It is important that petfood for a puppy be formulated specifically for young dogs, so that the food includes nine key ingredients for puppy health.

“Puppies have different nutritional needs than adult and senior dogs,” Katy Nelson, an emergency veterinarian said in an article. “Puppies need a food specifically formulated for young dogs. They also have size-specific needs.”

Chicken and egg are the best sources of protein, followed by other meats and byproducts, according to Nelson. She said that puppies also have specific nutrient requirements, and must have a food with a proper balance of calcium and phosphorus, and amino acids and vitamins. Beet pulp and fructooligosaccharide are moderately fermentable, so the ingredients enhance nutrient absorption and aid the puppy in removing waste, Nelson said. Petfood with antioxidants is also important for puppies, according to Nelson, it is thought to cause fewer growth abnormalities and improve overall health.

Other beneficial ingredients in puppy food are fish and vegetable oils, which are high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, respectively.

“It’s brain food,” said Nelson. “They help with all body systems. I don’t think we’ve reached the tip of the iceberg in understanding their benefits."