A dog food that states on the label it meets Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) standards for all life stages is all your puppy needs for proper nutrition. Food with this label already contains the best puppy vitamins and is nutritionally complete, so puppy supplements are unnecessary.
It’s important to understand that adding supplements to your puppy’s already complete-and-balanced diet can create imbalances, toxicities, or synergistic effects among nutrients (see sidebar). So, instead of purchasing a vitamin supplement for your puppy, invest in a high-quality, complete, and balanced puppy food.
Vitamins differ from minerals in that vitamins degrade over time. Minerals are relatively stable compounds. Because of this, the best thing you can do to ensure your puppy gets optimal nutrition is to purchase the right size bag of food, which is the one your puppy will consume within four to six weeks. By regularly providing fresh food to your puppy, you are ensuring he is getting the optimal levels of nutrients before degradation of vitamins begins.
Say No to Puppy Vitamins for Growth
Be sure to select a formula that is appropriate for the size dog you have. Large and giant breed puppies – defined as puppies expected to weigh 70 lbs or more as adult dogs – require diets formulated specifically for them, and you will find that phrase added to the AAFCO nutritional statement on the bag. By providing your puppy a complete source of nutrition, you can be confident that you are setting them up for success. Note: Formulations for large-breed puppies contain slightly lower levels of calcium, phosphorus, fat, and calories.