Do you want a healthy, happy, bouncing puppy? Do you want a puppy who has a shiny coat, bright eyes and a zest for life? Then feed him good quality puppy food--because the better the food, the better the chance your pup has of a long and healthy life.

Feeding your puppy the right puppy food is essential for his long-term good health. But first you'll need to know what makes good dog chow and what foods a puppy needs.

A good puppy diet is rather like a good human diet. Good puppy food should include:

* protein
* carbohydrates
* fats
* vitamins
* minerals
* water

Good puppy food is similar to human food in other ways. Good dog chow should be free of preservatives, artificial colours, pesticide residues, hormones, antibiotics, parasites and any other additives we wouldn't accept in human food. After all, if these things aren't considered good for humans, why would they be good for dogs?

But that doesn't mean you should be feeding your puppy human food!

A puppy's digestive system and nutritional needs are quite different from a human's so a puppy or adult dog needs food that is formulated to suit them.

Dogs need a diet based mainly on meat--but that doesn't mean they eat only meat. In the wild, dogs would also eat bones and internal organs, as well as the stomach contents of their prey (which contain some vegetable matter). So dogs need a variety of foods to get all the nutrients they need.

A high quality, premium puppy food should include meat from a named species of animal, such as beef, lamb or chicken. Be careful of any foods that simply list 'meat' without telling you what it is.

The inclusion of grains in dog food is controversial. Some pet nutritionists believe dogs don't need to eat any grains at all because they don't digest grains well. Grain can also sometimes be used as a filler in dog food to avoid using more expensive meat.

If grains are in the food, they should be good quality ones such as barley, rice or oatmeal. Even better is potato, which dogs digest quite easily and which contains good vitamins and minerals.

Avoid foods that contain wheat or corn. These grains are hard to digest and dogs may not get any nutritional benefit from them. Some vets believe corn can cause allergies in dogs.

There are a number of other foods you should strictly avoid feeding your puppy or adult dog at any time. Some of them might simply make your puppy unwell but others can be deadly. As a new puppy owner, you'll also want to know whether you should be feeding your puppy on puppy kibble (dry food) or canned food. But first of all, it's important to start by feeding your puppy the best food you can afford to grant him a long and healthy life.

Author's Bio: 

Jay Roach Jay Roach is passionate about the proper care and training of puppies, and about helping new dog owners understand their furry friends. Need to find out more about what you should and should not be feeding your puppy? Jay's website at puppyprimer.com has more information about puppy food, new puppy care and on buying, raising and training a puppy.