A pup’s nutritional, fitness, and safety needs are all essential for their wellbeing. Making sure that your puppy is getting a balanced meal and exercise each day should be a priority. As you know, “A Healthy Puppy is a Happy Puppy.”
We all want our puppies to live a healthy/long life. Failing to take care of their nutritional needs can wreak havoc on their lives. Unbalanced diets without key nutrients may lead to health problems and a shorter life span for your pet. Balance in our lives is so important, but for our pets, the most critical aspect is in their nutrition.
Let’s talk about Safety! Keeping your puppy safe during their developmental stage is of the uttermost importance! As you know, puppies love to run around and explore, because of this, they need to be protected while they become familiar with the new environments that they’re exposed to. The first 30 days are the most vital when bringing your new pup home. Puppies are not aware of what is safe and what is dangerous. Here are a few helpful tips that will keep your pup safe during these times:
- Be Aware of Poisonous Plants
- Know Which Human Foods are Toxic to Dogs
- Secure the Garbage Cans
- Be Vigilant with Securing Medications
- Always Supervise Interactions with Kids and Other Pets
- Close Toilet Seats and Don’t Keep Sinks or Buckets Full of Water
- Lock up Cleaning Supplies
- Tie up, Cover, or Remove Electrical Cords
- Secure Drapery Cords
- Keep Clothes Picked up and Secure Laundry Basket
- Use Baby Gates to Keep Your Puppy off Stairs
- Always Supervise Your Puppy Outside
- Keep Your Puppy Safely in a Crate when You Can’t Supervise Him/Her
- Visit the Veterinarian and Set up a Care Schedule
Your #1 responsibility when bringing your pup home should be to keep them healthy. Good nutrition, exercise, and proper sleep as well as safety habits are just a few things that should be of your concern when it comes to keeping your puppy happy and healthy.
Like people, puppies need regular exercise to feel their very best. How much exercise should your puppy be getting each day? Good question! This varies from pup to pup and is dependent on your pup’s age, health, and breed. Have you ever noticed your puppy getting a case of the “zoomies” throughout the day? Yes, you read that right. “Zoomies” are a real thing! Zoomies are easily identified and symptoms include running madly around the house and afterwards collapsing in a puppy pile, usually on someone’s lap.
Puppies have way more energy than adult dogs so they require more exercise, preferably in shorter bursts. Some things to consider are taking your puppy on short walks or even engaging in play sessions. This is a much safer choice because puppies are constantly growing. Choosing to go on much longer walks will most likely be too hard on its developing body.
Every puppy is different and each come with their own instruction manual. Well maybe? Ultimately, it is up to you to figure out how much exercise they need to keep them content. The more time you spend with them the easier it will be to figure this out. Some things that you might want to consider investing in to keep your pup active are listed below.
- GoPet CG4012 Indoor/Outdoor Treadwheel for small dogs up to 25 lbs. (This is a great way for your pup to get its exercise indoors during those unpleasant rainy/winter months)
- Goplus Dog Treadmill, Fitness Pet Treadmill Indoor Exercise for dogs up to 200 lbs.
- Topmart Dog Playing Tunnel 16.5 ft. Agility Pet Training Tunnel Tube (This comes with 2 frisbees and is a great way to sharpen your puppy’s obedience, quickness,dexterity, and their general overall quality of life)
Let’s talk food! When buying/making your puppy food, remember to purchase key nutrients like protein (from an animal), vegetables, whole grains, fat, and micronutrients (omega 3 fatty acids for skin and brain functions; and glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate for large breed puppies and those older dogs.
Remember to look for words like this on your label:
- “Complete and balanced nutrition for puppies based on the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) feeding trials”
- “Complete and balanced nutrition”
- “Meets the nutritional requirements of puppies established by the (AAFCO)”
Puppies require more than 50 key nutrients. The most vital out of these are Vitamin C, Minerals Magnesium, Calcium, and Phosphorus. The bodies of puppies are very complex and in here, biochemical reactions are taking place. Making sure your puppy is getting these essential vitamins is so important! Choosing the best food for your pup is one of the most consequential decisions that you’ll ever make. If a puppy would happen to absorb too much calcium, he/she has a much greater risk of developing hip dysplasia and other crippling bone diseases. This is especially true for certain breeds.
Listed below are some of the Best Puppy Foods out there:
- Blue Buffalo Life Protection Puppy Chicken and Brown Rice
- AvoDerm Natural Dry Puppy Food
- Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Puppy Formula
- Eukanuba Dry Puppy Food with Lamb & Rice
- Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Dry Puppy Food
- Blue Buffalo Carnivora Woodland Blend Large Breed Puppy
- Annamaet Ohana Puppy Formula
Who loves DIY projects? These 5 homemade dog food recipes are sure to give your pup the nutrition its body is craving! On the plus side, your pup should feel extra special because they will think that they’re getting to eat human food.
1 . Chicken a’la Spinach Dog Food
- 4 lbs. ground chicken
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups dried brown rice (cook according to package)
- 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
- 1 extra large yam (or 2 medium sized)
- 4-5 cups fresh spinach
Cook rice according to package directions (note: use raw brown (organic if possible) rice instead of minute rice. Minute rice does not contain the needed nutritional value). Wash the yam and pierce using the line of a fork. Microwave on high for 7 minutes (rotating once halfway through) or until tender. Set yam aside and cool. Once cooled, cut yam into cubes. In a large soup pot, add oil and brown chicken over medium heat until cooked through (do not drain the fat). Remove from heat. Add cooked rice, tomato sauce, yams, and raw spinach. Mix with large spoon until well incorporated. Using a submersion blender, blend until well incorporated (no large chunks of any one ingredient should resemble the appearance of canned dog food). Let cool for 1 hour. Place in the refrigerator over night to help set. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a 2 inch diameter ice-cream scoop, scoop individual servings onto the paper. Place trays in the freezer until frozen. Take frozen dog food portions and divide into gallon sized ziplock bags. Store in the freezer. Keep a week’s worth of food in the fridge that has already been thawed for quick access. Makes 1 month’s worth of food (2 servings per day) for a 5-8 pound dog.
2. DIY Homemade Dog Food
- 1 1/2 cups brown rice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 lbs. ground turkey
- 3 cups baby spinach, chopped
- 2 carrots, shredded
- 1 zucchini, shredded
- 1/2 cup peas, canned or frozen
In a large saucepan of 3 cups water, cook rice according to package instructions; set aside. Heat olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add ground turkey and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the turkey as it cooks. Stir in spinach, carrots, zucchini, peas, and brown rice until the spinach has wilted and the mixture is heated through, about 3-5 minutes. Let cool completely.
3. Peanut Butter Banana Pupcakes
- 1 large egg
- 1 banana
- 1/3 cup peanut butter
- 1 cup carrots, shredded
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 cup whole wheat flower
- 1/3 cup 1-minute oats
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- creamy peanut butter, for frosting
Preheat the oven to 350º F and line a cupcake tin with paper liners. Combine the egg, banana, carrots, peanut butter, oil, honey, and vanilla in a large bowl. Mix the flour, baking soda, and oats in another large bowl. Combine the wet and dry ingredients together. Fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Frost with creamy peanut butter (optional).
4. Homemade Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits
- 1 cup Almond Flour
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup oat meal
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
- 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup peanut butter (natural or organic)
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon applesauce
Heat oven to 350º F. In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients with a wooden spoon. Add remaining ingredients and mix well until combined. Knead dough into a ball. On a well floured piece of waxed paper, pat dough ball out until flat, then place another piece of wax paper on top of dough and roll out to 1/4-1/2 inch thick. Use cookie cutter or glass to cut out treats, place on unlined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.
5. Puppy Power Smoothies
- 2/3 cup Almond milk (unsweetened)
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt (plain)
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley
Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. (Note: Serve on top of food, in a bowl, or frozen) Makes approximately 4 small servings.