Puppy Nutrition for Medium Breeds
The most rapid growth occurs in the first months of a puppy's life. Providing optimal balance of nutrients now can help ensure strong bones, proper muscle tone and a healthy zest for life. But medium-breed puppies grow at a unique rate and have unique nutritional needs.
For optimal development and to enable them to live a long, healthy life, medium-breed puppies need nutrition that's specifically designed for them.
The Feeding Schedule
From the time your puppy's weaned until 4 months of age, you should feed your puppy
2 – 3 meals a day based on the guidelines of the food label.
After 4 months of age, your puppy should be fed twice a day on a regular schedule.
Always have fresh water available.
More Energy, More Protein
Research shows that puppies can need twice as much energy as adult dogs. Such dramatic growth requires an energy-rich, nutrient-dense, complete and balanced diet.
Puppies also require more protein than adult dogs to create new body tissue. High-quality, animal-based protein supplies amino acids for tissue growth.
Different Dogs, Different Needs
Not all puppies have the same nutritional needs.
Medium-breed puppies have lower metabolic rates than small breeds and consequently need less energy (or calories) but when compared to large breeds, a medium breed puppy reaches adulthood faster and is best fed higher levels of protein, fat, calcium and phosphorus to support growth and development of bones, muscles and other tissues. So providing a puppy food scientifically formulated for a medium breed is the best way to make sure he is getting the right balance of nutrients for his unique metabolism and growth rate.
Aside from energy, there are other important features of a puppy's diet:
• Precise levels of protein, fat and carbohydrates balanced with vitamins and minerals for growth
• a blend of antioxidants, which nutritionally boost the immune system.
• a fermentable fiber source, such as beet pulp, that can help your puppy receive maximum nutrition from his food and minimize waste
• highly digestible carbohydrate sources, such as barley and grain sorghum, for sustained energy
• optimal ratio of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids to support skin and coat health.
These are important building blocks of nutrition. Look for them when you choose dry or canned dog food and when you select treats.
To Switch to Adult food
A medium-breed puppy reaches adult weight by about 12 months. You can begin feeding adult dog food at this time. You can help ease the transition by gradually introducing the adult food. Try mixing 25% of the new food with 75% of his puppy food then gradually change the proportions over the next 3 days until he is eating 100% adult food.