Nutrition

Nutrition is critical for your new puppy to develop into a healthy and happy companion. Here, you will learn about what to look for in a Puppy Food, nutritional labelling, foods that are toxic to dogs, and much more. TLC has also developed a feeding calculator to help determine just how much your active puppy will eat now and as they grow.

How to Feed a Puppy

Feeding Calculator

Ideal Body Condition

Obesity currently affects over 30% of the pet population. Our pets eat what we provide, so it is important that we don't overfeed and under exercise them.

How do you know when your pet is overweight or obese?

thin

Thin:

  • Vertebrae, pelvic bones and ribs are easily seen
  • Fat not seen or palpable
  • Extreme abdominal tuck
ideal

Ideal:

  • Ribs palpable but not visible
  • Waist easily visible when viewed from above
  • Abdominal tuck from side
obese

Obese:

  • Ribs under heavy fat cover
  • Waist is hardly visible
  • Fat deposits throughout
  • Zero abdominal tuck

Choosing the Right Food for your Puppy

TLC Whole Life Pet Food - Free Home Delivery - Click to order Online

TLC Whole Life is "The Logical Choice"

High Quality Meats Lamb, Chicken, Salmon

Quality meats are essential for muscle development and overall body maintenance. TLC only uses high quality, deboned meats sourced from US, Canada and New Zealand government-inspected facilities.

TLC’s Salmon is caught in the Atlantic Ocean and processed in New England and Maritime Canada fisheries, where it is naturally preserved.

Always Fresh Satisfaction Guaranteed

TLC primarily uses ingredients that are grown by North American farmers and harvested by fisheries off of our own coasts to ensure freshness and food safety. This reduces the number of distributors, handlers and warehouses. This means the farm-grown ingredients can get to our facility faster, ensuring fresher food for your pets.

Superfoods Blueberries, Cranberries, Quinoa

TLC Whole Life Pet Food includes the top super foods, including Blueberries, one of the top sources of antioxidants. Blueberries are also ideal for cardiovascular health, immune system health and control of inflammation. TLC also contains Quinoa, providing a perfect balance of all eight essential amino acids.

Digestive Enzymes Cassia, Anise

Digestive Enzymes like Cassia aid the digestive system, eliminate gas and act as antiviral agents.

Whole Grains Oatmeal, Whole Grain Barley, Millet

These Whole Grains are great sources of carbohydrates which provide your dog with hours of energy.

Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids Salmon, Salmon Oil

Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids are essential for your puppy's development and health.

Omega-3 includes DHA, required for healthy development of the brain, vision and nervous system. TLC Whole Life Pet Food includes Salmon Meal and Salmon Oil which are high quality, natural sources of DHA.

Whole Life Herbal Pack Herbs, Fruits & Vegetables

TLC Whole Life Puppy Food contains Herbs, Fruits and Vegetables to provide the very best blend of naturally delivered antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. These promote heart, digestive, intestinal and circulatory system health. These also provide your pet with a healthy coat.

Vitamins and Minerals A, B1, B6, B12, C, D3, E

TLC includes all of the essential and beneficial vitamins and minerals your puppy needs.

This includes antioxidants, such as Vitamins A, C and E to neutralize free radicals that may cause cell dysfunction, genetic damage. Vitamin D3 helps with the absorption of calcium.

Fruits, Herbs and Vegetables Apples, Carrots, Peas

Fruits and Vegetables are a source of antioxidants, and contribute to overall body health. Consuming Fruits and Vegetables help build and maintain a healthy immune system in the puppy stage and into adulthood.

Probiotics and Prebiotics Lactobacillus Acidophilus

Probiotics are dietary supplements containing beneficial bacteria, intended to assist the body’s naturally occurring balance of bacteria, which promotes digestive health. TLC Whole Life Puppy Food includes four varieties of probiotics.

Prebiotics are dietary supplements that provide nutrients for the Probiotic beneficial bacteria.

Natural Preservatives Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols

Only natural preservatives are added to TLC’s raw animal-based ingredients. TLC’s Salmon Meal, Salmon Oil, Chicken Meals, Chicken Fat and Lamb Meal are all preserved with Vitamin E and Mixed Tocopherols. None of TLC’s raw ingredients contain artificial preservatives like Ethoxyquin or BHA.

Low Glycemic Index Sweet Potato, Oatmeal

TLC Whole Life Puppy Food is a high protein, low glycemic formula with slow to digest Sweet Potato, Chicory Root and Whole Grains. This means that TLC will not produce a high sugar level in the blood, which is associated with diabetes and obesity.

High Digestibility Meats, Vegetables, Vitamins

TLC is highly digestible, ensuring absorption of the vitamins, minerals, proteins and fats your puppy needs. Our fat is 96% digestible, and the protein is 89%. The total digestibility of TLC is 86%. This high digestibility also ensures a low stool volume - for easier clean-ups.

Why a Multiple Meat Formula

TLC Whole Life Puppy Food uses a combination of quality, concentrated meats including Lamb Meal, Chicken Meal and Salmon Meal. These concentrated meats are extremely rich in protein. Protein and amino acids that meat contain are necessary for muscle growth and recovery. Your puppy will be growing extremely fast, and it is crucial that they are getting top quality proteins to ensure natural muscle growth that will build their foundation for the years to come.

Food Intolerance

Having a multiple meat protein source will keep your puppy loving and craving TLC. Not only do puppies love the taste, but this will solve the problem some dogs have of protein intolerances. Protein intolerances occur when an animal ingests the same protein multiple times per day and eventually the animal rejects it. Feeding a food with multiple meat sources will prevent this from happening!

Making Meal Time Hassle Free

Plenty of fresh water at all times

Always leave a bowl full of water out for your puppy. Puppies need to hydrate themselves in order for proper digestion to occur. Also, puppies are extremely active and need to be constantly hydrated.

Avoid table scraps and human foods

Avoid feeding your puppy table scraps if you want to maintain a well balanced diet. In doing so this will help prevent health concerns and fussy eating habits. There are many foods that we as humans eat that could not only contribute to weight gain, but are actually toxic.

See a List of Foods that are Dangerous for Pets

Avocado

Avocado may be healthy for humans, but for dogs it can actually be very harmful. A significant amount of avocado flesh or peel can lead to a mild upset stomach. Ingestion of the pit can lead to more serious problems, including obstruction in the gastrointestinal tract which requires urgent veterinary care.

Bread Dough

Yeast, used in raw dough, can be very harmful to dogs if ingested due to the reason that the warm, moist environment of the stomach allows the yeast to multiply. This results in the dough expanding within the stomach. Side effects include; decreased blood flow to the stomach walls, difficulty breathing and alcohol intoxication which is caused from the yeast multiplying and producing alcohol that can easily be absorbed. If you notice signs such as lack of coordination, disorientation, vomiting and in extreme cases coma or seizures, seek veterinary assistance immediately.    

Chocolate

Chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine, which is a type of stimulant that is extremely fatal to dogs and can do permanent damage to their central nervous system. Watch out for signs such as vomiting, increased thirst, abdominal discomfort, restlessness, severe agitation, muscle tremors, irregular heart rhythm and in extreme cases, seizures. If these symptoms occur, your dog should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.   

Coffee, Tea and other Caffeine

Food and beverages that contain caffeine are extremely harmful to dogs. Symptoms of caffeine poisoning include vomiting, heart palpitations, muscle tremors, fits and bleeding. If your dog is experiencing these symptoms, it is advised to seek veterinary assistance immediately.   

Ethanol (Ethyl Alcohol , Grain Alcohol or Drinking Alcohol)

For dogs, even ingesting a small amount of alcohol can cause significant intoxication.  Some of the side effects include vomiting, loss of coordination, disorientation and in more extreme cases comas, seizures, or even death. For mild signs of intoxication monitor your pet closely. If your dog is experiencing more extreme signs of intoxication, bring your puppy to a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Fat Trimmings and Bones

Fat and fat trimmings may smell and look appealing to your dog, however these can actually be very dangerous and lead to problems such as pancreatitis. Dog bones are also problematic when giving pets animal scraps as they can splinter in the dog’s digestive tract, causing an obstruction or laceration of your dog’s digestive system. Try to dispose of bones carefully so your dog will not be able to get to them.

Grapes, Raisins and Currants

Grapes and raisins are extremely toxic to dogs and can cause many life threatening problems, including kidney failure. Side effects of grape or raisin toxicosis include vomiting, lethargy or diarrhea within 12 hours of ingestion. As the problem progresses, other symptoms may appear including dehydration, dog becoming increasingly lethargic and refusing to eat. Kidney failure or long term kidney disease may occur three or four days after ingestion. If your dog is experiencing any of these symptoms, seek veterinary treatment immediately.

Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia nuts are harmful to dogs, causing discomfort that may continue for up to 48 hours. Symptoms include weakness in their rear legs, appear to be in pain, tremors and hypothermia. If your dog is experiencing a significant amount of pain it may be beneficial to get veterinary care, which may include intravenous fluid therapy and pain control.

Milk and Milk Products

Giving your dog a scoop of ice cream may sound like the perfect treat for a hot summer day, but it can actually be harmful to your dogs health. Neither cats or dogs have the enzyme needed to help break down lactose. As a result, ingesting milk or milk based products can cause digestive problems including upset stomach, diarrhea, and even can lead to future problems such as developing food allergies. To help prevent these problems from happening, it is important to keep your pets on a lactose-free diet.

Onion & Garlic  

Onion and Garlic in all forms (dry, raw, cooked, dehydrated and powdered) contains a chemical that can damage a dog’s red blood cells if a significant amount is ingested. The damage generally is not recognizable until 3 to 5 days after a dog has ingested onion or garlic. Some symptoms include changes in their urine color- orange tinged to a dark red color, feeling weak and tired, vomiting, dullness and breathlessness. If your dog is showing any of these signs, be sure to get them examined by a veterinarian immediately.

Raw Eggs

Cooked eggs are a perfectly healthy treat for dogs because of their high protein content. Raw eggs on the other hand, could lead to many problems including food poisoning from bacteria like Salmonella or E. coli. Other problems include biotin deficiency, if a large amount of raw eggs is digested, which can cause skin problems and affect your dog’s coat.

Xylitol

Xylitol (artificial sweetener) used in products such as candies, sugar-free gum, most diet products, and in sugar-free baked goods can be fatal to dogs. If ingested it can lead to many problems including hypoglycemia or lowered blood sugar levels. Other problems include liver damage, which can be fatal. Watch out for signs such as vomiting, lack of coordination, disorientation and seizures. If your dog has ingested products containing xylitol it is strongly advised to seek veterinary assistance immediately.

Keep it clean

Keep their feeding area clean. If you have a towel or cloth underneath your puppy’s food and water bowl, it is recommended that it be replaced and cleaned regularly. It is also recommended that their feeding and water bowls be thoroughly washed on a regular basis to remove unwanted bacterial buildup that will occur over time.

Less distraction

Leave your puppy in peace while they are eating. Taking their food away or disturbing them while they eat can lead to both anxiety and food related aggression.

Pet Tip

Avoid feeding your puppy before travelling, or 1 hour before or after exercising. This will help prevent your puppy from getting sick.

Medical and Special Diets

In rare instances, your pet may require a medical diet available only through your veterinarian. The majority of pets do not require a medical diet. Pets require a nutritional diet with premium-quality ingredients that have a sufficient amount of vitamins, minerals and amino acids. These are the foundation for a balanced, healthy pet food.

If you compare TLC Puppy Food to brands sold in a veterinary office, you will see that TLC provides an excellent, high-quality formula to keep your dog healthy. Make sure to bring the INFO FOR YOUR VET brochure to your first vet visit to provide any information needed about your puppy's food.

Trips to the veterinarian can be very stressful for a young puppy. Try and make the visits as pleasant as possible with lots of love and a couple of treats. If your puppy associates a trip to the vet with love and treats, future visits will be much easier.

How to Read an Ingredient Label

The first ingredients, just like on a ingredient label for human food, are most important. Ingredients are measured by weight. The first ingredients on a Puppy Food label have the highest inclusion rate.

A dog’s ancestry dates back to that of a wolf - which needs meat to survive. Real meat ingredients at the top of the list are a good start to ensure the proper amino acids are going to be delivered through nutrition. Another ingredient that signals a high quality food are multiple whole grains that are rich in complex carbohydrates. These will provide both your new puppy or full grown dog with the energy they require. Fruits and vegetables are another essential input into a quality pet food. Immune system benefits, cardiovascular health, and anti-oxidizing properties are all delivered through the vitamins that Fruits and Vegetables provide. Having chelated minerals in a pet food formula provides easily absorbable nutrients and vitamins that come from important metals such as zinc and iron. Probiotics and Prebiotics in a pet food also help maintain the health of your dog’s digestive tract.  

The Guaranteed Analysis and Ingredient listing provide the ingredients in the food and a percentage breakdown of protein, fat, moisture etc. Make sure the food you are feeding your pet meets the nutritional levels established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), by checking for the AAFCO statement on the packaging.

What to Watch For

By-products, artificial flavors and colors. By-products are not a complete source of protein. Artificial flavors or colors are unnatural ingredients and have no nutritional value.

Ingredient splitting is a way to move meat further up an ingredient list. For example, by splitting things like wheat, wheat shorts, whole wheat etc., meat ingredients are pushed further up the ingredient label, when actually there is more wheat in the formula.

Despite the fact that the ingredients at the top of the listing are the most important, you should still read the entire label. Look for ingredients that will help your dog stay healthy, like Sweet Potatoes and Green Lipped Mussels.

A food that names “Lamb” alone as the first ingredient actually has Lamb much further down the ingredient label by the time the food is fully produced. This is due to the water being evaporated from the food during the cooking process, decreasing the total weight of the ingredient drastically. Lamb Meal is dehydrated and concentrated prior to being added to the recipe.

Recalls - Although the ingredients in your Puppy Food are without a doubt of #1 importance, it is also important to be able to trust the manufacturer. TLC has never issued a recall on any product, so rest assured you are safe with us! All of TLC’s ingredients (except the Lamb and Green Lipped Mussels which are from New Zealand) are from North America.

Expiry date - Many pet foods that are bought in retail stores are often several months old. Pet food is required to have an expiry date on all packaging, so make sure you check for this before purchasing.

Claims of “Organic” pet food - Many pet foods will use the term “organic” on packaging. It is important to know that when a label says “made with organic ingredients”, this only means that a minimum of 70% of the ingredients are organic, with the other 30% being non organic ingredients. For a pet food to be legally allowed to bear the “USDA Organic” label, it means the product must be 95%-100% organic, not including salt and water content.

Foods that contain the word “with”- When a pet food label contains the word “with” (for example, “Puppy Food with chicken”), the “with” only legally has to mean 3% total weight or more of that ingredient is in the food. Be wary of the “with” rule when searching for a Puppy Food!

 

Why your Breeder’s Opinion Matters

You have done your research and made an informed decision on where to get your puppy. You trust that your breeder raised each litter in a healthy and safe environment and know that they want the best for your family and your newest family member.

Your friends and family who have pets, your veterinarian, the clerk at your local pet food store and others will all have an opinion on what you should be feeding. Your breeder has raised many dogs and done in-depth research on pet food. Breeders know good nutrition, so trust their opinion and expertise.

Your breeder’s success depends on the health of their dogs. They have tested many different foods and have decided on the one that is best. This is why your breeder is feeding TLC to both your new puppy and your puppy’s parents.

Many of North America’s top breeders feed TLC for a reason and that reason is quality. The quality can first be seen in each puppy’s shiny and healthy coat. Your puppy will be free of skin, gastrointestinal, skeletal and dental problems. Feeding your puppy our low GI formula will also provide protection from diabetes. Many of these issues are often hard and expensive to remedy. That is why choosing a healthy puppy from a reputable breeder is very important.

Testimonials

Your product, website and service have all been exceptional from day one. It is a pleasure to be your customer and we are happy to recommend you to anyone who asks. Keep up the great work!

Jasper B. in Calgary, AB

Just wanted to let you know that I have never found a dog biscuit that all my dogs like so much! And your Puppy Food is so great, that my youngest dog that has had digestive issues in the past now eats your food without any issues. This is such a great product! My cats also LOVE your food - so all around, we are a very happy family!

Lindsey Y. in Waterloo, ON

I would like to take a moment to say thank you for delivering a quality product at such an efficient speed. I am a first time dog owner and a recently certified Dog Trainer and I will be recommending your products to everyone I know. I am extremely impressed with the quality of the product and even more impressed with the speed of service at which the product appeared on my doorstep.

Joshua V. in Nashville, TN

Pet Tip

Not only are multiple meats important for protein delivery, they are what make food tasty or "palatable" for your puppy. Feed them something they will love!

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