In young canines, the puppy stage is a vital one for growth and development. The little guys need oodles of energy, after all. Although it may be tempting to reward your pup with all of the yummy table food he wants, remember that it doesn't satisfy his specific nutritional needs.
When it comes to feeding your puppy table food, the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine recommends allowing him only 10 percent or less of his total diet. Table scraps in no way contribute to a balanced puppy diet, so no matter how much your cutie pleads, stand your ground. It's for his own good, after all. If you want to treat your puppy with table food, think two or three fresh carrot sticks while you're preparing a salad in the kitchen. Keep the carrots free of any dressing or other flavoring. Other safe table food options are green beans, plain pasta, bread and lean meats that are fully cooked.
The ASPCA advises owners to greatly restrict table food intake for puppies. Food intended for people can contribute to potential health issues in young doggies, including dental and bone issues, mineral and vitamin imbalances and weight problems. Not to mention, it can turn your puppy into a finicky and difficult eater for life -- definitely not a good thing.
When it comes to feeding a puppy a healthy and balanced diet, opt for commercial wet and dry foods that are made specifically for puppies. Puppies nutritional needs differ greatly from adult doggies. To stay healthy and grow strong, a puppy needs the appropriate levels of proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and fats -- and he certainly cannot get that from eating table food regularly.
Not all table foods are safe for puppy or adult dog consumption. Before you ever allow your fluff ball to eat something straight off your table on those rare occasions, check to make sure that it's 100 percent safe. Some potentially dangerous foods to canines include yeast dough, avocados, garlic, onions and chocolate. Excessive salt can also be harmful to the canine species, so keep the chips in the bag.
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