Puppies are a crazy new adventure–and so is their nutrition. If you’ve recently gotten a puppy, you probably have lots of questions regarding this furry family member and what they need to be eating. No need to worry… Earthborn Holistic is here to help answer most of the questions you may be having. Continue reading to explore The Complete Guide to Our Holistic Puppy Food.
When Can Puppies Eat Dry Food?
When it comes to answering this, it’s super important to make sure that they first get the proper nutrition necessary for them to grow in a healthy and strong manner. Certain nutrients are needed to develop a puppy’s muscles, bones, tissues, and brain cells. If they aren’t getting enough calories – or getting too many – this can eventually harm them in the long run. We guarantee that no pet parent wants that!
Now, to address another question that goes hand in hand with when puppies can eat dry food: how often should puppies eat?
Initially, it’s recommended that puppies should start out by having their mother’s milk during their first month of life. However, this is not always possible and may seek human care. The newborn puppy stage requires rather close supervision and care. By the age of 2-4 weeks, the puppy feeding schedule should reduce to feedings every 6-8 hours. Once they become a 4 week old puppy, their diet changes a bit, but they are still considered a young puppy.
Let’s take a look at what to feed puppies at 4 weeks. The puppy should be receiving an appropriate high quality puppy formula. How much to feed a puppy by weight can be interpreted by the feeding chart label that is typically shown on a bag of puppy food. Each puppy is different and may need up to 50% more or less depending on their body condition. There are also unique needs that small breeds and large breeds that may need to be considered with your vet, which is why you should always use feeding charts as a starting point and work with your vet to determine exact amounts.
Solid dog food, such as our Puppy Vantage dry kibble, should not be fed until a puppy is fully weaned away from their mother. If you plan to use kibble in the weaning process, make sure to mix and water it down with water so that it’s easier for them to eat and digest. By week 8, they should finally be ready to be introduced to dry puppy food.
As we’ve discussed, it’s important to know when puppies can eat dry food but also how much of it they should be eating. In the next section, we will be taking a look at our Puppy Vantage feeding chart to give you a better idea of the portions you should be feeding your puppy.
Puppy Feeding Chart
To read a feeding chart, simply find your puppy’s age and weight and then the corresponding amount of food you should feed based on that food’s puppy feeding guide. This will give you a great starting point for how much to feed your puppy. For example, here’s a feeding chart from our Puppy Vantage recipe:
This chart essentially serves as a puppy feeding calculator. Therefore, if you had a puppy that was 5 months old and weighed 25 pounds, you would feed between 2 and 3¼ cups of Puppy Vantage per day. Again, this is meant to be a starting point and your vet will be able to help you determine the exact amount. Another important note is that the feeding chart for each recipe is different, so just because you feed 2 cups of Puppy Vantage doesn’t mean you’ll need to feed 2 cups of another recipe.
Follow these suggestions, unless your vet advises you otherwise. Vets can accommodate feeding schedules based on body condition and ideal adult weight. Whether or not your puppy is already spayed or neutered will play a part in your vet’s advice as well.
Note that breeds can have different puppy nutrition requirements. With that being said, pay attention to the manufacturer’s instructions as they are specific to that food. Each type of food will have a different chart layout, even within the same brand sometimes. Feeding amounts will differ due to the ingredients and supplements in each formula.
Monitor weight and keep up with daily weigh-ins for your puppy. You want to see continued healthy growth without them getting overweight. Your vet can give more guidance based on breed and their current growth charts. Make sure you monitor progress and specifically pay close attention to puppy milestones as these will help to determine when a puppy is ready to move onto adult dog food.
What Goes Into Our Holistic Puppy Food?
All of our Earthborn Holistic puppy foods are proudly made in the USA and crafted without artificial ingredients, artificial flavors, preservatives, or colors. Our recipes are crafted from high quality sources, carefully chosen to nourish the whole pet. A wholesome blend of superfoods, such as apples, carrots, blueberries, cranberries, and spinach offer natural sources of vitamin, minerals, and antioxidants. These help to support the immune system and promote good digestion.
Our recipes are crafted from high quality sources, carefully chosen to nourish the whole pet. A wholesome blend of superfoods, such as apples, carrots, blueberries, cranberries, and spinach offer natural sources of vitamin, minerals, and antioxidants.
These help to support the immune system and promote good digestion.
Our Puppy Vantage dry dog food was formulated with your growing puppy in mind. This dog food for puppies is crafted with high quality ingredients including chicken protein, fruits, and vegetables for maximum nutrition.
Enriched with Taurine for heart health and DHA for brain development, this recipe is a great option for both small and large breed puppies. Puppy Vantage is a healthy, nutritious whole grain puppy food to get your new addition started on the right paw.
When to Switch Your Puppy to Adult Food
Once you’ve figured out how long to feed puppy food, you’ll need to learn how to switch their food. It’s not necessary to switch if you’re feeding an all life stages formula. If you’re wanting to switch from a puppy recipe to an adult recipe there’s a way you should go about it to avoid problems.
If you want to know how to transition dog food, note that it will involve a gradual switch. Switching dog food quickly and right away is not recommended since it can lead to major digestion issues for your dog or puppy. Make sure you’re switching from the old food to the new food over a course of seven days (aka “the seven day switch”). This allows your pup to become more familiar with their new food and it helps relieve stomach issues that come from switching to a new food too fast. Here is the recommended breakdown of the seven day switch:
Days 1 & 2 – 25% new food, 75% old food
Days 3 & 4 – 50% new food, 50% old food
Days 5 & 6 – 75% new food, 25% old food
Day 7 – 100% new food
Puppy Food for Small Breeds
In general, small breeds do best on a high-calorie diet. Small breeds have a much higher metabolism rate than large breeds, so they’re able to process calories faster than large breeds. Our Small Breed recipe is a turkey-based recipe with a high calorie content (400 kcal/cup) and is also formulated for all life stages, so it has all of the nutrients necessary for your small breed puppy. If turkey is not your small pup’s protein of choice, we have our Coastal Catch recipe with herring meal as the main ingredient.
Puppy Food for Large Breeds
On the other hand are large breeds. Large breed puppies also require a high calorie diet in their early months to keep up with extremely quick growth. The main difference between small breed and large breeds is that large breeds are considered puppies for much longer and typically stay on a puppy recipe for upwards of two years.
Another thing to note is that while all life stages recipes generally work for puppies, not all all life stages recipes are suited for large breed puppies so you’ll need to pay close attention to the AAFCO statement. For example, our Primitive Natural is an all life stages recipe excluding growth of large size dogs, so you’ll need to look to other formulas like Puppy Vantage, Coastal Catch, or our UNREFINED recipes if you have a large breed puppy.
Is Puppy Food Bad for Adult Dogs?
While puppy food isn’t necessarily bad for adult dogs, it’s far from the ideal nutrition. Puppy food is typically much higher in calorie content, so if you continue feeding puppy food into your dog’s adult years, they’re significantly more susceptible to weight gain and obesity.
In the end, it’s important to take into consideration your own puppy’s nutrition and take time to talk things out with your vet to make sure your puppy is getting all of the nutrients they need to support their growth.
Puppy vs Adult Dog Food
Puppy nutritional needs are very different from adult dog nutritional needs.
What nutrients do puppies need? Whether you feed a puppy recipe or an all life stages recipe, you’ll want to make sure it has docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in the guaranteed analysis. Omega-3 fatty acids, such as DHA, found in fish oils help support healthy brain development. DHA along with a variety of other important amino acids are the building blocks that make up a healthy puppy food.
Can puppies eat adult dog food? Puppy nutrition is much different than adult nutrition. It is not recommended that puppies eat adult dog food for a number of reasons. Puppies, even large breed puppies, have higher metabolisms so they require more calories to fuel their growing bodies. However, they are able to eat an all life stages formula as long as the Nutritional Adequacy Statement is suitable. It is always recommended to consult with your veterinarian before choosing a food.
Do puppies eat more than adults? In terms of calories, yes. As mentioned before, small breed puppies require higher-calorie diets due to their faster metabolism. Large breed puppies have much slower metabolisms than average or smaller puppies, so they require lower calories. That being said, both breeds’ diets still need more calories than adult dogs.
Generally, most puppies are ready to be switched to adult dog food when they reach 12 months of age. Puppies grow quickly, so it’s important to make sure you’re waiting to switch their food until they’re reached maturity so their nutrition can keep up with their growth. That being said, if you’re feeding an all life stages formula, switching to an adult food isn’t necessary unless you want to, which we’ll discuss next.
However, there are exceptions when it comes to switching from puppy food to adult food. You should take note of the difference between puppy and adult dog food. For example, large and giant breed dogs should remain on puppy food until they reach maturity at about two years old. Because of their size, it takes longer for their bodies to grow and mature. You should always consult your veterinarian before switching foods to make sure you’re feeding a food that meets your dog or puppy’s individual needs.
Can Puppies Eat All Life Stages Dog Food?
First, you may be wondering – what is all life stages dog food? For a food to be labeled as all life stages, it must be complete and balanced and contain all of the nutrition necessary to support a dog or cat for its entire life.
Is all life stages food good for puppies? With any dog food, specifically puppy food, you should check the pet food labeling listed on the bag. There are different AAFCO dog food categories available for AAFCO statements, or Nutritional Adequacy Statements. Ideally, each statement should confirm that the dog food recipe is completed and balanced with all of the nutrients necessary for puppy’s growth and development. For example, here is the nutritional adequacy statement for our Puppy Vantage recipe:
“Earthborn Holistic Puppy Vantage is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for growth, gestation and lactation, including growth of large size dogs (70 lbs. or more as an adult).”
Whether you feed a puppy recipe or an all life stages recipe, you’ll want to make sure it has docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in the guaranteed analysis. DHA is an Omega-3 fatty acid found in fish oils that helps support healthy brain development. DHA along with a variety of other important amino acids are essential to making a healthy puppy food.
Keep an eye out for if your puppy starts to eat less of their puppy food or if they start to put on a bit too much weight. These are both signs that it’s time to switch over to adult feed for their health. Once a puppy becomes mature enough, it’s important to feed them properly, so they reach adult maintenance. Adult dog food and all life stages dog food are then appropriate because these are formulated for growth and reproduction.
Where Can I Buy Holistic Puppy Food?
It may be challenging at times to figure out how to choose dog food. Making the right food choice for your puppy is important for the first year of their life. Since puppies grow so fast, they need nutrients, protein, and fat to support that growth. You should always consult your veterinarian before switching foods to make sure you’re feeding a food that meets your dog or puppy’s individual needs so make sure to schedule a vet appointment as necessary.
Where can I find holistic dog food near me? For starters, you can use our Where to Buy feature, located on our website. If you’re searching for a holistic pet store, we recommend calling ahead to make sure they carry the product(s) you are looking for. If it’s unavailable at the pet food stores near you, we also offer our dog food online at Amazon and Chewy.
Are there dog food coupons available? Yes! We send monthly coupons to our subscribers via email that are redeemable at participating retailers. To register, scroll to the bottom of our homepage, enter your email address in the box, and hit “Subscribe.
More Puppy Essentials
Bringing a new puppy home is always such an exciting time! While finding the right puppy food is extremely significant, there are a number of other things that help with giving them a warm welcome home. A puppy-proof house is essential. Puppy proofing is important because you don’t want them to get into anything that could potentially hurt them or destroy a favorite piece of furniture or decor.
We recommend finding a spot in your house, whether it’s a corner in your kitchen or an entire spare room, to make your puppy’s area. You can keep their crate here and also a bin of their toys to keep everything organized. And make sure to pick any little items off the floor since puppies tend to stick everything in their mouths!
Depending on your preference and lifestyle, you may want to kennel train your new puppy. It teaches them that this area is safe and like their own little room. Treats are always a plus and a great way to help them train. Earthborn Holistic has a variety of flavors to choose from in biscuits and moist treats. Reward their good behavior with these tasty treat options!
A new puppy requires a lot of up-front cost for supplies, but it will all pay off in the end. We suggest creating a puppy supply list to help keep yourself organized during the new pet parent process. Some basic essentials would be puppy food and water bowls, leash and collar (plus name tags), puppy toys, grooming brush, dog shampoo, washable kennel pad, and a dog crate.
This may seem like a lot to take in at first, but you’ll be a professional pet parent in no time. Hopefully, this guide makes you feel prepared to tackle this new adventure with your furry family member!
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