The Well Dog Place: Puppy Basics
We strongly believe that getting puppies started on a quality wellness program maintains greater health throughout their life. Our basic approach centers around proper nutrition, targeted supplements, appropriate and proper vaccinations, exercise recommendations, and fitness management.
All dogs should be fed high-protein, high-fat dog food, especially puppies. High protein diets promote greater muscle development and better body composition at maturity. High fat ensures proper immune development against disease and healthy skin and fur quality. The Well Dog food recommendations feature diet choices that contain 38%-42% of calories from protein, 38% of calories from fat, and only 0-24% calories from carbohydrate.
This differs from most dog foods (including the most popular, expensive brands) that contain 22-28% of calories from protein, 25-30% calories from fat, and 50% of more calories from carbohydrates. Wow, all that money for the cheapest ingredients-carbs!! We have analyzed all commercial diets and only offer and recommend a limited line of dry kibble, canned food, or frozen homemade-like foods. Most of our recommendations are all stages so your puppy can stay on the same food even as an adult.
Vitamins are not a supplement. A good quality dog food has all the vitamins your dog needs. True supplements add quality to the diet that dog food does not contain. At The Well Dog Place, we recommend supplements that will aid in digestive health, cognitive brain development, joint development, and immune support to get puppies off to a healthy start in life. As your puppy ages, we add other targeted supplements for body changes that occur with aging.
The viruses that cause distemper, parvo, and rabies are common in wildlife (raccoons, opossum, coyotes) and unvaccinated dogs in this area. A good puppy health program requires your puppy to be vaccinated for these core diseases at strategic times during their first 4 months of life.
This set of core vaccines during early puppyhood is important to guarantee your puppy is protected against these serious diseases. This information sheet explains the medical logic for our puppy vaccination program.
Exercise is important for your puppy’s body development as well as mental health. Tired puppies are less likely to display the destructive behavior we see in puppies that get limited exercise. Puppies need a job!
Owners of puppies of large and giant breeds are often instructed by veterinarians to limit exercise to prevent joint disorders like hip and elbow dysplasia. Certain types of exercise may need to be avoided (jumping for frisbees, long jogs on pavement), but there are plenty of alternatives so even large and giant breed dogs can get their needed exercise.
Although puppies need 2-6 times the calories of adults of the same weight, a round puppy is not a healthy puppy. Puppies need to be fed adequate calories but still maintain a fit body condition.
At The Well Dog Place, we help puppy owners recognize the body conformation necessary to ensure steady, but controlled growth. Often owners of large or giant breed puppies are advised to feed these puppies an adult dog food to limit fast growth. This is actually poor advice as puppies need the extra amounts of vitamins and minerals included in puppy or all-stage dog foods.
Feeding puppies adult diet formulas will cause deficiencies in these necessary nutrients that will affect proper bone growth. Controlled feeding of puppy formulas is a far superior approach for regulating the growth of large and giant breeds. Maintaining a fit conformation in all dog breeds will help prevent many serious diseases of older ages like arthritic joints, diabetes, inflammatory bowel and kidney diseases, and even cancer.
We look forward to seeing you, answering your questions and discussing a health program designed specifically for your new puppy's needs.