Where Commitment Meets Preservation of Health!
Getting a new furry puppy into your family can be a very exciting and loving way to celebrate the occasion, but along with that excitement comes decisions to raise your puppy. We hope we can guide you through this decision and to help you understand your puppy’s nutritional needs.
–by Mitu Paul
Food with safety, variety & dietary value
With the humanisation of pets across globe, our new-age pet parents are interested in pet foods that boast safety, variety and dietary value, similar to those of human food. Consumer demand has increased for tailor-made formulas and functional supplements that target a variety of pet health conditions like heart, lung and kidney diseases.
Growth is one of the most nutrient demanding life stages that dogs go through. During the growth period, your puppy has requirements for several essential nutrients, such as protein, amino acids, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals that must be met through the dog food they eat.
Every commercial dog food has a nutritional adequacy statement on the label that says the food is formulated to meet the requirements for a certain life stage (growth, lactation and gestation, or adult maintenance). This means that the dog food contains all of the nutrients in the correct proportions – or in simpler terms, is complete and balanced, for that life stage. You should find a puppy food that is intended to be fed for growth.
Understanding nutritional needs
Dry kibble or wet food (canned): both are equally detailed with all required nutrients and has no particular advantage over the other and so this choice is only based on your personal preference. Dry food however can be more convenient since it does not have to be refrigerated and is also usually less expensive. In general, it is a good idea to expose your puppy to both forms of food, even if you plan on exclusively feeding one or the other. There may come a time where you need to feed canned (or dry) food and if your puppy turns into a picky eater as an adult dog, he/she may refuse a food type that is unfamiliar.
Quantity matters: We want our puppies to grow into healthy adult dogs, but we do not want to over feed them. Overfeeding leading to obesity has become an epidemic in our pet population and close to 60 percent of pet dogs and cats are overweight as per many surveys. Food bags contain feeding instructions on the label according to the weight of your puppy, whether your puppy is a small or large breed puppy. This can be a good place to start but remember that these are average requirements and are not individualised for your puppy. Hence it is best recommended to get a heads up from your vet.
Remember that as your puppy grows, his/her energy needs will also grow and so you will need to continually adjust the food dose based on body condition and weight. Puppies have small stomachs and so when they are young it is better to feed them smaller more frequent meals (3 to 4 per day). As your puppy gets older and can eat a larger volume of food, you can transition to fewer meals.
Monitor weight: As your puppy grows, it is very important to monitor his/her weight to make sure growth is occurring at an appropriate rate and that your puppy is not getting overweight. Ideally a puppy must be weighed every 1 to 2 weeks. Most puppy pet parents choose to also feed their puppy treats – especially during training sessions! The important thing to remember about treats is that they all have different calorie amounts per piece, so be sure to read the label. Treats and snacks should make up no more than 10 percent of your puppy’s calorie intake per day.
Decipher diarrhoea: Puppies sometimes get diarrhoea and it can be caused by a number of different reasons. The most common causes are their dietary indiscretion (when they eat something they were not supposed to eat) or parasites. If your puppy gets diarrhoea, it is important to think about the following things:
- When was the last time puppy was de-wormed?
- Could puppy have gotten into garbage or eaten something off the ground outside?
- Did puppy get any new treats or foods that day?
- Did you recently switch the food you are feeding puppy?
One or two episodes of diarrhoea are usually not concerning (unless there is blood present, puppy is also vomiting or showing other symptoms, or puppy is not eating/drinking). If your puppy has diarrhoea, the best course of action is to visit your vet.
Transition to adult food: Mind the transition if you are switching foods. Generally, the best time to transition to adult food is when your puppy reaches about 12 months of age. Large and giant breed dogs who still have a lot more growing to do can be kept on their puppy food for longer (up to 18 to 24 months). When you are ready to transition, do it slowly over several days
Preferably preventative care: Lastly, prioritise your vet visits. Preventative care is preferable to curative care, because it is the first step towards your puppy’s health—stopping a problem even before it arises. Early detection of medical problems, illnesses and diseases can help your vet give a more proactive care and treatment which will ensure the longevity of your pet’s life.
“The trust in our manufacturing quality and safety standards, combined with product diversification, innovation and continuous development will keep us ahead of the curve. As a company we encourage pet parenting for all our staff as that naturally infuses the love and care that’s much needed today to bring in the best in terms of product or services rendered. We aren’t just another pet product on shelves. At Signature, we are our consumers trusted aid for their nutritional needs. Vocal and wise, we are always listening to our counters and constantly evolving to deliver better,” says Mitu Paul.
(Mitu Paul is Brand Head – Signature)