This article has been saved to your library here.

You have reached the maximum of 5 saved articles. Want to review and email them?

Lifestage mascot

How old is your dog?

Pre-Puppy
Pre-Puppy preview image

Pre-Puppy

What’s better than puppies? That’s right: your own puppy. So, what do you need to know before you take the plunge into pet parenthood?

0-2 months
0-2 months preview image

0-2 months

Welcome to the world little one. It’s all grow-grow-grow for your puppy right now, so there’s many things to prepare.

2-3 months
2-3 months preview image

2-3 months

Your puppy is ready to come home and turn your world upside down. It’s time to put your preparation into practice – and remember to take it all in!

3-6 months
3-6 months preview image

3-6 months

You’re entering a period of immense growth, lots of learning and new adventures. Bring on the play date with the big wide world!

6-12 months
6-12 months preview image

6-12 months

Your fur-baby is nearing adulthood. Can you see their grown self coming through? Sigh…they grow up so fast, don’t they?

12-18 months
12-18 months preview image

12-18 months

Your puppy has turned one and they might not be so little anymore. Make sure to book their first annual check-up.

18 months - 3 years
18 months - 3 years preview image

18 months - 3 years

Your dog is one an established family member now. Enjoy who they have become and the bond you now share at this special stage.

3 - 8 years
3 - 8 years preview image

3 - 8 years

Your dog is a full-grown adult now. They understand where their place is in your home and the wider world.

8+ years
8+ years preview image

8+ years

Just like many senior citizens, senior dogs have some extra needs. Learn to look after your best friend and support their health as they grow older.

Puppy Nutrition 101

Puppy Nutrition 101

Did you know some puppy breeds grow so fast, their energy requirements can be up to three times that of an adult dog? That’s why in addition to giving them all your love and attention, they deserve the very best at mealtime. Here’s what you should know about providing your puppy with a healthy and balanced diet.

Puppy vs adult dog food

For new pet parents, it’s a common question: Does my puppy really need puppy-specific food? Well, the answer is yes.

In short: we feed puppies different food from adult dog food for the same reason we feed human babies different food.

For one, their digestive tracts aren’t fully developed, which makes it harder to process adult food, and secondly, it doesn’t provide the right nutritional requirements for a growing being.

Puppy foods should have a strict calcium to phosphorus ratio, which varies slightly between the sizes (i.e. a small breed pup will require a slightly different ratio from a large breed pup). And it’s this ratio which is critical, not just the sole presence of calcium in their food. If you were to simply add calcium to an adult dog food at the wrong ratio, your puppy could develop bowed legs and other skeletal abnormalities.

There’s also a difference in energy levels and ingredient composition.

Puppy food is generally higher energy and will have higher fat levels in the blends.

Adult dog food, on the other hand, might be leaner with lower energy requirements.

So to support their rapid growth and immune systems, it’s best to feed high-quality, specially formulated puppy food.

The importance of protein and real meat

Protein is essential for the growth and development of puppies and kittens, dogs and cats. Just like in us, protein supports their everyday body functions and in times of stress or extraordinary performance (e.g. when running long distances or giving birth), protein levels need to increase to help their bodies regenerate.

But not all proteins are equal, which is why it’s important that real meat tops the ingredient list of your dog’s food, rather than plants or vegetables.

How often do I need to feed my puppy?

Puppies need to be fed more frequently than adult dogs. Ideally three times a day until six months of age, then twice daily until they’re a year old. After that, you can feed them once or twice a day, depending on your dog’s preference.

How much to feed depends on their breed and size.

Usually, the dog food manufacturer will provide some guidance on their packaging. For more tailored advice, you can always check with your local vet.

How long should I feed a puppy-specific diet?

How long to feed a puppy diet can vary between breeds. Generally, smaller breeds can switch to adult food earlier, at around 12 months of age, as they have a shorter growth period. In large breeds, it’s usually recommended to continue with puppy food until they’re 18-24 months of age.

When making the transition to adult food, introduce the new food slowly over a few weeks by mixing it with the puppy food and gradually increase the ratio.

And don’t forget: your pup always needs access to fresh, clean water.
Visual signs of good puppy food

After a few weeks of feeding good quality puppy food, the benefits should soon become visible. They can include but are not limited to:

  • A shiny coat
  • Firmer, regular stools
  • Less gas
  • An overall happy and healthy puppy.

As a new puppy parent, you can't underestimate the power of feeding a high-quality, balanced diet. Formulated specifically to support your puppy’s development, a good puppy food helps them grow confidently into a healthy and happy dog – and your friend for life.

Articles

Save your favourite articles

Want to save this article and others for later? Easy!

  1. Click the toggle  at the top of each article you’d like to save.
  2. View your saved articles in My Library in top nav in the top right of the page.
  3. Open your saved articles and enter your details and we’ll send them to you.