Puppy food – for a healthy start to a happy life for your dog

Puppies don’t just have a lot to learn, they of course need to grow up to be healthy, happy dogs as well. The right puppy food plays an important role in this growth. The most important factor is the ingredients in the junior food, which differ significantly from the ingredients in adult dog food. To help you choose the best possible food for your pet, we have put this guide together for you.

Why does a puppy need special food?

Young dogs are growing and need the right nutrients for this stage of their life. This means a puppy has different needs to an adult dog.

The calcium-phosphorus ratio in puppy food is particularly important at this stage of their life. These two minerals are not only essential for skeletal development, they also play a part in cell wall stabilisation, blood clotting, metabolism, and stimulus conduction in muscles and nerves. The ideal ratio between calcium and phosphorus in junior food is between 1.2:1 and 1.5:1 – of course the ratios in all DOG'S LOVE Junior products are within this range.

Growth phase and growth curve in puppies

Learn not to fall for your dog's puppy eyes. Too much food, and therefore too many calories, accelerates growth in an unhealthy way. This can result in bone malformations and also puts strain on their joints. DOG'S LOVE product packaging includes a table with a feeding recommendation that has been prepared together with veterinarians. 

If you're not sure whether your little one is shooting up too fast or not, speak to a vet. There are pre-calculated growth curves available based on your dog's breed and final weight that can be used to work out the ideal weight at every age.

The duration of the dog's growth phase depends on its breed. Small breeds can be fully grown after 6–8 months, while breeds with a final weight between 20 kg and 40 kg need about 10–12 months for development and giant breeds may even need up to 2 years. 


Puppies and tooth transition

A dog's teeth play a major role in their food intake. Puppies are born without teeth. They then get their first milk teeth at around 3 weeks of age, which they replace with their final set of teeth when they’re around 3 to 6 months old. Normally, the change of teeth is unproblematic in dogs. Mostly it just causes their gums to itch. Some dogs, however, suffer from jaw sensitivity. If a teething dog refuses dry food, soaking the food for around 15 minutes can help. 

If you have a small crocodile at home that suddenly starts to chew on the furniture or even the walls, chew toys can provide the necessary distraction. However, make sure the toys really are suitable for puppies when you buy them. Not every chew bone is suitable. And: Never leave your dog unattended when they are gnawing on a chew bone. This applies to young dogs as well as older ones.

Tips for feeding puppies

  • You can use some of the dry food as treats when educating and training your dog. This way the dog learns that they have to work for their food.
  • If you have children in the house, it’s often advisable to teach your dog that a hand near their food bowl is not a threat. Don’t put the whole portion of food in their bowl, and then add the rest by hand while the puppy is eating. At the same time, it’s important to teach the children that dogs shouldn’t be disturbed while eating!
  • When you bring the puppy home, have some of the puppy food that the puppy has been eating so far ready. You can then move on to the food of your choice with a slow, gentle food change.
  • To avoid overloading your puppy's digestive system, feed them three to four times a day at first. From six months onwards, you can gradually reduce this to twice a day. 

Puppy food test – choosing the right food for your puppy

It is a matter of taste whether you want to give your puppy wet or dry food. Complete foods cover the necessary requirements on their own, whatever form they come in. To make the choice easier for you and your dog, DOG'S LOVE offers their full range in the Junior Test Box for them to try. 

Give your dog wet and dry food and see which they like better. Due to its higher calorie density, it makes sense to give them dry food in the morning, and wet food in the evening, since it is easier to digest. In general, we recommend soaking dry food in water to add back the moisture that has been removed. Of course, your dog should always have enough drinking water available to them as well.