Dogs have specific nutritional demands for healthy growth and development, each phase of our furry’s life carries with it different requirements for protein, fat, carbohydrates and other nutrients.
Pet food for different age groups is characterized by being an increasingly developed niche and with great potential in the market, however, it is necessary to take special care with the ingredients to be used in its formulation so that the nutrients are available to be absorbed and used effectively by the body of dogs.
If you have a pet dog or if you are a food manufacturer, this information may interest you.
NUTRITIONAL NEEDS OF PUPPIES
In general, a dog is considered a puppy until 6 or 7 months of life, when they are still in the growth phase, however, some breeds can continue to grow up to 1 year or more.
Weaning, which is when the transition from breast milk to other types of food occurs, usually occurs between 3 and 4 weeks of life, this transition takes approximately 7 weeks.
At this age, the puppy, being in a development phase, needs enough nutrients to support this rapid evolution, they grow too fast, right?!, So it is important that the diet is balanced to provide enough energy for its routine activities , keep the brain and body fully functioning and support growth.
Some key nutrients will have very specific functions in the body and these must necessarily be in the food for them, these are:
- Proteins: they help in the construction of muscle tissues, as well as in the transport of substances, in communication between organs, in addition to strengthening the immune system. They can be of plant or animal origin, the latter being of high biological value due to high digestibility. The phase of life where dogs are puppies is the one where there is the greatest need for protein, due to growth.
- Fats: Maintains healthy skin and hair, helps brain development and vision. They are also sources of energy, load fat-soluble vitamins and have essential fatty acids.
- Carbohydrates: the primary source of energy. Complex carbohydrates, like those that make up grains, are better digested when cooked. This rule applies to all phases of the dog’s life.
- Fibers: they are non-digestible carbohydrates, therefore they guarantee a good functioning of the intestine.
- Minerals and vitamins: strengthening of bones, vision and growth, antioxidant activity, clotting factors, among others.
All these mentioned nutrients must be present in the diet of dogs not only when they are puppies, but throughout the life cycle. What will vary according to age is the proportion of each of them.
In puppies, the formulations must contain higher proportions of all the listed nutrients in order for the dog to develop and grow healthy.
Furthermore, the number of meals in this age group is higher. Between 2 and 3 months of life, 4 meals a day are needed. Between 3 and 6 months, 3 meals a day. When the growth phase ends, this number drops to 2 meals a day.
The high quality ingredients are those that guarantee the supply of nutrients necessary for your age.
Oils obtained from animal sources such as chicken oils, pork fat, among others, used from fresh raw materials are great sources of fat for dog food formulations. Because they are of animal origin, they have high digestibility and palatability, in addition to guaranteeing essential fatty acids for the development of the animal.
As a protein ingredient, hydrolyzed chicken protein is presented as a great option, it guarantees a process free of toxic solvents, it is also more environmentally friendly, it is also of animal origin, it has all the essential amino acids and it is a highly digestible ingredient, guaranteeing good absorption by the animal’s body, reducing the volume of feces.
Dogs have complex organisms, therefore, their nutritional needs vary according to their age. For this, it is necessary to know their needs guaranteeing food that allows a healthy development of the animal.