Best Dog Food: Choosing What’s Right For Your Dog
Just as a parent wouldn’t give a child adult food at 3 months, a dog parent shouldn’t give a puppy adult dog food until the puppy is ready for it. The same principle applies for later in life when a senior dog’s nutritional needs change.
A puppy’s transition to an adult dog food should be started when the puppy reaches or approaches adult height. A dog’s breed type will also help to determine when to switch. Small-breed dogs tend to become physically mature much faster than large-breed dogs. Because of this, dogs weighing 20 pounds or less when full grown are ready to eat adult food between 9 months and a year of age. Medium breed dogs, or those that weigh between 20 and 50 pounds when they are fully grown, are normally mature enough for adult food between 12 and 14 months of age. Large and giant breed dogs (dogs that weigh more than 50 pounds when they reach full maturity) might not be fully ready for adult dog food until they are between a year and two years old.
A puppy needs to be nearly mature before switching to adult food since the dietary needs are so different. Whereas puppies need a lot of fat in their diets for energy and growth, adult dogs do not need nearly as much.
Senior dogs should not be switched to a senior dog food too early either. When a dog ages, its body undergoes a metabolic, immunologic, and compositional changes. Senior dogs start to show signs of aging just like humans do. These signs include digestive problems, a loss of muscle mass, arthritis, obesity, dental problems, deterioration of skin and coat, and weakened immune response.
What Makes A Dog Food Good?
Dogs that weigh fifty pounds or less are not considered to be seniors until they are at least seven years old. Dogs weighing between fifty and ninety pounds are frequently considered to be seniors at six years of age. The giants breeds which take the longest to mature also become seniors at the youngest age. Dogs over ninety pounds are considered, by some people, to be seniors at five years of age.
One of the best things a person can do for their pet is provide the correct food for their dog’s age. This will ensure that the dog receives the proper nutrition for all of their life stages. Correct nutrition is one of the easiest ways to extend a dog’s lifespan.