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Expert Advice on Pet Health and Nutrition

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WebMD Expert Discussion: What Are You Feeding Your Puppy?

We've all heard the saying that children are not just small adults -- their medical and nutritional needs are different. Well, puppies are not just little dogs. They need their own foods, not just a smaller amount of regular dog food, WebMD guest veterinarian Will Draper, DVM, says in the online discussion, Caring for Your Pet.

Like children, puppies need extra amounts of certain nutrients to nourish their growing brains, muscles, and bones, Draper says. These nutrients can only be found in the right amounts in food that’s specifically designed for puppies. For example, he notes, puppy food has more protein and more fat to build healthy skin, coat, tissue, and muscle.

Puppies also need to eat more often than adult dogs. Instead of once or twice a day, feed your puppy three or four times.

One woman said that she had tried several dog food brands over the years before finally settling on her favorite, a more expensive “premium” food. Her nine-month-old puppy now eats that brand’s lamb and rice puppy food for large breeds. “My dogs thrive on it, so it’s worth the extra cost,” she said.

She feeds her puppy on the same schedule as the adult dogs (once daily), but gives her puppy “snacks” in the evening if she seems hungry, including a little of her dog food as well as crunchy carrots.

If you have a puppy, Draper advises talking to your vet about the best diet for your young companion. Or, visit Draper online, and post your thoughts and questions.

Discussion led by William Draper, DVM Guest Expert
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Dr. Will opened Georgia’s first accredited small animal emergency room in 2000. He’s been named Best Vet by Atlanta Magazine since 2004... More

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Pet Health and Nutrition Advice

Veterinarian Will Draper gives tips on the best nutrition and health care for your dog or cat.
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