Dog food for every age – Detailed Guide 2021

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Every dog ​​friend is happy when his four-legged friend eats the food bowl with pleasure. Of course, dog food should provide our animal friends with everything they need. However, the needs can change throughout the dog’s life: a young dog benefits from different nutrients than an adult four-legged friend. Senior dogs again require fewer calories and tend to develop ailments of old age, which can be prevented by food that is tailored to the body. We give tips on how to find the right dog food for every age.

The right food for puppies and young dogs

When should I give puppy food?

In the first five weeks, the puppies only receive mother’s milk, which provides them with everything they need. From the fifth week, many puppies start taking soaked dry food or some wet food from the mother. The number of solid food increases in the following days. At the same time, the mother increasingly stops suckling. When the puppies are nine weeks old, they are completely weaned. Even in the first weeks of a dog’s life, high-quality food to replace a mother’s milk is important. Since the mother uses a lot of energy, you can, for example, offer her high-quality puppy food, which the small dogs can eat, or you give the young puppies wet food with a high meat content with some water.

During growth, the four-legged friends have a great need for energy in the form of crude fat and crude protein. A balanced mix of vitamins and minerals supports the timely development of the entire musculoskeletal system. If you choose puppy food, you are playing it safe. Balanced dog food for large breed dogs, such as the Bernese Mountain Dog or the Great Dane, is particularly important. If that food contains too much protein, the dogs will grow too fast. That, in turn, can damage the joints. Owners of large breed puppies can discuss the course of an optimal weight curve with the vet or breeder.

The packaging gives good instructions for the daily amount of food. However, the constitution and activity of dogs differ from each other. Regular weighing ensures that the ideal weight becomes more real. For example, you can intervene in time according to need and optimize the feed or reduce the quantities.

Until when should I give puppy food?

Small breeds are mature after nine months at the latest. However, large breed dogs grow more slowly and should therefore be fed age-appropriate food up to 24 months of age. For medium and large dogs, there is therefore junior pet food as an intermediate stage for adult dog food.

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The right food for adult dogs

Small dogs can slowly transition to adult or ‘adult’ dog food from the age of six months. Medium breed dogs will have to start transitioning when they are one year old. Large and giant breeds are fed puppy and junior food until they are two years old.

Also Read: Dog food with a high meat content

If you’re feeding dry food, you can easily switch to another food: when feeding for a longer period of time, always add chunks of the new adult food to the puppy food that your dog is already receiving. This way you can see whether your four-legged friend tolerates the future food well and avoid hypersensitivity reactions.

The range of food for adult dogs is wider: there are many dry and wet food variations available for your four-legged friend. A tip: choose two or three variants of the same quality that you carry alternately. This prevents your dog from developing a critical attitude. If a manufacturer changes the composition or has delivery problems, it is also a lot easier to evade. In general, dogs can tolerate a switch to another food if the food is of the same quality.

Until when should I give puppy food?

Small breeds are mature after nine months at the latest. However, large breed dogs grow more slowly and should therefore be fed age-appropriate food up to 24 months of age. For medium and large dogs, there is therefore junior pet food as an intermediate stage for adult dog food.

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The right food for adult dogs

Small dogs can slowly transition to adult or ‘adult’ dog food from the age of six months. Medium breed dogs will have to start transitioning when they are one year old. Large and giant breeds are fed puppy and junior food until they are two years old.

If you’re feeding dry food, you can easily switch to another food: when feeding for a longer period of time, always add chunks of the new adult food to the puppy food that your dog is already receiving. This way you can see whether your four-legged friend tolerates the future food well and avoid hypersensitivity reactions.

In terms of quality, you have to set the bar high here. High-quality dog ​​food is characterized by the following properties:

  • Contains a lot of meat – meat or fish is at the top of the ingredients list
  • Little or almost no grain, wheat, or corn
  • Without artificial colors or preservatives
  • With dry food, the kibble size and shape suits your dog
  • Your four-legged friend likes the food.
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The suitable dog food for senior dogs

Thanks to optimal medical care, good care, and a balanced diet, dogs today often reach old age. Just like with people, the ailments start in dogs with age: osteoarthritis or eye problems can arise. The dogs move less, tend to build up tartar and weigh a pound more. Because when the muscle mass decreases, the fat rolls increase. In many older dogs, digestion is slower. They get flatulence or constipation from their regular diet. Therefore, it may make sense to switch to foods that are easier to digest. Senior dog food responds to this change: this is, for example, lower-fat food and it contains valuable additives.

Just as important as age-appropriate food is regular vet visits: the four-legged friend should come by once a year. With a basic check for senior dogs you can make early adjustments if your four-legged friend tends to age ailments. The right food can also reduce symptoms of aging.

When should I start feeding my dog ​​senior food?

When is your dog a ‘senior’? It also depends on the size of your four-legged friend. Small dogs become older in total and are therefore only senior at a later age. Large dogs age relatively faster. As a rule of thumb, you can consider your dog to be considered a senior when it has reached 3/4 of its life expectancy.

With Golden Retrievers this would be the case at about 7 to 8 years old. The light Chihuahua belongs to the seniors from 10 to 12 years. As an owner, you can best estimate your four-legged friend yourself. Watch for the first signs of old age: the dog slows down, gets up more slowly and develops digestive problems. Now is a good time for a health check at the vet. This prevents you from overlooking more serious illnesses or dental problems. If it’s just age, you can switch to appropriate food.

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Tips: BARF and wet food for all ages

Those who use BARF do not have a choice of puppy and senior food. Especially with large breed puppies, you should consult a professional if you have little experience with BARF. This is because the nutrition of the food plays a decisive role in the health of the dog. Too much protein or too few minerals can lead to irreversible damage to the joints.

With wet food, it is advisable to fall back on the corresponding range of wet food for puppies.

Senior wet food for dogs is now also available in many variations. This is easy to digest and is characterized by a lower phosphorus content. Extra vitamins and nutrients can counteract the ailments of old age. Additives, such as algae meal, can support the joints. Of course, this also applies to senior dogs: the quality is decisive! Therefore, pay attention to a high proportion of meat, absence of sugar, a lot of grain or attractants when feeding your older dog. In Wolf of Wilderness Senior feed, for example, the proportion of meat and animal components is no less than 66 percent.

If you prefer to continue feeding wet food that your older dog is already familiar with, then you can look at the right treats or complementary food. How about a tasty chew snack with additional benefits? For example, give your senior dog stuffed chew bones with glucosamine or beef scalp snacks with green-lipped mussels. In addition, you can mix green-lipped mussel powder or other active ingredients in the food for your four-legged friend. Multivitamin tablets for seniors can support the immune system of older dogs. In addition, supplementary food is available for skin and coat. Do not overdo it and stick to the recommended amounts so as not to exceed the daily dose. The rule of thumb remains: take your dog to a vet at the first obvious signs of aging. This way you can optimally respond to the nutritional needs of an older dog.

 

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