If you want you new puppy or kitten to thrive, keep these facts in mind as you develop their diet. Proper nutrition is key to helping your pet grow up as best as possible.

1. A Balanced Diet Is Even More Important for Growing Animals Than for Adults


All animals, regardless of age, need a balanced diet to thrive, but puppies and kittens are especially sensitive to nutritional imbalances. For example, excess calcium can cause a puppy to develop severe bone changes and orthopedic disease. Adult dogs are able to regulate calcium absorption when the diet is high in calcium, but puppies cannot.


2. Puppies Should Not Be Fed Adult Formula Food


Puppies should only be fed a growth formula diet, because they are sensitive to nutritional imbalances and their energy needs are greater. They need help supporting the tissues already developed, and provide the energy needed to form new tissues.


Puppies use about 50 percent of their consumed energy for maintenance and 50 percent for new tissue development in the early growth phase. Growth diets often provide a greater percentage of protein and fat to support growth than do adult maintenance diets. Growth diets also provide optimal amounts of calcium, phosphorus, copper, and essential fatty acids.


3. Unchecked Growth Can Be Harmful to a Dog’s Bones


Feeding a puppy to maintain her ideal body condition versus allowing maximum growth promotes the optimal rate of bone development. This will ensure they don’t have any bone issues as they get older.