Senior Large And Giant Breed Dogs Have Different Nutritional Needs
The point at which an adult dog becomes a senior pet is both subjective and variable, given that life expectancies vary widely among dogs depending on their breed and body size. Large and giant breed dogs are often considered seniors at 5 or 6 years old. One rule of thumb is to consider your dog a senior for the last 25 percent of the breeds predicted lifespan.
Aging, in itself, is not a disease, but it is associated with several diseases. Like us, dogs experience several age-related changes, including loss of vision or hearing, decreased energy requirements, obesity and even cognitive dysfunction . Some of the diseases commonly seen in older dogs are arthritis, diabetes, dental problems, heart or kidney disease, and cancer. The immune system also weakens with age, which can leave your older dog at a higher risk for infection and slowed healing.
Nutrition can be a powerful tool in helping senior dogs to maintain health, reduce risk of disease and help manage disease. However, determining which dog food is best for your older dog can be challenging. In choosing a food for an older dog, the first thing to consider is your pets overall health. If your senior dog is healthy, in good body condition and eating a good-quality adult food, there is no reason to change pet food. But if your older dog is showing signs of age-related changes or one of the common diseases, then adjustments to the diet may help.
Omega-3 fatty acids, glucosamine and chondroitin
Same Or Similar Ingredients But Different Foods
Many ingredients used to make cat and dog foods are similar, if not the same. What is different, however, is the amount of each ingredient in a particular formula to meet the nutrient profile for dogs or cats. And that you cant determine from reading the ingredients list on a pet food package.
Remember, too, that nutrients and ingredients arent the same things. Nutrients are components of food that the body must have to support life. Ingredients are nutrient delivery vehicles theyre the raw materials used to make pet foods to supply the nutrients your pet requires.
Since cats have less flexibility in their nutritional requirements than dogs, well look at the differences between cat and dog foods from the perspective of formulating food for cats.
Before You Start Cooking: Homemade Dog Food Needs To Be Balanced
Your homemade meal must contain protein, fiber and carbohydrates. Puppies require about 25 percent protein in their meals, while 18 percent is sufficient for adults. However, protein needs change according to your dogs age and vary according to breed, so check with your vet regarding the right amount for your dog. You might have noticed that commercial dog foods often dont list the percentage of carbohydrates. Thats because the proper percentage of carbs in the dogs diet is still not set in stone by the veterinary community and regulators. If youre making Fidos meals yourself, you have the freedom to purchase the freshest, highest-quality ingredients available. Make sure you weigh your dog frequently to verify he stays a healthy weight. Take your dog to the vet before starting the homemade diet so your vet can determine Fidos ideal weight.
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What’s The Difference Between Puppy Adult Dog And Senior Formulations
Just like human beings, the nutritional needs of dogs change at different stages of life.
Growing puppies need a food that can keep up with their metabolic demands and support an ideal rate of growth. This means more fat and protein are required, and their vitamin and mineral intake must be carefully balanced to avoid excesses and deficiencies .
Once a puppy becomes an adult, their metabolism starts to slow down. They dont need as much fat, protein, and calories as puppy food offersin fact, eating puppy food during adulthood can lead to weight gain and obesity. Adult dog food is balanced to meet the needs of a full-grown dog and help them maintain a healthy weight.
During their senior years, a dogs metabolism usually slows down even more. Also, older pups may develop arthritis, digestive issues, or other health concerns. Senior dog foods take this into account by providing food that is less calorie denseso your older pup can eat enough to feel full, while still receiving the right number of calories and proportions of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Senior pet foods also commonly contain extras like the building blocks for glucosamine and chondroitin, to help support joint health, or probiotics for digestion.
Every dog is an individual, so you can always check with your veterinarian on exactly what they need. If appropriate, you can also consider specialized options like large breed food for puppies or adults, or weight management recipes.
Faq: Does My Older Dog Need A Senior Dog Food
Some food products claiming to be a Senior Version are identical to the regular Adult Formula and only marketed differently. At a higher cost. Another reason to become an expert label-reader!
If youre concerned about your senior big dogs diet and dont want to deal with administering daily supplements, here are some things to look for in a Senior Formula:
- Nutrient adjustments like higher protein or more fat .
- Higher digestibility with added fiber.
- Softer texture and/or formulated to fight dental diseases.
- Added joint supplements.
- Added MCTs, omega-3s, and antioxidants.
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Choosing The Best Dog Food
The best dog food for your dog is ultimately up to you to decide. As an owner, you are the one who sees your dog on a regular basis. If your dog produces firm, healthy stool, is active and fit, and has a healthy appetite, then your dog food is probably working just fine.
Your veterinarian is a valuable resource to you during this process. They know more about pet nutrition than the average owner, and they also have access to research and resources that owners do not have. Your vet can help you narrow down your options and should be more than happy to help you find the answers to your questions about your dogs food.
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Feeding Your Puppy: A First
- 612 weeks: Growing pups should be fed puppy food, a diet specially formulated to meet the nutritional needs for normal development. Feeding adult food will rob your puppy of important nutrients. Four feedings a day are usually adequate to meet nutritional demands. Large breeds should be fed unmoistened dry food by 9 or 10 weeks small dogs by 12 or 13 weeks.
- 36 months: Sometime during this period, decrease feedings from four to three a day. A pup should be losing her potbelly and pudginess by 12 weeks. If she is still roly-poly at this age, continue to feed puppy-size portions until body type matures.
- 612 months: Begin feeding twice daily. Spaying or neutering lowers energy requirements slightly after the procedure, switch from nutrient-rich puppy food to adult maintenance food. Small breeds can make the switch at 7 to 9 months bigger breeds at 12, 13, even 14 months. Err on the side of caution: Better to be on puppy food a little too long than not long enough.
- After age 1: Most owners feed adult dogs two half-portions a day.
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Is Small Breed Puppy Food Different Then Regular Puppy Food
Like big dogs, small dogs and their extra tiny tummies also have unique needs.
The differing metabolic rate of small versus large breed dogs continues into adulthood, which means that small dogs need to take in more calories per pound than large dogs, writes veterinarian Jennifer Coates, for PetMD. A little math reveals that the small dog requires 40 calories/pound, while his large breed friend needs only 22.5 calories/pound. Combine this with the fact that small dogs have tiny stomachs and youll see why most foods designed for small breeds are somewhat more calorie rich than large breed diets.
Small breed puppies are at a higher risk of hypoglycemia because they have high metabolic rates and low fat reserves. This is why a calorie dense puppy food, fed up to six times a day, is important to keeping your small breed puppy healthy. Symptoms of hypoglycemia are weakness, lethargy, muscle tremors and seizures.
Small breed kibble is often smaller sized than regular puppy kibble, which reduces the risk of choking for small dogs.
Is There A Difference Between American Bulldog And American Bully
Physically, there is an observable difference between the two breeds, with the American Bulldog being slightly larger, and the American Bully being more muscular and fierce-looking. But there the differences end. These two breeds are both large dogs that need a lot of space and like to be active.
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The Feline Need For Vitamins
Vitamin A is another nutrient that exemplifies the unique dietary needs of cats. Vitamin A plays a very important role in maintaining the health of the eyes, skin and other tissues within the body. Dogs can convert beta carotene into vitamin A within their bodies. Cats cannot. Therefore, cats require a preformed source of vitamin A in their diets. Liver contains large amounts of vitamin A, or it can be added to a cats food in the form of a supplement.
Cats also require five times more thiamine in their diets than do dogs. Animals suffering from a thiamine deficiency typically develop a poor quality coat, loss of appetite, a hunched posture, neurologic problems including seizures and can eventually die. Thiamine deficiencies can arise when cats eat a lot of uncooked, freshwater fish because it contains an enzyme that breaks down thiamine or when they are not fed a well-balanced, nutritionally complete cat food.
Can Cats Safely Eat Dog Food A Long Time
Not actually, cats cannot be maintained on a dog food diet. When a cat is only fed dog food for a long period, then harmful, if not deadly, consequences can occur.
Because dog food and cat food formulas have different nutritional components methodically to meet the different nutritional needs of these two species.
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Nomnomnow Provides A Puppy Guide On How Much You Should Feed Your Pup
Adult and senior dogs are fed based on their current body, activity level, and body condition, and calculating their calories is pretty straightforward. Most people worry that they need to change their puppys calorie and food amount every day because theyre constantly growing. According to Dr. Justin Shmalberg, NomNomNows board-certified Veterinary Nutritionist and Chief Nutrition Officer, thats not necessarily true. To promote normal growth, most puppies need to be fed the same number of calories, and food, from about 4 months of age to 12 months of age, he says. Even though theyre getting bigger, they use fewer calories for growth as they age, which takes a lot of energy. The net effect is that if a puppy eats 1,000 calories at 16 weeks, hell eat around 1,000 calories as a young adult. Keep in mind, this may vary from dog to dogyour puppy should be fed to maintain his body condition rather than just meet some calculated number.
Their food comes right to your door and will grow along with your dog, making sure his nutritional needs are met at every stage of his life! Check out NomNomNow to see if their delicious, handmade food is the right fit for your pets!
In The Final Part Of Our Three
Throughout 2019, headlines about grain free pet foods and dogs with enlarged hearts circulated around the news and the industry in general. Manufacturers, distributors, retailers and consumers anxiously awaited any news as to whether or not there is indeed a link between grain-free diets and enlarged heart disease and DCM .
In response, the commotion has brought up an important discussion regarding grain vs. grain free pet foods and which is best to feed pets. Before we dive into what we know, lets take a look at where the DCM issue stands as of now.
To put things simply, there is still no dietary link between grain free pet food ingredients and DCM. And theres been no major update since we last checked in early last year. In June of 2019, the Pet Food Institute released a Q& A document that outlined the DCM issue along with questions from a consumers perspective. They instructed pet owners that the most important thing they can do is make sure your dog is receiving a complete and balanced diet that is formulated for his or her life stage. When asked if any ingredients or grain free food as a whole should be avoided, the FDA stated that they do not advise any dietary changes based on the information gathered so far.
Grain vs. Grain Free
The question many consumers have is whether formulas with grains are better for pets than formulas that are grain free.
Why Grain is Good
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What Is Cat Food
There are two basic types of cat food, wet and dry. Manufacturers will cook the ingredients right in the can when preparing wet cat food, sealing in moisture and flavor. Dry food is like a biscuit or cookie mixed with ingredients and baked to hard, crunchy kibble. Both will provide your cat with a complete and balanced meal.
Cats are strictly carnivorous, so they require food high in animal protein. Unlike humans, they do not require any fruits, vegetables, or other plant matter in their diet. Animal proteins provide the cat with an important amino acid, taurine, which their bodies cannot create.
Faq On Cat Food And Dog Food Difference
Can a cat and a dog eat the same food?Since its dangerous to feed only cat food to dogs, cats cannot survive on dog food alone. Generally, dog food lacks enough vitamin A and taurine, two nutrients cats need to live healthy lives. Besides, dog food is also deficient in arachidonic acid and lacks the adequate meat-protein levels that cats need.
Can dog food hurt a cat?A seldom bite of dog food wont hurt your cat. However, dog food is not an alternative to cat food. Remember, cat food is specially formulated for a cats needs.
Why does my dog often want to eat cat food?Actually, dog food needs to contain more fiber than meat can provide by itself. For this reason, your dog may have a deep desire to eat cat food often because they enjoy the taste.
How can I get out my dog to eat cat food?If you dont have an isolated room for your cats food, then put the cats bowl on a high surface. Most cats have no trouble jumping to high places that a dog cant reach.
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Different Species Different Nutritional Requirements
Cats are not small dogs, and dogs are not overgrown or pint-size, in the case of toy breeds cats. Because theyre different species, cats and dogs have substantially different nutrient requirements and, subsequently, need foods with different nutrient profiles.
A quick comparison shows how different cat and dog nutritional requirements are. Cats have:
- A unique energy and glucose metabolism
- A higher protein requirement
- A requirement for dietary taurine, an amino acid
- A sensitivity to inadequate dietary arginine
- A requirement for dietary arachidonic acid, a long-chain fatty acid
- An inability to convert beta-carotene to active vitamin A
- An inability to convert the amino acid tryptophan to niacin, one of the B vitamins
Cats are obligate, or strict, carnivores, which means they must have meat-based ingredients in their diet for their bodies to function properly. In contrast, dogs are omnivores and are able to obtain all of the essential nutrients they need from plants and meat. If their food doesnt include an indispensable nutrient, omnivores can make enough of that nutrient from precursors to meet their requirements.
Faq: Arent All Dog Foods The Same
All dog foods are NOT created equally! Different brands contain different nutritional values and are sold at differing cost points. This is a great time for me to remind you that dog food is not a place to cut corners in your budget. Some companies try to reel us in by using words like healthy or complete on their front label. They must assume well look no further than those words in combination with an attractive price when deciding what well feed our four-legged best friends. But they dont know how much we love our dogs, do they?
Unfortunately, there is a lot of slack given when it comes to the claims marketing gurus print on dog food labels, but there is one place on the label that HAS to be strictly FACT: the INGREDIENTS label. This is from where we will decide which dog food brand to buy.
I do not advocate one brand of dog food over another. The links I will share with you today are based strictly on nutritional content and value for that content. What brand my dog eats doesnt matter, and the brand doesnt matter for your dog, either. Nutritional content matters. Having that nutrition come in a lower-cost option is great, but the cost is second to the content.
A little further along I will show you how to read those dog food labels and well compare a nutritionally sound dog food ingredients label to a label from dog food that doesnt measure up.
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