Organic Puppy Food: 2 Stages & 2 Best Puppy Food Choices
Organic puppy food has two major phases:
- 1st: Takes place during the puppy’s first 8 weeks
- 2nd: Occurs from week 9 until the pup is a full grown adult
But before we get into the best organic puppy food, it’s probably a good idea to review our Natural Organic Dog Food page to understand the differences between natural dog food, organic dog food and most commercial dog food.
If you're feeling antsy, jump straight to the best puppy food in the middle of this page
Long story short, organic food is to regular food as a fresh mountain spring is to the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Okay, maybe we're getting a little carried away. But the only way to ensure that your pride and joy is eating only the best and healthiest ingredients is to "go organic."
In order to be sure you are buying a "complete and balanced" puppy food, look for labels with this distinction. They are required by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) to either meet a nutrient profile or pass a feeding trial.
Now let's get into those 2 phases we were talking about...
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During a puppy's first 8 weeks of life, let them be nursed by their mothers as the mother's milk is by far the most nutritious organic puppy food out there (33.2% protein, 44.1% fat, 15.8% carbohydrate and 6.9% ash). Can it get any more "organic" than that? Go mom!
If your puppy has been separated from the mother or if the mother is unable to nurse, use a formula as close to the mother's milk as possible.
There are many organic brands that make effective formulas, or you can blend your own formula at home using raw fresh foods. If you take the homemade route, you'll need to add:
- Protein powder – choose brands that have at least 80% protein on a dry weight basis and come from animals (casein, egg albumin and lactalbumin) instead of soy sources
- Vitamins – use vitamins made for adult dogs. Either go with the powder form or crush the pills.
Dr. Pitcairn’s Puppy Formula Recipe
- ¾ cup half-and-half (milk and cream)
- 1 cup whole milk (preferably goat milk)
- 2 large eggs
- ½ tablespoon protein powder
- ½ teaspoon of Group I bone meal (or 1 tsp of Group II bone meal, or about 700 mg calcium from a Group III source, or 1/3 teaspoon eggshell powder)
- 1 – 2 days worth of dog vitamins (adult dosage), powdered or crushed
Mix ingredients thoroughly and warm to body temperature (between 101 and 102 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 and 39 degrees Celsius). Feed enough to slightly enlarge the abdomen using a pet nurser or doll’s bottle – if you are uncertain of the amount to feed, use the same amounts as provided on packaging for commercial formulas.
Mix in solid food and ground liver with the formula when the puppy reaches 2 to 3 weeks, and transition away from the bottle after 4 to 5 weeks of age.
Eight to nine weeks is usually when puppy owners adopt their new family member.
Until puppies are full grown (12 to 18 months), their organic puppy food should contain extra protein, calories and nutrients. And as a general rule, puppies eat about two times more per pound of body weight than adult dogs, which drops gradually as they age.
Here are the other guidelines to follow:
- Never abruptly switch food on any dog, especially puppies. Transitioning to a new dog food should be done slowly, generally over a course of 7 to 10 days for an 8 to 10 week old.
- Use dry foods if possible (our recommendations are below), adding a little water if needed, to pack the most nutrients possible into the organic puppy food diet.
- Avoid table scraps for puppies as they can be too tough to digest. Selective raw and partially cooked foods can be a nice supplement to an organic puppy food from a bag.
schedule – the amount of food
and number of meals per day depends on your puppy’s age and
weight. Check with your holistic vet to be sure, but here are
the parameters that we follow:
- Under 4 months: 3 times per day
- Over 4 months: 2 times per day
- Assuming you are using a good organic dog food brand such as the ones below, use the feeding amounts on the bag to determine the proper amounts of organic puppy food. When in doubt, it is better to feed puppies a little more per meal than a little less.
- Organic treats should make up less than 10% of your puppy’s total caloric intake
- Puppies should be allowed to drink as much water as they want. However, assuming you like your carpet the color that it is, you can (and we do) only serve water at scheduled times.
The following natural puppy foods topped out our Healthy Label Test dog food ratings with a 5 out of 5:
|Best Puppy Food on the Market|
|Wellness Super5Mix Canned Puppy Food||
Solid Gold Hundchen Flocken Lamb Puppy Food
Note: If you review the Healthy Label Test results (links or 'dancing dog' images above, like the one pictured to the left) for a particular product, you may notice test responses that don't match the label. In addition to evaluating the label, we have further researched each dog food company listed. In some cases, useful information not found on the label is included in other company documents.
My parents mix a little fresh food in with my organic puppy food kibble. Last week they mixed in a little boiled chicken and this week I got to have some cottage cheese. I get so excited to eat in the morning that my parents don't even need an alarm clock any more!
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