A recent Purina survey found that while most puppy owners know dogs under a year old are considered puppies, the majority don't realize breed size determines how long their dog is considered a puppy and ultimately how long they need to eat puppy food.
To celebrate National Dog Day, Purina is hosting a livestream spotlighting adoptable puppies from North Shore Animal League America, tips on puppy behavior and the importance of puppy nutrition to ensure a healthy transition from puppy to adult dog. Pet lovers can tune into the livestream event on Purina’s Facebook page (Facebook.com/Purina) on August 26 from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. EST.
"Puppies have specific nutritional requirements to help support their rapid growth and development. Similar to babies, puppies' bodies are fast-growing, but unlike babies, puppies pack all their growth into one to two short years," said Dr. Callie Harris, DVM, veterinarian at Purina. "It's important to feed a high-quality puppy food formula for at least the first 12 months and up to 24 months for large breeds. If you have a mixed breed or aren't sure where your dog falls in terms of breed size, it's best to consult your veterinarian. They can let you know when it's time to switch and help make it a successful transition."
As a general rule, dogs less than one year of age are considered puppies, but different breeds mature at different rates. Here's how long you can expect to feed your dog puppy food based on his breed size:
The 2020 Puppy Owner Survey by Purina engaged 1,000 puppy owners in the United States and revealed the lengths people go to ensure their puppies get the nutrition necessary to become healthy adult dogs.
Among other key findings:
The survey also found that, even when they're not eating, puppies keep their little mouths busy while they wait for the next meal:
"Puppies like to chew. It's what they do. Although it may seem that they're more inclined to eat our slippers or furniture, it's our job to make sure we're helping them get the essential nutrients they need," said Dr. Annie Valuska, Ph.D., senior feeding behavior expert at Purina. "A few ways puppy owners can do this is by establishing a quiet feeding area away from distractions and temptations, like food prep areas and dining tables, and setting up a feeding routine or schedule by feeding him the same amount of food at the same times each day. Doing so will help keep his digestive system regular, make housetraining easier and keep him happy and healthy. And, while adult dogs should be fed twice a day, puppies require more frequent feedings, ideally three times a day."
To highlight the importance of puppy nutrition and in celebration of National Dog Day, Purina is hosting a "Pup-Up" video livestream on Facebook.com/Purina featuring adoptable puppies, in collaboration with North Shore Animal League America from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday, August 26. During the livestream, viewers will not only get to watch puppies at play, but also learn about puppy behavior and the importance of making sure puppies get the nutrition they need to make the healthy transition from puppy to adult dog from Purina's senior feeding behaviorist, Dr. Annie Valuska, Ph.D., and veterinarian, Dr. Callie Harris, DVM. Both experts will be available to chat with viewers and answer puppy owners' questions around puppy nutrition, their eating habits and tips on raising a healthy puppy.
"Today's livestream is the perfect opportunity to highlight the importance of rescue and adoption and illustrate the beautiful animals just waiting for adoption at local shelters and rescue organizations," said Joanne Yohannan, SVP, Operations, North Shore Animal League America. "We are grateful to Purina for their commitment to our mission and their support."
For more information about the adoptable livestream puppies from North Shore Animal League America, or to find the shelter closest to you go to animalleague.org.
For additional puppy nutrition information and tips, visit Purina.com/puppy.
By Lindsay Beaton
This country is straddling the line between developing and developed as more of its citizens see the value in pet ownership.
By Lindsay Beaton