5 reasons why age specific diets are essential for your dog’s health
Just like for people, a complete and balanced diet is important for our pets. However, specific nutritional needs will change a lot faster in dogs due to their rapid maturity. For example, a growing puppy will have different nutritional requirements than full grown dogs, and especially those that have an active lifestyle. This means to say that as your pets grow older their nutritional requirements will also change.
Here are reasons why improving your pet’s health will require an age specific diet –
Puppies are growing fast and hence they require foods that are rich in protein as well as high amounts of calories as opposed to full grown dogs. They have specific nutritional requirements to meet the demands of their growth. When these requirements are not met, the growth of your pet may be interrupted or your pet may become undernourished. This is even more important in larger breeds that have a tremendous growth rate.
Improve Mental Acuity:
Puppies and kittens require DHA or docosahexaenoic acid, which is a form of fatty acid that promotes enhancement of your pet’s mental acuity. According to recent studies, puppies and kittens that eat foods containing DHA tend to be more trainable. Good quality dry foods will contain DHA as part of their ingredient list on the back of the packaging.
Age specific diets can help fight obesity. As seen in humans, obesity is the most common condition suffered by many people and the same is true with our dogs. Incorrect feeding according to age is one of the most common reasons. For instance, full grown dogs, especially those with sedentary lifestyles, may become overweight or obese if fed with foods especially formulated with higher fat levels made for puppies and kittens. Overfeeding will also result in obesity.
Improves Reproductive Health:
Female dogs, which are either nursing or pregnant, have different nutritional needs than pets with no active reproduction. For pregnant and nursing pets, the mother dog eats for itself and her puppies. If her needs are not met, the puppies will suffer because the mother pet won’t have enough milk or a milk without all the essential nutrients to feed her puppies. This may lead to nutritional deficiency, which may potentially cause disease in the youngsters. For instance, calcium deficiency may cause eclampsia – a condition that causes seizures, tremors and death for the mother of the puppies.
Old pets have different nutritional demands, too. For pets that have movement issues, they will especially benefit from foods that are rich in glucosamine or essential fatty acids like EPA and DHA. These pets can suffer from medical conditions like heart disease as they get older if feed a diet formulated for young animals. The management of many old age diseases will be helped greatly with proper nutrition.