The feeding of a puppy or kitten a balanced, well rounded diet is extremely important. These animals are in growth stage, therefore they need exaggerated amounts of specific nutrients to develop properly. Your basic ratio (80/10/5/5) diet is not suitable for growing puppies & kittens. At this age the cat/dog does not have the same ability to regulate minerals efficiently in the body. There are no stores of extras to fall back on & vitamin & mineral deficiency can happen quickly.
- 10% bone is NOT enough! A growing puppy will need between 15%-18% bone, it can actually be as much as 20% before calcium : phosphorus ratios are too far off. 17% bone is kind of the "happy" place most will require & a good place to start.
- Organ content also needs to be increased. Liver will need to be anywhere between 5%-7% and the "other" secreting organ will need to be at 7%-9%. If you have an understanding of what the organ is providing you may go a little higher, if not stick to a good variety and stay near 7%.
- The remaining amount is your muscle portion. This needs to be well varied and include non secreting organ. I would aim for at least 30% of this to be non skeletal muscle meat (lung, heart, gizzard ect).
- Holes will still exist in this ratio even with all the above followed. Most notably, iodine, vitamin E, Vitamin D, & manganese. Kelp or dulse fed in appropriate amounts will fulfil iodine. Fish of appropriate species in appropriate amounts will fulfil vitamin D. Manganese can be met with blue mussels & or green tripe. Vitamin E may need to be fulfilled with a natural vitamin E supplement during growth period. These are not the only places a ratio could be lacking, they are however the most common ones.