Puppy Love - Guidelines for Puppy Nutrition
by Robert Mueller
The first 6 to 12 months of a puppy’s life are the most critical because it is during this life stage that the pattern for the dog’s future health is set. The development of the skeletal frame is especially vital for the large and giant breed dog.
We often receive a variety of inquiries from new pet owners related to puppy health issues - the most notable are usually related to issues of digestion, musculoskeletal development, and coat/skin condition. It is interesting to note that the majority of the health problems that our puppies encounter are mainly nutrition related which is commonly caused by the continuous ingestion of heat-processed, commercial pet food diets.
After seeing the development of puppy growth patterns over the last 35 years, I have observed is that the ingestion of high levels of soluble carbohydrates found in most commercial pet foods cause these irregular growth spurts to happen at different intervals.
What basically happens is because of these sporadic growth spurts, the muscle and bone development is completely out of sync. This can generate major stress on the skeletal structure of the animal. If the muscles, tendons, cartilage and bone all develop at different rates the result is structural damage in the form of hip dysplasia, arthritis, and other musculoskeletal conditions.
By feeding puppies a raw food diet, like the BARF Diet, you tend to slow down these growth spurts and instead allow the muscle and bone development to happen at a slower, more defined pace. This minimizes the risk of developmental issues in the dog.
We get questioned regularly whether or not we sell a puppy formula, a maintenance diet, or a senior formula like many other pet food companies will commonly offer the consumer. The great thing about the BARF Diet patties and nuggets is that your dog is getting the proper balance of nutrients from the SAME diet whether your pet is a puppy, adult or senior.
Based on your pet’s nutritional needs during his or her various life stages, only the feeding amounts need to really be adjusted and not the actual formula.
Puppies require more food than adults as they need the extra energy for proper body development. As your dog gets older and his or her activity level decreases, we advise that you adjust the formula to lessen the amount of food being fed to your pet to avoid weight issues.
This is similar to the way that Mother Nature balances the internal nutritional requirements of your pet – it is simply a matter of portion control.
At BARF World, we have formulated the diet in a way that mimics the evolutionary blend found in nature. We offer convenient, complete and balanced raw food diet blends for modern day pet guardians who want to provide their pet a natural, biologically appropriate diet.
I often suggest a twice daily feeding approach by offering the BARF Diet patties and/or nuggets as a morning meal and again in the evening. Many pet parents will also incorporate a six day feeding, one day fasting dietary schedule. This allows their pet’s body a chance to completely utilize the nutrients ingested as well as expel all excess toxins that may have built up in the body.
Feeding your pet the BARF Diet patties and nuggets from puppy to adult to senior, you ensure that your pet has the best chance of a healthy and happy life. Plus, there’s the added bonus of lifelong canine/human loyalty as you continuously show your animal companion just how much you really care.
Robert Mueller, BSc, Pharm. is a registered pharmacist and has been formulating raw diets for more than thirty years. Recognized as one of the early pioneers in promoting raw foods to pets, Rob's history of developing and promoting raw meat diets has exposed him to dogs, cats, and zoo carnivores worldwide. He is also the author of the book Living Enzymes: The World's Best Kept Pet Food Secret. Rob and his wife love to travel with their dog, Ube - a sheltie/beagle mix.
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