I've been thinking a lot about puppies and puppy food lately after Toby's vet has been all up in arms about us feeding an ALS formula. I was wondering - what exactly ARE the nutritional needs of puppies? So I've been doing some digging and thought I'd share my results.
The AAFCO guidelines are here (based on dry matter basis, not the "as-is" basis)"
In general what I've found:
- High fat (AAFCO says minimum 8.5%)
- High protein (AAFCO says minimum 22.5%)
- Minimum Calcium 1.2%, maximum 1.8%
- Minimum Phosphorus 1.0%, maximum 1.6%
- Calcium : Phosphorus ratio of 1.2-1.4:1 from most sources, AAFCO says 1:1 minimum and 2:1 maximum
- Higher calorie intake (I use the RER calculator to calculate this which makes it straightforward)
In an attempt to balance Riley and Toby's nutritional needs I've been taking a hard look at some of the Fromm formulas. They've both been doing well on the Pork and Peas but I am trying to find a second one to rotate in that won't cause issues. I wanted to try to find a grain inclusive one as well just to add another level of variety. I'm also trying to stay away from salmon and chicken for Riley since she had a huge allergy flare up while eating Surf&Turf.
With the Highlander Beef I have some concerns about the Haddock but Riley has done well on that one in the past so it may be worth a try. All three of these formulas meet my "no chicken or salmon" requirements (other than some salmon oil) and seem more than adequate according to AAFCO's puppy guidelines.
|% dry matter basis||Comparison with AAFCO minimums (Food - AAFCO minimum)|
|Fromm pork and peas||31.45||19.39||1.27||1.01||1.26||8.95||10.89||0.07||0.01||0.26|
|Fromm Beef frittata veg||34.25||19.45||1.41||1.05||1.34||11.75||10.95||0.21||0.05||0.34|
|Fromm Highlander beef||29.68||19.06||1.68||1.19||1.41||7.18||10.56||0.48||0.19||0.41|
Here is the spreadsheet I used to make the comparison, you can enter your own in the green area and it will compare on the right. The comparison values are the food entered on the left minus the AAFCO values, so in these three examples the foods are above the minimums recommended by the AAFCO for puppies. If it were a negative value then that food would be under the minimums.