Puppy food, junior food, and senior menus: How the different types of dog food differ and why it is important to feed dogs according to their age.
Stages of life
The life phases of the dog are divided into four categories: puppy, junior, adult, and senior. It should be noted that small dogs grow up faster than large ones and at the same time age more slowly. Dogs have different nutritional and calorie needs at every stage of life, so there is dog nutrition that is adapted for every age.
Dog food: puppies, junior and adult
Dogs that are still growing are given a special puppy and junior food. It is usually adapted to the size and the expected final weight. Dog food for young dogs not only provides the little ones with all the important nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, but ideally also promotes an appropriate growth rate. This is important because too fast growth can lead to problems in the bone structure and the joint apparatus. The crux of the matter here is the correct ratio of calcium and phosphorus in the food, adapted to the dog’s life phase.
For puppies, the food ratio is divided into about four meals a day. Adult animals get one to two meals a day. However, adult dogs with digestive problems or chronic diseases can also be fed smaller portions more frequently.
Pay attention to the feeding recommendations of your food brand and to an adequate supply of freshwater. Snacks must always be deducted from the daily ratio so that your dog does not become overweight. Weigh your pet regularly, because when it reaches its final weight, its energy requirements decrease. In most cases, the changeover to dog food for adults, i.e. fully grown, dogs now also take place. This should always be done over a longer period of about two weeks by gradually increasing the proportion of new food.
Dog food for seniors
When activity decreases with age, energy requirements also decrease. If you do not adjust your diet accordingly, obesity is the result. This is particularly stressful for a senior. At the same time, age-related symptoms may appear that place special demands on nutrition.
So it is important that you look at your senior individually: How active is he? What health problems are there? In general, one can say that the protein content of the senior food must not be too high, since the functions of the liver, kidneys, and metabolism often decrease with age. Also, make sure that the individual components are easy to digest.
Age-appropriate dog feeding: conclusion
Dog feeding adapted to the individual phases of life supports the health of your pet from puppyhood to old age. It can prevent many health problems and have a supportive effect on illnesses.