Important Facts About Dog Nutrition

There are many types of dog foods available in the market; while all of them claim to have your dog nutritional needs at heart, the truth is that all dog foods are not equally made. Just like people have different nutritional needs, so do dogs. The key to understanding what your dog needs are to understand the basic nutritional needs of all dogs while factoring in any allergies or sensitivities to food along with any age-related nutrition requirements. For example, very young dogs will have different nutritional needs from a pregnant dog or from a senior.

By understanding the ins and outs of dog nutrition, you will be able to ensure that your furry companion leads a long, happy, and healthy life.

From The Young to the Old

Throughout his life, your dog's nutritional needs are going to change as he goes through frequent growth spurts or develops health conditions. By providing him with food that has been formulated for his unique and changing nutritional requirements, you will be able to ensure that he is as healthy as can be.

When puppies are weaned from their mothers, they require dog food that takes into account their nutritional needs. Consider the types of development that occur in a relatively short amount of time with a puppy.

1. Development of muscles, bones, and joints 2. Cognitive development 3. Development of an immune system 4. Your puppy will also continue to fully develop his internal organs, including his brain, as he grows All of this growth requires at least the following key nutritional ingredients to ensure the health of your puppy. 1. Protein: Required for the building of muscles, internal organ development, and a healthy coat. 2. Calcium: Required for healthy teeth and bone development 3. Omega Fatty Acids: Not only for keeping puppy's coat healthy, but these healthy fatty acids are also essential for a healthy immune system

Foods that focus on the nutritional needs of a puppy should have a healthy balance of all of the key dog nutrition ingredients that your pup needs. Your puppy should be on the puppy-specific food for at least the first year of his life, for up to as long as 2 years. Pregnant dogs will require a diet similar to that of puppies in order to provide them with the added nutrition that pregnancy requires.

A well-developed and healthy adult dog can do well on a brand of food that has a focus on adult dog nutrition. With a well-balanced diet that includes proteins, essential fats, grains, and vitamins, your adult dog's health can be maintained until he approaches the age of being considered a senior.

If your senior dog is in otherwise good health then he may not require much in the way of a tailored diet; however, if he is sick or has one or more medical conditions then your veterinarian will recommend a diet plan that will take his modified needs into consideration. One sign that your dog has approached the age of being considered a senior is that he will have a much lower level of activity; with this in mind, his needs will be for lower caloric intake. Overfeeding your senior dog will quickly lead to obesity which can, in turn, shorten your dog's life expectancy.

Working with your veterinarian you will be able to determine the unique dog nutrition requirements of your family's pet. Be certain that you consult with your vet and keep any allergies or other medical conditions in mind before you decide to switch your dog to a new brand of dog food.

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