In the post weaning period, puppies need a high quantity of energy and protein, the correct ratio of calcium and phosphor, and all other essential substances for their growth and the adequate development of their tissues (muscles, connective, nervous).
These nutritive substances also have to satisfy the homeostasis maintenance. A higher energy and protein content is necessary especially for the first six months of life, a period of immense growth. After this period, energy demands will lower.
Another fundamental aspect to keep in mind when feeding dogs is that various breeds each have a particular time needed to reach sexual and physiological maturity. Small dogs will reach maturity faster than larger dogs, therefore their first nutrition period will last just until they reach 9-12 months of age.
Larger dogs will need 24 months to complete their muscular and skeletal growth.
The needs of larger dogs are met by the market, which offers pet food created specifically for them. These pet foods provide an adequate caloric intake to support a harmonious and balanced development, and contain chondroitin and glucosamine to protect bones and cartilages. Moreover, they are enriched with the essential fatty acid Omega3 as an anti-inflammatory, which is helpful for the development of a healthy nervous system and excellent vision.
A published study in January 2010 has found that subjects fed with a diet rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids Omega3, and possessed a high quality of these factors in their blood, exhibited improved training performance when compared to the control group.
EPA and DHA are components of the Omega3 group which are highly necessary during the growth of a puppy.
They enhance the composition of cartilages, provide mechanical support to bone structures, and hydrate organ tissues. Moreover, EPA and DHA have an anti-inflammatory action and are important in the management of the vasodilation process and the coagulation of blood.
Poor nutrition or overeating creates the risk of osteoarticular and obesity diseases in adults. Unfortunately, many dogs are fed with pet foods made mainly of cereals and meat flour from animals raised on silage, both of which are nearly devoid of Omega3. The modern cycle of intensive farming of animals, based on the use of silage as the main food source, has produced the following negative consequence: It has almost cancelled the intake of Omega3 fatty acids and completely imbalanced the Omega3/Omega6 intake.
In fact, herbs have always been the natural food for herbivores, as it guarantees an Omega3 and Omega6 intake close to 1:1, while grains have a ratio of just 1.4:5.4.
In this way, all the big and small ruminants and poultry bred to produce silage meat, milk, cheese, egg, and flour rich in Omega6 are seriously deficient of fatty acids of the Omega3 series. A high presence of Omega6 with no counterbalance of Omega 3 can cause inflammation, proliferate various cell lines, and promote abnormal tissue growth with prevarication of muscular development and fat at the expense of the skeleton. This may explain why in the last thirty years the growth rates of medium to large puppies have surged around six months.
Of the same age, most small and medium dogs have reached 80% of the standard height and 12 month forecast growth, which undermines harmonious physiological development of the muscular and skeletal systems. It is therefore reasonable to assume that low quality food and an imbalance of Omega3 and Omega6 causes abnormal and early growth, which predisposes dogs to diseases such as bone and joint dysplasia and osteochondritis dissecans.
With a balanced and complete nutrition, you will have a muscular, agile, and healthy dog that is suitable for competitive activities of work and beauty.