Choice of food according to the age of the dog
By age, dog food is divided into 4 main groups:
- “Starter” puppy food is intended for the smallest puppies who have stopped feeding on their mother’s milk.
- Food for puppies of the first year of life – “Junior”
- Food for dogs from 1 to 8 years old (adults) – “Adult”
- Dog food for older dogs (aging, for those over 8 years old) – “Senior”
Such a division by the age of the animal is necessary due to the fact that the digestive system develops differently at each age (with different intensities). That is why it is important to observe age criteria when choosing food. For example, for puppies, the composition should be dominated by fats and glucose (which makes the composition similar to mother’s milk), but older pets should be fed with a high content of proteins, fats of animal and vegetable origin, carbohydrates and minerals.
Choose the feed class
Ready-made dog food by quality is divided into 4 classes.
- economy class
Inexpensive feed, which instead of meat is always used bone meal, animal fat and soy, add flavorings, artificial additives and preservatives. If you often feed your dog this food, it can lead to deficiency of vitamins and amino acids.
- Premium feeds
Consist of meat, fish, poultry, offal, plant components and rice. They are more expensive, but more useful, they do not contain soy, and the content of harmful additives is minimal.
- Super natural foods
use only natural meat, they are perfectly balanced, taking into account the characteristics of the breed, age and other characteristics of dogs. Most often sold in veterinary pharmacies and pet stores.
The main difference between holistic feeds – they specifically indicate the meat of which animals, fish or poultry were used, whether there are animal fats. The main source of vegetable protein in holistic feeds is brown rice, lentils and peas, as well as various herbs, berries, fruits and vegetables. Thanks to such ingredients, the animal receives a full range of vitamins and fiber for the balanced functioning of the digestive system.
Consider the size of the dog
Small and large dogs have different nutritional needs. Also, the fraction of granules is selected for the size of the pet: small croquettes for small breeds and large ones for large ones.
- for large and giant breeds
Physiologically, dogs of large and giant breeds are quite different from others. They are more prone to musculoskeletal problems, they just need food with a higher content of nutrients that support the musculoskeletal system. In addition, large dogs are prone to obesity. You should pay attention to the content of calcium and phosphorus, zinc and manganese, as well as other minerals in the feed.
- For medium breeds
Terriers, poodles and others are medium-sized breeds. These dogs are very active and fast, as well as the healthiest. There are no special requirements for food for medium-sized dogs. The only thing is that the percentage of fat in the feed should not exceed 18%, because the body of these dogs does not cope well with its excess.
- for small breeds
Compared to large d ogs, small ones (chihuahuas, miniature dachshunds, etc.) have tachytrophism (fairly fast metabolism). Therefore, to get extra energy, their diet should include more protein, fat and easily digestible carbohydrates. Dog food for small breeds should not contain any low-calorie fiber (corn, soy), because they simply increase the amount of food, but do not benefit, and because the stomach of small dogs is small, the food should be balanced.
- for all breeds
There is also a universal type of food for all breeds. As a rule, it is balanced and contains all the necessary vitamins and trace elements for dogs. Can be divided by class as well as by age of dogs.
Therapeutic and preventive feeds
Therapeutic foods are recommended for pregnant women weakened after recovery and surgery, as well as old and prone to weight gain dogs.
Therapeutic feeds differ from everyday ones in composition: each disease has its own set of substances. For example, dog food, which is recommended for cardiovascular disease, increased potassium, magnesium, sodium, taurine, L-carnitine and minimized sodium and chlorine.
If the dog has a food allergy, with the help of a special hypoallergenic food, you can reduce the intensity of symptoms: itchy skin, ear infections, hair loss, etc.
Aging, inactive and dogs of large breeds are prone to obesity. Overweight dogs develop diabetes, diseases of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems.