelines for Puppies
Puppies are fed little and often, starting with 4 smaller meals per day at 2 months old, then progressing up to 3 meals per day at 4 months old, and then finally moving to 2 meals per day when they reach 6 months old - keeping this final regime for the rest of their life.
Any uneaten wet food should be thrown away after half an hour, while dry food can be left out for slightly longer, but remember that it will become less palatable the longer it is left out.
If feeding raw food, you should treat this as you would when preparing your own raw meat - all utensils and bowls should be washed afterwards and hands will also need to be washed with soap and water.
Your puppy should also be able to access clean, fresh water at all times, both at meal times and during the day.
Understanding Your Puppy’s Nutritional Needs
Choosing the best puppy food is a significant decision, and it's essential to tailor your choice to your puppy's specific needs and lifestyle. Puppy nutrition is an important for them to grow into a healthy, happy adult dog.
If you are ever worried about your dogs weight, or have any concerns on their eating or digestion, we always recommend that you consult your dog's vet to discuss their specific needs. This is also the case for when you think they might have any allergies or intolerances.
Wilsons Pet Food Puppy Food
Wilsons Pet Food has been producing pet food for over 160 years, first forming in 1861.
Our food is made using minimal processing and the best ingredients, and we provide quality food to dog owners across the UK.
We make food that suitable for dogs of all ages, sizes and lifestyles, with over 20 different recipes, making our food the perfect option from puppyhood and beyond. We always recommend our Clear Water Salmon Cold Pressed for puppies thanks to it's calcium to phosphorus levels - great for aiding your pup's bone growth.
Try our Puppy Food today!