One of the most important breakthroughs in dog nutrition came when veterinary nutritionists recognized the different nutritional needs that dogs have as they mature.
When dogs are first born and for the next several weeks, their complete nutrition comes from their mother's milk. However, if the mother is ill or dogs are orphaned, a commercial milk replacement will need to be given to the young pups. Your veterinarian can educate you on how to choose a replacement, as well as how to feed newborn puppies who do not get milk from their mother.
Once puppies are weaned, they'll get all of their nutrition from dog food, so be sure to choose something that's not only tasty, but healthy too. Puppies require and expend a lot of energy, so young dog nutritional requirements include increased protein to support healthy growth. Also, puppies may require three to four smaller meals a day to start and then slowly be transitioned to two larger meals per day. Talk to your vet about the best feeding regimen for your puppy to ensure they are getting their adequate daily nutrition.
For most dogs, they reach their adult life stage around their first year, so it is important to transition to an adult dog food at that time. An adult dog's food is based on size and activity level. If you have any questions as to how much you should be feeding your dog, it's best to check with your vet, but never overfeed your furry friend. At this stage of life, dogs require nutrition for maintenance. So, an extremely active pet would have different nutritional needs from a less active lap dog.
An often-overlooked segment in a dog's life are their more mature years, those typically between seven and 12. While your dog still has lots of life in them and probably doesn't have problems playing and exercising with you, you may notice that they are starting to slow down a little and their play sessions aren't if they used to be. Dogs are no different than humans in this regard. Just as we slow down with age, so do they, so it is vital to feed them foods that meet their mature adult needs. Because your dog has slowed down at this stage of their life, they need more nutrients devoted to healthy organ, bone, and muscle maintenance. A food formulated for their needs at this age will keep them feeling young and active.
Share this post
- Tags: dog health