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Photo credit: dogsnaturally.co.uk
One of the best things a pet owner can do for their puppy is to provide it with the most nutritious food possible. While there are a variety of excellent puppy foods available at mass retailers, many owners are beginning to favor all-natural dog foods instead of mass-produced commercial brands. Because there are so many factors to consider in this process, it is important to weigh the pros and cons of starting your puppy on an all-natural diet.

The most obvious reason to start a puppy on an all-natural puppy food diet is the ability to control what he or she eats. When you make complete nutrition puppy food at home, you are ultimately in control of what the puppy consumes - something that you can't always do with a store bought puppy food brand. You do not have to worry if the puppy is consuming products that may be recalled in the future. The widespread pet food recalls of 2007, along with products still on the market that are reportedly dangerous, make many pet owners justifiably afraid of giving their pets a product that may be harmful to them. Because a puppy is more vulnerable to the possible dangers of commercially-produced pet food, deciding to prepare an all-natural, home-cooked diet is one way of preventing this issue.

While deciding to put your puppy on an all-natural diet may seem to be in the dog’s best interests, remember that there are some major downsides to selecting this dietary path. Preparing puppy food requires a great deal of planning—an issue with busy lifestyles. Puppies also have special dietary needs, which have already been addressed with commercial dog foods. Although it is possible to prepare all-natural pet foods at home despite a busy lifestyle with good planning, homemade pet food can also be cost-prohibitive. Because dogs require a meat-rich diet, the expense of healthy meats may increase the cost of feeding a pet considerably versus purchasing commercial dog food.

One compromise that many make in this argument is to select vet-recommended brands of pet food. Many of these brands are purchased exclusively at veterinarian’s offices. Other options include pre-made natural pet foods—containing real meat, vegetables, and small amounts of grain—often sold at major pet stores in the refrigerated section.

Choosing the right diet for your puppy can be a difficult decision. There are many dietary choices available for pet owners. Selecting the right diet for a puppy is a matter of weighing multiple considerations: time, cost, risk, nutrition, and lifestyle.

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