Food for Staffy Pupsby Kat Toland
Slow down buddy! It's dinner time.
Staffordshire bull terrier, or "staffy," puppies always are on the move, playing and investigating anything and everything. As they go and grow, they need the right nutrition for their increasing musculature and high energy. Which food is best and how to feed your staffy pup will depend on your vet's advice, the ingredients of the food, the size and age of each puppy, and your budgetary limitations.
Take your staffy puppy to the veterinarian for a thorough examination. Ask your vet if they have any suggestions regarding ingredients to include or avoid for your dog specifically and for the breed in general. Inquire about supplements, natural additives or vitamins that he recommends.
Research a diet that fits your staffy puppy and your lifestyle. You can choose from pure commercial (dry and/or wet), a combination of homemade and commercial, prepared raw, dehydrated raw or homemade. Your choice will depend on your budget and the amount of time you want to invest. Structure is important until you know your puppy's individual needs.
Look for a food or plan a diet that has your staffy pup's nutritional needs in mind. For a lean staffy puppy, who is high in energy and muscle, you want to look for a protein content of 25%-35%. To sustain his growth and large bones, you want a higher fat percentage as well, around 20%. Look for whole foods with few ingredients. Avoid generic proteins (fish or poultry rather than salmon or chicken), animal fat on its own, by-products, meals and anything you cannot pronounce.
Keep carbohydrates low. Include only high grade whole grains (barley, oats, brown rice, quinoa), sweet potatoes, fruits and vegetables. Avoid any corn, soy and wheat or gluten products.
Avoid foods that might cause allergies or skin issues, as Staffy pups often are prone to suffer these. To steer clear of these right from the start, select a food with protein derived from beef, game meats (buffalo, venison, rabbit), fish or a combination thereof.
Weigh your puppy and check the food's guidelines for his weight and age. Break the recommended quantity into 2-3 meals a day. If you think it is too much or too little, check with your vet and adjust as needed. The guidelines are not exact instructions.
Measure one serving into a clean ceramic or stainless steel bowl, and have your pup sit and wait for his meal. As soon as he complies, give him the goods and make sure he does not eat too quickly. If he does not eat right away, you might want to remove the bowl and try again so he learns the value of feeding time and settles into a predictable routine.
Weigh him again in 3-4 weeks and adjust the food quantity appropriately. When it is time to switch to adult food (based on veterinary recommendations, food guidelines and/or your individual dog's needs), be sure to do so gradually to avoid stomach upset. The same goes for switching protein sources, even within the same brand, until your puppy's stomach is fully developed.
Stay on top of developments (including improvements and recalls) in the dog food industry and discuss them with your veterinarian. As your staffy pup grows and matures, his needs and tastes will change too. You are the best judge of how your puppy responds to different foods and ingredients. You always can change dog foods or otherwise improve your pet's diet.
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- Puppy food
- Measuring cups
- Stainless steel or ceramic bowl
- Look for the best food in a price range you will be able to sustain.
- Try your hand at making nutritious and healthy homemade treats to supplement your staffy pup's diet.
- Do not switch completely to raw or homemade diets without consulting your veterinarian.
- Always avoid anything containing onion, grapes, cocoa, caffeine, macadamia nuts or any of their by-products.