You have just adopted a young puppy and you want to give him the most suitable food. So, boxes, croquettes or “homemade”? How to feed him to ensure good health?
Household food or industrial food?
Household food (i.e. homemade):
Household food is interesting if it is prepared in a balanced way.
Its main advantage is the use of fresh food. It should be made from meats, cereals, green vegetables with added oil, brewer's yeast and a vitamin and mineral supplement.
You need to know the details of your puppy's needs and then weigh each ingredient. Knowing that the dosage varies depending on the quality of the ingredient, the age of the puppy, its breed (size).
The main drawback is the difficulty of preparing a healthy and balanced meal for a growing puppy. This requires knowledge of canine nutrition and dietetics quite advanced. The cost of household food is often often very high for an often average diet result, especially since the puppy will tend to sort and eat only what he prefers which implies an even more unbalanced diet.
Industrial puppy food is quick to prepare and fairly balanced if you take a “standard” food and perfectly adapted to your puppy's needs if you take a “premium” food. Their composition is developed by specialists in canine nutrition. These foods contain all the nutrients in optimal proportions, so there is no need to add vitamins, minerals or any other ingredient.
The veterinarian's recommendation: we strongly recommend that you give your puppy a habit of consuming industrial food from an early age. It is best not to vary with leftovers or homemade meals that he will consider treats and that will give him bad habits. Industrial food exists in two quality levels “standard” or “premium” and in two forms, dehydrated (kibble) or in wet form (boxes). See our explanations below.
|The advice of the Royal Canin expert:
“It will not have escaped your notice that dogs often prefer to eat something new rather than their usual kibble. This eating behavior (which has a scholarly name: neophilia) could correspond to an instinctive rule of caution: by not being limited to a single food, the animal would be less likely to suffer from nutritional deficiencies …
This spontaneous attraction for novelty does not last long if the new food offered is not really better than the usual food. On the other hand, if the new food is really preferred, the dog will adopt it at the expense of the first.
Too much food variety can disrupt a dog's eating behavior, but conversely, excessive monotony can lead to fatigue, even if the food is of very good quality. “
The choice of quality level
These are the foods available in supermarkets and which are not specially adapted to the specific needs of the animal.
The attractive price is also explained by the lower quality of the ingredients that make up the food. The quality and origin of the meats used are very different from those used in “premium” foods: standard foods are generally much more fatty, which is why dogs sometimes find them more palatable. They are also much less digestible, the quantity to consume for the same nutritional value is greater with a standard food than with a premium food.
Their main advantage is to be cheaper. But in fact, not that much, because you should not compare the price of the bag of kibble but the daily cost. Because a bag of premium kibble lasts longer than a bag of kibble, which must be given larger quantities to the dog. The difference in quality is immediately apparent on the animal's stool, especially for puppies who tend to have diarrhea, this is very rare with a premium food.
These are the “health” foods that you will find in specialized circuits (pet stores, garden centers, veterinarians and wanimo.com) which are of superior quality and above all which are segmented according to breed sizes, ages or particular physiological needs. . Depending on your dog's needs, there is a food specially adapted for him.
“Health” foods are perfectly balanced and of very good quality. They are :
- complete: proteins, fats, carbohydrates, fibers, minerals, trace elements. No nutritional supplement should be added.
- balanced: for a growing puppy the protein and fat levels must be higher than for an adult. Likewise, the calcium and phosphorus necessary for building the skeleton must be present, but without excess to avoid growth disorders.
- digestible: a puppy eats large amounts of food in relation to its weight. The higher the quality of a food, the more it is digestible and the less the quantities to ingest will be important for the same nutritional value. Your puppy will become less used to “gorging”.
You can quickly see the difference in the animal's stool. They are less frequent, more molded, their size and their odor are much less with a “premium” food.
Boxes or kibbles, what to choose?
The puppy quickly takes up eating habits and often refuses thereafter to change the type of its diet. So you have to make the right choice from the start.
The mash is very palatable, it's a real treat, so the puppy eats it more easily. However, it has a number of drawbacks:
- the food is often too greasy, it is more difficult to digest and quickly spoils the air, it “turns” especially in summer. You should know that the mash contains 70 to 80% water, for the same nutritional value, the puppy must therefore ingest a much higher amount than with kibbles. This leads to the bad habit of “gorging”, more difficult digestion, flatulence and often softer, larger and odorous stools.
- the mash also has the disadvantage of favoring the appearance of tartar on the teeth. While the croquettes limit it thanks to a natural and mechanical action of friction on the teeth during chewing.
- finally, canned food is much more expensive than food in the form of kibbles.
Croquettes offer many advantages:
- They are more hygienic, they do not turn and smell less strongly.
- More digestible, they limit the risks of diarrhea, flatulence and give more “manageable” stools.
- They are less expensive.
- Best for Your Dog's Oral Health, chewing kibble allows a massage of teeth and gums. In the long term, the deposit of tartar on the teeth is less important than on a dog which eats only meats.
Feeding during growth is essential for the future health of your dog, it is truly THE period during which it is necessary to feed it properly so that its skeleton, muscles and whole body develop harmoniously.t. We therefore strongly advise you to feed it in the form of kibble, “special puppy” adapted to its needs and of superior quality.