What can I feed my small puppy?Corey Farrugia
In this day and age, feeding your puppy shouldn’t be a difficult task. Scientists and nutritionists have taken out all the thinking that planning a puppy’s meal involves and have given us balanced formulated diets. Some formulated diets are tailored for specific breeds or for the development of specific dog sizes further targeting the specific needs of the puppy. A lot of research time and dedication goes into the development of these diets and supplements to provide our dogs with the best possible balance of nutrients that they sorely need in this most delicate and most important of developmental stages. However a lot of people still fall for the temptation to give their dogs something out of the pantry. This, although unnecessary, can supplement the puppy’s diet with wholesome nutrients if the right items are given. The following are some of the best foods for your small puppy.
Bananas are packed with beneficial nutrients. Call it wonderfruit but this tasty, yellow crescent is packed with potassium, magnesium, vitamin B6, vitamin C and fibre. These nutrients make sure that circulation and muscle function work properly and help regulate protein metabolism. Vitamin C also acts as an antioxidant and helps in cartilage maintenance and development which is of paramount importance to any developing puppy.
It is important to boil and mash this ingredient before giving it to your puppy. Make sure to leave the sweet potato to cool down as food that is piping hot can be dangerous and harmful to a puppy that is too enthusiastic about its food. Much like banana, the sweet potato, is a good source of potassium, magnesium, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin C. However, the sweet potato is also rich in other elements such as copper, iron and manganese that are essential for a host of functions such as transporting oxygen as part of haemoglobin and as a participant in the assembly of protein and the production of genetic material; all being processes that happen at a very fast rate in rapidly developing youngsters.
We often hear that yoghurt is good for us and our children. Puppies are no exception. Yoghurt is a good source of protein, calcium, phosphorus and Vitamin B12 that are all very important nutrients involved in the development of the muscular, skeletal and nervous system of any young individual. Yoghurt is also rich in potassium, zinc and iodine that are also important nutrients that help maintain the normal functioning of the body. Perhaps one of the most important features of yoghurt is the fact that it has probiotic properties, meaning that the yoghurt itself is imbibed by bacteria that provide a tangible health benefit and help in the maintenance of a healthy gut system.
We often hear of all the good things eating fish does to our body. Salmon is particularly rich in Omega-3 fatty acids that are very good for healthy coat, skin and brain maintenance. These omega fatty acids also help in curbing inflammatory processes that can lead to different chronic systemic problems in the dog’s body. These generalized inflammatory state is a big hindrance in the healthy development of puppies. If salmon is too expensive or is unavailable, a lot of other fish products are cheaper but still a good source of Omega -3 fatty acids.
Bones are another food item worth considering. It is best to introduce raw bones to a puppy after the puppy is 12 weeks of age, just about the time where it is replacing its puppy teeth with the new permanent set. Raw bones should be of a size large enough not to completely fit in the puppy’s mouth as the puppy might swallow the bone whole and cause intestinal damage or obstruction. Bones with a wide marrow should be avoided as these fragment easily. A good meaty bone will help the puppy stimulate the teeth and gums and alleviate teething problems and gum discomfort. Chewing on a bone will also stimulate the mouth’s circulation and allow for the proper development of teeth. Bones are also a good source of calcium and phosphorus, which are very important minerals that are essential for the proper development of your puppy’s skeletal and muscular system. However it is important to keep in mind that giving your puppy too many bones can cause constipation. Raw cow or lamb bones are recommended; raw chicken wings can at times be given but these can carry the risk of salmonellosis; pork bones and products are best avoided. Never cook bones before giving them to your dog as these can easily splinter and cause intestinal damage and obstruction.
This fruit can be a regular staple in your dog’s diet as it can be found either fresh or frozen all year round in most countries around the world. This dark bead of a fruit is rich in antioxidants such as vitamin E and anthocyanidins which give the blueberry its characteristic colouration. These antioxidants will help the puppy better deal with some of the harmful radicals that are inevitably produced by certain metabolic reactions of the body. It is also a source of Vitamin C and Manganese that are very important in the development and structure of tissues and production of genetic material; both processes happening very rapidly in developing individuals.