Dog food according to age

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Dog feeding is different for each stage of the life of these animals. For this reason, dog food and other industrial foods are formulated according to the life stage. This is because each stage has particular nutritional requirements. Therefore, for each stage of your dog's life there is a specific type of food..

Remember that the main body that proposes regulatory dog ​​food policies, AAFCO, only recognizes two types of dog food: puppy food and adult dog food. The other types of food according to the dog's life stages are a response from manufacturers to consumer demands..

Keep reading this AnimalWised article and discover the dog's diet according to its age:

You may also be interested in: Guinea pig feeding according to its age Index
  1. Puppy feeding until weaning
  2. Puppy feeding after weaning
  3. Adult dog feeding
  4. Senior dog feeding
  5. Feeding pregnant bitches
  6. Feeding bitches during lactation

Puppy feeding until weaning

Newborn cubs feed exclusively on the breastmilk, which provides them not only adequate nutrition, but also the immune defenses necessary. During this period they have a very high growth rate, so they need a food rich in protein, calcium and fat, and they also need to eat frequently..

Between the sixth and eighth week of life the puppies also begin to feed on soft food, in porridge form or puppy food moistened with water. This process is known as "weaning ", since they stop feeding on the mother's teat to start eating solid food..

On the other hand, abandoned dogs that cannot receive food directly from the mother will have to be fed by us, an especially hard and complicated task for those who are inexperienced. Find out more about how to feed newborn puppies.

Puppy feeding after weaning

After the eighth week, the average puppy is already weaned and is fed with solid food. From this moment until the dog becomes an adult, growth is very fast and physical activities are very intense and frequent, so the puppy needs food rich in protein and fat.

Of course, the specific nutrient requirements will depend on the particular conditions of each puppy, the environment in which it lives, and the amount of activity it performs. However, this stage is usually very dynamic for all puppies, in addition to being the stage in which the dog increases its mass and volume. We must consult with our veterinarian the feeding of this stage. Remember that very specific breeds such as the American bully need extra calcium to help strengthen their bones, which will bear a lot of weight in the future.

Up to 3 months you can give him food 4 times a day. Between 3 and 6 months, you can feed your puppy 3 times a day. From 6 months to an adult, you can feed your puppy 2 times a day.

Keep in mind that different dog breeds mature at different ages, so there is no set age at which all dogs stop being puppies. In general, small and medium-sized dogs are adults around one year of age, while large and giant dogs are adults around 18 months of age. Before changing your dog's food type, consult your vet.

At this stage of life, your puppy should learn all about socialization and basic first commands. Discover how to raise a puppy step by step in our complete guide.

Adult dog feeding

This stage is known as maintenance stage Because dogs don't grow bigger, they just need to maintain their mass and volume. Adult dogs have a lower calorie requirement per kilogram than puppies. In other words, they do not need foods that are so rich in protein and fat, but rather require foods a little less energetic.

Of course, hunting dogs, working dogs, those that do intense canine sports and all dogs that do intense or prolonged physical activities require food that provides more calories than pet dogs. In this case, you have to get a more caloric food so that your dog receives the necessary energy without having to eat much more.

Feeding bitches during pregnancy and lactation is a special case of feeding adult dogs that we will talk about below..

Senior dog feeding

Older or elderly dogs need diets appropriate to their lower activity levels and that do not have excessive amounts of protein to avoid damaging their kidneys. The formulas for these dogs are usually indicated with the word "Senior " in the name and usually (or should) have ingredients of more easy digestion. Older dogs will benefit from receiving nutritional supplements or vitamins for older dogs.

Keep in mind that not all dogs are considered seniors or elderly at the same age. The age at which they are considered elderly dogs usually varies depending on the size of the dog. A guide to thinking about the age at which a dog is old is the following:

  • Small Breeds: 12 years of age or older.
  • Medium Breeds: 10 years of age or older.
  • Large Breeds: 8-9 years of age or older.
  • Giant breeds: 7 or more years of age.

Of course, this guide is only a general reference and your dog can age sooner or later, depending on his genotype and the environment in which he lives, so it is important that consult with the vet to know when you should change your adult dog diet for that of an older dog. Do not forget that elderly dogs must burn what they consume. Check the different activities for elderly dogs that you can practice with him.

Feeding pregnant bitches

Gestation in dogs lasts approximately 9 weeks (between 58 and 63 days). During the first weeks pregnant dogs do not need a caloric intake significantly higher than maintenance, since the puppies in gestation do not grow much. However, in the last two or three weeks of gestation the energy requirements of the bitch rise a lot and she needs a food with many more metabolizable calories Y high percentage of protein.

Ideally, it is the veterinarian who will tell you at what time of pregnancy you should change your dog's food and what specific food to give her, according to her assessment as a specialist. Find out more about the bitch's pregnancy week by week.

Feeding bitches during lactation

At this stage the puppies are growing at an accelerated rate and are feeding on the mother's milk that the bitch must produce. Therefore, energy demands of the bitch are much higher than those of the maintenance stage, and even those of pregnancy.

The highest demand for caloric intake lasts until the puppies are weaned, but the highest demand occurs between calving and the following four weeks.

While there are some brands of dog food that have formulas for lactating bitches, it is very important that the vet indicate the food that the bitch should receive and follow up accordingly.

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