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Ask Dr. Aziza: How Your Dog’s Nutrition Needs Change Throughout Their Lives

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91195 ask dr aziza how your dogs nutrition needs change throughout their lives

Ask Dr. Aziza: How Your Dog’s Nutrition Needs Change Throughout Their Lives

Ask Dr. Aziza: How Your Dog’s Nutrition Needs Change Throughout Their Lives

As a pet parent, you want to make sure that your pup stays in good shape and has access to healthy nutrition throughout their life. But did you know that the nutrients and food your pup needs—and how much of it—changes as they age? Here’s the rundown on how your dog’s nutrition needs change over time, according to Dr. Aziza, a certified veterinarian.

Puppyhood (1-12 Months)

During a pup’s first year of life, they need plenty of calories and special nutrition to support their rapid growth and development.

  • Calories: At this age, puppies need up to three times the energy level of an adult dog.
  • Protein: A puppy’s diet should comprise about 30% to 50% of protein.
  • Fat: Your pup will also need plenty of fatty acids as these support energy and healthy skin.
  • Vitamins and Minerals: Puppies also require a range of vitamins and minerals to ensure proper bone and muscle growth.

Adult Dog (1-7 Years)

Once they’ve reached adulthood (about one year), adult dogs need a balanced food that provides enough energy and nutrients.

  • Calories: An adult dog should receive roughly the same level of energy as a young, active adult human.
  • Protein: 18% to 30% of their diet should be protein.
  • Fat: Fat should supply about 8% to 20% of their total calorie intake.
  • Vitamins and Minerals: Dogs at this stage require vitamins and minerals for muscle health, strong bones, and joint health.

Senior Dog (7+ Years)

For older dogs, nutrition should be tailored to account for changing energy levels.

  • Calories: As dogs age, their energy needs decrease, especially for adult dogs not engaged in physical activity.
  • Protein: Lean proteins like chicken, fish, and egg, should make up at least 25% of their diets.
  • Fat: Fats should provide no more than 15% of their daily caloric intake.
  • Vitamins and Minerals: Senior dogs need antioxidants, as well as calcium, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids, for overall health.

Making sure that your dog has the right nutrition throughout their life is essential for their health and wellbeing. To learn more about how to create a specialized diet for your pup, consult your vet.

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