Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Dog Nutrition Over the Years

Tito, you diminutive yet loveable French bulldog is now three years old, meaning he will be transitioning from the slightly exasperating -œadolescent phase- of his life to the rather well balanced -œmature adult phase.- Before he was an adolescent, up until he was about a year old, he was your little cuddly puppy and he ate puppy formula food. Just like you, Tito has changing nutritional needs as he grows and changes. You didn’t eat pureed carrots until you were 10 or cheeseburgers and fries every day until you were 40. Tito came into a new phase in his life, and so he *should* come into a new type of food. At each transitional phase of Tito’s life, you will need to re-evaluate his health, wellness and appetite to determine what his diet regimen will consist of.

What are the phases? You may not even know at what ages Tito’s all important age transitions are occurring. Here’s a rough breakdown, to give you an idea. The Puppy Phase: Up to 1 Year During this time, Tito required lots of attention, time, and training. For every adorable up, there was a genuinely frustrating down – but of course; it was easily worth it to help Tito, your furry friend to grow into the next phase. The Adolescent Phase: 1 – 3 Years This stage no doubt drove you bonkers. Dogs have the -œterrible twos- just like toddlers, and Tito was no exception. Tito in this phase, was just like a teenager, pushing your buttons to see what he could get away with. It is in this phase where your dog’s disciplinary training is most relevant. The Mature Adult Phase: 3 – 6 Years In this phase, which your Tito is so gracelessly entering, he will exit gracefully. These are the years in which Tito will settle into his life, his home, his family and his own personality. The Senior Phase: 6 Years Plus This more accurately starts when your dog is between 6 and about 10. Essentially, whenever your dog starts showing his age is when he becomes a senior. This could mean having things like arthritis, extra weight, diabetes or bad eyesight. During this phase, it is crucial you meet your dog’s changing nutritional needs in order to extend the length and healthfulness of his life. How Do I Know Tito is Getting What He Needs? The really great thing is that pet food companies want you to buy the right thing so you’ll keep coming back for more. This is why they formulate special blends of food for each age group. There are puppy blends and dog blends – usually referring to the adolescent and mature phase – and even blends for old timers. Most brands also offer special blends for overweight dogs. If your dog has a more specialized problem like arthritis or bad eyesight, there are special blends for that, although they are harder to find. You can ask advice from your Vet about where to get these blends, or add other supplements to your dog’s diet that would cancel the need for them. For example, a dog with arthritis’s need for extra calcium could be met by giving them an extra milk bone or two. A dog with an upset digestive system could have his kibble replaced by boiled chicken breasts and rice. What’s most important is to understand that, just like you, Tito needs to change his eating habits as his life goes on – whether it’s the type of food or the amount he gets. How much he exercises in a day is also important. Keep track of Tito’s changing needs and meet them, so he can be the best dog he can be at all stages of his life. After more than 20 years in the business, we’ve learned a thing or two about pet containment. We introduced Fido’s Fences brand replacement batteries in 2010 to provide our customers with a high-quality, lower-cost Invisible Fence® battery alternative. Find out more about Fido’s Fences brand equipment at www.FidosFences.com.

Related Articles –
dog, nutrition, food, puppy, senior, stages,

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