We all love our dogs. After all, they are man’s best friend. We would like to keep them around forever, however, that is not possible. We can, however, keep them around for a long time. One way to do this is by feeding them the best foods out there. We all want the best foods for ourselves, so why not the same for our dogs? I am going to help you find healthy dog foods for your dog, regardless of what stage in life he/she is in.

Your new puppy-Helping them grow up strong

There is a difference between foods for puppies, dogs and senior dogs. There are also three categories of dog food: dry, semi-moist and moist. For puppies, I recommend dry kibble. This has more meat protein, vitamins, minerals and fat content your puppy needs for energy and growth. Dry food is also better for your puppy’s teeth to keep them clean and strong. Your puppy should be fed three times a day, approximately the same time every day. You can continue feeding him puppy food until he is about one year old. Moist food isn’t bad for him though. If you want to give him moist food from time to time, a good idea is to either mix a little moist food with the dry food if you like or even alternate dry and moist during his daily feeding schedule. It is not a good idea to feed your puppy table scraps. This is a bad habit to get them into. If you have nutritious leftovers you wish to give your puppy, I recommend you don’t give them to your puppy during your meal time; this would give him the wrong idea and ignore his own food. Also, a good idea is to feed him before you eat, preferably in a place where his eating wouldn’t be interrupted. This might help to keep him from begging at the dinner table. In the beginning, you should only leave water out for your puppy while you are home and available to take them for a walk. Once he is older and can control his bladder until you get home, then you can leave water out all day.

Your adult dog-keeping him as healthy as a puppy

Once your dog turns one year old, he is considered an adult and requires foods with different nutritional values. By this time he should have reached approximately 80% of his full size. You don’t want to just switch his food over right away. You will want to gradually transition his system over the next couple days. In order to do this, you begin with 75% puppy food and 25% adult food on day 1, then to 50% of each on day2, then 25% puppy and 75% adult until day 4 when you can give him 100% adult dog food. His adult food will still be protein rich with a blend of such things as chicken, lamb, fish and rice. You will only need to feed him twice a day at this juncture. A good idea is to either mix his food with moist food or alternate one feeding of dry and one moist. Another good idea is to also give him dog bone treats, but not too many. These will be a treat or supplement, not a meal, or he will become overweight. A good way to tell if he is getting overweight is by running your hands down along his sides. If you can feel his ribs, but not see them, then he is okay. You can now also start leaving fresh water out for him all day as he has better bladder control at this point. As when he was a puppy, he will still need, and perhaps, enjoy plenty of exercise.

Senior dogs-growing older with you

As your dietary needs will change, the same is true for your dog. Your dog’s physical and mental requirements are changing now as he gets to be the age of 7 and older. Protein levels are still very important for him. In order to maintain his protein levels is to buy foods that have chicken as the #1 ingredient. Poultry-by-products are also especially good for him now as they provide the glucosamine for his joints. Botanical oils are also very good for him as they help with his alertness and mental sharpness.

As with the other growing stages in his life, transitioning him from adult dog food to senior dog food is important. You will want to do this over about a week’s time so as not to create dietary system upsets. Mixing his food with a little senior dog food and more adult food at first and then gradually increasing the proportion of senior dog food to adult dog food until he is only on senior dog food. Senior dogs will require adequate fresh water throughout the day. Exercise is still important, but don’t overdo it. Go at his speed.

Happy dog-happy man

As you can see, your dog’s dietary needs change just as ours do, although I would not recommend eating his food; he might get jealous or even angry and it won’t taste as good to you as it does to him. Adversely, people food will taste better to him than his food does, which is why I suggested not giving him table scraps when you are eating or when his food is out. The size and breed of your dog makes a difference in the types of food you give him so you want to try to buy breed-specific food for him. Of course, if your dog develops health issues, you will want to consult with your veterinarian. They may suggest changing his diet, consisting of different foods specific to his issues. The average life span for a dog, depending on the breed is about 15 years. By keeping this basic thought process in mind as your dog goes through the different stages in his life, he will live to a ripe old age and still remain healthy. Good luck and woof, woof!!

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